Bringing Home Baby
Congratulations on your new baby! We LOVE our bengals and know you will too! Our kittens are raised with 3 children, our two dogs, and the hustle and bustle of a busy family life. PLEASE remember that your baby has just left everything and everyone that they have known since birth, so initially this can be a scary time for your new little one.
When arriving home with your new cat/kitten, please have a “safe room” ready for them. This is a room where they can adjust and feel secure. You do not want to overwhelm them and give them access to the whole house right away! The FIRST thing you want to do is show your kitty where their litter box is. Provide your cat/kitten with plenty of food, fresh water, and of course their litter box. It’s also nice if they have a soft bed or blanket to snuggle up with. If you have a multiple cat home, it is suggested that you quarantine your new arrival for a period of time. As your cat/kitten becomes more comfortable in his/her new surroundings, gradually introduce the new cat/kitten to the resident pets. Expect some hissing and growling for a few days (sometimes longer) prior to new friendships. It may take an older cat one to two weeks, to one or two months to adjust to his/her new home. Give it time and never rush or push your pets. Just like with people, building a new relationship takes time.
Food and Water
Have fresh dry food and water available at all times. We free feed our kittens Royal Canin mother and baby cat. WE DO NOT FEED OUR KITTENS WET FOOD OR TREATS.
IMPORTANT: If you choose to change brands of food, switch the diet gradually, adding small amounts of the new food to their royal canin. Do not give kittens milk. Please keep your kitten on their current royal canin mother and baby cat food until they have settled in to their new home! Make sure the transition is SLOW to avoid tummy trouble!
Stainless steel or glass bowls are recommended over plastic. Plastic can harbor bacteria. Wash out the water bowl daily, as the bowls can get a bit of a slimy coating. You may notice that your kitty plays in their water. Lots of bengals LOVE to play in water, which makes changing it and keeping it clean so important.
We currently use Arm and Hammer scoopable litter. Clean the litter box at least once a day. Cats do not like to use dirty litter boxes. Every two to four weeks, I suggest you dump all of the litter and clean the box with a bleach solution mixed with 10 parts water.
A general rule of thumb is one litter box per cat, plus one. With a young kitten, the litter box needs to be placed in an easy to get to location. If you have a large house, then I suggest adding another litter box. Currently your kitten is using an open sided large litter box.
When purchasing a litter box, think of a full grown cat, not a kitten! Make sure the box is large enough that a full grown cat can turn around in it and their rear end is not forced outside of the litter box! Make sure the sides aren’t too high for your little one to get into though.
If you change brands of litter, and the cat does not like the new litter he will let you know by not using the box! Time to go back to the old litter, or try a different brand.
Should you ever have a litter box problem and it is not due to any of the above causes, have your cat checked for a urinary infection or parasites.
Cats want to use the litter box. If they don’t, they are telling you something is wrong.
There is a product called “kitten attract” and “cat attract” these can be purchased at most chain pet stores and are AWESOME for helping you kitty use the designated potty!
We do NOT advocate declawing your cat. Declawing is unnecessary if you keep your cat’s/kitten’s nails trimmed. Begin trimming your cat/kittens nails on a regular basis now, so they become accustomed to it. We have been trimming your kittens nails here. If you have any questions please ask! Declawing can break the spirit of your cat and encourage negative behavior and biting as a way to defend itself.
Your cat/kitten will have received FVRCP vaccinations appropriate for their age. This vaccinates against Rhino, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. The current recommendation for vaccine boosters is a booster at one year old, then no more frequently than every three years. Your kitten has been examined by our veterinarian and has received a State of New Hampshire health certificate stating that they are healthy and parasite free.
This kitten has not been vaccinated for RABIES. If a cat is indoors only the rabies vaccinations may not be necessary. It may be required by some states however, or if you ever need to board your cat.
Avoid over vaccinating! Over vaccinating may increase the risk of a vaccination site sarcoma. In other words, the cat may develop cancer at the vaccination injection site. So weigh all the risks and discuss vaccinations with your vet to decide what is best for you and your cat.
Spaying & Neutering
Your cat or kitten has either been spayed or neutered, or is being placed with you on a STRICT spay/neuter agreement requiring the altering of your cat/kitten.
There are numerous reasons you should spay or neuter your cat! Let’s talk about health reasons first…
Female cats that are spayed CAN’T get uterine cancers; their risk of mammary (breast) cancer is reduced by 25%; and they are less prone to urinary tract infections and hormonal changes. Male cats that are neutered CAN’T get testicular cancer, and they live 40% longer than their unneutered counterparts. Unneutered male cats respond to the “call of the wild” and their desire to wander is fierce. Unneutered male cats may become aggressive toward other cats, increasing their risk of injury and becoming infected with feline leukemia and/or feline immunodeficiency virus.
Both male and female unaltered cats WILL SPRAY. This is one of the worst and most difficult smells to get out of carpets, furniture, and anything and EVERYTHING that they can and WILL spray. It is a natural behavior of unaltered cats. This will be prevented by altering your cat or kitten at the earliest age available by your vet.
For more information, see the American Association of Feline Practitioners 2006 Feline Vaccination Guidelines at http://www.catvets.com/uploads/HTML/VaccineSummary.html
Bengals are active, playful, and curious cats. That’s what makes them so much fun to live with! You may need to do a little “child-proofing” around your house. If you have a favorite vase or object that you couldn’t bear to have knocked over or broken, its best to move it until you get an idea of your Bengal’s activity level. If your kitten/cat is enjoying something you’d rather they not, the best method is to divert their attention to something else more appropriate. Try some to the following toys. These are some of my cats favorites: toy mice, feather teasers, balls, and balls of rabbit fur. Mylar teasers are another big favorite. Cat shows are not only fun and educational, they are also a great place to get new cat toys!
Do not allow your cat/kitten to roam freely outdoors; there are too many risks. Your cat/kitten may be stolen, hit by a car, pick up diseases from other cats, or fall prey to a coyote. Cats/ kittens who stay in the house all the time will often not ask to go outside. Do not allow your cat/kitten to chew on house plants. Many house plants are poisonous, so move the plant out of reach until you are sure of its toxicity and whether or not your cat finds it enticing.
Check drawers, the refrigerator, closets, and the dryer before you close them! Being quick and curious, your Bengal just may have gone in to investigate or take a nap!
Remember, the more love and attention you shower on your kitten/cat, the more loving they become. Please contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing stories of your adventures with your new Wonderland Bengal!