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In 2023 we were very pleased to be chosen to do an interview about bengal cats for Catster Magazine. Below is part of our interview. Catster is a great resource for all things related to cats! 

belle ami bengals featured in catster magazine
caster magazine belle ami bengals interview
caster magazine bengal article
little girls holding bengal kittens

Our cattery is Belle Ami Bengals. "Belle Ami" means "beautiful friend" in French. I think I couldn't have picked a more appropriate name for our cattery since Bengals are indeed beautiful and wonderful companions! They are unlike any other cat I've ever seen. Always affectionate and social, always ready to play, extremely intelligent, and they form such a strong bond with people. It's really amazing!!! 


We are located in Kenner, Louisiana which is right outside of New Orleans. My name is Melissa Hardy and I  have been breeding Bengal cats since 2009, so over thirteen years and counting!! I absolutely love love love this cat breed! I'm so happy to have provided kittens to many families who completely agree with me that Bengals are such amazing cats!


All of our kittens are raised INSIDE our home with our family. My twin daughters Bailey and Blair just adore kittens so much! Their job is to help by playing with them and holding them non stop. The kittens are very social and affectionate because of the constant attention they receive. If our babies aren't taking a cat nap... someone is playing with them!


The kittens are born in our special kitten nursery room that's inside our home. This way the moms have plenty of privacy and a little bit less noise, unlike the rest of our house. LOL! I can also sit with them or sleep right next to them all night, ready to assist if needed. After the kittens arrive I can constantly check on them throughout the day and make sure everyone is eating well and gaining weight. My girls have full access to the kittens all the time and they go in and pet the babies and moms whenever they like.


Our newest addition to the family, Brooklynn, absolutely loves spending time with the cats and kittens.

My oldest twin daughters have been raised with Bengals since they were infants and have helped me with them since they were toddlers by socializing them. Even though they may have not realized it way back then. They are trustworthy and very careful around new born kittens. They never pick the kittens up until I tell them they are old enough for it. When the babies still have their eyes closed they will go pet them and the moms. This is so helpful in socializing the kittens. The babies are so used to being pet that at a very young age many of them will start to roll over for belly rubs or purr like crazy. It's very sweet.  


Around 3 weeks old kittens become very curious about their surroundings. At this age we start to take them from their mom for short periods of time a few times a day to sit in our laps. This is a critical period for them to spend time with people and learn not to be afraid of them. If they don't learn to trust and bond with people at this age, in my opinion, they will never be as social as cats that do. We make sure to spend extra time with them at this age. They are also starting to walk around so we keep a small litter box near by. Bengals are very smart they copy what they see their mom doing. They immediately start to use the litter box on their own at around 3-4 weeks of age. 


As the kittens are growing the amount of time they spend with my girls gets longer and longer. If it's a weekend or there's no school, and they have started eating solid food, they will spend the whole day with them. Doing this makes our kittens extremely sweet and outgoing. They absolutely adore my girls and love being around people because of all the attention they get from our family.

The kittens are very used to house hold noises like the TV, vacuum, blow dryer, screaming children, husbands yelling at football games on tv, washing machines, etc. They are also used to cats other than their mom. We always have a few our our queens in our house with us and they will visit with the kittens. We rotate our breeding girls from our queen house to inside our house so that everyone gets to spend time with the family. This also helps separate the hormonal more easily agitated pregnant girls from the rest of the pack. 

One of our retired gold colored girls, Abby, can be seen in many of our videos licking the kittens and caring for them even though they aren't hers! LOL. We get comments about what a good mom she is to her babies and I respond that they aren't hers and she just loves to take care of babies! 

Socialization is so very important!!! It takes an enormous amount of time, but it really makes a life long difference in the Bengals personality. It's even more important than those leopard spots! When choosing a breeder please take your time and choose one that you know really focuses on socialization of their kittens. 

We have two very helpful pages on our website for anyone looking to adopt a bengal kitten. How to Choose a Bengal Breeder and Avoid Bengal Scams both have so much good information on them. I encourage everyone to read both. I'm very happy to say that over the years I've gotten around 30 emails (and counting) from people saying how glad they were that they found the page about how to avoid Bengal scams because they were just about to send money to someone that they were now convinced was a scammer. Unfortunately, I've also gotten just as many emails saying they wish they had seen that page before they got scammed. The page has very valuable easy tips you can use to make sure you don't get scammed or get an unsocialized kitten. Scammers are terrible evil people. If I can prevent someone from getting scammed by providing information, and taking the extra time to watermark all of our pictures and videos, then that's what I'm going to do. Every single time! 

Ok, rant over.... back to these adorable kitten! LOL! 


Our kittens are very spoiled too! We have tons of toys all over the house, scratching posts, hideaways, climbing trees, window perches, shelves to climb on, hammocks to nap in, and tunnels for them to entertain themselves with all day. 


We raise our kittens on a diet of the best quality, extra high protein, grain free, corn and soy free, by-product free, filler free kitten food. We also use high quality wet food and cooked chicken to ensure that they are gaining weight well and arrive to your home in optimal health.  


All of our kittens receive their first TWO sets of shots, are microchipped, have a complete health and fecal exam by our vet, are wormed four times, use the litter box, and are guaranteed socialized before they go to their new homes.  


Kittens from our cattery also come with a FIVE year health guarantee. This is rarely done by other breeders. Most come with the standard 1 year health guarantee and sometimes you might see someone offer a 2 year guarantee. I know our kittens are healthy that's why I offer a 5 year guarantee. They also come with their TICA registration papers, extremely detailed kitten care information packet, pedigree, boutique style gift bag with lots of our favorite kitten toys, one month of Revolution, their own mommy and me blanket that smells like their mom and will comfort them at their new home, lifetime help and support for any questions or concerns you may have, contract, and their complete health records with recommended shot schedule.  

Our cattery has tested negative for all parasites, Feline Leukemia, FIV, PK Deficiency, PRA, and HCM by a licensed cardiologist.


We sell top quality pet Bengal kittens, breeder kittens, and show kittens. However, you will never see me list a kitten on our website as a "breeder" kitten. We are very careful about selling breeder kittens because most people have no clue what breeding entails, how hard it truly is, and how expensive it is. People also aren't prepared to spend the money on the proper set up so that the breeding cats must have a comfortable happy life. Which is why I rarely sell a kitten with breeding rights. 


We specialize in breeding brown spotted tabby Bengals, also called brown rosetted Bengals or leopard spotted Bengals. We also breed snow spotted tabby Bengals, including the seal lynx, seal mink, and seal sepia colors. We focus on contrast, clear coats, large defined cloud and donut rosettes, highly glittered pelts, that "wild" Bengal look, and of course above all, sweet temperaments and exceptional health! 

The brown spotted Bengals come in a very wide range of brown colors. Cool browns can resemble silver bengals. Warm browns have a golden colored coat. And then there's some that have such a light creamy background that some people mistake them for snows. Contact us if you need more info about Bengal colors.


Our breeding program is kept small enough so that we have plenty of time to care for and play with all the kittens and adults, but we have enough queens to usually have new litters of kittens born year round. 


All of our breeding cats are considered our pets and are loved unconditionally. None of our cats are kept in small cages. We spend time with them, lavish them with affection, play with them, give them special treats, and spend and enormous amount of money on them because they deserve the best of everything!


Our queens stay in our house with us or in our luxurious two story "queen house" built especially for them with all the fancy Bengal amenities. If they are about to give birth they will be kept in our nursery room in an extra spacious enclosure so that we can monitor them and the new babies and keep them safe, since we all know cats love to move kittens around and put them in places that are not what we would consider ideal.    


Our boys each have their own enclosure completely shaded by our big oak trees at the back of our yard. They have a gorgeous view of the yard, our back porch, and all the squirrels and birds. The boys enclosures are high up off the ground on a deck so they never touch the ground. Each enclosure has three sides and a roof for extra protection and doors on the front that can be opened and shut for additional protection from cold or bad weather. They have complete shelter from the elements, nice cosy houses they can climb into, sub zero heaters for cold weather, fans that come on automatically if it gets warm outside, misting systems for extra warm weather, hammocks to lounge in, climbing perches, and plenty of toys. They are very happy and comfortable.  


All of our Bengals are carefully selected for the best traits, pedigrees, temperaments, and are from Championship blood lines. Our breeding cats are all covered in glitter! This ensures that all of their kittens will also be glittered! If you don't know about Bengal glitter use the link to see pictures of it, learn what it is, and why it makes Bengals so unique and special. 

Please take a look at our Facebook or Youtube pages so you can see all the videos we post weekly of our beautiful kittens playing with our daughters. You can also see adorable pictures of our cats on our Instagram account. They are very happy, very healthy, and so sweet and lovable!

Please contact us about shipping options if you live out of our state. We ship kittens all the time time and have never any issues. We can also meet you at the New Orleans airport. 


If you are interested in purchasing a healthy, beautiful, quality Bengal kitten please contact us for bengal kitten pricing. Our email address is but using the contact page will insure you don't get lost in my junk mail.      

We would love to help you find the little leopard kitten of your dreams! 

Special thanks to Mrs. Gene Ducote owner of Gogees Cattery, who was instrumental in the development of the Bengal breed, for mentoring me and always giving me such good advice. It was an honor to have owned two Bengals from her cattery and I'm thrilled to be able to continue the Gogees bloodline that she worked so hard to achieve. I hope that with the knowledge I've acquired from her I can continue to produce Bengals as beautiful as hers were! Learn more about Gogees contributions to the bengal breed. 

Our Mission

To breed high quality healthy Bengal kittens with exceptional color and contrast, large rosettes, wild appearance, highly glittered coats, loving dispositions, and lots of purr-sonality! We give our bengal kittens extra love and attention in order to socialize them for their new families and because we LOVE our babies! 


Our family minus our newest addition Brooklynn!


If you love learning about bengal cats check out our bengal cat blog!

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