Poisonous plants should be removed from the home to prevent ingestion.
Lilies are very dangerous, ingesting even a small amount of plant matter can cause kidney failure and even death. Easter lilies, Asian lilies and Red lilies are all poisonous.
Azaleas and Rhododendrons are are poisonous and deadly to cats. Oleanders can kill cats if a moderate amount is ingested, as can English yew. Tulip and daffodil bulbs, Sago palm, castor bean plants and cyclamens are all poisonous. Mistletoe can cause cardiovascular collapse in cats.
Fragile valuables can be secured with Museum Gel.
Close dog doors or attach a kennel to the inside portion of the dog door so your cat can not escape.
Two important cleaning supplies to have on hand are: a strong disinfectant (bleach) and an enzyme solvent (Nature's Miracle). Litter boxes, along with any hard, nonporous surface around the litter box should be cleaned with bleach. Any cloth, carpet, bedding or other porous material should be treated with an enzyme cleaner such as Nature's Miracle before any other cleaners are used. They make a Nature's Miracle Oxy orange cleaner especially for cats. Cleaners with – SOL at the end of the name are toxic to cats. Examples include Pine – SOL and Lysol.
Deworming and Vaccinating
Please create a deworming schedule with your vet. I have dewormed all kittens once or twice before sending them home with you. Is it done because young kittens are more susceptible to ingesting parasites. Small intestinal parasites can be brought in from the mud on your shoes, or from other pets that go outdoors, such as dogs. A hard, swollen belly, vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms that need a fecal test and an appropriate dewormer. Panacur is a great broad-spectrum (when given for 10 days) dewormer that can be bought over the counter, and can be found at www.revivalanimal.com
It is dosed at 1/10 gram per pound and can be mixed with wet food.
Please also create a vaccination schedule with your vet. I have vaccinated all kittens with two or three FVRCP vaccines (these are the kitten vaccines which they need three of). Kittens may also be vaccinated for rabies when they are of age (check your local laws for age). Other vaccines are mostly for diseases that are only transmitted between cats. If you are not letting your cat outdoors to mingle with the neighborhood strays, or if you don't have an indoor/outdoor cat, you may not need these other vaccines. A good vet will vaccinate based on exposure, not based on how many vaccines he can possibly give to your cat and charge you for. I do not recommend vaccinating indoor cats for Feline Leukemia. Feline Leukemia can only be transmitted from bodily fluids of another cat, and some Bengals have had neurological reactions to this vaccine (seizures).
Spaying and Neutering
Please schedule an appointment with your vet to spay or neuter your kitten after you bring him/her home. You may want to wait a month before neutering to allow your kitten to adjust to your home and bond with you before going through surgery. Between 5 and 6 months old is an ideal age to spay or neuter. This gives the hormones time to widen the urinary tract to prevent blockages much later in life. This is still young enough where your kitten will not yet be sexually mature. Please ensure your kitten is spayed/neutered by 7 months old. I recommend reputable Spay and Neuter Clinics in the U.S. They do hundreds or thousands of spays and neuters a month, it is their specialty. I can send you your TICA paperwork once I receive proof of spay or neuter, and receive the papers back from TICA.
I recommend keeping your kitten in a spare bathroom with their supplies for the first 3 to 5 days at your home. With less space to explore, there is left to fear. Cats get comfortable faster when slowly introduced to areas of the house. If you have a cat that you are introducing your Bengal to, allow them to sniff each other under the door during the first 5 to 7 days before a face to face confrontation. Be sure to remove any plants that may be poisonous to cats along with any pest control in your home before bringing your kitten home. Do not begin to change food or litter from what the kitten was used to when he/she arrived to your home for at least 30 days from bringing the kitten home. The goal is to minimize as much stress as possible.
Transitioning to your Home
Amputating your Bengal's last toe joints (declawing) is unnecessary. A nice large sisal rope cat tree will be much more enticing for your Bengal to climb and scratch than your furniture or drapes. Declawing your cat may cause it to feel defenseless and turn to biting. We clip our kittens' nails from an early age to make it easier for you to continue to do so. Do not use your hands or feet as toys for your Bengal because they will then treat them as such. The AVMA has said the following regarding declawing, "Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent they cat from using its claws destructively or when it's claws presents a zoonotic risk for its owner(s)". Declawing is illegal or considered inhumane in England, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Wales, Norway, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Brazil, Scotland, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, Belgium, and Portugal. Surgery is never an appropriate method for changing a natural behavior. Having leather couches is not a reason to alter your cats body. If your home is not suitable for a pet, it is not ethical to surgically change the animal to suit your furnishings. Tall sisal rope scratching posts and vertical cardboard scratchers are much more enticing to your cats than leather or cloth. See above information, "Scratching Post".
Bengals love feather wands (such as Da Bird), furry mice, circle chasers with an entrapped ball and scratching board in the center, toys with a bell, cardboard boxes, brown paper bags and crinkle tunnels. You can make some great toys from items around the house such as a chip bag tied in a knot that they can bat around on a tile or wood floor. I gave them two or three toys at a time and rotate them out to prevent them from getting bored. Treat balls which must be rolled around for a treat to drop out, will stimulate a cat's mind. Cat wheels are great for exercise, although some cats will need to be trained to use them. My cats love their cat wheels! Toy mice that make a noise when shaken are excellent to get your Bengal to start playing fetch. When your kitten becomes a cat, you can give them feeder fish in a few inches of water (organically raised is best). It's very entertaining to watch them fish!
Bengals need a medium to large scratching post. Sisal rope and sisal fabric are great for cats to shed their peeling layers of nails which is one reason cats must have a scratching post. It also serves as a psychological comfort and a method of stretching. If you do not make an adequate scratching post available, your cat will choose the next best thing (your couch). Although, they would much prefer sisal rope. A tall cat tree is ideal since Bengals love high places. It is a cat's instinct to scratch on tree bark, not leather; so providing a tall sisal rope scratching post is the best thing to recreate natural tree bark. Your Bengal will love you for it!
I use clay clumping litter and suggest using an open litter box when you first bring your Bengal home. After your kitten is settled, you can transition to a closed litter box. Scrubbing out the litter box a minimum of once a week and cleaning it with bleach is vital to preventing intestinal parasites from multiplying in your cats feces. Additionally, it will keep your house smelling fresh.
I always give my cats and kittens filtered water. Cats can get giardia, a parasite, or urinary upsets from the excess minerals and junk in tap water. Bengals drink more water from stainless steel bowls, plus stainless steel is much easier to keep clean. It is important to wash out the bowl each time you add water to it, to keep bacteria from multiplying in the old water. It is important to encourage your cat to drink as much water as possible, so a quality stainless steel cat drinking fountain would be a wise investment. We use a Drinkwell 360 stainless steel fountain.
I sometimes feed my Bengals raw chicken hearts cut in half as a treat or Natures Variety Instinct Raw freeze dried meal. Freeze dried chicken breast or freeze dried shimp can be found at your local pet store and makes a great treat. All my cats go CRAZY over the freeze dried shrimp! I do NOT recommend treats that are high in carbohydrates, like friskies, greenies, whiskas etc. This can create a carbohydrate addiction that will make your Bengal a picky eater and only want to eat high carb foods which can lead to feline diabetes, obesity, or other health conditions. Cats are obligate carnivores, and Bengals are even more so. Give them meat treats, not carb and sugar treats.
I recommend salmon oil as an additive to their wet food. It makes their coat softer with even less shedding. It also helps make their wet food even more appealing for picky eaters.
Kittens are fed a combination of:
Twice a day, they will get wet food which is rotated between:
You can order any of these above mentioned foods on www.chewy.com if they don't carry them at your local pet supply store.
If you would like to feed RAW click here!
When you bring your kitten home, I provide you with a small bag of food. Be sure to keep them on the same food for at least one month. If you would like to switch their food, do so by slowly mixing in the new food with the food they are used to over a couple weeks time span. I'd recommend a grain free food with the first ingredient being meat. Protein focused foods, like Primal, CORE Wellness, Innova EVO, Canidae PURE grain free or Nature's Variety INSTINCT are great.
Be sure to wash food bowls at least once a week to prevent bacteria buildup and to keep their food fresh.
Recommended Optional Supplements for a healthier kitty: (mix into wet food)
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