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BENGAL KITTEN CARE

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First night home with your bengal kitten-

Set aside a private area, with a bed, food, and a litter box for your kitten. It doesn't have to be a whole room, but can be a quit corner. A cat kennel with a soft blanket in it helps. This will also be your kittens "safe" spot if he gets scared. Keep the kitten in this area if you leave or if you're not watching him. Even though he's already litter box trained, if a kitten goes too far from their box and they can't see it they will find a corner to use. Once the kitten has learned his way around the house you won't have to worry about keeping him near his box. If you have a large house I recommend temporarily having a couple of small litter boxes(the ones that only cost $2) especially if the kitty is following you room to room playing or you have an upstairs. Your cat will learn in just a few months where his box is and you can just keep one.  

 

Don't overwhelm the kitten on the first night with a bunch of visitors. Your kitten will already be stressed out because of the car ride and he will probably be missing his mommy, brothers, and sisters. It's normal for some kittens to cry for their mom for a few days after going to their new home. Just reassure the kitten that you are there for them and you will be their new mommy.  

Spending time with your bengal kitten-

Even though you kitten has already been socialized to people, he now needs to be socialized to you and his new home. The first few weeks in a kitten's life are the most important ones in terms of socializing and bonding with a human, and should be treated as a very precious time in your relationship. This is the time for cuddling and holding, playing gently, and talking to your kitten. Properly handled, he will associate these happy times with you and be a friend to you for life. Like clay in your hands, you can mold his personality, while at the same time, strengthening your own commitment to him to cherish him and care for him the rest of his life.

 

One important caution at this age: don't let your kitten start to associate your hands with a play toy. Doing so can develop into bad habits of scratching and biting fingers. Hands are for holding, stroking and gentle hugs; toys are for rough play.

Kitten proof your house-

Bengal kittens are inveterate snoops and their favorite toys might be harmful to them: things like the cords on blinds, electrical cords, or yummy (and toxic) plants to nibble. They can also do a certain amount of damage with their little needle claws by climbing curtains or your good furniture. Therefore a certain amount of cat proofing will be necessary.

Feeding your bengal kitten-

Kittens need twice the nutrients of an adult cat at this tender age. Make sure you only feed a kitten kibble that says "kitten" on the package. It's best to leave a bowl of kibble out all time and a bowl of fresh water. Bengals really really like their water fresh. Make sure to give them a new bowl of water every morning or they may drink out the sink or toilet! Cats should always be free fed. Unlike dogs they will not over eat. Depending on the cat and when they are spayed or neutered they will need to be switched to "adult" food at some point around 1 year old.  Talk with your vet and decide when it's best for your cat.

Feeding your bengal kitten raw meat??

Bengals do seem to crave meat more than other domestic cats. Some breeders feed a daily ration of very lean red beef in addition to their regular diet, and some feed only raw meat. Ordinary hamburger contains too much fat and can cause stomach upset. Ground round, ground sirloin, or beef hearts is well tolerated and very much enjoyed by Bengals.

If you are going to put your Bengal on a raw food diet please do your research and make sure you are adding things like Kitty Bloom to the meat so they get all the vitamins and minerals they need too. You can NOT just feed cats or dogs raw meat alone without adding the vitamins they need. 

If you are serving meat raw, you must take precautions!!! Raw meat can cause food poisoning in Bengals! Do not let it set at room temperature for very long, and remove whatever the cat doesn't eat after 20 minutes.  

You can cook unseasoned boneless chicken for your Bengal and they can have it by itself or mixed in with their dry or soft food.

Bengals LOVE chicken! We do feed our Bengals cooked chicken all the time.

Do's and Don'ts when feeding bengal cats and kittens

  • Don't feed your kitten dog food. Cats require taurine which is not contained in dog food. Without it, they can develop heart disease or go blind.

  • Don't feed your kitten table scraps, nor supplement his diet with milk (causes indigestion and diarrhea). You will encourage begging habits, and your kitten will fill up on foods which don't contain the nutrients he needs.

  • Don't feed your kitten liver, canned tuna, or other canned fish intended for humans. These foods can create an imbalance of vitamins A, D, and E, which can lead to serious conditions.

  • Do feed your kitten a well-balanced premium food specifically designed for kittens. These youngsters need more proteins for building strong bones and muscles, and more calories to keep up with their high energy levels than older cats. 

Items you will need for your bengal kitten-

Bengal kitten necessities

  • dry food(good brand)

  • high protein food and water bowls

  • cat toys

  • cozy bed

  • scratch post

  • litter box & scoop

  • litter

  • collar with ID tag

These are only the necessities for your bengal kitten. Go to our recommend bengal products page to see a list of the best bengal cat and kitten products the ourselves and our clients have tested out. 

Claw Trimming-

Claw Trimming & Scratching- Gently push on each toe to extend the claw and carefully trim off the sharp point. It’s better to trim less than more to avoid the vein that runs in each claw. This vein is red/pink in color. It’s very hard to see when they are little. Make sure you don't cut so far back that you hit this vein. If you do it will hurt the kitten and will likely bleed. Trimming should not become a battle. You may only be able to trim a few nails the first time and that's fine. I find it easiest to use infant nail clippers. 

Scratching posts and scratch training-

To keep you kitten from scratching furniture purchase 2 or more "sisal" scratching posts which are available everywhere. Sprinkle cat nip on the scratchers or use cat nip spray every few days while the kitten is small and it will attract them to it. I like to have one that's upright and one that is slanted or lays flat. Put them in the most busy area of your house since that's where your cat will be most often. If you see your kitten scratch your furniture clap you hands or yell "No No!" to startle them. Squirt bottles work well too. They will learn fast what they are allowed to scratch on.

Bengal kitten litter box training-

If you have a two story home, provide a litter box on each floor while the kitten is young. After the kitten gets older and is comfortable with the entire house and not so busy playing upstairs to think to go downstairs if it needs to use the bathroom, you can remove one of them. With a brand new kitten I usually have one main litter box and then buy 1-2 of the really small cheap one's at Walmart that cost $2. If your kitten is following you from room to room then it always has a box in sight and is less likely to have an accident. If the kitten can't see it's box it will very likely find a corner while it's young. You can slowly remove these as the kitten gets older. I was always down to one box by the time my kittens were 13 weeks old. We use Tidy Cat Non Clumping litter for our kittens. You may use clumping or non-clumping litter. We have to use non-clumping litter for the baby kittens incase they ingest it. After 9 weeks old this shouldn’t be an issue. Scoop the litter box often. Bengals don't like a dirty litter box. If you already have a cat when you get your Bengal do not make them share a box right away. Once it’s obvious that they are friends, then they can share a box.

New bengal kitten not eating?

Sometimes the stress from leaving their mom and siblings can cause a kitten to not want to eat when they first get to their new home. Even though they may be playing, purring, and seem happy they can be very stressed from the change. The best thing you can do to make sure your kitten is eating is offer them wet food a few hours after you get them home. If you warm it up just a tiny bit that will make it extra enticing and yummy for them. I recommend giving your kitten wet food every day for the first 2 weeks just to make sure they are eating well. This is also a great way to bond with your kitty because then they associate you with something they love! You can sit by them and pet them or talk to them while they eat. Expect to hear some crazy sounds. It’s a bengal thing. LOL.

Treats for bengal cats-

Please keep in mind that most people food is NOT good for your bengal. Chicken is their favorite and you can boil some chicken legs and feed them the meat and they will LOVE it!!! If you want to spoil your baby with a yummy treat give them chicken, wet cat food, or a high quality cat treat. Deli turkey meat is a great option if you don’t want to boil chicken. It has minimal seasoning and our babies love it! However, we make them work for it and give us a high five or do some other type of trick first!

Tips for teething bengal kittens-

Remember that your kitten will be teething off and on until he/she is about 8 months old. When they are teething they NEED to bite something that is appropriate for them to bite on. We use all kinds of cat toys, small stuffed animals, even plastic drinking straws. Keep some in each room, and when your kitten starts to bite, even in play, immediately give him/her a toy. If you have a kitten that is still biting please do this: When the kitten bites you grab them how their mother would carry them. It’s called “scruffing” a kitten. All you have to do is grab about an inch of the loose skin at the back of their neck and it will somewhat make them go limp. Then tell the kitten “NO!” while looking right at them. Hold them like this for about 5 seconds and then set them down and ignore them for about a min. It’s best for adults and older children only to do this.

Kitten crying-

Your new kitten will likely cry the first few nights they are with you. It will not be constant, but it will happen. Make sure to comfort and talk soothingly to them and reassure them that it's ok. They are in a strange place and missing their mom and siblings. Don't yell at them. This can really cause a lot of stress. This is usually a great time for you both to bond and for the kitten to learn to rely on you for companionship. This kitten will be looking at you as a mother figure since it no longer has it's mom. Please baby the kitten at first and spend as much time with them as possible so they will bond to you.

Toys for bengal kittens-

Be sure to use toys that are safe for the kitty. Nothing too small that they can choke on. Be very careful if you have small children’s toys laying around the house. Toys that have long strings should be used with supervision. Some Bengal kittens get VERY possessive over certain types of toys. It depends on the kitten as to what type of toy they would do this with. Feather toys and crinkle toys seem to be the most common. They will growl ferociously like a tiger if someone gets too close to their toy. I've never had a kitten bite while guarding a toy, just growl. It seems to be more of a game to them because all mine like to play tug of war with the toys while growling. I just want to make you aware if you have small children to tell them DO NOT try to take the toy out the kittens mouth, just incase! All kittens grow out of this quickly and half of them don't do it at all. It's hilarious to watch and hear all the crazy sounds they will make over a toy.

Leash training bengal cats-

Make sure you buy a walking vest for your cat if you plan on taking them on leash walks. First just have them get used to wearing it around the house. Then add the leash and encourage them to walk with you just like you would a puppy. Once they are completely comfortable then you can take them outside. Start out in a secure safe area like your backyard. When you go for walks ALWAYS carry your cat on the way out the door AND on your way back inside. Never let them go in or out the door on their own. Hopefully this will discourage them from trying to run out when they aren’t supposed to but there’s no guarantee. It completely depends on the cat. Once they have a taste of being outside some become obsessed about it. Keep this in mind before deciding to take them out or not. Never let you cat go outside unsupervised. It’s just not safe. Catios and outdoor enclosures also a great way to spend time outside.

Virus prevention-

Please DO NOT take you kitten outside, to public places(especially pet stores), or around ANY cats that don’t belong to you the first few weeks. They need to have their last shot so they are completely protected from any disease they could come in contact with. Even after their last shot, wait about 3 more weeks to give the vaccine time to be fully working. When you go to the vet do NOT let the people that work there take turns holding your kitten. There’s no telling what sick kitty they could have been holding right before you got there. Vets should be wiping down exam tables before letting your kitten touch the table. But no one there sanitizes the shirts they are wearing which is why I would tell them you prefer them not to be holding and passing around your new kitten. Blame it on me and tell them I advised you not to let anyone hold your new kitten at the vet clinic. The next time you go after they have had that last shot you should be ok to let people hold your baby. Also always ask them to wipe down the exam table in front of you before you set your kitten on it. Do not let you kitten jump down and touch the floor of the vet clinic at any time.

How to prevent bad behavior-

If your cat/kitten is doing something they should not be you can yell "NO!" very loud and clap your hands loudly too. This will usually stop the behavior. Squirt bottles also work well. If you cat/kitten is jumping on a counter, getting into your plants, etc. Squirt them with water and they will start to associate the behavior with something they don’t like. If you feed your bengal from your plate you should expect them to constantly be on your counters and trying to steal food even from right off your plate! I personally NEVER feed any of my cats from our plates so I don’t have any issues with this. I highly recommend you do the same with your kitty. Also be careful when thawing frozen meat. Some kitties will never bother it and some will drag an entire chicken out the sink and onto the floor! We always thaw meat where our kitties can’t get to it just in case.

Bengal kitten sounds-

Bengals make a variety of interesting sounds. It’s very common, especially when they are kittens, for bengals to make funny sounds while eating AND using the litter box. One of the sounds you will often hear while they are eating sounds similar to "yum, yum, yum."

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