Resources & Information
Explore helpful information about caring for your Bengal cat. From feeding, to using a litter box, to introducing your cat to its new home.
Feeding Your New Kitten
All the kittens and cats at Mirabell Bengals are eating Purina Pro brand cat food. The kittens and queens also get lightly boiled skinless boneless chicken breast or ground beef with no more than 10% fat.
Litter Box Training
Litter box training has begun successfully before leaving my home.
There is often no problem at his new home, but.... this is the single most common reason all breeds of cats are given up.
For the first few nights keep a litter box close by in the room where he sleeps, do not let him have access to the whole house when he first arrives. Your home is new, and your family is new so while he will be exploring the whole house, and when the urge hits, he needs to find a litter box in a hurry, as he is just a baby. I recommend at least 2 litter boxes on each level of your home to start.
When no one is home, keep the kitten in a small room, and put food, water, and toys in there along with a bed and litter box. The fewer chances there are for accidents, the faster he will learn to continue good litter box habits.
You are making a lot of changes for your youngster. He is not yet fully mature in his digestive system. The stress of the move could make him have a loose stool.
Continuing with the food that his system is accustomed to, this problem should go away by itself in a few days, but if not, consult your vet.
When you are not home or unable to monitor him, you can put him in a smaller room with two litter boxes. This is not cruel – give him toys, a tree, his food, and even a little canned food each time you place him in there. This will be their "room" and they will get used to it.
Your bedroom or bathroom is a great place to keep him for the first week or 2.
If he pees on your bed it is because he thinks it is absorbent and he is being clean. Immediately buy a plastic sheet like a tarp and after washing everything cover your bed. Place another litter box beside the bed in his path from the bathroom to the bed.
When you let him out into the rest of the house he needs several more litter boxes. Remember he is just a baby and will run and play until the last minute then he has to have a litter box close.
Use Cat Attract or Kitten Attract Litter. It truly does attract the kittens.
READ the insert that comes with each bag – GREAT advice, It will help a lot.
Use the recommended litter, a change can throw him off.
For temporary boxes go to the dollar store and buy plastic shoe boxes or foil roasting pans.
If an accident occurs, clean it and sanitize with a pet-safe Enzyme Cleaner or Hydrogen Peroxide to eliminate odor.
If you can't understand why your cat may be having accidents, visit a vet.
Older Kittens & Cats
If your cat has any accidents: If you catch them after only one or two accidents it can be corrected by using one of more of my helpful hints above.
1. You MUST confine the kitten/cat to one room, with no carpet. If they protest, you must bear with it. Maybe put them in a crate, or soft cat carrying bag so they can be beside you in other rooms when possible hold them or use a harness so they can be near you not left alone. Do not let him on the floor except in his little room. You MUST be diligent with this. It is an accident that must be stopped immediately before it becomes a habit. If they have gotten away with this for a week or more, it may take some time, a month maybe more to break the habit.
2. During this time of behavior modification, you MUST get rid of all odor in the carpets. If you have lots of padding under the carpet, the urine will have soaked through into the wood under the flooring. In this case, hopefully, a good pet ENZYME cleaner will work well. Test it in an out-of-the-way area and if it does not harm your carpet, pour it on the spot so it will penetrate as deep as the urine did. Let it soak in, then scrub with a brush or broom. Use towels to soak up most of the moisture. Repeat as needed. There are several products with enzymes that are good. ALL the odor must be cleaned up before they are allowed back on the floor. You can buy a small light that will detect any remaining odor or stains that are not visible to the naked eye.
3. Figure out what started the behavior problem. An older pet threatening him? A member of the home leaving or being added? A difference in work schedules, new furniture, a new pet, changes in their diet, new litter or litter boxes? After you have had him tested and found healthy, especially a urine test, then think of other stresses. Often this is a dominant behavior - marking their territory. There are many things that can cause psychological upsets in animals, just like in humans. Feliway Spray is often helpful along with the behavior modification of not being allowed on the floor unsupervised until you trust them again.
If you do this after only 2 or 3 accidents, it will be much easier.
Introduction to Other Pets
Bengals are very outgoing and a smooth introduction usually takes only an hour or two, depending on the nature of your first pet. I have had people bring their other pet and the new kitten is sleeping with it in the car before they get home.
It is best to have a special room selected for your kitten, laundry room, bathroom, or bedroom that is low traffic area. This aids in litter habits as well as introductions. This will be where the kitty stays during his initial quarantine from other cats in the house. While in his room, your pets will get to know each other under the door. Most people who have healthy pets do not feel the need for quarantine any longer than necessary for pets to get to know each other.
If your pet does not readily accept the new kitten, hold your pet and play with him near the new kitten. This will let him know he is still your favorite, allowing him to be more open to the new arrival. If the older pet is not happy, it may be necessary to put the new kitty in a crate and let your pet walk around the crate sniffing and teasing the kitty until they accept each other. Until they have fully accepted one another, be sure they are safely separated at night and when no one is home.
Bengal cats like to talk. Your kitten may follow you through the house talking to you. He may be extra vocal when he can not see you. This is easily solved by talking to him. Never exclude kitty from your activities, except when you are not home and he is left in his special room. If Kitty is unhappy in his room, this would be a good time to give him a treat of canned food mixed with his regular food. Sometimes he is just confused and misses his familiar surroundings. A warm treat of canned food, lots of sweet talk and petting, and playing with an interactive toy might help.
Bengals and Water
It is common for Bengals to dip a paw and lick the water off. Isn't it more civilized than dipping your nose in the water bowl? Please be aware that Bengals really DO like water. Not just to look at. If you do not like a furry friend in your bath or shower, or if you do not think they should be playing in the water as you wash the dishes, then you must teach them appropriate behavior or simply put them in another room. I am afraid the Bengal will teach YOU that keeping the toilet seat closed IS proper behavior. While a dog may drink out of the pot, a Bengal will be insulted when you do the dirty in their wading pool. Finding toys in the water bowl, or a wet toy on the floor is just part of life with a friendly, frisky Bengal :-)
More Helpful Tips
The most common complaint about all breeds of cats is poor litter box habits.
Here are the best tips for resolving a problem. Please act after only ONE accident!
FIRST THING I SUGGEST YOU DO IN CASE OF AN ACCIDENT
Take your cat to the vet. Your cat may have a medical problem such as UTI, Urinary Tract Infection, that needs to be treated with antibiotics (usually not the case in young kittens). If there is no medical reason then try these helpful tips...
Clean the litter box frequently. You don't like to use a dirty bathroom and neither does your cat. Your cat may be refusing to use the litter box because it is smelly and unsanitary.
Try switching to a different litter. Your cat may not like the smell or texture of the current litter. Un-perfumed clay litter is often most appealing to cats.
Add additional litter boxes. Be sure to have one more box than the number of cats you have. For example, if you have two cats, have at least three litter boxes. Cats are territorial and may be refusing to share the box with rival cats in the house.
Try Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Litter. This litter contains a special blend of herbs that attract kitties to it. Many cats' litter box problems are resolved after going through one bag of this litter. The litter also has a money-back guarantee. Expensive but worth it. I keep it on hand for training stubborn kittens.
Move the litter boxes to a more appealing location. People often locate the litter boxes next to the food and water bowls, a loud, scary washing machine, or in a cold, dark basement, which could be the reason some cats refuse to use them.
Buy bigger litter boxes. Cats need room to dig and turn around easily in the litter boxes. Large, shallow storage bins without lids also work well as litter pans for some cats.
Buy a Feliway plug-in or spray if your cat is using one area of the house instead of the box. Spray it in the problem area. The ingredients in Feliway mimic cats' pheromones, which will help put your kitty at ease and resolve stress-related litter box issues.
Be sure to thoroughly clean the spots where your cat has had accidents with an enzymatic pet cleaner that will remove all evidence of the problems. You may not be able to detect the smell after cleaning the area, but your cat probably can if a pet stain cleaner is not used.
Put another litter box in the area where he likes to pee. Or put aluminum foil over the area. Many cats will not walk on foil.