Caring for your Bengal

They may look wild but they depend on us to thrive.

They may look wild but they depend on us to thrive.

Caring for a Bengal? It comes from wild blood and looks exotic, so what should one expect?  Well as it turns out it is much the same as caring for any domestic house cat. They readily eat quality cat food, use a litter box and require the same vaccinations as other cats. Like all domestic cats they should NEVER be allowed to roam outside unattended.

Shedding

Most Bengals do not shed much but I have seen exceptions. They have a short, pelted coat that requires a minimum amount of grooming, although like most cats they enjoy a good brushing.  If they have access to an outdoor run though out winter they will grow in a thicker coat and shed it come spring.

Clipping the claws

We’ve seen cats that would have difficulty walking across carpet if their claws were left untrimmed. For the most part they have been rare but it is worth noting.  So for most cats clipping is often a matter of taste but some cats do need the maintenance. Many people choose to do it once every week or two. We do not often clip the claws on our adult cats preferring instead to put our energy into training them as to when and where they can use their claws. That said, we have had some cats that we clipped quite regularly.

There are lots of videos on youtube.com as well 100’s, if not 1000’s of blog posts on the topic. We suggest you ask your vet to give you a first hand demonstration of how to do it.

Food Choices

Our kittens are are being fed a diet of Eagle Pak Holistic with a daily treat of 9 lives Canned food. You should keep the kitten on the same diet for at least for the first few weeks which is part of the reason we supply a bag of food with each kitten. . If you decide to change the diet, a small amount of new food should be mixed with the regular food, gradually increasing the amount of new food over several days until the changeover is complete. Fresh water must be kept available at all times. I suggest stainless steel dog food and water dishes as Bengals tend to play in their food and water and knock the dishes around. It varies from cat to cat but our line of Bengals tend to drink huge amounts of water.

As exotic as they look caring for them is as simple as it is for any domestic cat.

As exotic as they look caring for them is as simple as it is for any domestic cat.

Litter boxes

They should be on the large side and quite deep.  Bengals will often spend a fair amount of time preparing their “spot” in the litter box before doing their business and often spend more time then expected covering it afterwards. We use a generic recycled newsprint based litter and clean the box twice a day.

Toys

There are 1000’s of toys out there and we have tried many of them. In the end though Bengals will have as much fun with a paper bag, packing box or a piece of string with a hunk of leather tied to it as most $30 toys. Because they are so people oriented they love to play interactive type of games. So the bottom line is that Bengals are much like children in that you will go out and find the coolest toy ever only to bring it home and watch them play with the box the toy came in.

 

A quality scratch post is expensive but it will last a lifetime. WildExpressions produces excellent custom scratch posts.

Perches and Posts

Like many cats Bengals love high places.   We suggest that you get them a tall well made scratching post that has a lot of sisal rope and a couple of platforms well up the post. The sisal rope should be wrapped around an area of the post that allows them to stretch out and get some good scratching action. Scratching is a full body activity for a cat much like a good yawn is to us.

Cheaper posts come with carpet but Bengals will destroy the carpet in a couple of weeks…. of sooner. Sisal rope gives them a better experience and lasts MUCH longer. If you do not supply the scratching area and the high perch they will likely find it else where in your home and it may not be what you had in mind. You can not train these traits out of them. They will scratch and they will find high perches so supply it for them and save everyone the conflict. A good post costs good money but it is worth it.

The post in the picture is an example of the custom posts that we produce. We will be adding a webpage to advertise them shortly.