Tuesday 18 October 2011

Bengal cats everything about purchase

The title describes a book for sale on Amazon.

In my humble opinion you don't need to buy a book about buying a Bengal cat or taking care of a Bengal cat. This is because taking care of a Bengal cat is no different to taking care of any other cat and there is a pile of free information on the Internet about that. There is lots of information about that on this site alone!

As to buying a Bengal cat, I would prepare a series of pertinent questions primarily about cat health and telephone three local Bengal cat breeders. I would make them local so that you can visit them. By local I would mean within reasonable driving distance. Judging by the answers I would visit the best one.
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Are you registered with a cat association?
  • Do you have champion cats? (cat show champions)
  • What is your policy on cat breeding? Do you breed for health as well as appearance?
  • Do you check your cats for HCM? (HCM is a heart disease hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that can affect Bengal cats).
  • What filial are you buying? SBT cats are 4th generation from the wild - remember that the Bengal cat is a wildcat hybrid. Price follows filial and quality. Quality means the cat follows the cat association breed standard. Prices are in the order of $500 (2011) but will vary depending on quality.
  • These are purebred cats aren't they? (some breeders are back street breeders and are not breeding purebred cats). You don't want a Bengal cat mix as these are moggies.
You'll need to visit to inspect the conditions of the cattery. Most are hobby breeders so it will be a person's home as well as a breeding establishment. But does it seem smart and clean? Are there untoward odors?  Are the kittens confident and coming up to you without fear? Do the kittens look healthy? If one doesn't and you ask what is wrong what kind of answer does the cat breeder give? Is it plausible? Brushing off an eye infection with a casual remark is not good enough. Personally I would not proceed if one kitten was ill. If one is ill the others might be ill because many viral diseases are very contagious.

On the phone before visiting I would ask if she can provide a couple of recommendations from other customers. I would go on the Internet to check out the website; is it professional looking and does it work well? Search for complaints posted online. Sometimes there are discussions on forums about certain breeders.

Ask for a copy of the contract of purchase up front in the post so you can study it (it might be online on their website which would be a good sign incidentally). Make sure that all the necessary health checks are carried out by the seller before purchase. These should be in the contract. I would consider having your vet check out the health of the selected cat. A binding contract should be subject to that check. In other words the contract becomes effective provided the cat passes a health check by your vet. That might be a difficult one to get the breeder to agree to but a sick cat can cost you thousands of dollars or pounds over time. This is because you will become instantly attached to your new cat and will want to help. Some illnesses are serious and prolonged and difficult to cure.

The kitten that you select should ideally be confident, bright eyed and not frightened of you. You might find that the kitten selects you. That is what happened to me. Although I wasn't buying a Bengal cat but adopting a unwanted moggie!

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