Congratulations on your new Foundation Bengal Kitten!
F2 and F3 Bengal Foundation Kittens and Cats are amazing felines. You are about to embark on one of the most amazing and enjoyable adventures. Having a Bengal is so much more than just having a Cat. When you bring your new baby home it is best to contain them in a bathroom or bedroom with their food, water, litter box, toys... and you, of course... just for a short while. Let them explore the new terrain and the new smells, which will make them comfortable. Spend time with them and play with them... get to know them. Most of the time, within just a few minutes, they are ready to explore their new home, but all do have different personalities… one Kitten may take no time to adjust and another may take some time. If you have other pets in the house, please read the method of introduction on our web site. You also need to quarantine your Kitten away from the other pets, until they have been examined by your Veterinarian, to keep your guarantee in full force.
Please do read all of the following! You have already done your research, spoken to us, and made your choice to share your home with a Foundation Bengal, but this article puts some of that information in writing for you to easily review. There are many interesting facts and lots of useful hints in our “Congratulations of your new Foundation Bengal Kitten” article ... and there is helpful information in our contract, as well as lots more on our 100-page website. We do love all of our Bengals and enjoy hearing about our babies, who are in their new homes. So, please do keep in touch with us to let us know how you and your Bengal(s) are doing... we love to get photos! And please do keep your contact information updated with us.
Foundation Bengals are great house pets with a little bit of extra “super-charging,” because of their genetics. F-Cats, also called “Early Generation,” are the most intelligent of all domestic felines and are very loyal to their humans. They do act similar to SBT Bengals, but Foundations do have a few differences. True F4 Bengals are considered fully domestic by TICA, but may have just a little something extra, compared to an F10 SBT for example. A F1 Early Generation Foundation Bengal is 50, or more, percent wild genetics and can be, but are not always, the best pets for most people, as they still have a few wild traits that may make them not for everyone. Our F1’s are our pride and joy and we (as Professional Breeders) are able to keep them... and us... very happy by adapting to their needs. F2’s are 25 to 37 percent wild genetics; F3’s are about 14 to 20 percent wild genetics; true F4’s are about 12 to 18 percent wild genetics. Fully domestic Bengals are considered “domestic” by TICA at the fourth generation away from the wild mix of genetics and are 12 percent wild genetics. They are termed SBT, which stands for “Stud Book Tradition.”
Foundation Bengals are beautiful and have a “wild-look,” but are very amiable in their nature and not aggressive in their temperament. They may be a little shyer than the gregarious SBT Bengal, but not shy like some breeds of Cats… shy with outsiders, but very loyal and loving to their immediate human family. They also have more of a “Wild-Cat” sound, rather than a regular meow. They enjoy being companions to their humans and are very attentive and affectionate. Foundations become very attached to their humans and bond for life. “Re-homing” can cause deep depression in most Foundations and even in some SBT’s.
Please remember that your Bengal is NEVER to be let out to roam free - they are House Cats. You can, however, build them a safe habitat with sides and a top (they are superb climbers), so that they can enjoy the outdoors and some fresh air. Check our website for information on how to build a safe habitat. Just remember to give them shade as well as a little bit of sunshine and a place to climb! Bengals also typically enjoy going for a walk on a harness and leash. If they are outside, do pay more attention to proper vaccinations and other health care, as they can “pick up’ unwanted contaminants from other animals, grass, even dirt. You can begin teaching you new Bengal Kitten on an adjustable Kitten harness and leash inside your house, but do wait until about seven months or so to start taking them outside. Many Bengals will bring you their leash, when they want to go out... but remember that once they do go outside on a leash, they may want to go out the door, when you open it… so, please be careful! Typically, they are very happy House Cats and do not want to leave their humans.
Santa Fe Bengal Cattery Foundation Bengals all use the litter box and are accustomed to using Feline Pine pellet litter. We recommend that you continue to use this type of litter. This litter is one of the healthiest for your Bengal(s). You will also like this type of litter as it smells like pine and keeps the potential litter box urine odor all in the bottom of the special Feline Pine sifting litter box, which may be ordered from FelinePine.com… and do order the litter scoop too. This type of litter doesn’t track and isn’t messy to clean like other types of litter. Best of all, it is safe for your Bengal, you, and the environment. You can even compost the used urine-filled saw dust! But do be careful of the quantity added to your compost pile as too much of the ammonia soaked sawdust can disrupt your compost pile from functioning correctly. Oh, and Bengals like to stand up, when they “go,” so most often covered boxes don’t work.
At Santa Fe Bengal Cattery, we train our Foundations to act like a House Cat and not have any residual unwanted, wild personality traits, even though they come from a hybrid heritage. Our F2 and F3 Foundations are attentive to their humans, use their litter box, and usually eat store bought canned Cat food and will nibble on dried Cat food, but actually need and prefer a raw diet… or at least require some raw beef and cooked chicken as treats. Remember that feeding time and giving treats are the best ways to form a close bond with your new Bengal Kitten.
F1 Foundations must be bottle fed starting at 4 weeks of age and continued by the new owner as long as possible to form that necessary bond with humans. F1’s may also use their water dish to defecate. These are just two of the reasons why we feel that F1 Bengals are not the right pet for most people. F2 and F3’s most certainly can be right for many people and do not have the same requirements as F1’s do, nor the same actions.
Now, here is the one main difference: Foundation Bengals require more protein (actually, all Bengals benefit from having more protein in their diet) than other breeds of Cats. Felines, in general, are “obligate carnivores.” Foundations do prefer to eat a raw diet, but will eat the Nutro Natural Choice (grain-free) turkey, chicken, or duck single-protein source canned food and usually nibble on the Nutro duck (grain-free) dry food that we recommend. For the best health, please refer to our website on the “Recommended Books and Info” tab and under the “Foundations” tab for complete information on how to feed your F-Cat. (SantaFeBengalCattery.com)
It is true that the raw diet is best diet for especially F1, F2’s, and it will also benefit F3’s. An appropriate raw diet consists of preferably ground whole rabbits or ground whole turkey thigh with bone, beef stew meat, beef heart, and both with added Kitty Bloom VM900+3, Kitty Bloom Calcium, and Probiotics or Apperon Exotic Feline Vitamins with extra Taurine, Calcium, and Probiotics. The “whole” rabbit sounds grisly, but this healthy ground Cat food can be ordered ground and packaged, and shipped direct to your door. The other mixture of turkey, etc can be requested at your Butcher. You can also purchase a meat grinder (the type for hunters is powerful enough to grind the turkey bone) and grind the mixture yourself. It is best to purchase or grind once every month or two and then freeze the mixture into daily portions with an air suction removal system (there are expensive types and very inexpensive types – we used this for all of our food storage – human and Feline, alike). Buying fresh whole pieces, rinsing them with water, and grinding, then immediately freezing the mix for 48 hours will kill bacteria. Thaw a portion over night in refrigerator for the next morning’s meal and very simply just remove the meal from the bag and place in your Bengals bowl or plate. But please, NEVER microwave the bone-in mixture, as the microwave heat will harden the ground bone and cause damage to your Bengals digestive system. And do not leave this mixture out for more than 20 to 30 minutes – usually it is completely consumed within 2 to 10 minutes. You may refrigerate any uneaten food and feed it later that day. Typically, they need about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of food per day, but do feed your Bengal as much as they want and feed Kittens more often (at least twice a day), until about a year of age. Because of their higher activity level, Bengals are not prone to being over weight.
True F4’s and other SBT’s can eat the above listed store bought foods. All felines usually enjoy and will benefit from eating raw beef stew meat and/or cooked (boiled) dark meat chicken as treat. A treat (about 10 % of their daily food intake) is safe to feed without the added vitamins, as long as they are eating the store bought canned/dry foods that are complete nutritional sources. Just those meats alone as a total diet would not be nutritionally correct, so please feed the correct enriched raw diet or the listed store bought foods described above.
The ground raw mixture is best for your Early Generation Foundation Bengal and is actually less expensive than the store bought food. However, if your are making your Bengals food... please make sure that you are doing so in the correct ingredient amounts and adding the correct amounts of nutritional additives as described in this article and per the supplement manufacturer. Not doing this correctly, could cause future harm to your Bengal and cause deficiencies and long term health issues. The other option is to feed the recommended canned food, plus some of the recommended dry food, as well as raw beef stew meat to your Bengal as treats as described for True F4’s and SBT’s. Providing most of their diet is from the commercially prepared food, then the raw beef is fine just as treats, without the nutritional additives. Another healthy, and adored, treat is Bonita Flakes or Freeze-dried Chicken pieces and both can be easily found in Pet Stores as well as available on our website or at our Cattery. Remember: NEVER feed your Bengal (or any feline) tuna fish canned for human consumption! There is an issue with the mercury content that is very harmful to a smaller animal, who would consume it on a regular basis. The Bonita fish is a fast growing fish, related to the large Tuna, and does not, therefore, have the harmful mercury content. If ever you do have to medicate your Bengal... well, then that “tuna water” can be very, very useful as a delivery system on a very limited basis.
The other difference is that Foundation Bengals usually do not like to be contained… that also means being held for long periods of time. They do LOVE to play, like to be petted, and like to sleep with you, but do hold them with their face over your shoulder (away from your face) and they will be happier for a short time in your arms. All Cats have different personalities and some may like to be held very much and others may not, in general. So, don’t worry… your Bengal still loves you, even if they just want to sit on your lap and/or sleep with you, but do not enjoy being held by you. Remember: Kittens are full of energy and have an “on” and an “off” switch... they are in play/eat mode or cuddly/sleep mode... so, sometimes it can be difficult to get a Kitten to hold still for cuddling, unless they are sleepy!
Bengals, in general, are more active and interactive than other breeds of Cats. Please do make sure that you spend time with your Bengal! They will be more affectionate and happier Cats with more interactive playtime with their family. They are very friendly and like other Cats and even like dogs, but love their humans best. When you take your Bengal home, the first two to four weeks is a very important time to bond with your Bengal - it is a bond that will last a life-time and worth your time and effort. We recommend taking some time off from other responsibilities and spending quality-time with your new best friend. They will look you directly in the eye and understand much of what you say, as well as most of your actions. Do not ever strike your Bengal for any reason... they, especially Foundations, will always remember it and may not ever forgive you... Tell them what you want them to do and do let them know when you are displeased and they will learn quickly how to please you. The Bengal mother will chirp a very loud bark, when a Kitten does something that displeases her... so, I, too, will say a loud, “NO!,” when teaching my Kittens and Cats... they know when Mom, a.k.a. the Alpha Cat, is not happy and are quick to change the behavior. Giving treats, when they complete an action that you want is, of course, the age-old method to teach positive reinforcement activities.
Above all... love them and enjoy them! They will consider themselves an important part of your family and will give back so much to you and your family.
Enjoy the new addition to your family! We would be happy to answer any questions via email and always look forward to updates and photos! Please do keep your contact information updated with us.
Thank you for purchasing your Bengal from Santa Fe Bengal Cattery. Meow from all of us here and give your Kitten a scratch under the chin for us!