Due to their wild heritage, early socialization and a smooth transition into their new homes is essential for hybrid cats!
What To Do and Not To Do
To help you to ease your kitten’s transition into your home, a strange, new environment, we have compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts for your kitten’s first couple of weeks in his/her new home.
Be calm and quiet when you bring your kitten into your home.
Place the carrier on the floor and let your kitten come out on his/her own.
Encourage your kitten to come out of the carrier for the first time by gently coaxing him/her out with a feather teaser-toy.
Keep your kitten in a small room when he or she first arrives. A small area is kitten-size. It will help him or her to more readily “get the lay of the land.” After a day or two, allow him/her a little more run of the house.
Sit or lie on the floor at your kitten’s level to play and socialize.
Place your kitten in the litter box several times during the first few of days after arrival.
Allow your kitten to sleep with you after the first couple of days and after he or she has a firm grasp on the location of the litter box. Place the litter box in the kitten’s bedroom and in the living room(if that is where the family normally gather). Our bengals are used to being in a room with at least one litter box in each corner, with their dry food and water in the middle of the room, within eyeshot of their dry food bowl and water bowl. Do not place the litter box in the laundry room or another floor of the house -the kitten will not find it! The more litter box, the better, at least for the first month while the kitten adjusts to its new home.
Slowly introduce the kitten to your other pets.
Make sure your kitten knows where his or her food and water is kept and check to see he/she is eating and drinking enough.
A 30 minute timeout in a small room, such as a bathroom, may be required several times a day to force your kitten to stop playing long enough to eat and drink.
Very important: Please call us with any and all questions. We will do our best to advise you regarding any situation.
Give your kitten full run of the house immediately.
Move the litter box for the first couple of weeks: it will confuse your kitten. When/if you find it necessary to move it, place your kitten in it several times to establish its location.
Introduce too many people to your kitten at first. It can overwhelm your baby. After he/she is comfortable and confident in your home, gradually introduce new people.
Leave a down comforter on your bed for the first few weeks if your kitten is sleeping with you. A down comforter may feel like a litter box under his/her little paws and, consequently, may be used as one.
Take your kitten outside, even on a harness, until your kitten has had all of his or her vaccinations.
We wean our kittens onto a raw, ground chicken diet, supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Once our kittens are eating their raw chicken well, Purina Pro Plan, Chicken formula, is mixed into the raw at an increasing rate, until the kittens are exclusively eating the Purina Pro Plan. At all times, our kittens have access to Royal Canin Mother and Babycat formula dry food. Kittens eating primarily wet food tend to drink very little. Because moisture content in wet food is so high, not much water is required.
Ten to Twelve Weeks Old
At ten to twelve weeks of age, when our kittens are ready to leave our cattery, their diet is Purina Pro Plan, Chicken formula, twice daily. Most have begun to nibble on the dry food, although they may not be eating sufficient dry food to sustain themselves. Please be advised that kittens have very sensitive stomachs make sure that you change out the food gradually from what they are fed here, over a week or more. Yours baby should eat kitten food for the first 12 months, since kitten food has the extra calories and nutritional for your kitten to grow strong. After 12 months, you can switch to adult cat food (again, gradually).
At Home With You
Once home with you, we recommend continuing Purina Pro Plan feedings twice daily for several weeks. If you plan to change to a different brand of high quality wet food, do it gradually, mixing it in with the Purina Pro Plan at an increasing rate.
As Your Kitten Grows
As your kitten grows, increase the amount of food offered at each meal. When first arriving home, kittens will generally eat a quarter of a can per feeding. If they lick their platter clean within a couple of minutes, you can offer them more. If they don’t eat everything you gave them, offer a little less at the next feeding.
Other Things to Know About Feeding
Each kitten converts to dry food at a different rate. Some leave our cattery eating a considerable amount of dry food, soon choosing to eat strictly dry. Others will take months to convert to dry food, thinking it’s the end of the world if they don’t get their spoonful of wet food each morning.
If your kitten does not seem be very interested in dry food, we recommend mixing the dry into their wet food at an increasing rate to force conversion to the dry food. Long term, we recommend their diet consists mainly of dry food as it’s nutritional and calorie content is much higher than wet food which is 90% water.
Some people ask about feeding a raw diet to their hybrid cat. This is certainly your choice. Be advised, however, a raw diet requires a great deal more effort, plus added dietary supplements. Raw food diets for pets are available in the marketplace. Some individuals choose to make the diet themselves. To make a balanced ration which meets the calcium-phosphorus ratio necessary for a feline diet requires knowledge most people lack. So we recommend that if you choose to feed raw food, you do it in combination with a high quality dry food. When feeding in this manner, it is important the raw food be fed in limited amounts so your cat is not omitting the dry food.
Socialization, Training and Discipline. Bengals are very smart, but they are also very active, so you need to train them early on, to prevent destructive behavior. Do not encourage your kitten to play rough or to “play bite” and this will carry on to adulthood. If you have children, teach them not to play rough with the kitten, because when your kitten is grown up, he will play too rough. Be firm with your kitten from the very beginning, so they know what behavior is acceptable, and what behavior is not. Reward them with treats for good behavior.
Our Guarantee. Our guarantee only covers your Bengal kitten. If you have a multi-cat household, and your other feline(s) comes down with health issues after your kitten arrives, we are not responsible for any veterinary expenses for your other feline(s), as we are not responsible for their health. Similarly, if your Bengal kitten comes down with health issue(s) after exposure to your existing feline(s), we will be responsible only if the issues are congenital issues. You need to make sure that your existing felines are up to date on all vaccinations and have been regularly checked by your veterinarian prior to introducing them to your new kitten. This also applies to any other pets you may have in your household.
Please make allowances. Although our kittens are socialized, it is still upsetting for them to be in strange surroundings. Please give him/her time to adjust. Adjustment could take as much as two to four weeks, before he/she is comfortable. We cannot predict how our kittens will act when he/she leaves the familiar environment of our cattery. Also, your kitten may also have some minor upsets from the stress of moving (particularly if they flew by air or have been in a car for several hours). Some kittens may not eat and/or have a bowel movement for the first two days. At a minimum, be sure that your kitten is drinking and try and encourage your kitten to eat when she/she first arrives. But, if your kitten starts vomiting, has diarrhea (or blood in his/her stool), sneezes, has a runny nose, acts lethargic or has no appetite, please take your kitten to the vet immediately. Please contact us immediately if you have concerns. We cannot help you if we do not know about the issue. We want to be kept up to date on our kittens’ health and well-being. By letting us know about the issue, you can also help us improve our health protocols and our breeding program. We may not be able to help you if you wait a week, two weeks, etc. before telling us that your kitten has had health or behavior issues. It’s better to tell us right away so that we can help figure out a solution.