How do you know the difference between a Reputable Breeder and a Kitten Mill?
Questions to ask the Breeder:
- What type and brand of food do you feed your Kittens and Cats? --- "Best quality high protein food only" should be the answer, check our "Kitten Care" page for more details and brands. Santa Fe Bengal Cattery only feeds the highest quality food.
- What type of litter do you use? --- If the answer is "Clay" -- FIND ANOTHER BREEDER; check our "Kitten Care" page for the correct answer. Santa Fe Bengal Cattery spends the additional money on the safest Cat litter.
- Where are the Kittens raised? --- The answer should be "in our home in a Kitten safe room or Specific Kitten area in the Cattery with daily supervised playtime, then once litter trained Kittens should be alowed supervised playtime in the whole house." If they are kept in a small cage without their mother or without age appropriate toys and/or without supervised playtime and human interaction daily - LOOK FOR ANOTHER BREEDER.
- How do you clean the Kittens living quarters? --- Chemicals should be used sparingly and floors, toys or litter boxes should be rinsed thoroughly and dried after cleaning; BEST cleaning method is "STEAM CLEANING" to disinfect and to prevent illness from cleaner contamination -- remember, Cats lick their feet! At Santa Fe Bengal Cattery we steam clean!
- May I meet the parents? --- If the answer is "no" -- FIND ANOTHER BREEDER, unless the parent has been sold, or retired and re-homed, and no longer at the Cattery -- Ask where they are.
- Do you only sell "Breed Standard" Kittens? --- If a Breeder has non-Breed Standard Kittens they may not be following the "Breeder Code of Ethics" and may be selling sub-standard Bengals; all cats deserve a good home, so these Kittens can be sold at a very reduced price, if the buyer is not concerned about breeding attributes and will not be breeding. The Breeder should not pair the parents of non-breed standard Kittens again; ask about their Breeding Program and Breeding Philosophy. Read about ourCattery Philosophy - Which Professional Cat Associations do you belong to? --- Easy answer... the two most important for a Bengal Breeder are TICA and TIBCS. Santa Fe Bengal Cattery has always been a member in "good standing" and has signed the "Code of Ethics" for both of these organizations. Only the BEST breeders can adhere to the long list of ethics' requirements.
- Do you follow Cattery "Code of Ethics"? --- This is an official statement that is signed by the Breeder and on file with each Cat Association; the Breeder should be happy to provide you with a copy or you can go to the Organization web site to review the information and check to see that the Breeder has signed the agreement. Santa Fe Bengal Cattery has signed and follows both TICA and TIBCS Code of Ethics. If a Cattery does not follow the "Code of Ethics" rules, they are not producing the best Bengals... perhaps find another Cattery.
- Do you sell to "approved" homes? --- A Breeder must be concerned with where their Kitten is going and how it will be cared for -- this shows that they are breeding Bengals for the "right reason" and is part of the "Code of Ethics". The Breeder has the choice to refuse to sell a Kitten, if they feel that the new environment will not be safe for the Kitten. Kitten Mills sell to anyone with money without any concern for the Kitten. Santa Fe Bengal Cattery is very concerned about the Health and Happiness of every Kitten and Cat and is careful about matching a Kitten with a New Owner. One of our mottos is "We strive for Happy Felines and Happy Humans".
- Do you vaccinate your Kittens? --- The answer must be "yes"...Kittens must be vaccinated at 8 and 12 weeks of age with the Distemper and "Kitty Cold" vaccine, prior to sale; this is mandatory and part of the "Code of Ethics." Kitten have gotten antibodies from their mother during their fisr few weeks of nursing, however, this protection starts to fade by 7 to 8 weeks and vaccinating is very important. Santa Fe Bengal Cattery vaccinates every Kitten with "Felovax 4" at the appropriate ages in the appropriate new Veterinary protocol location and also will be vaccinating with the new avian-based FeLV/FIV vaccine, when that vaccine is available. Check our "Health Alerts" page for more information!
- Do you de-worm your Kittens? --- It seems to be a very simple thing... and it is. Did you know that: even if there are no worms in any Cats at a Cattery, Kittens can get worms. Any Cattery that does not de-worm their Kittens (and periodically their Cats) is doing their produced Kittens a great disservice. This is why: even though the Mother has no evidence of having any type of Neotode (worm) in her system, eggs of certain worms can lay dormant in the Mother's flesh and pregnancy hormones bring them to life - then they are transferred to the Kittens through their life sustaining Mother's milk. At Santa fe Bengal Cattery, we always give our Kittens de-wormer medicine prior to their leaving our home. Please make sure that your Kitten has been de-wormed. We work very closely with our Veterinarian and are updated on Cat health issues; we do the absolute best at raising and caring for our Kittens and Cats, because it matters... it matters to their health and to their new Owners.
- Will you be available to answer my questions in the future? --- The answer is always "yes" or LOOK FOR ANOTHER BREEDER. A Breeder who is available to provide Continuing Education and answer Questions from their Kitten Buyers is a Responsible Breeder. Santa Fe Bengal Cattery is dedicated to assisting their growing Cattery family. This web site is purposely extensive with specific helpful information and advice and is designed, not only for our Kitten Buyers, but also for all Cat Owners as a public service for the health and happiness of Felines.
- Do you have a telephone number, as well as an email address for your Cattery? Do you maintain an up-dated web site? Do you Advertise your Cattery with your contact information? --- A Responsible Breeder intends to Breed Cats for many years and puts a tremendous amount of effort into their Cattery. They are very knowledgeable about Cats, in general, and specifically about Bengals, or the type of Cat that they are breeding, as well as up-to-date on Cats' Health Issues. A web site is one of the best methods to allow the public to learn about Bengal Cats and a Cattery. Santa Fe Bengal Cattery is represented by TICA, TIBCS, and TIBCC web sites and is in the top Cat magazines' Breeder listings. Often "word-of-mouth" references from Kitten owners are the best form of advertising. Please take a look at ourTESTIMONIALSpage to see what our Kitten owners say about us!
- Why do you Breed Cats? --- If the answer is "it is a business" or "to make money" - FIND ANOTHER BREEDER. If a Breeder uses sub-quality, lower cost products for their Cats; you will get a sub-quality Bengal. Providing the best environments and food and litter, for often more than twelve cats, is costly. It is a seven day a week, 365 days a year "job". It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to run a Top-Quality Cattery. At Santa Fe Bengal Cattery we love Cats; we love Bengal Cats; ...and we don't mind scooping as many as 15 pine-based litter boxes twice a day. We feel that our Bengals deserve to have to most comfortable, cleanest living quarters possible, as well as only having the highest grade of food possible. We love to love our Cats and give them a lot of attention every day! This is why we call our Cats "Distinctive Lap Leopards"! They are truly Distinctive, because of our effort and Cattery Philosophy.