Bengal Kitten Care Guide


The time for your kitten to join you is coming near. She/he is strong, healthy, confident & growing more content to have time away from mum everyday.
Our kittens are a pleasure to raise and are always greatly missed. Update photos are always appreciated.

Purchases To Make


Your kitten will need you to make a few purchases before she/he arrives.

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    Food Bowl

    A heavy ceramic bowl is best or a stainless steal bowl

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    Water Bowl

    Please choose a large ceramic bowl for your kittens water. Or make a pet water fountain purchase

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    Cat Bed

    Our cats love their beds. Any type of warm, inviting bed will suit your kitten. Hooded beds are loved by many younger kittens as they offer security

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    Scratching Pole

    Look for a strong, well crafted cat pole with good stability. Cats prefer poles with sisal roping and hammocks. Cat Tree King of Australia have the best cat poles in the country. They are sturdy, large and cats love them. https://cattreeking.com.au

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    Cat Litter

    Your kitten has been raised on Horse and Pony Pellets for a natural litter source. You can use Chook Pellets, Breeders Choice or Cats Best Oko Plus. All of these litters are organic friendly and your kitten should have no issues using any of them. The next best to try are the wood pellet litters.

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    Cat Litter Tray x 2

    You will need a minimum of 2 litter trays per cat. High sided (30cm) is ideal. We use large clear and coloured plastic storage tubs. Our tubs are around 60cm long x 40cm wide x 30cm deep.

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    Toys

    Toys are always going to be needed. Some toys will need to be put away after play. Please check the safety aspects of the toys you choose. Also monitor your kitten for signs of digesting parts of toys. ie: the pollyfill stuffing. This can be eaten and cause gut blockages.

Feeding Your Kitten Commercial Food


There are a number of very good reasons for feeding a commercial wet food diet.

  • Commercial food provides accurate vitamins, nutrients and minerals per serve. There is no guess work or maths needed to ensure your kitten is gaining a balanced diet for maximum growth and health when they need it most.
  • Commercial foods are fast and easy to serve, where meal preperation time may be an issue in some busy households.
  • Commercial foods can be left down for longer than raw meals as they are processed not to breed bacteria

We feed Royal Canin kitten tins. Fancy Feast kitten tins.

Meal Size: Give 1/2 a tin morning and night

Please be very aware that a sudden change in your kittens diet can result in an upset tummy. Cats and kittens only produce stomach enzymes to break down the foods they are used of eating.  When you change their food, you need to be aware that they do not have the necessary stomach enzymes to process the new food.

Slow food changes are advised if you choose to change their diet.

Do not change their diet in the first 4 weeks of joining you.  This is a high stress time in their young lives and a food change will add more unnecessary stress.

If you do wish to change their diet then add 10% new food to 90% old food for a few days. Then 20% new food to 80% old food for the next few days.  Continue to add more new and decrease the old food.  A food change is best done over 2 weeks.

Dry Food


Leave dry food down for your kitten 24/7. Kittens do not tend to over eat. They do burn off energy fast and will need to replenish after a big play.  Please note the packet will suggest you feed biscuits in a meal size portion. This does not work well with a Bengal as their energy levels will peak and trough throughout the day.

They are very good at regulating their own food intake and really only eat when they are hungry or need a top up.

Raw Food Issues

An unbalanced raw food diet can have devastating health effects on your kittens longevity.

Issues with raw food given to kittens under the age of 9 months:

Kittens tummies and immune systems can not deal with the following parasites and bacterias commonly found in raw meats.

Bacterias in meats

  • Salmonella
  • E coli
  • Coccidiosis
  • toxoplasmosis
  • C – Parafringents
  • Campylobacter

Preservatives in meats:

  • Preservatives are dangerous for kittens and cats. All meats need to be preservative free.

When a diet is unbalanced:

  • Turine deficiency can have devastating effect on your kitten.  This is much needed for their brain, heart and muscle development.
  • Any vitamin deficiency can cause irreversible issues
  • A bone/calcium overdose /underdosecan cause a number of issues

Small snippets of raw meats are always welcomed treat. Please use them as such while your kitten is a kitten and developing.

Litter Box Rules

LITTER BOX
You will need to purchase two litter boxes for your kitten. This is really important. Even if you have existing cats and trays in the house, it’s important to begin your new kitten with new trays of his/her own. This removes them feeling intimidated by the smell of your other cats and allows them to settle in far better.

LITTERBOX STYLE
We use large plastic storage tubs. They are easy to clean and are fantastic for stopping litter spilling out of the box. Cats can be funny about their litterbox and these open boxes allow your cat to see what’s going on around them while they use the tray. This gives them far more comfort than when they are trapped in an enclosed style tray.

  • LITTER BOX RULES
    There are litter box rules you must get used of to ensure your cat always uses the tray and doesn’t feel the need to go elsewhere. 
  • 1 cat or kitten needs to have 2 trays. They will often separate their business.

    2 cats need a minimum of 3 trays. To save arguments and toilet issues have four. 2 trays for each.

  • The litter should be at a depth of 15cm. Nothing less. This is very enticing to the cats and its far better they create good toileting habits rather than poor ones outside of the litterbox.

Should your kitten have a litter accident outside of the tray, please do the following:

  • Use an enzyme cleaner to thoughly clean the area.  We use Bio-Zet Odour Eliminator Laundry Detergent
  • To remove any lingering smell the best product on the market is Odarid.  https://odarid.com.au/
  • Remember cats have far better senses than us humans. If you see them sniffing the area where they had their accident, you will need to reclean the space.
  • Try to keep your kitten away from the accident area for a few days to allow for proper cleaning. You do not want them to be attracted back to the spot.

When your kitten is out in a main play area, remember to bring a tray out with them.  Little kittens have big bladders and running a long distence to get to the litter tray can be very hard for them.

Litter For The Litterbox

Our top three litters to use are:
Breeders Choice is easy to obtain and can be purchased from leading supermarkets. This is an all natural litter and is cost effective, but does lack some odour control, especially in Summer. This suits a cost effective multi cat households.

Horse and Pony Pellets This is a very low cost effective litter substitute. It does have a clumping ability and can be purchased at all Fodder Stores. The purchase is in bulk, so take storage into account. (we use large plastic bins to store this). This is great for cost, it’s all natural and does have a good odour control. Perfect for the multi cat household. This is the litter we use.

Cats Best You will not find better than this! Cats Best is the leader in odour control and also has germ control. This stuff is an expensive outlay, but you will change this litter far less often and you will find it will last a few months. The length of time this product lasts, actually makes it extremely cost effective. You’ll have no odour and the cats love it. It’s an all natural product and is suitable for one to two cats within the home. (with more cats in the home, it may become less cost effective than the other two chocies)

Please do not use clumping or crystal litters.

Some kittens can have a bad habbit of playing in their litter tray and can ingest these litters which can cause health issues.

Clumping litters can be ingested and can cause life threatening blockages.

Crystal litters have silica dust in them. This is unhealthy for lungs. They walk in it, then lick their paws and ingest it.

 

For more information on the hazards of crystal and clumping litters, please do a Google search.

 

Veterinary Care | Pedigree Papers


WORMING
Your kittens worming regime is: Milbemax. They are fully wormed every two weeks from 6 weeks of age. Please re-worm your kitten every 3 months.

FLEAS
Your kitten has had no need of a flea treatment as we have a flea free environment. Should she/he need to begin treatment for fleas as she/he gets older, please use Front-Line. This is an on the back of the neck treatment. Non-invasive & non-stressful to give.

***VACCINATION***
Your kitten will be given her/his first Vaccination at approximately 11 weeks of age. She/he will need to visit your vet at 15 to 16 weeks of age for her/his final Booster Shot. (please double check the date specified on your kittens vaccination certificate.) She/he will be F3 vaccinated as some Bengals are known to have reactions to F4. If you would like your kitten to be vaccinated with an F4 vaccine, we suggest you wait until she/he is 12 months old & fully grown. You will receive a card that contains the vaccination date and batch number when you pick your kitten up. (when kittens are flown, the paperwork can be found in a water proof satchel under the bottom floor mat of their flight crate.)

NEUTERING
Your kitten will be been spayed/neutered before leaving my care. Please keep an eye on her midline surgery scar or his testicular area. You will note a small amount of swelling. This will recede over the next 4-6 weeks in girls and 1-2 weeks in boys. All kittens receive pain relief & a long lasting antibiotic injection during surgery for added care. Our aftercare includes, maintaining good blood sugar levels, protextin (gut flora) & electrolytes, plus quite time where they cannot climb or jump or cause an injury to themselves.
A Desexing Certificate will be included within your paperwork.

 
MICRO-CHIP & PEDIGREE PAPERS

MICROCHIPPING
Your kitten will be microchipped during her/his surgery. This way she/he has not experience any pain. You will find her/his microchip number attached to her/his vaccination card. Your gathered information from our Kitten Application Form has been processed and we have filled out your kittens microchip form and posted it on your behalf. This saves you needing to remember to transfer it and it saves you the expense of the name transfer. You will receive further information directly from the Australasian Animal Registry in around two to four weeks’ time.

PEDIGREE LITTER REGISTRATION & INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION
Your kittens Litter Registration is processed through FASA. We email our filled out litter and individual registration paperwork to FASA. From there our registrar processes the information into the system then prints and posts your kitten’s pedigree papers directly to you. This takes around two weeks.

Kitten Home Coming


WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU WHEN YOU PICK YOUR KITTEN UP
Please ready a sturdy canvas crate or plastic cat carrier (pp20s can be purchased at Pet Barn) to take your kitten home in. Place a soft blanket or towel in the bottom, add a toy or two and drop in a small pinch of dry biscuits to occupy her/him during the pending car trip.


KITTENS FLYING
All kittens flying to their new homes are flown in a brand new PP-20 Airline approved flight crate. This is for you to keep. Each kitten flies with a travel blanket and soft toys which cannot cause harm during the flight. These crates are very strong and secure to ensure the best care of your kitten during flight.


ONCE YOUR KITTEN REACHES HIS/HER NEW HOME
The first contact with a new environment, new family and any other pets (dogs or cats already in the house) is a very important moment that will affect the success of your kitten’s integration into its new home. Contact should be made gradually and slowly at your kittens pace


COMFORT ROOM
Please prepare a COMFORT ROOM for your kitten. A bathroom or laundry work great. This is very important and it will keep you kitten from feeling overwhelmed with the new space, smells & sounds.
Items to place in the comfort room
Bed
Food dish
Water bowl
Litter tray
Toys
HOW TO USE A COMFORT ROOM
This room will be used over the next two weeks of your kittens integration into your home. Your kitten needs to be in the safe room when not being supervised. This is where your kitten will sleep at night. Please do not introduce your kitten to your bed in this time frame. They are still a bit self-conscious in the first few weeks and will often pee on your bed to mix their smell with yours. Avoid allowing this to happen! Remember cats and kittens use their urine to communicate and feel close to you.  This is what they do in the wild and as we are domesticating them to use a litterbox, we need to remember they are very new to trays.

Your kitten begins using the litterbox between the age of 4 to 6 weeks.  This means they have received 6 to 8 weeks of intense litterbox training from me.  This is still considered to be a very short period of time.  You will need to be astute on your litterbox cleaning and thoughtful to continuing the training I have begun.  Your kitten will be competent with its litterbox use around the age of 6 months.

This room is their safe room. Should they receive a fright, they will run back to this room and when they’ve regained their confidence to investigate, they will come out. It is better they run to this room than hide under furniture.

This is their memory room. They will quickly learn to remember all of their comforts are in this room. Be sure to utilize this room when you are not able to supervise your kitten.

When you are having your kitten out in the house for some play time and an explore. Be sure to have a litter tray nearby. Show them its there and this way they will be less likely to panic if they should need the toilet urgently but can’t remember the path back to their room.

AVOID TOO MUCH EXCITEMENT

Remember that your kitten has just been brought into a totally unknown environment. Control your own enthusiasm, be gentle and keep your voice
low. Avoid passing the kitten from one person to another if the kitten seems unsure. You must find the right balance and play with your kitten to continue its social nature.

AVERAGE KITTEN SETTLING IN TIME

Most kittens are shy and nervous for the first few days to a week in their new homes.  We find the average settling in period is around 2 to 4 weeks.  After 4 weeks they are relaxed and they will be showing you their full personalities.  Please don’t try and rush this process. Gaining your kittens trust is paramount for a great relationship in the future.

LEARN TO PROTECT YOUR KITTEN

You alone are now responsible for your kitten’s safety. You have taken over from its mother and us the breeder, and your kitten will now turn to you for affection and protection. Protect your kitten: its growth and balance depend on your care.

HOUSEHOLD DANGERS

Prevention is better than cure! Your new arrival has come to a strange place: let it find its way around at its own pace. It will need to explore at its own rate, getting used to the place and its smell to feel safe and at home. Although we may not realise it, there are a number of dangers in a household, and certain gestures or oversights may threaten your kitten’s safety. You will be able to protect your kitten from possible domestic accidents by adopting new habits and making certain alterations. Check the washing machine, dryer & dishwasher before you close the door and turn it on. Check the fridge is kitten clear before closing the door. Keep an eye on power cords for chewing & put blind cords out of reach. Do not leave the bath tup full of water. Ensure you do not have flowers or plants that are poisonous.

TOXIC PLANTS TO AVOID

The following plants can cause horrific kidney failure within ½ an hour, if just the smallest amount is sampled by your kitten. Please avoid having these plants or flowers within your kittens/cats reach.

Lilies are the number one killer of cats in households.

Azalea
Rhododendron
Jerusalem
cherry tree
Oleander
Poinsettia

Oleander Poinsettia
Ivy
Aucuba
Sweet peas
Lillies

Cyclamen
Holly
Mistletoe
Wisteria
Dieffenbachia
Philodendron

Azalea
Rhododendron
Jerusalem
cherry tree
Oleander
Poinsettia

Oleander Poinsettia
Ivy
Aucuba
Sweet peas
Lillies

Cyclamen
Holly
Mistletoe
Wisteria
Dieffenbachia
Philodendron

General Kitten Maintenance

CLAW CLIPPING

Please clip your kittens claws once every two weeks. This will ensure they get used of the feeling and it will be beneficial for both you, your kitten & furniture.

Make sure you spend time massaging your kittens paws and rubbing them. This will help to keep them desensitized  to having their nails clipped.

GROOMING

Kittens love to have a soft brush run over them. Please remember that grooming is also a bonding experience. Most kitten will grow up to enjoy this time with you.   Do note some kittens find the brushing far too over stimulating and really don’t like it.

EXCERSIZE

Your kitten will be a bundle of excitable energy, while not sleeping. Remember to play lots of games and alternate toys weekly. Plastic drinking straws are a favourite! A cube of ice which can be batted around the floor will entertain. Jingling bells, Cat teasers on a stick and string are fantastic. For the ultimate toys in cat play there are the laser lights & the Da’Bird Cat Toy.

Do remember kittens will sleep a lot in their younger days.  They will have bursts of energy and then take a big nap.  During their nap they are busy growing.

Suggested Reading

There are a great deal of fantastic books available on Cats and their behavioural patterns and personalities. We highly recommend the three below. Available at Amazon. Jackson Galaxy will teach you how to get the best behaviour from your cat.


This book is the Cat Bible! Jackson is literally The Cat Whisperer of all time.

Most behavioural issues happen when us humans are not quite getting things right for our cats.

Remember, cats are far more intelligent and they Show their feelings and dislikes in different ways.

If you are having any issues I highly suggest you Take some time out to read this book or watch Some of his youtube videos.

Jacksons training methods are sure fire winners For both you and your kitten!


Both Jean Mills (the founder of the breed, Millwood Bengals) and Gene Ducote (owner and breeder of the infamous Gogees Bengals) have written books about the Bengals. Their knowledge is the best of the best.

Our beloved Gogees Zulu Warrior is from the final litter ever bred at Gogees Bengals before Gene Ducote retired in 2011.

Cat Enclosures and Catios


A cat enclosure is a wonderful way to offer your kitten or cat some sunshine and fresh air. They love having a little outdoor time, but Bengals are rebound for getting themselves into trouble. They either get lost, hit by cars, attacked by dogs or other cats.

All our kittens are sold with the understanding they will be indoor pets with secure outdoor time via an enclosure. This is for their health and safety.

Enclosures can be great fun and you can be as creative as you want personalising it to suit your cat.

Below are some example enclosures:



FINAL WORDS

Your kitten will be a baby up to the age of 9 months.  They are the equivalent of a 2 year old child and will require on going training.  We have given your kitten the very best start in life and now you need to continue our efforts as they mature.

 


FURTHER HELP

Please remember we are here to answer your questions and offer further suggestions if we can, but do note we are not trained vets. If your kitten has an issues which is worrying you, we urge you to seek the advice of your vet.

We hope you find this guide to your new kitten helpful. If you have any questions at all, please contact us. We’ll be happy to share further information.

 

lee@bengalcatsaustralia.com.au

PH: Lee on 0435942244
© 2009 This guide remains the sole copyright of Lee Schilling, Bengal Cats Australia. It is not available for redistribution in any form.