Bengal Breeding is an inexact science. We have listed the important questions to ask your Bengal breeder. If you do not buy a cat from Painted Cats it will be helpful for you to have a bengal buyer checklist when you find a Bengal breeder. Bengals cats have more health problems than other cat breeds. A breeder has to do much testing to ensure that you get a healthy cat. If a breeder does not test their breeding cats you will risk getting a cat which will have health problems or die early. If the breeder does not want to answer questions, or is evasive, you should find another breeder. The Bengal cat's price should not be your only consideration. You may spend thousands in veterinarian care and testing if you purchase from the wrong breeder.
A health guarantee should never be a substitute for testing. A health guarantee is no comfort if a beloved pet dies because the breeder would not test the breeding cats? In most cases you will be offered a cat as a replacement, but a replacement cannot take the place of a beloved pet. As a rule you should buy from breeders who test for HCM, PK Deficiency, FeLV, and PRA. Good Bengal breeders also have a consistent worming protocol. Good breeders will have playful and socialized cats. Having a CFA or TICA registered cattery is still not a guarantee that the breeder is a good one, but it is a start.
Reputable breeders have a contract between the buyer and the seller of the kitten. When you get your Bengal you will likely fall in love. You will want your Bengal to live a good long life.
The contract is a legal document which spells out how you must treat your Bengal, and what penalties apply if you violate the agreement. The contract also provides you with health guarantees. The breeder and pet contracts are available on our kitten page.
Below you will find a list: if you can check off each one of the things on the list, it is a good bet you will have a healthy happy Bengal.
1. Is the kitten Internal Parasite free-TTF, Coccidia, Giardia, Tape &, round worms-ask the breeder about their parasite protocol. Each breeder should have a course of medications that they use to worm the kittens.
2. Is the kitten free of external parasites (fleas ticks ear mites)?
3. Does the breeder have recent HCM screens on parents? There is no other acceptable test at this time other than an echocardiogram by a licensed cardiologist.
4. Are the kitten’s parents FeLV/FIV tested (feline Leukemia)?
5. Is the kitten Virus Free (herpes) and conjunctivitis free eyes and clear nose? If the kitten is sneezing, this is a problem. Chlamydia or herpes is a concern.
6. Is the kitten or are the kitten’s parents PK deficiency Screened and PRA screened? (PK is a very serious kind of cat anemia and PRA is blindness) These are DNA tests through U.C. Davis in California.
7. Has the kitten had its first shots administered?
8. Has the kitten been checked by a licensed veterinarian? The breeder should present you with a veterinarian report.
9. Does the breeder offer a health guarantee against genetic defects?
10. Is the kitten well socialized? Socialized kittens do not hiss at you and are not shy. (Shy is a code word for un-socialized).
11. How old is your kitten? If the kitten is less than 10 weeks old you are likely dealing with a questionable breeder.
12. Look around the breeder's home. Does the breeder's home appear clean and without foul odors? What is the condition of the breeding cats? If you are not allowed to see the breeding cats or visit the home, it should be cause for concern .