Choosing a Breeder

DO YOUR RESEARCH! I cannot stress this enough.

I spent hours upon hours researching breeders, going through websites, learning everything I could about the Bengal breed and the people producing them. Communication is key. If you find a breeder with beautiful cats and navigable/current website, email them. Ask them questions. Do they respond consistently and are they as interested in who you are as you are in obtaining their cats?

A good breeder cares not only about the beauty of their cats but also the quality of their health and temperament, as well as where they are going to be placed.

Equally as important as the breeder is researching the breed. Different breeds are prone to different temperaments and lifestyles. If you want a lazy lap cat or are not able to dedicate much time to giving your cat one-on-one attention and play time, a Bengal is NOT for you.

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Here's a list of questions to consider asking before committing to a breeder:

 •  How was the kitten raised - in a cage or under foot?
            The more socialization, the better.
 •  At what age do you place your kittens in new homes?
            12 weeks is ideal.
 •  How long is the health guarantee and what is covered?
 •  What if things don't work out - what is the "return" policy?
            Heaven forbid this should happen, but it's still good to know.
 •  Vaccinations - what has been given, when was it given and when is the next shot due?
 •  Have both parents been tested for Feline Leukemia and HCM and are they negative?
 •  What are some known potential issues with this breed?
            Even if you've done the research yourself (and you should have!!!), you want to make sure your breeder is both informed and honest with you.
 •  What is the feeding schedule? What food is the kitten used to? What kind of litter is the kitten or cat used to?
            You want to make the transition as comfortable as possible by providing the kitten what he/she is used to. If you decide to switch products, do it gradually to avoid any digestive or behavioral issues.
 •  Has the kitten been trained to a scratching post? What kind is it drawn to most?
            A kitten with adequate scratching surfaces is more likely to leave your furniture alone.
 •  What do you think is special about this breed? How did you get into breeding them?
            The back story can tell you a lot about a breeder.
 •  What is the personality of this specific kitten?
            Shy? Outgoing? Snuggly? Meeting the kitten before taking him/her home is ideal.
 •  Health History: Has the litter been healthy? Are all the individual kittens healthy? Is the mother healthy?

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A good way to start your search is by making a list of potential breeders and paring it down by pouring through their websites taking in the information, pictures, and feel. Going by most convenient location is not always the best option. Be willing to travel. Mika and Mochi were well worth a 5 hour drive to Everett.

Good luck with finding a new addition (or two!) to your family.

If you aren't sure where to start and it's a Bengal (or two!) you're after, I can happily recommend Dreamquest Bengals. The Trnkas are wonderful people with beautiful, healthy cats.