• marla@lonestarbengals.com
  • 817-602-4807

Lone Star Bengal Cats

4 the scrutinized bengal enthusiast!

Located At

Dallas – Fort Worth Texas Area Quality Bengal Kittens & Cats

FAQ’s

Bengal temperament like?
Much of this depends on their environment and how they are brought up, but generally Bengals are very social. They like to greet people that come into your home, snuggle under blankets (especially if there is a lap to snuggle on), they like to talk to you and tell you about their day, play in the dish water and bubbles when you are washing dishes, drink from the tap, watch (or join) you in the shower, play fetch, keep you company in the bathroom, shred toilet paper, play with anything small (elastics, bottle caps, pipe cleaners), go for walks, and much more….. Bengals don’t typically like to be picked up and carried around but do like to snuggle on their own terms.
Domestic Bengals
They can range in size, color and personality. Bengals can be light in color like those of the snows (Seal Lynx (tabby) Point, Seal Mink (tabby), Seal Sepia (tabby) they can be colder in color like the charcoals and the silvers or warm in color like the browns. Pattern can also vary from the swirly patterned marble, but they can have spots shaped like arrowheads, filled in completely or big and bold rosettes. Their coat can also come with a beautiful glittery shine that glistens in the sunlight. Bengals can also have larger round eyes that come in various colors like beautiful greens, golds and brilliant blues. Their noses are a rustic brick red outlined by black, a characteristic very similar to their wild ancestors. Their ears typically are smaller and more rounded rather than have a triangular pointed shape. Their tail is also not long, thin and pointed, rather medium length, held lower with a blunt end. Males typically are muscular, long, lean and dense weighing around 10-15 lbs while females who are also muscular, are on the smaller side at 7-12 lbs.
Male or Female
Bengal cats tend to be intelligent, high energy, outgoing, confident, and friendly cat. That does not change based on gender. If you have specific, personality wishes, it is important to note them in your application and while you are picking your kitten, so we can help match you with the kitten that is right for your family.

How does this apply to picking the gender of a kitten? If you are looking for a cat who will be extremely loyal and devoted but perhaps a bit more independent, you may want to pick a female. Females often bond deeply and love at a level you may not have experienced from an animal before. But a female may have a higher tendency to pick a person and be that person’s cat. Females are more instinctively territorial as their instinct is to chase out any females that are not related.

Male cats instinctively use more body language signals to communicate to other cats that they mean no harm, easy going and loyal. Males will be less reactive to meeting new animals and is more likely to interact with the family indiscriminately, you may be better off with a male. For people wanting to harness train, the male instincts lend themselves better to meeting strange animals while out on a walk. But this does not mean that females cannot be harness trained.

Do Bengals need playmates?
Bengals are extremely intelligent animals that thrive on interaction with not only their human companions but also with other animals. We highly recommend that you have a playmate available for your bengal to provide the social stimulation that you are unable to and to help avoid boredom and behavioural issues. A dog or cat is best. If you don’t already have a pet before adopting a bengal from us, please consider adopting from a shelter. That said, we do understand that it is not possible in some situations to have a second animal.
Are Bengals hypoallergenic?

In terms of what the actual definition of hypoallergenic is I could agree that Bengals are hypoallergenic. However, I believe that most people seeking the answer to this question interpret the definition as meaning that they will not have any allergic reaction to Bengal cats. This is not always the case, as some people are still highly affected by the Bengal.

What is it that people are allergic to?
There are a number of contributing factors towards cat allergies. There is the fur/hair, skin cells, saliva and urine, all of which contain a specific protein, Fel d 1. It is this protein that some people are allergic. Research says that all cats have this protein so any being completely hypoallergenic is not possible.

Varying Degrees of ‘Allergic’
In regard to a typical domestic cat we know that there are varying degrees with which people are allergic. Some people may have a minor watery eye or sniffle after rubbing their face all over a cat while the next person will puff up like a puffer fish minutes after walking into a home where a cat resides.

The same goes for the Bengals, some people have very minor or no reaction to the Bengals, while others experience the same reaction that they do to a typical domestic. On the flip side, I have had people with cat allergies visit and intentionally rub a Bengal kitten all over their face in order to solicit a reaction and have not had one.

Inappropriately peeing? Your cat is trying to tell you something!

Medical: Check for UTI, kidney issues, stones or crystals
Cats don’t like change and bengals are even worse, has any of the following occurred:?
New litter including texture or scents
New perfume or cologne you or your family wears
Clean litter boxes and one for each cat PLUS one extra
New furniture or move of furniture
Change in work or school schedule
New cat, baby, other pet, girl/boyfriend moving in or out
Wandering animals outside
Another pet or child beating up or ganging up on them
New laundry detergent
Litter boxes:
Not enough boxes (some want a box to pee and one to poop)
Not clean
Too clean (cats need to smell themselves)
Doesn’t like the litter (texture, smell etc.)
Doesn’t like the location (a noisy room)
Doesn’t like how to access it (hooded vs open vs high edge vs shallow, top entry vs. front etc.)
If the cat was successfully neutered/spayed (no uterine stump remaining or retained testicles)
If the cat declawed
It may be necessary to go back to the safe room steps!

Habits

Cats nose use this extraordinary sense of smell to see the world… which is why SMELL is the habit you need to most understand about your cat.

It is why your cat rubs against you and objects. It is why cats will notice changes such as new furniture, strong odors, scented litter. This sense of smell creates marking behavior, causes cats to be stressed and perhaps most importantly can cause behaviors that we humans cannot tolerate. Living with cats is living with a different species… while we ask a lot of these little predators to compromise their view of the world and live in ours, we need to understand their view of the world as it makes it much more pleasant to have them in ours!

Scent is the most important one to understand. Look at where you have their food and most importantly their litter box, the kind of litter you use, the placement and the type of box. One way to help with introductions of new people, pets, is to exchange scent. A simple way to do this is to exchange scents with a towel, shirt, etc allowing the cat to incorporate the new smells into their world. While we can change ours with knowledge and awareness of how we impact the life of our cat(s) the cat can only respond as it sees the world. Sometimes a simple awareness of a change in perfume can change the reaction our cat has to us.

There are excellent books and articles on feline behavior, one written by a fellow Bengal cat enthusiast, Marilyn Krieger the “Cat Coach” Marilyn has an excellent book available as well.

Play Time

This is fun! Bring out the feather toy or the fishing pole toy and really keep everyone busy. Just like people meeting each other for the first time a toy that both find very interesting helps to ease the tension and allows everyone to play and get to know each other in a safe way.

Be sure to take your time. Remember that you are looking at lifelong relationships and though it seems you want everything to work out as quickly as possible… it is a good idea to watch and observe, let the animals set the pace for what is comfortable for them. Observe. Play. Pay special attention. Kittens under 6 months of age are usually readily accepted into multi-cat households.

Scratching and Climbing Posts

  • Scratching posts. Cats tend to scratch close to where they sleep… combining the art of relaxation with their yoga stretches and territorial marking! So a good place for that tall scratching post is next to their favorite sleeping place.
  • Sisal wrapped as it does not feel like furniture.
  • Get your kitten used to claw trimming. Shower them with treats to make this a fun experience… And always end on a good note, i.e. do not let them squirm away, instead put them down when they are calm.

Health Concerns

All our cats are tested and/or screened for the following diseases:

  • DNA tested @ Optimal Selection Genoscoper
  • FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
  • FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus)
  • PRA-b (Bengal blindness).
This disease causes the destruction of the photoreceptors in the retina, leading to blindness at usually around 2 years of age or younger. For this reason, we test our cats to determine if our cats are carriers. This disease can only be passed on genetically and can cause anemia in infected cats. Like PRA-b, a cat that only carries a copy of the gene will have no detrimental health defects but cannot be bred to another cat that is also a carrier.

PK Deficiency (Hemolytic Anemia) This disease can only be passed on genetically and can cause anemia in infected cats. Like PRA-b, a cat that only carries a copy of the gene will have no detrimental health defects but cannot be bred to another cat that is also a carrier.

HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy – heart disease). a common disease in cats in both the purebred and mixed ancestry cat population. A cat can be born with HCM or develop it as an adult later on in life. It affects the heart causing an enlargement and thickening of the heart wall. This disease is hereditary in origin as certain proteins mutate causing the wall thickening. Excessive growth hormone and parathyroid hormones are other genetic causes of the disease. In severe cases heart failure and fluid accumulation surrounding the lungs results eventually leading to death.

Currently there is no genetic test specifically for HCM, but regular screening via an echocardiogram by a board-certified feline cardiologist is highly recommended to measure the heart and monitor its growth as well as listen for murmurs which indicates a restriction of blood through the heart. This screening is not a guarantee a cat will never develop HCM, it is simply a precautionary practice. Keep in mind murmurs can be the result of other problems than HCM such as other defects, age, stress and more. While research is still being done on this particular disease, it is generally believed that two negatively screened cats cannot produce a positive kitten.

Breeding cats should be screened every year to year and a half and reputable breeders will not only do these screens but provide the results for each cat. Scientists are currently working on finding the gene that causes HCM in Bengals (there are DNA tests for Mainecoons and Ragdolls).

I also want to take a moment to mention FIP (feline infections peritonitis). This is a viral disease caused by certain strains of feline coronavirus. This is a common virus, and most cats that carry the virus never develop FIP, however roughly 5-10% of cats with the coronavirus develop FIP. Unfortunately, there is no way to screen for this disease, as a Titre test only tells you if a cat carries the coronavirus but cannot tell you if it will develop into FIP.

Baby Arriving

ideas on what to have ready for your new kitten and what to expect when you come to pick him up from us. This process may be used for the introduction of any new pet to any home, it’s not strictly for use by our kitten clients. steps here that I suggest to our kitten clients when they are introducing one of our kittens to their dog(s) or cat(s) at home.

Creating Kitten’s Safe Place

benefits of the safe room are twofold: 1) the prevention of spread of potential infectious illnesses; and 2) creating a less stressful transition for the kitten into his new home.  This is the room where you will place his food, water, litter box, toys, cat tree/post for sleeping and scratching, and any other items he may be bringing home including the carrier and blanket he arrived in to act as a den and a secure place while he settles in.  Leave the carrier in the safe room with him for him to hide in if need be – plus, it makes it easier to contain and transport him when you take him for his 72-hour vet check and when you decide to move him to a new area in your home. 

Quarantine

keep separate and apart from all other pets in your home for a full two weeks as this is the only way to determine the timing (incubation period) of an illness should one crop up after arrival. During this time, you may observe him with full confidence that the kitten has not been exposed to any outside contaminants since arriving at your home.  If your kitten has come in contact (grooming, biting/playing) with other animals in your home – especially those who are allowed outdoor access (a dog going for walks, or a cat who free roams) our health guarantee is voided, as we have absolutely no control over what illnesses or viruses your kitten could potentially be exposed to via the other pets.

Less Stress

The successful transition of the kitten to your home goes most smoothly when use of the safe room is implemented. During the kitten’s time in the safe room, he will have the opportunity to get a gradual sense of some of the smells and sounds of your home, thereby easing his stress with each passing day he spends in your home. A bathroom works very well as family members will be coming and going, talking to him, petting him and playing with him, but leaving him to his quiet and safe area when you are not in there with him. This is not cruel – this is exactly what the new kitten needs in order to feel safe and protected now that he doesn’t have any of his litter mates or family with him. Everything is new to him and he’s scared. The room will be his safety zone during the transition. Make sure the room has areas in the for hiding – a box, or a tunnel would work well.

Smell is Key

Smell is huge for cats and kittens. For this reason, try to bring something along with the new kitten from his current environment – a blanket, shirt, soft toy, etc that has absorbed some of the “scent of home” or of his litter mates. This will give him something that gives him comfort once his world is left behind to come to your house. Add a clean cloth or towel into the kitten’s crate at this time, or on his tree if that’s where he spends most of his time. You will make use of this item in a few days to bring out of the safe room and introduce to your existing pets to smell and get used to, so they know the smell or the new family member before he is ever officially presented to them.

Lower Kitten’s Stress with Play

The keys to a successful introduction are timing and playful distraction. During the two week quarantine period in the safe room, periodically close up your other pets in another room and open the door to the kitten’s safe room and allow him to come out and explore. You can begin doing this one or two times a day beginning on about day 4 after bringing your kitten home and completing his required vet check. Toys are essential in this process – create a playful and inviting space just outside the door of the safe room by bringing some of his toys out for him. A feather teaser wand is a fabulous tool to use at this time to lower stress and entice your kitten out of the room and into the hallway or room just outside his room. Sit on the floor and play with him while he inadvertently takes in the smells and sounds of life outside his room for a few minutes.

Monitored Exploration

If the kitten decides to confidently wander beyond the zone you’ve created, let him do so. Follow him quietly while you observe him taking in the sights and sounds of his new home. Make sure the home is relatively quiet at this time – kids are at school, home reno construction is not occurring in your kitchen, etc. Also, remember to be careful about putting away and removing any and all triggers for inappropriate peeing before letting him out to explore. (See “Litter Box Training” for a list of trigger items to watch out for).

Keep it Short

Don’t spend more than 15 minutes allowing the kitten to explore… it can be overwhelming and may be sensory overload for a young stressed kitten, so after 15 minutes gently entice him back into his room and play with him a few minutes more in the room before closing him off again from the rest of the house to relax and reflect on his positive experience. It’s important to entice him, rather than carry and place him, back in the room. This will teach him how to find the room when he needs to – if he wants to flee the main living area or needs his quiet time. Teach him the route “home”. Now, let your other pets back out and allow them to explore where the kitten has been to become more and more familiar with his scent with each passing day of completing this exercise. We recommend repeating this process at least twice a day during the quarantine period.

Meet and Greet at Last!

At the end of the quarantine period, begin to leave the door of kitten’s safe room slightly cracked open while you stand back and carefully observe. Watch to see who comes to the door first – the kitten to see who’s on the other side, or the existing pet to finally meet the secret occupant. Either way, carefully monitor the meet and greet – from a bit of a distance, but not too far away that you can’t intervene to separate them and close the door again if need be.

Please Note: If your other pets include a dog, ensure the kitten has a way to explore where the dog does not have access. The kitten will need to easily be able to get to their litter box without worry that the dog could get them. Using baby gates to keep your dog in certain areas works very well. Our kittens are all socialized with our dog, so they are familiar with them. However, it may still take time to adjust to your dog. And if your dog has never been around a cat, you will need to be extra watchful, and never leave them alone together until you are 100% certain there is no threat to the kitten.

Introduction to Existing Pets

Gradual is the name of the game

“What about my other cat or our family dog?”  Well, the great thing about Bengal’s in particular is that they are super curious and eager to make friends, so it will just be a matter of time. I’ve NEVER had a situation with a kitten client where a successful relationship between pets hasn’t eventually taken place.  If the introduction is done thoughtfully, your new kitten and existing dog or cat will be the best of friends for life.  Because you implemented the Safe Room Strategy, he will also have had the opportunity to play “pawsies” under the door with other pets in the house and they will have gained a sense of each other by talking to and smelling one another for the past couple of weeks prior to the official introduction.

Create a United Front

It’s critical at this stage to talk to your existing pet in calm tones, reassuring him that he is being a “good boy” while he is tentatively sniffing at the new kitten.  If it doesn’t disrupt the introduction, move in closer and place your hand on your pet and scratch or pet him in a way he likes so he feels like you are meeting the newcomer as a united front. Remember it’s his house being invaded and not the other way around, so at this time priority must be given to creating a positive and encouraging atmosphere for the existing pet in welcoming his new housemate. NEVER reprimand (vocally or physically) the existing pet during this introduction. You will essentially be teaching him to resent the new family member if you do this. It will create a negative experience which is the opposite of what you want to do. If hissing and/or growling ensues (completely normal and expected!) remember that you need to allow the animals to communicate with one another without your interference unless there is clear evidence that one or both pets will be hurt in a full out brawl. If the introduction goes well, and the two begin to sniff or even lick one another, continue to keep a close eye but allow them to do what animals do – lick, groom, sniff, chase, etc.  Theirs is a secret language that we do not have the benefit of translating in full, so this is where we need to “let nature take its course” so to speak.

Once the introduction has taken place, and you are confident that it is going well for the most part, leave the door to the safe room completely ajar for all of the pets to come and go as they please. Continue to observe and monitor the interaction.  Leave a litter box and your kitten’s tree in there so he can go back into the room when he feels like it for comfort and add a few more litter boxes to the other areas of the house.  ** Best practice is to bring the litter box he’s been using in the safe room out into another area of the home for easy recognition and replace the one in the safe room with a new box.

For at least another week or so, continue to put the kitten in his safe room when you need to leave to do errands or go to work, etc.  You don’t want to risk undesirable behavior such as unsupervised brawls (unlikely, but you never know!) or peeing accidents while you’re unable to monitor.   For an even longer period of time, keep placing the kitten in his safe room overnight to rest and use his litter box.  We have some adult cats in our home that we continue to do this with. This is a sure way to avoid waking up to broken lamps, torn papers all over the desk, and a host of other “bengal mishaps”.

Trigger Items

Once we rule out a lack of consistent confinement combined with gradual, supervised introduction in order to avoid stress, for instance, we can move on to looking at what items in your home are acting as “triggers” for your bengal to pee outside the litter box.

A messy, unkempt house is like a giant litter box to a bengal.  Keep your home tidy, items picked up off the floor, bags, drawers, lids and doors closed, and you will not experience what we call “offsite peeing”.  You are ASKING for your bengal to pee inappropriately if you allow him instant access to a large, unfamiliar home, with unfamiliar smells and items present – all are begging for him to pee on them.  Leaving your bengal to roam free in a MESSY home is just like putting icing on the cake for him.  You will never have been so tidy as you will learn to be once you own a bengal or two!

Trigger items for a bengal kitten include (but are certainly not limited to!) the following:

  • Sinks, showers and bathtubs.  These places are seen by Bengal’s as a natural place to pee as they are aware that water runs in these places (they’ve probably seen you turn on the tap or step out of the wet shower – they are SMART, don’t forget)
  • Goose or duck down comforters and pillows on beds (beds in general are a hot ticket item – keep bedroom doors closed! We still have one adult female bengal that will run into our bedroom and pee on our bed as soon as she sees the door left open. Some Bengals will do this for life. It’s just a simple fact).  Unmade beds are especially inviting. To a bengal this just looks and feels like a giant clean litter box!
  • Leather items – shoes, jackets, couch cushions, purses. These items are often soft and cushy, and smell like animals. A bengal will leave its scent on these items to ward off intruding animals. Put shoes and jackets away in a closet, prop up couch cushions, zip up purses and bags and don’t leave them laying on the floor.
  • Wool and other natural fabrics with “animal” scent on them (as above).
  • Pet beds for your dog or cats. Cats like to sleep up high on a cat tree or high shelf. There is no need to put a cozy fabric bed that looks like a litter box on the floor for them. If you must, use pet beds (for your dog) that are easy to machine wash and dry as your bengal will most likely pee on these at least once.
  • Plastic or plastic shopping bags. These items have a nice crinkly sound and texture – not very unlike the sounds made while scratching in the litter box. They shouldn’t be left lying on the floor – pick them up and keep them in a closed cupboard.
  • Recycle boxes left full of newspaper or other items.  Again, obviously a large litter box in the eyes of a bengal.
  • Laundry baskets with clean or dirty laundry in them. This one should be obvious.  Empty laundry baskets, for that matter.  Again, obviously this is a giant, clean litter box! Turn them upside down when not in use or close them off in the laundry room.
  • Messy piles of clothes or other items left on floors or in children’s rooms. Pick up or keep doors closed.  Anything that the kitten can dig around in (i.e., piles of clothes or bedding) will present itself as nice soft litter material to him.
  • Potted trees and plants.  Some Bengals will never touch these items, but some will be instantly attracted.  Use your judgement – if they go for it once, it will likely be an ongoing trigger item and should be removed.

Available

Bengal Cats

For more info email us at marla@lonestarbengals.com to request my questionnaire to learn more about each other before approval