Prior to owning any breed of cat, it’s best to know as much as possible about them. From how to care for them, to their particular characteristics, it’s all important. Bengal cats and kittens make wonderful pets and to ensure a happy life together, you need to make sure you are prepared.
Bengal cat checklist:
- Check their background if you can
- Check their overall health
- Give them plenty of space
- Provide plenty of toys
Bengal kitten checklist:
- Check the kitten is registered
- Check the breeder is registered
- Has the kitten been socialized?
- Check them over physically
The good thing is that there is nothing too complex you need to do. If you plan to own a Bengal cat, it’s not going to take long to prepare for them coming into your home. Below, we’ll go into these checklists in more detail, to help you prepare to bring your Bengal cat or kitten home.
Every cat loves to know where it can sleep in comfort,and a Bengal cat or kitten is no exception. Admittedly, they may enjoy sleeping in other spots, such as a windowsill, but providing them with a space they can call their own is important. Make sure the cat bed comes with a hood. It provides them with a sense of safety and security that the Bengal often craves.
A litter tray, and cat litter, are other essential items. These are required even if your cat spends most of their time outdoors, as they still need somewhere to go to the toilet when in your home.
While it’s not necessary, you may wish to consider buying a hooded litter tray to give them more privacy. Also, try to get a good quality bag of clumping litter to put in the tray. It makes it easier to scoop things out without having to completely empty the tray.
Every cat requires some sort of scratching post, and they come in different shapes and sizes. However, for a Bengal cat we recommend purchasing a tall scratch tree, and it’s better when it’s one with several platforms.
A tall scratch tree with platforms encourages your Bengal cat to climb and use some energy. Also, they enjoy having different vantage points to check out, and in all honesty, the scratching part is the least of their worries. But do have something where they can work on their claws. It’s essential for their health.
As you will quickly discover, one of the main difficulties in having a Bengal cat is keeping them entertained and amused. So, make sure you have a number of different cat toys for them to play with. They will still look at spending time with you, and want your attention, but toys can give them something else to do when you are not around. The more toys they have, the better it is for them.
There are times when you will need to take your cat to the vet for a check-up and getting them from A to B requires a cat carrier. This makes it easier, and reduces the stress your cat will feel during this time. Cats often hate being in cars, although this is not always the case. A cat carrier makes them feel safer.
The final main thing we need to mention is food and bowls. Make sure you have the correct food for the age of your cat. The nutritional needs of a kitten are different from an adult cat, which is different once again to a more senior cat.
Also, get some bowls for their food. Cats do not like to make a mess, so having a good bowl is something they will enjoy. In addition, it gives them the sense of knowing they will be fed in a certain area, and they will associate that area with something that is positive.
Bengal cats are high maintenance, and it’s due to their active minds and demanding nature. A Bengal cat often wants to grab your attention. They tend to develop strong bonds with their family, and this can lead to them seeking to spend as much time as possible with you.
Aside from interactions with your cat, another area where they can be high maintenance is on the grooming side of things. However, with Bengal cats this is not a problem.A Bengal cat has short hair, so minimal grooming is required. Their coat is shallow and low-laying, and that also means they do not shed extensively.
For most, their own grooming routine will be sufficient. But to keep on top of it all, you need to perhaps groom them once a week.Compared to other breeds of cat, that is very little work from a grooming point of view.
Bengal cats are well known for their need to be the focus of your attention, and this can happen daily. They are adept at enjoying their own company, but if they want to interact, they will let you know about it. Their need to interact with you is the most pressing concern you will have with your Bengal cat. But if you love playing with them, then you should both get on well.
The problem with owning a Bengal cat is their intelligence and high energy levels often work against them.This can lead to them becoming easily bored, which is also where their desire for attention comes into play.
Stopping your cat from being bored can be a difficult task. They need to be stimulated both mentally and physically. While this is not something that has to be done constantly, it’s something to be aware of before you take ownership.
You need to think about how your cat can play, rest, and entertain themselves. Having these things in place before you get your cat is advisable. It’s best to start as you mean to go on.
One key thing is that the kitten has had different vaccinations according to its age. Any good breeder should have done this, but you need evidence that this is the case. Vaccinations for a kitten are essential for their future health.They must be given at certain times, and if not, your cat can end up getting very sick. Knowing they have been vaccinated before you take ownership is essential.
Ask the breeder about the status of internal parasites with the kitten. This is important, and you need to know that they have been confirmed as free from different parasites, including tape and round worm. They should have also been ‘dewormed’ via medication to ensure there is no problem. Knowing they are not suffering from any form of internal parasite givesyou greater peace of mind.
Another important point is dealing with external parasites. You need to make sure the kitten is free of fleas, ear mites and ticks. You should also ask about a preventative program to keep them this way. However, even though you are being given assurances from a breeder, you still need to have them checked over for these parasites.
You should ask the breeder if both the kitten and its mother have been tested for feline leukemia. This is something people often miss out on simply because they believe the Bengal cat is immune to it. While this is up for debate, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Every kitten should have been screened for various health concerns, and this is another thing where you should be given evidence that a vet has checked them out. This focuses primarily on PK deficiency and having been PRA screened.
PK deficiency is a serious form of anemia, and this can cause many health issues for a Bengal cat. PRA screening checks if your kitten is blind, or if they could become blind over time. Both forms of screening provide you with a clearer picture of the potential future health of your cat.
Check if the breeder offers a health guarantee. Be aware that some breeders have been known to give a health guarantee, but with a short window of opportunity to have your cat checked over by your own vet. Make sure to check how long the health guarantee is valid. It has been known in the past that poor breeders offer only a few days, after which the health guarantee becomes null and void.
1. Check Your Cat Is Vaccinated
You need to make sure your cat had all the vaccinations it needed when it was a kitten. Make sure to ask the previous owner and, preferably, get vet reports confirming your cats vaccinations are up to date.
2. Check Your Cat Has Been Screened For Diseases
Bengal cats are prone to PK deficiency, which causes severe anemia, and PRA which can cause blindness. It might be best to get them screened anyway, just to be sure, but asking for vet reports on their health screening is a must.
3. Check For Internal And External Parasites
Internal parasites can be difficult to find, but at least ask when the cat was last dewormed. Checking for fleas, ticks and ear mites is a lot easier. Your vet will probably do this if you’re getting them screened for diseases anyway, but give them a good once over yourself too.
When purchasing an adult Bengal cat, the things to look out for will not change too significantly from a kitten. However, part of the problem you face is that buying an adult cat may mean so many items in the checklist for a kitten happened many years ago.
4. Ask About Any Previous Injuries Or Health Issues
You need to know what is normal for your cat to know what is abnormal. Ask the previous owner if the cat has had health problems or been injured in the past. This can help you find potential health issues faster if they arise, or give you peace of mind if your cat occasionally limps.
1. Check The Kitten Is Registered
Is the Bengal kitten you are looking to purchase registered? Are they registered with TICA? TICA stands for The International Cat Association, it’s a genetic registry of pedigree cats. While it’s not necessary, or a legal requirement, it gives you greater confidence that the kitten is actually a Bengal, and has been bred following certain standards.
Another area to focus on is if the breeder is also registered with TICA. You can find a list of breeders on TICA’s website, but they must pay to advertise there. Again, it’s not 100% required, but anything that gives you confidence in how the kitten has been bred will help.
How a cat acts as an adult often comes down to the way they have been socialized as a kitten. For that reason, you want to know that your kitten has been well socialized from a very early age. Ask the breeder if this is indeed the case.
By being socialized, it makes it easier for the kitten to adapt to your home. They will be used to other pets and humans, so encountering you will not be a problem. Keep an eye out for the kitten being shy, or even hissing. These are both signs that they have not been significantly socialized.
Checking over the kitten physically, and observing them as they move around, is another important point on your checklist. It’s all fine and well taking what the breeder has said about the kitten, but you need to do your own work when it comes to their health.
Examine them and take them to your vet. Have them checked for any issues as soon as you take ownership of them. If something is not disclosed by the breeder, you are in a stronger position than if you had left it for some weeks, or even months.
Their physical health can clearly go wrong as they grow and get older, but a number of important, and common, health issues can be identified at a very early age. That is why checking it out is so important.
1. Check Their Background If You Can
Checking the background of an individual offering an adult Bengal cat is not easy. That is why you should focus more on the actual cat and ensure they are in good condition, rather than spending much time on their background. Make sure to ask if they have any vet documents about vaccinations and health screening. They may not have anything, but it’s worth asking.
Checking their health, which means taking them to a vet, is crucial. You should have already checked they are up to date with their vaccinations before taking them home, but having their overall health examined is undoubtedly a good idea.
This becomes even more important the older a cat gets. They are like us, different problems can develop as they age. Being made aware of them as soon as possible allows you to get on top of an issue before it’s too late.
Pay close attention to their health over the first few days. This also provides you with the opportunity to learn more about their personality and character. Keep in mind these first few days are stressful, so they may not act in their usual manner until they feel settled.
A Bengal cat fully grown will take time to adjust to their new home. It’s important you provide them with this opportunity, as they need to work out that this is their home.
Allow them to work out where they are sleeping, and to explore. Have everything in place for them in advance to make life easier. This means have their bed, toys, food and scratching posts in place. Then, leave them to their own devices.
4. Provide Plenty Of Toys
Bengal cats are very intelligent and energetic. When they first come into your home, you want to make sure there are plenty of toys for them to amuse themselves with. Boredom will cause your new cat to start destroying ornaments and soft furnishings in a bid to amuse themselves.
It’s best to start with lots of things for them to do, rather than try and distract them after your favorite cushion has been shredded!
A Bengal cat is a wonderful breed to own but prepare yourself for them to demand your attention a lot, and they won’t take no for an answer. As long as you provide them with ample things to do, from both a physical and mental perspective, you will soon become best friends. Just ensure you follow our checklists for buying either your adult Bengal cat or Bengal kitten, and everything should go well!