Should my breeder have a contract?
Yes, your breeder should have a contract. A reputable breeder will offer a health
guarantee which can range up to a few years. A Contract is part of the written
standard of Ethics with RICA.
Should I visit the Cattery?
A reputable will usually allow a visit to the cattery which should be in/near their
home. They may not allow you near newborn kittens who are very susceptible
to disease. You should not visit more than one cattery in a day in order to avoid
spread of disease.
What should I look for in the Cattery?
Cats should be happy and socialized. If the males are keep outside then they
should come right up to the enclosure and meow to be petted and allow the
owner to pick them up. The house or cattery should be clean with no horribly
offending odors. Keep in mind, however, you are in a house of cats and some
slight smell might be present. The litter boxes are clean, the cats have kitty
towers, toys, food and clean water. Ensure that any cats in any enclosed space
are at least 6x10 areawise with 10x10 minimum preferred.
Will my breeder ask me to spay/neuter?
Yes, your breeder should ask you to spay/neuter if not practicing early spay
neuter. This should be part of the contract.
Should my breeder show their cats?
This question for me is an unquestionable YES. Cat shows are where you learn
how your program's progression is in comparison with the breed standard.
Through shows it is also how you evolve the breed in conjunction with other
breeders. The Bengal Breed is still evolving and has come a long way since it's
beginning. Showing is in indication that the breeder is committed to producing
high quality kittens. Showing is expensive & usually if they aren't showing, they
are just looking to make a quick buck.
Will I have to put down a deposit?
Most breeders require an advance deposit and breeders who practice early
spay & neuter may require advance payment before the kitten sees the vet for
the procedure as it would not be done to a kitten going to a breeder or non alter
show home. Many times placing a deposit before a litter is born is the only way
to ensure you have the right to a kitten. Just be sure to ask in just what
circumstances the breeder will or will not refund your deposit, such as should
the litter fail, you simply change your mind because of a personal reason or an
unforeseen expense has incurred, or the color/gender was not delivered.
Usually a breeder will only refund a deposit if they are unable to provide said
kitten to you or other circumstances that are agreed to when you place your
Should I ask lots of questions?
Yes, Yes, YES! We breeders tend to love to talk about our cats, and you should
ask us plenty of questions. Questions such as what are the genetic issues with
the breed? Every breed has their own problems. Bengals are considered a
healthy breed but your breeder should be screening yearly for HCM after a
certain age 1-2 years, and should be testing for PK Deficiency (genetic can be
tested at birth but usually verified through the two parents). Please see the
about section of our site for more information on Bengal Health.
The reputable breeder spends time with their cats & kittens. They are
concerned with health and temperament and insist on being informed if
any health concerns arise. They will be available to help with any
questions you may have on the breed and should be well informed. A good
breeder will also attend shows and seminars to educate themselves on
the progression of the breed in order to evaluate their own program.
CHOOSE YOUR BREEDER WISELY
Taking care of a pet is a huge responsibility. You could have this kitten for
16-20 years. Are you prepared for it? Could you think of any situation where
you wouldn't want a pet, think about having to move our of your apartment,
having a new baby, or your financially strapped? While it is an extremely small
percentage of pedigreed cats that end up in a shelter, it is a sad case when they
do. Please always notify your breeder first and foremost, chances are they can
It is also your responsibility to know your state laws. Bengals are a domestic
cat but some may consider them Hybrids still due to the use of such
terminology among breeders and may be illegal or restricted by license in
some states. See the link below.
TICA Looking for a Kitten?
Determining the Reputability of a Breeder
Questions about Spaying & Neutering
TICA Find a Breeder
TIBCS Breeder Directory