Bengals Have a Short Digestive Tract & Ultra Sensitive System!!! ANY Minor Change in Diet Can Throw Off Their System Indefinitely, Resulting in Extreme Diarrhea, Which Can Lead to Serious Dehydration (& even death) - the #1 Cause of Renal Failure in Cats!! DO NOT Change Your Bengal's Food AT ALL - Not Even to a Different Formula of the Same Brand!! Unless Absolutely Necessary & Even Then, Seek Your Breeder's Advice. NEVER Feed Food/Treats That Contain CORN GLUTEN MEAL as the 1st or 2nd Ingredient - Especially Not to a Bengal!!
Bengals are Incredibly Smart & yes, they Can be Trained on a HARNESS & Leash, HOWEVER, I STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST IT!!!!! Being The Admin of a LOST BENGALS Group, I can say - With Extreme Accuracy, Those Bengals That Are Used to the Outdoors Are 98% of The Bengals That Are Now LOST!!!! Bengals are such Great Escape Artists & Often Able to Open Doors & Once Comfortable Outdoors, They Will Most Often Dart Out a Slightly Open Door At EVERY Given Opportunity - Another Reason to NEVER ALLOW Your BENGAL To Cross The Threshold Of The Door on His/Her Own - Instead, PICK THEM UP & CARRY Them - IF YOU MUST TAKE THEM OUTDOORS, i.e. to Put Them in their CATIO. Once Bengals Are Outdoors On Their Own, THEY DO NOT STAY AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD as other breeds of Domestic Cats do, but, They Go Off On An Adventure Instead!!! They are Almost Always Several Miles Away From Home Before They Realize They are Lost - & Even If They Wanted to Come Home, Someone Often Snaps Them Up at First Sight & Unfortunately, These Days, Most Bengals Are NOT Returned to their owners When Found.
Start it out in a VERY SMALL Room (a bathroom without carpet is ideal) for the 1st 2 Weeks to a Month Minimum - some Adults acclimate in a few weeks, whereas others can take up to 2-3 mos. to acclimate!!! This Will Make Them Feel Much More Secure in Strange, New Surroundings (scents, sounds, people, etc.) & help Kittens Maintain Their Good Litter Box Habits!! Bengal Cats Can be Quite Headstrong & Territorial Compared to Other Domestic Cat Breeds: If you quickly add a new adult Bengal Cat [with other pets] without supervision, on top of their current stress, you'll cause them to feel threatened & Traumatized. AFTER 2 WEEKS: Acclimate your Bengal to 1 room at a time; once he/she feels like he/she 'Owns The Home' (at 1-2 mos., depending on age & stress level) he/she is ready to be introduced to 1 pet at a time -DO NOT DO THIS UNTIL COMPLETELY ACCLIMATED. Most Bengals are wonderful, loving, affectionate, loyal pets AFTER Properly Acclimated -Do NOT Cut Acclimation Time Short & NEVER Leave a Non-acclimated Adult Bengal Unsupervised Around Other Pets!!
Do Not attempt to Acclimate More Quickly, at YOUR Timing - That is a BIG Mistake that new Owners all too often make, with the assumption that Adult Bengals acclimate the same way as other cats - THEY DO NOT!!! Most Bengals are HEADSTRONG, & Re-homing is a Very, VERY Stressful Time for Them - No Matter How Happy They Seem on the Outside, & Could Cause Them to: Act Out, Attack Other Pets, Hide Under Furniture, or Regress in Their Potty Habits (much like a Young Toddler). Do Not Leave an ADULT BENGAL That Has NOT Been Fully Acclimated UNSUPERVISED Around Pets or Small Children - They May be Extremely Stressed if they have not known them - especially By SCENT for 2-3 mos. Bengal Cats Can be Quite Headstrong & Territorial Compared to Other Domestic Cat Breeds: If you quickly add a new adult Bengal Cat [with other pets] without supervision, on top of their current stress, you'll cause them to feel threatened & Traumatized. Since they are not yet on Equal Turf they very well may fight to protect their personal space, IF they've already started the acclimation process - IF NOT, OR IT'S BEEN 2 WEEKS OR LESS,
i.e. Adult Bengals feel like an outsider when simply "Tossed in the Mix" with other Pets & the result is often quite awful & could be permanent. Bengals Almost Always win & may continue the fight until the other pet has been completely defeated or even deceased - especially if the Bengal has deemed it a Very High Stress, Traumatizing situation for them!!! Do Not Allow Your New Bengal KITTEN to Sleep With You!! You would be giving it permission to PEE The BED. KITTENS That Have NOT Been Acclimated, like a toddler, may decide that they do not want to take the time out of playtime to find the location of their litter box! "Toddlers" will almost always Pee the Bed if not acclimated properly!!
You Have Probably Heard That Bengals Absolutely LOVE Water, BUT... Keep in mind, most kittens have not had any experience with water yet [especially during the cold Winter months, to keep from being unnecessarily chilled] & may very well be terrified initially, when simply being placed in a bathtub, then, panic & drown - This Has Happened With a Few of Our Kitten Buyers!! Also, We Practice Early Spay/Neuter & per Our Veterinarian Instructions, New Owners are to not only "Limit Activity," but, KEEP THEM OUT OF WATER, Due to Dissolvable Stitches after ESN Surgery - or any Spay/Neuter, even for Adult Cats!!
We have had more than a few Bengal owners inadvertently "Dry Their Bengal With a Load of Wet Clothes" - Sadly, one lady dried her cat with a load of jeans for 1 Hour on the "High" setting..!
For some reason, many people [unfamiliar with the breed] assume that "They are Larger Than Other Domestic Cats" ?? I am not sure how this MYTH got Started, but, it is something we hear quite often, although it is completely FALSE. Bengal Cats are THE SAME SIZE as Other domestic cat breeds, but, they are Heavier, due to their Solid Muscle Mass & Thick Bone Density!
No cat is 100% Hypoallergenic, but, with Bengals, there is usually a significantly milder allergic reaction - most allergy sufferers have a reaction to the combination of saliva & dander, so, with Bengals not needing to groom themselves much due to their short coat, there is generally very little to no reaction at all! Whether Kitten or Adult Cat (easier), selecting one with the shortest, tightest pelt possible is by far your best bet!! NOTE: It Is NOT Possible To Accurately Gauge Your Level of Allergic Reaction by a Visit to Our Home - We Often Rescue Other Domestic Cat Breeds & Their Dander Is Present as well.
Most Vets Do Not See Many - If ANY Bengals at all & There Really Are Some Very Important Differences to be Aware of!! Please Keep in Mind, That Vets Have an Overall Knowledge of Domestic Cats (& Dogs) in General, Whereas, a Reputable, Long-Term Bengal Breeder Knows Bengals SPECIFICALLY!! So, When in Doubt, Always, ALWAYS Ask Your Breeder - especially when it comes to weight, diet, certain antibiotics, & i.e.KETAMINE, VERY OFTEN Results In Convulsions & DEATH for Bengals, Savannahs, & Toyger (Isoflurane gas is generally safe)!!! Unfortunately, MOST VETS ARE NOT AWARE THAT BENGALS [Also Savannahs, & Toygers] Can Not Have This!!!
No, not if it is a DOMESTIC Bengal! Bengals Have Been in Existence for Over 50 Years, so, the Percentage of 'Wild Blood' in a Domestic Bengal is generally Irrelevant.
ALL Bengals [both Wild & Domestic] are considered EXOTICS/HYBRIDS, however, a WILD/EG (Early Generation) Bengal is 3 OR FEWER Generations Removed from the ALC - like the Wolf-Hybrid, it is Not Allowed Within City Limits & May Require a Special Permit to Own one in Rural Areas; whereas, a DOMESTIC Bengal is 4 OR MORE Generations Removed from the Asian Leopard Cat - no different than any other domestic cat breed, per the laws of most states in the mainland USA.
No, The Only Thing Wild About a Domestic Bengal is Their Appearance (also, the words "Domestic" & "Wild" have the Exact Opposite Definitions). Domestic Bengals - are 4 or More Generations from the ALC, & Legal in
Most States With Very Few Exceptions. Domestic Bengals are Bred to be More Sweet Natured Than Other
domestic Cat Breeds, So, It Would be Very Rare. Most Bengals Are High Energy, Extremely Intelligent, & Quite Headstrong, with Insatiable Curiosity. They are Very Social & Interactive & Therefore, Talkative, & Demanding of Their Owner's Time - Much Like Having a Perpetual 2 Year Old Child (seriously). They Require a Time Commitment from their Loyal Owner/s [which is So Worth It, if you truly love them], So, Make Sure You Are Up For It!!!
Unlike other domestic cats, Bengals are headstrong & very high stressors & Must Always, ALWAYS start off in a small room for a Minimum of: 2 weeks for Kittens, & up to 2 months for Adult Cats - during which time, the Bengal will be gradually acclimating to their new owner/s as well as the sounds & scents of the new home. The smaller the room, the more secure they will feel during acclamation (adding their plastic 23-24" pet crate to the room, will generally make them feel even more secure).
You will know when your new Bengal is starting to feel at ease, as they will want to venture out on their own. However, it must be on Their Terms - not the new owners terms. If they bolt out of the door of the small room / bathroom, clearly, they are still Not Ready!! Once they are feeling very much at ease, they can then be acclimated to individual rooms of the home, one at a time, for a few days each & returned to their small room, if at any time they feel uneasy. LASTLY (and only lastly), they can be acclimated to other pets UNDER SUPERVISION Only, as when highly stressed, they will feel extremely threatened, during which time, Bengals may hurt [or even kill] other pets - especially if not started off properly in a small room for the necessary time. Please do not disregard this, as we have seen this happen more than once. Acclimating to other pets can be as simple as swapping out their bedding, or feeding them on opposite sides of the bathroom (small room) door - Jackson Galaxy recommends the very same thing.
Unfortunately, most new pet owners will try to skip this extremely important step & assume they can just throw new pets in the mix & that they will work it out for themselves - which is cruel for the new cat in general, since it is "Uneven Turf" & the home currently belongs to the other pet/s. For a Bengal, multiply that stress level by 3-5x. Attempting to cut this process short, actually prolongs the acclamation process unnecessarily & could very well lead to behavioral problems as well, i.e. inappropriate urination (most common), etc.