Why does a Bengal look so huge and when I ask how much it weighs it is about 14 lbs, not more? Well, I have not seen any X rays to prove this, but rumor has it that the Asian Leopard Cat has an extra 1-2 vertebra in its back. Some of the males tend to have these extra vertebra in their back so they are longer. They are also a sturdy, muscular cat so they appear very large.
What is the difference in a Bengal and an Ocicat? We could write a book on this one. One of the simplest answers and one I use a lot is that the Bengal has Wild Cat Blood in it, and the Ocicat is purely domestic. (Supposedly and to a certain extent). The spots are different, the head type is different, the colors are different. There are however many similarities. Both are muscular, healthy, playful loving cats. They are high maintenance and require a substantial amount of attention from their owners. They are greeters to visitors, good with children and other animals such as dogs. They will however consider a hamster or a bird to be food. They both can be trained to walk with a halter and leash. They both like water if exposed to it at an early age, and will stomp around in the shower with you, play in their water dish to drive you to distraction. Some will climb in the kids bath with them.
Why would I want to spend that kind of money on an Ocicat or a Bengal? Good question. Impress your visitors? yes. Pride of owning something so beautiful. yes. But more because of the love they return in spades. I have known more men than you can imagine who believe they are only "dog people" and they fall in love with their Bengal or Ocicat. The cat will not let you do otherwise, as it gives you so much love. Our kittens are handled and loved from the first day they are born, so they enjoy the touch and company of humans. Most people say once they have been owned by an Ocicat or a Bengal that they will never have any other kind of cat again! But I suppose each breeder hears that. My customers call me up to bend my ear about the latest escapades of their babies. (kittens)
How are bengal cats with children? Bengal cats are loving and get along very well with children. Our bengal cats have been well handled before they leave our cattery and are friendly. Small children should always be supervised with kittens and cats. Bengal cats also get along very well with dogs and are open to forming friendships with dogs.
What types of bengal cats are there? The typical bengal cat is a spotted cat and is brown. The color brown covers a lot of territory in the bengal breed. Browns come tinted red, tinted yellow, and just plain brown. Also, there are marble bengal cats. We do not breed to get marbles, but people like them. Besides brown, bengal come in snow, silver, and blue. Silver and Snow bengals can be shown in championship classes, blue bengals can not. The silver and snows come in both spotted and marble varieties. The typical bengal is a spotted cat and brown is the typical color.
Why purchase your bengal kitten from DonaMae Cattery? We are veterinarian inspected, and people inspected. Each visitor gets a tour of the cattery and the cats. We are proud of what we are doing, and open to suggestions. Like most breeders we lose money every year. This is a hobby and a labor of love and a passion. There is no other reason for doing it. We go to 1-2 shows a year, that is all we can manage. That way we keep up with where the breed is going, what changes are being made, etc. I buy the best cats I can find and give them the best food I can afford, with lots of love thrown in.
We do as much rescue work as we can, however we only take purebred cats from our breeds. We are a no kill shelter, (I can't even kill a bug, I sweep them out the door). I believe too many feral and domestic cats are allowed to breed indiscriminately, but that has nothing to do with our purebred show cats. They are actually considered endangered. So many restrictions are being placed on breeders in some states. I have had some buyers tell me they couldn't find an ocicat in their part of the country, let alone their state.
Our kittens are friendly. We handle our kittens a lot. Each day they have their little ears checked, their tummies touched, little paws handled, they are snuggled and babied. We added a sitting room on to our bedroom, and they spend the first 8 wks of their lives there, romping across our bed and our heads!! We want them to be friendly and open to people. A kitten that is frightened and runs from people is a kitten that needs handling and if enough handling is not done while the kitten is young it may not ever make a good pet. This is why we have limited our number of kittens produced. This means sometimes buyers must wait for a kitten. LIving in our bedroom also means I keep a stern eye on their litter habits. By about 3-4 wks they are using the litter regularly.
Our kittens have had the shots appropriate to their age when they leave us.
Does the bengal breed have any special grooming or nutritional requirements?
Good food is required as the bengal is a muscular, active and high energy cat. I refer you to Elizabeth Hodgkins book on cats. She is a vetinarian in Calif that has done extensive research on cat nutrition and has worked for the pet food companies. She reccomends a raw diet, with some canned if necessary, and no dry food. She says that is why we are having so many diabetic cats by about age 8. Cats are carnivors with a short gut, that is not able to handle a hi carb diet. Add a variety of vitamins, minerals, prozyme, calcium, super blue green algae, and L-lysine.
We will just continue to follow our passion and our vision, because that is what it is. No one in their right mind would choose to change the kitty litters, scrub pans and areas with disinfectant (heavy grunt work), give the medications, do the paperwork, deal with the phone calls and questions, etc. if it was not a passion.
We are participating in the development of a new breed, the Savannah cat, and consider this a privilege as well as a challenge.