Quick Reference Go-Home Instructions for your New Kitten:
Your new Kitten MUST be quarantined away from other animals, until they have received their mandatory licensed Veterinarian Health Check. Please retain the receipt showing the visit, and the results, as it would be needed to keep your Health Guarantee in force, in case there was an issue.
Introduce your new Kitten to their new home slowly. Confining them to a smaller room for the first day, to a few days, and taking the time to bond with them with playtime and cuddling, will foster their natural Bengal attributes. Remember they are toddlers and this is a BIG change for them! And PLEASE be very aware of closing your Kitten into a cabinet, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc! All Kittens, but especially Bengal Kittens, are very curious and love to climb into a small, cozy space… please look, before you turn on that machine!
Our Kittens eat Grain-Free Kitten canned food and Home-Made Cooked Chicken with Kitty Bloom VM900 plus 3 supplement. Currently, we are feeding “Nutro Natural Choice” brand of store bought grain-free dry food. Please continue with this feeding method, especially for the first week of transition. You may change to another brand of food, but please do so… s l o w l y. Wellness brand is an excellent grain-free option. Felines, especially Kittens, MUST eat at regular intervals or they can develop a life-threatening disease called Lipidosis. Feed your new Kitten at least twice per day… three times, if they ask for it and feed as much as they will eat, leaving a clean plate. A change of a Kitten’s locality can sometimes cause tummy upset, as can a change of food. Our Kittens have perfect, hard stools and are fully litter box trained, however, if they have an upset tummy, please feed them only boiled Organic chicken thighs with Kitty Bloom supplement for a few days and slowly mix in the canned food to make the full transfer over about a week. Probiotics are also helpful, in general, to a feline’s system, but especially during any transition. We sell Kitty Bloom Probiotics. To make the transition easier, we have given your Kitten specialized-for-felines “Rescue Remedy” at the time of pick up.
We recommend continuing using pine pellet litter as we use, however, you may change to another NON-CLAY type of litter, if you wish. Make the change, by adding a small amount of the new litter to the existing litter and add more of the new litter each day. This is the same method for changing food brands. Beware of covered or mechanical litter boxes as your Kitten is not used to either. Begin with an open top litter box and in a few months you may make a change, however, mechanical boxes can be a fatal hazard to a Bengal, due to their intense curiosity. Please note: Two levels in your home require a litter box on each level.
Your new Kitten should be given bottled water only for the first few days and then slowly add in your own tap water. If you do not drink your own tap water, then neither should your Bengal. Clean the water bowl every day with soap and water to prevent bacteria growth in the bowl or you may purchase the UV Charcoal-filter Kitty Water Fountain that we use. FYI: Because Kittens are so young, they can make mistakes. Our Kittens are fully litter box trained by 5 weeks of age, however, if they have made a mistake outside of their litter box, it is most likely that they were simply confused or too busy playing in a larger, unfamiliar place. Show them their litter box again and place the opps/stool in the litter box and they will quickly understand where to go, when Nature calls. An option is to again confine them for another few days to reconfirm their use of the litter box. Also, for some reason Kittens are attracted to downe comforters and pillows… you may wish to remove these, until your Kitten is a little older to prevent any mishaps. Laundry baskets filled with dirty laundry can also sometimes be a temptation for your Kitten to use as a litter box, so please… for now… keep dirty laundry unaccessible to your Kitten. Remember… Even though Kittens do all the things that an older Cat does… they are BABIES, not full grown adults, and babies can make mistakes sometimes, during their first week with you. Don’t worry… they will grow, develop, and learn very quickly.
Introduce your New Kitten to other Cats, dogs, etc. s l o w l y, but only after they have had their first Vet health check up, as the Purchase Agreement indicates. Allow your new Kitten to feel self-assured and safe in their new home, before the next stage of introduction to the rest of the animal family. The whole introduction process may take as much as one to two weeks, however, typically is within just a couple of days.
Safe cleaning in and around the litter box or other areas can be inexpensively done with a mixture of white vinegar and water. We make our own counter and cleaning spray by adding 1/3 white vinegar, 2/3 water, a few drops of Lemon essential oil, and a drop of organic dish soap mixed in a clean spray bottle. You may also use Isopropyl Alcohol to clean areas that require more serious disinfection, but do be careful with its use, as there are toxins in that form of alcohol. We have started using “Ever Clear” alcohol to clean, because it has no additives and disinfects. Cats lick their feet and, therefore, will ingest small amounts of everything that you clean your floors and other areas with, on an everyday basis, and eventually this could harm them. Organic and natural products are always best for your Bengal and for you. Plus, if you learn to make your own simple products… you will save money! We make our own counter spray, floor cleaner, various soaps, laundry detergent, and we even make paper out of our recycling.
Your Kitten has been vaccinated with age-appropriate FVRC Merial modified-live 3-way vaccine at approximately 7 to 8 and 11 to 12 weeks of age in the right front foreleg. The 15 to 16 week FVRC booster shot is very important to give them better immunity and this can be followed by another booster at 1 year of age. Only vaccinate every three years after… at the most. Do not over-vaccinate, as too much is as dangerous, as too little. And make sure that your Veterinarian vaccinates in the appropriate location for each vaccine. NEVER allow vaccination in the scruff or above the leg joint or in the shoulder. Also, do not give intranasal vaccines and absolutely DO NOT give the FIP vaccine. It could infect the Kitten with the disease and that disease is fatal. Your Health Guarantee is null and void, if the FIP vaccine is in the Veterinarian records. In most states it is mandatory to vaccinate for Rabies. Only the one-year type has been proven safe for felines and should be administered in the right rear lower leg, below the knee joint every THREE years, not annually. Do not vaccinate after ten years of age, as administering vaccines becomes more detrimental, than beneficial, as a feline ages.
You may begin training your Bengal to walk on a harness and leash in the house, beginning at about 6 to 7 months of age. Typically, Bengals love to walk on a leash so little “training” is necessary, but please make sure that you do use a feline-specific harness or “walking jacket.” If you will be walking your Bengal outside, or ever needing to board your Bengal, you should vaccinate them for FeLV/FIV, due to possible repeated contact with other felines. This vaccine is avian-based, modified-live and should be administered in the left foreleg, beginning about 6 months prior to any possible exposure. NEVER vaccinate with more than one type of a vaccine at any Veterinarian visit - you must wait 1 to 2 weeks between vaccines to avoid health complications.
And our last Quick Reference note of advice… Bengals LOVE to play! A feather wand toy is a superb choice and so are some of the interactive types of Cat toys, but do not use “The Bolt” automated lazar toy, as Bengals are too curious, and too smart, for that type of toy. They will go to the source of the movement, rather than just the red dot, and may look right into the lazar. Ocular damage may occur. A human-held lazar toy works very well, as you can control the placement of the lazar beam. An interactive toy that does work well is one that squeaks and flashes a non-lazar light, when it senses motion. This allows your Bengal to play, when you are not at home. Bengals do like catnip filled toys, as well as something as simple as a used wine cork. We find that they really enjoy playing fetch with a wine cork and the benefit to you is that it is easy to replace, washable, throws well, and it won’t cause damage, when thrown. Bengals do need to have attention from their human family. A lonely Bengal is an unhappy Bengal, so please do interact with them and continue the socialization that we started, for you to have a happy, healthy new member of your family for many years to come.
Please do keep in touch with us! And, have fun with your new Bengal Kitten!
“If it is not a Bengal, it’s just a Cat!”
Letter of Welcome top our Bengal Family:
Congratulations on your new Bengal Kitten!
To begin... 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. To keep your Health Guarantee in force, you MUST quarantine your new Kitten away from all other animals for the first 72 hours from the time of pick up and/or until you have completed the mandatory licensed Veterinarian Health Check up appointment. Let them explore the new terrain and the new smells in their new space. Showing them just a small space to start will make them comfortable. Spend time with them and play with them... get to know them. If you do not have other pets, most of the time within just a few minutes, they are ready to explore their new home. However, all do have different personalities… one Kitten may take no time to adjust and another may take a couple of weeks to adjust to their new environment. If you have other pets in the house, please read the method of introduction on our website. Bengals like other felines and they like dogs… it is usually the other pets that need the time to adjust to the new personality in the household.
Please do read all of the following! You have already done your research, spoken with us, listened to our “Care Course” and made your choice to share your home with a 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 on your new Bengal Kitten” article... and there is helpful information in our contract, as well as lots more on our 165 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.
Bengal Kittens and Cats are amazing felines. They are all about having such great personalities, intelligence, and energy, but also have a desirable “wild” look with the added benefits of not shedding and they do not have Cat dander, thus Bengals are non-allergenic to most people. They are great house pets with a little bit of extra “super-charging,” because of their genetics. Bengal Cats are reputed to be the most intelligent of all domestic felines and are very loyal to their humans. SBT F4 and beyond Bengals are considered fully domestic by TICA and have about 12 percent wild genetics from the wild Asian Leopard Cat, also called the ALC. Fully domestic felines are considered “domestic” by TICA starting at the fourth generation away from the wild mix of genetics. They are termed SBT, which stands for “Stud Book Tradition.”
Bengals are beautiful and have a “wild-look,” yet are very amiable in their nature. They are loving and loyal from their wild genetics, rather than aggressive, as the ALC is a shy, reclusive wild Cat. Domestic Bengals are known to be gregarious in their personalities and very friendly to humans, other Bengals, other Cats, and dogs... as they have some dog-like characteristics... Bengals typically really like dogs. They also can have more of a “Wild-Cat” sound, rather than a regular meow. And, they like to communicate with their humans, but do not talk incessantly, as some breeds do. They enjoy being companions to their humans and are very attentive and affectionate. Bengals are more active than other breeds of felines and enjoy being an interactive part of their human family. We have given a lot of attention and love to each one of our Kittens (and to all of our Bengals) and given them the pre-schooling to be wonderful grown up Cats. It is your job, and responsibility, to continue the socialization of your Kitten and to make them a full part of your family. Bengals enjoy being with their human family and are awake more hours a day than other breeds of domestic felines. Don’t ever underestimate your Bengal… they are highly intelligent and their activities will please and astonish you.
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 jumpers and 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 your 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 Bengals all use the litter box as any domestic Cat, and are accustomed to using Pine Pellet litter and/or Granulated Pine litter. We recommend that you continue to use pine litter and our “Domaine Felidae" brand litter can be purchased for pick up or ordered at our Cattery. This litter is one of the healthiest for your Bengal(s) and for you. You will also like this type of litter, as it smells like pine and keeps the potential litter box urine odor contained in the bottom layer of pine. 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. Our brand of litter is from beetle-kill Pine only, not from the lumber industry, and is harvested from the forest specifically for use with animals. You can even compost the used urine-filled sawdust! But, do be careful of the quantity added to your compost pile, as too much of the sawdust can disrupt your compost pile from functioning correctly. There are other brands of Pine Pellets, however, they do not function as effectively as our “Domaine Felidae” brand. Please check with us regarding how to purchase this product. Our tested and chosen brand is dust-free, lasts longer, and works better than any of the other pine pellet litters, as well as being competitively priced. Please do not use Pine Pellets meant for wood stoves, as they contain phenol and can damage a Cat’s respiratory system. Also, beware of other types of Cat litter, like: clay with dangerous silica, and other clumping litters with Sodium Bentonite or Guar — LITTERS WITH THESE ADDITIVES CAN KILL A KITTEN. Please ask us for advice! Oh, and most often, Bengals like to stand up, when they “go,” usually covered boxes aren’t to their liking, so do provide your new best friend with whatever type of litter box that suits their needs.
Bengals are best eating a single-source protein diet and do need more protein than other breeds of Cats. Felines, in general, are “obligate carnivores” and Kittens need 20% more protein, than adults, as well as more of some nutrients that they do not synthesis and must ingest. Please review our website for more information on dietary requirements. We feed our Kittens and Adults both grain-free canned store bought single-source protein high-quality food, home-made Cat food, and they usually like to “free-feed” nibble on grain-free dry food. For your Bengal’s best health, please refer to our website, www.SantaFeBengalCattery.com, for information about food, litter, health alerts, and many other interesting and useful articles. Domaine Felidae is now also selling Kitten and Cat food, Kitty Bloom supplements, toys, Cat trees, carriers, beds, pine litter, litter boxes, etc for purchase, or for delivery with our new online store, found at https://www.facebook.com/DomaineFelidae. In general, for your Bengal’s best opportunity for good health, please do feed what we recommend in terms of quality and type of food. If you change food brands do so slowly and do make sure that it is grain-free.
We currently use the brand “Wellness CORE” grain-free for canned and dry food. We also have liked the brands: Castor & Pollutgx Oganix, Canidae, and Natural Balance. Kittens should be fed the type of specified Kitten (usually chicken) canned food up until about a year of age (it has a higher percent of protein, fat, and specific nutrients needed for a developing Kitten) and then you may change to an adult formula canned food consisting of chicken, turkey, or duck with added liver and heart, if possible. Our Bengals prefer the “pate” or “chunky pate,” rather than the pieces or slices, but do let your Bengal decide on their preference. We also recommend using “Kitty Bloom” supplements and they can be purchased directly from our Cattery or ordered from us and shipped to you directly. You received a sample of the main supplement, “VM-900 plus 3,” as part of your Kitten package. Adding this supplement to a home-cooked food is ESSENTIAL for proper nutrition. Just feeding cooked chicken would result in many nutritional deficiencies and, in time, cause disease and illness. Adding the “VM-900 plus 3 Kitty Bloom” supplement to canned food is also recommended, as cooking and preparing the food does destroy some of the nutrients… so, with Kitty Bloom added, you will be sure that your Bengal is getting proper nutrition. Literally, just a pinch (an 1/8 of a teaspoon) for a Kitten up to nine months of age and a 1/4 of a teaspoon for an adult Cat (up to 12 lbs) once a day. Check with us to see if we have the Kitty Bloom supplement stock or we would be happy to order it for you. Our Kittens and Cats are all fed a mixture of canned food and our own home-made food that consists of boiled chicken thighs, that is shredded or chopped, then we add, by weight and correct measuring, four of the supplements from Kitty Bloom to make a complete and correct nutritional food source. Typically, Kittens need about 8 to 9 oz of food per day split into two or three feedings, but do feed your Bengal as much as they wish to eat. By twelve weeks of age, a Kitten can easily consume almost three (3 1/2 oz) cans of canned Kitten food per day, because they are growing so rapidly during the first 6 months of age. Don’t worry… their food in take will slow down a bit, as they approach a year of age. Because of their higher activity level, Bengals are not prone to being over weight.
As with any house Cat, changes... from emotional to changing their diet to a change in the type of drinking water... can cause minor distress. Any Cat may respond to a major change in their locality with just being slightly timid, at first, or maybe having minor intestinal distress. Bengals are strong, in both their attitudes, and their physical constitution, so usually they right march in to their new home and are off and running without a hitch, but they are still felines and all have different personalities and constitutions. So, there may be a short adjustment period for your new Bengal to acclimate to their new home and to your local water. To ease the transition, we recommend using bottled water during the first few days and transitioning to your own tap water, but if you do not drink your tap water - do not give it to your Bengal. Kitty Bloom XtraBloom Digest Aid probiotics that we sell, or Purina ForteFlora probiotics, can greatly aid them during the transition, as well. We have well water and serve it to our Bengals, but also use a charcoal filtered, UV light sterilized Cat Drinking Fountain and our Bengals love it.
If you are making your Bengal’s food... please make sure that you are doing so in the correct ingredient amounts and adding the correct amount of nutritional additives. Not doing this correctly, could cause future harm to your Bengal and cause deficiencies and long-term health issues. Please check our website for more information. Healthy, and Bengal-approved, treats are Bonita Flakes, freeze-dried Salmon or Chicken pieces with the these treats being found on our new online store or at our Cattery. Cooked (boiled) dark meat chicken/turkey thighs in small pieces are also well received. There are a few cautions in foods for Kittens: raw meat, eggs, or fish; milk; onions/garlic; coffee/tea; raisins/grapes; and chocolate. Remember: NEVER feed your Bengal (or any feline) tuna fish canned for human or feline 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 related to the large Tuna that is usually found in canned Tuna, but the Bonita, or Skipjack, is a small, fast growing fish and does not, therefore, have the harmful mercury content. The treats that we use and sell are safe! However, if ever you do have to medicate your Bengal... well, then that for-human-consumption “tuna water” can be very, very useful as a delivery system to medicate your Bengal, on a very limited basis.
Bengals LOVE to play, like to be petted, will want to sleep with you, they will greet you at the door and come, and when called. Most like to be picked up and held, but do hold them with their face over your shoulder (away from your face) and they will be happier being held 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! Play with them instead… a feather wand toy is a Bengal favorite.
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 three weeks are 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 activities 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 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, as this will help them learn quickly how to please you. Bengals look you straight in the eye and search your face for your expression, so they know when you are pleased and when you are not. They want to please their humans! 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!” and make a displeased expression, when teaching my Kittens and Cats... they know when the Alpha Cat, a.k.a human Mom, 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. And it is absolutely true, that two Bengals are better than one! For both you and for your Bengal… having a playmate with the same activity level is more fun for everyone. We have to issue a warning… Bengals are addictive! It is difficult to have just one!
During your “class” on Bengal care at the time of pick up, we discussed vaccinations with you. There is information about how we vaccinate in the contract and in your Kitten’s health record. We recommend to follow the vaccination schedule as listed on your Kitten’s health record. Your Kitten was vaccinated at approximately 7/8 and 11/12 weeks of age for Panleukopenia (Distemper) and “Kitty cold complex (Rhinotracheitis, etc.) in the right front foreleg. Sometimes there is a temporary residual bump left at the vaccination site for a week… not to worry as it will dissipate naturally. If it does not dissipate any time after a vaccination, during your Bengals lifetime, please do take your Bengal to see your Veterinarian as a lasting lump, or a sore, or infection, could mean that there is an injection site sarcoma. Please do make sure that your Veterinarian vaccinates in the new Veterinarian protocol locations for each different vaccine… that is four locations, specifically in the front foreleg or rear foreleg, below the joint, as far down the limb as possible - NEVER in the shoulder or in the antiquated scruff location. The scruff location is for the microchip identification. We also have felt in the past that “all-killed virus” vaccines were safer, than modified-live. However, the new avian-based (canary pox) modified-live vaccines are now the safest vaccines to use; they cannot revert to the virulent strain of live virus, because they are bird-based, not feline-based. “Merial" now produces several avian-based vaccines, including: the FeLV/FIV and more are being added. Veterinarian protocol is to vaccinate at about 8, 12, 16 weeks and then 1, 4, 7, 10 years of age for the Panleukopenia vaccine and this is a huge reduction of the vaccination schedule from years past. We actually feel that the first three vaccines at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age are the most important, then only a few boosters over their life time. DO NOT OVER-VACCINATE! Past 10 years of age, studies have verified that it is harmful to your Cat to continue vaccinating in their later life. Also, DO NOT vaccinate for FIP, Chlamydia, or Bordetella. If you vaccinate your Kitten for FIP, it will void your Health Guarantee and it could harm your Kitten. The vaccinations needed are directly in relationship to your Bengal’s exposure to other felines. If you will be walking your Bengal outside, or ever boarding your Bengal, then more vaccinations are necessary to protect your new best friend. Please only allow ONE vaccination per Veterinarian visit - NEVER allow two or three vaccines within a 2 week period. In most states, the Rabies vaccine is required by law. Do not vaccinate for Rabies, until 16 weeks of age and only vaccinate with the ONE-YEAR, all-killed vaccine produced by Merial and it is recommended every 3 years for Cats, rather than annually. The three-year Rabies vaccine has not been safe for felines in the past, however, it is safe for canines. Vaccinations for Panleukopenia (Distemper), Feline Leukemia (FeLV/FIV), and Rabies are the important vaccinations that your Bengal needs, depending on their exposure to other felines. But, please do not over vaccinate! One more fact: Asian Leopard Cats are immune to Feline Leukemia, however, this immunity is not carried into Bengals, as was once thought.
Your Kitten “Go-Home” package includes your Kitten’s health record with vaccination tags, a copy of the Purchase Agreement and Health Guarantee (which also has a lot of valuable information), the parent pedigree and temporary transfer certificate, this welcome letter and Quick Reference Go-Home Instructions (also available on our website), a new Kitten toy, a new leash, a sample of Kitty food, and a sample of “Kitty Bloom VM-900 plus 3” vitamin supplement. We usually have Kitty Bloom supplements, Bonita treats, Domaine Felidae brand pine pellet litter, and other feline products, in stock for you to purchase… ask about our new “Bengal Store!” And don’t forget to subscribe to “Bengals Illustrated” magazine by accessing the subscription form from our website, under the “Recommended Books and Info” tab. This is the most informative and well-produced magazine about Bengals available. Often, I am requested to write an article for the Bengals Illustrated Magazine and I am always happy to do so.
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 and do keep in touch with us. 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. Thank you for choosing Santa Fe Bengal Cattery for the new addition to your family. Meow from all of us here and give your Kitten a scratch under the chin for us!
Breeder of Distinctive Lap Leopards, Santa Fe Bengal Cattery
Contact us at: kittens@SantaFeBengalCattery.com or SantaFeBengal@gmail.com
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