I started this page to help with the many questions you may have. This page is a work in progress as I get more questions I will add them to this section.
Q: Do Bengals get along with dogs?
A: Absolutely. I think Bengals are a cross between dog and a cat in their behavior. Bengals enjoy playing with dogs, cats and of course the entire family. Bengals are very interactive with their families and nothing makes them happier than to be a part of the family:)
Q: Are Bengals active?
A: Yes they are. There is nothing more they enjoy than a good romp and play but they are not the energizer bunny. Bengals should have a lot of interactive play and enrichment toys to play with. We keep a basket of toys for ours and they know that this where to hunt out that special toy to play with. Bengals need to be active they are an athletic cat. Give your Bengal something to do. They love their cat trees which allows them to climb and jump on an acceptable play area. Many also enjoy a good game of fetch!
Q: Do Bengals like water?
A: Yes, most Bengals are attracted to running water. Many of our Bengals enjoy jumping into the tub to get a drink from the faucet on a slow drizzle. Some Bengals even enjoy playing in water and swimming.
Q: Are Bengals smart?
A: YES!! Very smart and they can be trained to do tricks. Bengals can also be taught the household rules. The training is in your hands, be consistent and make it fun:)
Q: Why does my Bengal potty in the laundry basket?
A: A laundry basket appears to a Bengal as another litter pan, they cannot distinguish them apart. Keep you laundry put up and away from your Bengal and do not allow any confusion to get started.
Q: Why does my Bengal head butt me?
A: This is a sign of affection and simply wanting to be petted. Enjoy this interaction with your Bengal.
Q: Can my Bengal be taught to walk on a lead?
A: Yes, they can. It is best to start while they are young. I believe this best done by incentive training. In other words by using food or a toy they like. By holding the food/toy in front of them and getting them to follow on lead. We also recommend using "walking jackets" and not a collar. Be patient and kind in your training and you will be rewarded with a happy Bengal that will take walks with you.
What is HCM? HCM is the most common heart disease in cats. Why should you be concerned? Because it is very prevalent in many breeds of cats including Bengals. Many Bengal breeders are not even testing for this dreaded disease saying they do not have a problem - shame on them. Dedicated breeders are testing. If we are to eliminate HCM in our beautiful Bengals breeders are going to have be DEDICATED and start testing "every" breeding cat in their program. Too many breeders are only testing one time and then displaying it on their websites OR not testing all of their breeding cats saying that the parents were clear so they do not need to test the offspring - WRONG!
Is HCM inherited? HCM has been confirmed as an atuosomal dominant inherited trait in breeds such as Maine Coons, American Shorthair and Rag Dolls. It is "BELIEVED" to be the same for Bengals but has not been proven at this time. There is a current study ongoing looking for a gene causing HCM. There are many mutations of HCM proven in humans and felines. Some breeders try to link a nutritional cause to HCM and there is NO evidence of this.
Please take into consideration of HCM before purchasing a pet or breeder quality Bengal and purchase from the Dedicated Bengal Breeders who are testing yearly for this dreaded disease. There is NO way to guarantee at this time that "any" Bengal is HCM free but testing is the only way to eventually eliminate this dreaded disease. Testing shows that on that day the cat does not have HCM.
Please go to the following websites and read about HCM. There are many more sites on the internet with valuable information.
We are one of the DEDICATED breeders testing for HCM with a "Certified Cardiologist" and will continue to do so. We have our HCM reports scanned and available to email to anyone who wishes to see them.
Please help to eliminate this dreaded disease and heartbreak by purchasing only from a DEDICATED BREEDER.
Introduction - from UC Davis Genetic Testing
Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK Deficiency) is an inherited hemolytic anemia that occurs in Abyssinian, Somali, Bengal and some domestic shorthair cats. The deficiency of this regulatory enzyme causes an instability of red blood cells which leads to anemia. The anemia is intermittent, the age of onset is variable and clinical signs are also variable. Symptoms of this anemia can include: severe lethargy, weakness, weight loss, jaundice, and abdominal enlargement. This condition is inherited as an autosomal recessive.
The VGL offers a DNA test for PK deficiency to assist owners and breeders in identifying affected and carrier cats. The test uses DNA collected from buccal swabs avoiding invasive blood collection. Breeders can use this test as a tool to avoid breeding carriers together which would produce 25% affected offspring.
Procedure for collecting a feline DNA sample
SUBMISSION FORM - Allow 5-10 business days for test results.
Results are reported as:
Test Result PK deficiency status
N/N no copies of PK deficiency, cat is normal
N/K 1 copy of PK deficiency, cat is normal but is a carrier.
K/K 2 copies of PK deficiency, cat is or will be affected. Severity of symptoms cannot be predicted.
PK Def is not new but just now being reported in Bengals. Each cattery should test all their cats and work towards being an N/N cattery. We are fortunate that there is a test for this disease. With that said you cannot throw out the baby with the wash water. We as breeders cannot loose our diverse breeding genetics. It will probably take about 2 years for most catteries to become N/N. So what does this mean. It means that you should not breed N/K to N/K. It also means testing any potential breeding quality animals to check for this disease. If a cat is N/K it means it is a carrier. It also means that an N/K cat is NOT affected by the disease in any way.
Why does my kitten use the litter pan in his room but when I bring him out to play he potties some where unexpected?
Do not expect a baby to be able to return to another room to use the litter pan. Be sure to have a litter pan in the "play area". As they grow older they will have better control and will be able to go to designated area to use the litter pan.
Raising Kittens at StarGlitter Bengals
I am often asked how we raise our kittens. We strictly follow the TICA recommendations for raising our kittens. I will outline below the procedures we follow.
First and foremost our kittens are born in our bedroom in the closet. This gives Mama the privacy she wants and needs and gives me the comfort of being close at hand. We only raise a few litters a year so this has worked out for us. Each kitten is held and loved daily. This is what is called "imprinting". They are comfortable with people and never fear them and it allows for the full potential of their lovely temperament to develop.
Kittens will remain in the closet until 4 weeks of age. I can closely monitor their growth and watch for any potential problems with kittens or Mama. Kittens are weighed daily until 1 week of age. This guarantees they are growing and receiving the nutrients from Mama that they need.
At 4 weeks the kittens are moved to nursery (Our Sun Room). The Nursery is located between our bedroom and the kitchen. They will now be exposed to many new different sounds, smells and sights; such as washer, dryer, dish washer and ever-day hustle and bustle .They are now ready to start playing and eating food. They are now really starting to blossom and need a great deal of interaction. They are now fed along side their Mama and a small litter box just their size is provided also at this time. Kittens will naturally investigate the litter box which has only clay litter in it. Clay litter is the only safe litter for small kittens.
At 6 weeks the kittens are introduced to the main house. We bring kittens out by themselves and allow them to play and explore. This is very important to allow them to start maturing into confident lovely pets. We play many games at this time with the kittens and always have a litter box close at hand to reinforce their litter box habits. Also at 6 weeks they are allowed to roam the Nursery and play with the toys and small cat tree available to them. NO adults or other kittens are allowed to interact with the kittens at this time.
Kittens will receive their first vaccination at 6-8 weeks and fecal will be taken to the vets to be examined.
At 9 weeks the kittens now may have some interaction with other kittens and adults under supervision. They are beginning to explore their entire environment now and becoming very confident.
Between 8-9 weeks we will wean the kittens from their Mama provided all is going as planned.
At 12 weeks they will be taken to vet for their exam. If all goes well they are then ready to go to their new home as a loving, confident pets and litter trained.
This is just an outline and certainly does not cover everything but I feel it gives everyone an idea of how we raise kittens with love and care;)
How Young is Too Young by Barbara C. French. A great article as to why a kitten should not go to their new home before 12 weeks.
1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old.
9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.
10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.
~Take a moment today to thank God for your pets.
Enjoy and take good care of them.
Life would be a much duller, less joyful experience
without God's creatures.