Keep scrolling down for a list of Do's and Don'ts...
I REALLY DON'T FEEL WELL!
Gained from our years of experience...
Here are a few helpful hints regarding food and water for your Bengal.
•Our Cattery chooses to feed no-grain, single-protein canned food and cooked chicken with supplements, as well as no-grain dry food and we strongly suggest that our new owners continue feeding the high-grade food that we recommend for optimum health of your Bengal. Pregnant Queens, Mothers with Kittens, and young Bengal Kittens all need extra nutrition and moisture for optimum health. We prefer to feed "Nutro's Natural Choice" no-grain, chicken, turkey, or duck Kitten and Cat formulas, as well as freshly cooked chicken with "Kitty Bloom" supplements. Check on the "Health Alert" page for more information regarding up-to-date feline health information and alerts. Click HERE to find out more about Kitten and Cat nutritiional requirements.
• Many Cats enjoy having "treats" in addition to their regular food. There are many varieties on the market and we choose organic real chicken/turkey or fish based treats for our Cats. Bonita flakes are a favorite of many of our Cats and Kittens and Bonita is safer, than Tuna or Salmon. Check with us on availability, as we are a new dealer for the best Bonita Cat treats that we have found on the market! Just remember... these are special treats and not a large per cent of your Cats diet.
This recommended diet is our Cattery's personal choice for our Kittens and Cats and it is our opinion. There are many types and brands of Cat food and the individual Kitten/Cat owner needs to make their own choice of product for feeding their Kitten or Cat. Please see our "Disclosure" page for further information. That being said, we do feel that with our years of experience, we have found some of the best methods and products on the market today. We do continuing education with our Feline Specialist Veterinarian to be able to not only keep our Cats and Kittens in the best of health, but also to be able to assist our Kitten and Cat Owners with our knowledge and experience.
However, if you do change your Kittens' or Cats' food, please remember to make the change very slowly over a week or so mixing a tiny portion of the new food with the existing food and increasing the amount every day, until the change is complete. Any feline can have some intestinal distress with immediate total food change and that can result in loose stools during the transition period.
•In the past, we not had success with the “Kitty Water Fountains” only because Bengals enjoy playing with moving water and more water ends up on the floor than coming from the spout! But they do enjoy water fountains, as well as having a drink from a running water faucet.
We use a Water Fountain that works extremely well for our Bengals' enjoyment and for their health. This Fountain has a replacable charcoal filter and the water is also cleaned by passing through an ultra-violet light within the closed unit (so, there is no danger for ocular damage). And, the pump is virtually silent! Our Bengals love it and we love it! There are many Fountains on the market... look for the above features, when choosing your Cat's Water Fountain.
All Cats like, and require, fresh water in clean dishes daily. Cats' systems are more sensitive than dogs' systems. Several day "old" water can be contaminated with naturally occurring giardia bacteria and it can make your Kitten or Cat sick. Loss of appetite, lethargy, and loose stools are the symptoms and would need to be treated by a Veterinarian.
•We have always promoted that all-killed virus vaccines were much safer than modified-live vaccines and that is how we have vaccinated our Cats as trained by our Feline Specialist Veterinarian. However, we have recently made a change and per our Feline Specialist and we now vaccinate with specifically: Merial 3-way modified-live vaccine. With new advances in vaccines, it is now safer to use this type of modified-live vaccine. We are in the process of changing this information through out our website, but may have missed a few!
•Recently, we decided to have Dr. Linda Schneider, Certified Animal Chiropractor and human Chiropractor come to our Cattery to adjust oour Bengals with great results and we highly recommend her for all pets. She is our personal Chiropractor as well. Chiropractic care can be a very important part of every human or animal's health care. It still remains most important to take you pet to your Veterinarian for their normal check ups and other needs. Take a look at Dr Schneider's facebook page: www.facebook.com/drlindainsantafe
• Do use pine, wheat, corn or paper based cat litter. Click HERE for more information.
• Do use glass, stainless, or food grade ceramic food and water bowls.
• Do feed high-grade food for maintaining good health – it is easier to stay healthy than to get healthy again! We feel that 50% quality dry Cat food and 50% quality wet Cat food is the healthiest combination for most Cats. Click HERE for more information.
• Do wash and rinse water and food bowls with dish soap daily to prevent giardia or other contaminents from tainting the standing water – Cats systems are more sensitive than dogs.
• Do keep food and water bowls away from the litter box to limit contamination.
• Do keep the litter box clean on a daily basis and change the entire box of litter every week to two weeks – cleaning the inside of the litter box with disinfectant and rinsing well with clear water, dry thoroughly and add new fresh litter to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. If using Feline Pine Pellet Litter, do purchase and use their sifting two-part litter box system - your home will always smell clean with use of this litter and litter box system!
• Do clip you Cat’s nails every four to five weeks as needed. Only use a specific cat nail clipper; the guillotine variety seems to function the best. See the "How to clip a Cat's nails" article to be posted soon.
• Do provide your Cat with appropriate toys, scratching posts, attention, and healthy food treats. Santa Fe Bengal Cattery is now a dealer for Cat-Man-Doo extra-large dried Bonita Flakes. Contact us to find out how you can get some for your Cat!
• Do keep your Cat inside your home, unless on a leash or in a Cat “stroller.” Free access via a Cat Door to a Cat Habitat can help to give your Cat the fresh air and sunshine for the best health. Make the habitat safe for your Cat (and with a top - Cat's climb very well!) and keep them safe from the other animals outside.
• Do be aware of poisonous items often in a home. Many household plants can be poisonous, such as chrysanthemum, weeping fig, creeping fig, and poinsettia, as well as aspirin or other human drugs, petroleum products such as kerosene and gasoline, antifreeze, all types of mouse or rat poison, plus snake, toad, salamander bites, and rarely food poisoning from garbage. (Cats are much more particular in their choice of food than dogs, so this would be more often for a stray cat outside.) An extensive list of potentially poisonous plant is currently being researched.
• Do live in harmony with your feline friend. We began the process of teaching them how to be "good" Cats; continue to teach them how to live happily with you. Bengals are very intelligent and will quickly learn how you would like them to act. Check back for tips on how to correctly discipline your Cat.
• Above all, enjoy and love your Cat! The rewards are many.
• Don't use clay based cat litter. The clumping clay can cause respiratory problems and intestinal problems. Very young kittens can even die from ingesting clay litter.
• Don't use plastic food or water dishes. They can harbor bacteria and odors, which can be harmful and unappetizing to your Cat. Did you know that Cats' interest in a food is first by smell, then by texture, and last by taste?
• Don't place food, and especially water bowls, directly on radiant heated floors as this can cause bacteria to form very quickly. Place a teacup saucer under the bowl to raise it or purchase a raised bowl stand to prevent direct contact with the floor.
• Don't change food type abruptly – add 10% of the new food to the current food, then next day 20%, etc., until changed over. Abrupt changes can cause loose stools and be unpleasant for both of you. Cats do not need the same variety as humans. Extra "Treats" don't count as a "food change."
• Don't feed your Cat “grocery store” brands of cat food. They do not have the correct amount of protein or other nutrients in them and your Cat’s health can suffer from poor nutrition. Also, don't feed your Cat "table scraps" with sauces and other human food mixed in. You may feed cooked chicken or turkey or raw beef stew meat in chunks to supplement their diet. One of the supplements that we advise adding is Kitty Boom or Apperon, or a more commonly found brand is "The Missing Link" super food supplement, to ensure the proper amount of Taurine and other essential nutrients and vitamins.
• Don't feed your Cat tuna fish. There is too much mercury in common tuna fish. Most canned tuna is from a large and long-lived species of tuna, unless specified different. The longer the fish lives; the more time it has to lodge mercury in it's body. Sad, but true, that mercury is in our oceans. Eventually, consuming tuna can cause mercury poisoning, due to the small size of a cat, compared to a human, and the frequency of eating tuna. What is safe is "Bonita" - a small fish that grows quickly and is caught for consumption, prior to being contaminated to an unsafe level.
• Don't allow the litter box to become overly soiled… would you like to step into a dirty litter box with your bare feet? A Cat will let you know if it is too dirty to step into the box and tell you that they have a problem. Most often "going outside of the litter box" is because a human has not done their Cat box chores or that your Cat is not feeling well and may need a visit to the Vet.
• Don't have your Cat de-clawed. Clip their claws instead. De-clawing is actually and amputation of each of the Cat's toes up to the first knuckle... don't do it! There are much better methods to teach and to prevent any scratching issues.
• Don't allow your Cat to roam freely outside. There are far too many dangers for your Cat to be alone outside of your home. In the Southwest, coyote, owls, and ravens can be a very serious threat to small domestic animals. Other dangers may come from dogs, other cats, cars, and even well-meaning humans.
Did you know that Cats are attracted to food first by smell, then by texture, and last by taste?
We are researching the "Poisonous Plant List" and will be posting an expanded list soon. Please check back to see this valuable information.