What exactly is a Bengal?
The Bengal cat is a domesticated cat breed created from hybrids of domestic cats, the Asian Leopard, and the Egyptian Mau. They normally weigh 8 to 15 pounds, varying in size from average to large, compared to a normal domestic cat. The Bengal cat’s wild appearance is enhanced by its distinctive thick and luxurious spotted or marbled coat. The tail is thick, tapering to a black tip. There is no other breed of cat which displays the gold or pearl dusting effect (glitter) found on some Bengal cats. This breed is sociable, dependent, talkative, lean, and elegant. Bengals have an average life span of 10 to 16 years.
Are they as wild as they look?
If you are looking for a lap cat that wants to snuggle all day, you may want to choose a different breed. That being said, they are exceptionally affectionate and bond extremely well with their owners. They like to cuddle, most often on their terms, but like us humans, every cat has a unique personality. Bengals are more energetic than the average house cat as well. Often on the hunt for something to do.
What's the reaction when I bring them into the groomer?
Your guess is as good as mine! They require very little grooming and are a hypoallergenic breed.
Will I go broke from Vet bills?
Though they have the same health issues that can affect your normal domestic cats, Bengals are also known to have a few hereditary issues. They include cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PKD), and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
Cataracts affect the lens of the eye where it becomes thick and opaque, resulting in a whitish-gray area in the center of the eye. It may involve just a tiny area in the lens and stay small or it may occupy the entire lens, leading to partial or complete vision loss. Sometimes they irritate the eye and cause pain. They usually develop in older age but can develop early on due to trauma, lack of nutrition, a viral infection, or other infections.
PRA is caused by a single nucleotide mutation in the gene known as CEP290, which produces a mutant cellular protein in the fetus during development. This issue causes blindness.
PKD is an inherited hemolytic anemia caused by insufficient activity of this regulatory enzyme, resulting in instability and loss of red blood cells. Clinical signs vary as the anemia is intermittent and the age of onset is variable.
HCM is the most commonly diagnosed cardiac disease in all breeds of cats. It is a condition that causes the muscular walls of a cat’s heart to thicken, decreasing the heart’s efficiency to pump blood throughout the body. The cause has not been identified, and annual heart screening can be done by a board-certified cardiologist. Although this doesn’t guarantee that the cat will never get HCM it does help to catch the disease and treat it early. There is no known cure, but a specialized care plan can help manage the effects. Some cats do not display clinical signs and are often able to survive for years with only mildly compromised heart function. The disease has been found in cats ranging from 3 months to 17 years. Most cases occur in middle age between 4 to 8 years, but this varies greatly from cat to cat.
Unfortunately, there is not a genetic test yet for HCM, but there is a genetic test to rule out PRA and PKD. Our best defense against HCM is to screen each cat on an annual basis and hope they always come back normal. I have sent in my cat’s DNA to UC Davis and none of them are carriers for either of these hereditary diseases. I take pride in the health of my cats.
It’s important to take your cat to the vet annually so preventative care, and immunizations can be done. Regular vet visits, teeth brushing, internal/external parasite control, and maintaining a high-quality diet are key to your cat’s long, healthy, life.
Do they require an exotic diet?
Now everyone has a different opinion on what diet is best for this breed. But opinions are just that: opinions. The fact is, cats are carnivorous. They require a diet high in protein. I feed my Bengals a raw diet, which you can find the recipe and instructions here.
Typical dry cat foods contain more carbohydrates than protein and have no water content. Cats need water in their diet, no matter what breed they are, otherwise they can develop kidney disease. We want to make it easy on the kidneys to do their job filtering out waste from the blood, manage blood pressure, and produce erythropoietin for bone marrow.
That’s not to say a cat can’t live a long life on a dry food diet, because they do, but every cat handles the food differently. So, choose what works best for your ideals and lifestyle.
Will I be able to attend cat shows?
Yes, you sure can. These are show quality kittens. You can show them at TICA events with the papers provided with your kitten.
How does the purchasing process work?
You can use the "I'm interested" button on the available kittens page to reach out for more information or start the adoption process. You can schedule an appointment to come out to see the available kittens as well.
As soon as you've decided you're ready to adopt, you will need to place a deposit to hold that kitten. The deposit is $200 and non-refundable. We accept cash, Paypal, and Venmo. We strongly prefer not to ship kittens via cargo.
Kittens are available to go to their new homes at 12 weeks of age. When it's time to take your kitten home, we will go over the purchase contract, collect the remaining balance, and you will be on your way with your brand new family member.
Your DRC kitten will come with:
- Health Guarantee
- Purchace Contract
- Breed Certificate/Registration Paper
- Up-to-date Vaccines
- No FIV/FeLV (Immunodeficiency / Leukemia)
- No Trichomonas, Giardia, Coccidiosis (intestinal parasites)
- No external parasites
- Custom DRC blanket to help them adjust
- High quality food to get you started
- Fresh mani and pedi
How do I transition my kitten to their new home?
Yay! You’ve bought your kitten and it’s time to take your little one home. Now what? It will take a few days for your kitten to adjust to you and their new environment. We recommend setting up a safe place for them in your home, such as a small area in the bathroom or bedroom. Create a comfortable area by putting all their things in that room with them, food, water, bed, toys, and litter box. If you have other cats or animals, I would introduce them only after the kitten has settled in. You will be able to tell when they have settled in when they aren’t searching for a place to hide, but instead come to greet you. It is best to introduce other pets by first giving them items with the scents of the other animals. You can place blankets or toys from the others pets in the kitten’s environment before you physically introduce them.
If you decide to transition their diet over to another brand of food, you can ease the adjustment by mixing the foods over a 5-day span. Decrease the amount of the previous brand while slowing increasing the new brand. This gives their tummy time to adjust.
How do I care for my kitten long term?
This breed is very adventurous. They absolutely love to explore and soak up the sun. We don’t recommend allowing them outdoors in an unfenced area because of their curious nature, they may endanger themselves. They can be kept strictly indoors, but cats do love to have the option of being outside. It’s also important to feed them a high-quality food. Cats are notorious for developing kidney issues as they age. Please follow your veterinarian’s recommendations. Regular brushing and nail trimming are good habits to establish, as well as daily tooth brushing if you want to avoid those expensive dental cleanings down the road. Once the tarter is built up, you can no longer just brush it off. Their baby teeth will start to fall out and be replaced by their adult teeth around 3-4 months of age.