Foundation Bengals - Filial Generations 1, 2, and 3... Is this the right choice for you?
This is a MUST READ, if you think that you are interested in purchasing a Foundation Bengal!!
We have always maintained that Foundation Cats are not the ideal pet for everyone. F4 or later Bengals are the ideal pet everyone. First, F1's are much more intense in their personalities, than F2 or F3's, so 2 and 3's make better pets than F1’s. However, the F-Cats, in general, do take more specialized care, then an average non-breed House Cat, and you need to invest more time in the beginning to bond with them. Having a Cat that looks very wild is alluring, but if the time it takes to care for the Cat properly is not invested, especially in the beginning – you will not be happy, nor will your Cat. You don't just go to work all day and come home to a "Lap Leopard". If a high percentage Foundation Cat is alone all day, it will be more wild in its temperament. On the other hand, if you work out of your home or if you have other Cats and /or dogs as playmates for your Bengal, then a Foundation Cat could be the perfect pet for you!
To begin the process of creating a friendly, loving Foundation Cat, the Breeder spends the extra time necessary to bond with the Cat, rather than letting them bond with other Cats. Asian Leopard Cats and Foundation Bengals are much more social with each other, like a pride of lions, and will even have their Kittens together. SBT (F-4 or later) Bengals, and other domestic breeds of felines, consider “Kittening” a very solitary event, except, of course, for having their human “midwife” in attendance.
One of the most important things to do, when you get a Foundation Cat, is to bond with your Kitten and then you will be the light of their life forever. If you don't, they will not be as loving to humans and may be more aloof. Beautiful to look at… but not as interested in having you hold them. First, during the first week or so, keep the Kitten separate from other Cats or they will bond with them, rather than with a human. Second, spend a lot of time with the Kitten: playtime, giving treats, and cuddling. If the Breeder started the bonding process and the new owner finishes it, then a Foundation Kitten will be a wonderful loving, loyal, and friendly… just turbo charged… feline companion! And, third, Love your Bengal as they will return your affections and be a life-long family member!
Remember, an F1 is literally half wild and needs a lot more work to make them, and to keep, them socialized. It is important to bottle feed your F1 Kitten to form a close bond with them. As a F1 matures… you can still loose their affections, because of their very high wild genetics. F2 and F3’s are getting much closer to a fully domestic Bengal in their temperament and those next two generations make wonderful pets. The bonding with them is quicker and lasts forever. They are the perfect choice for a wild-looking “House Cat.”
When Santa Fe Bengal Cattery places F2 and F3 Kittens, we screen the applicant and strongly suggest that, when the Kitten is taken home that the new Owner takes some time off to spend time with their new addition for the first few days, at least, and even up to two weeks, if possible - this is a must for bonding with an F1. Then, you will have a wonderful (wild-looking, not acting) Bengal companion. We can’t stress enough that if you don't spend a little bit of time bonding with your new Kitten, you may not be as happy in the future. It is worth a weekend of time with your new F2 or F3 Foundation Bengal. The next important difference is concerning the feeding of your Foundation Cat. All Cats are obligate carnivores and need to be fed properly for optimum health. However, Foundation Bengals have slightly different requirements, than other types of felines.
Foundation F1 Bengals: F1 Bengals have more challenging feeding requirements and are most often best eating a raw food diet with vitamins, taurine, and calcium added to their diet. This "tar tare" can be easily purchased from Natural Pet Food store or gotten at your local butcher, by request, and consists of (preferably natural or organic) ground raw whole chickens, and/or whole turkeys, chicken hearts, beef hearts, and beef stew meat in equal quantities, then each portion needs “Apperon for Exotics” or “Kitty Bloom VM-900+3” vitamins with taurine and calcium mixed in with the meats. The meat has to be frozen in portions, if it is kept more than two days in the refrigerator; using an air suction bag appliance keeps it fresh. Doing this does take time every couple of months, but then it is simple to take out a portion bag in the evening for thawing prior to feeding the next day.
Another difference is that F1 Foundation Cats prefer to eliminate in water like Asian Leopard Cats. They will go in a dog's water bowl, the commode, or they may try their own water bowl. They can't help it! It is their instinct held over from the ALC. This is not going to please most humans and one of the reasons that we do not feel that an F1 Bengal is the best choice for most people. Due to how much time we spend with our Bengals, our breeding F1’s use the litter box most of the time.
Foundation F2 and F3 Bengals: F2, F3, and SBT (F4 or later) Bengals can also benefit from this same diet as described above and it is actually the best diet for every breed of feline, but starting with the F2’s a high quality grain-free canned Cat food is most often readily accepted and even sometimes preferred. We have chosen to feed Nutro brand Natural choice and all of our Bengals adore it. They need the protein, vitamins, moisture, and no grain that a quality canned food provides. A grain-free dry food can also be given to supplement their diet, such as the Nutro brand. You can free-fed the dry food, but remember… feeding time is a great bonding time. Raw beef or cooked chicken can be given as treats, as well as freeze-dried chicken and bonita flakes. We have also found that dental treat Greenies are enjoyed by most and can be a benefit to their dental health… just not too many, please! A bonus to the owner is that with feeding such high quality food, the Cat's elimination is less and low-odor, compared to a feline fed inappropriate, low quality food. And, starting with the F2’s, they all use the litter box as any Cat.
So, if you understand the differences and what it takes to have an almost wild feline as your best friend, a Foundation Cat may be right for you! Certainly a F2 or a F3 Bengal is the right choice for most and a fully domestic SBT Bengal is the right choice for all.
Contact us, and we would be happy to discuss your options.