The Bengal breed was originally derived from crossing domestic cats with Asian Leopard cats (pictured left), a small (7-12 lb) wild cat. After years of selective breeding and many generations removed, there are now outrageously rosetted, exotic looking Bengals, with all those wild looks and wonderful, friendly personalities. There are lots of sites with more information on the Bengal breed, you can e-mail me with questions firstname.lastname@example.org or surf the web for what you are looking for!
How are their personalities? I have met very few Bengals with bad temperaments, and with those cats it was entirely a case of very little handling by the breeder from a young age onward, and nothing to do with their heritage. They are very outgoing cats. They can be very "uncatlike": greeting you at the door when you come home, immediately inspecting the company, even playing tag with the family dog.
Why do they cost so much? Responsible Bengal breeders breed their cats to improve and develop the breed, NOT to produce kittens and make money. We want to insure that poor quality Bengal kittens don't flood the market, and that the people that purchase them are responsible pet owners. Also, the general cost of raising a kitten until it is old enough to go to it's new home is high. The parents themselves likely cost $2000-3000+ because not only are breeder/show prices more than pet prices, and breeder stock is harder to come by and rarely available. Quality breeders also show their cats, ensuring you quality offspring, and showing cats is VERY expensive and time consuming, with no monetary reward. Yearly health screens, quality food, litter, and vet care make breeding a costly and time consuming hobby. It takes a dedicated individual to breed and raise kittens ethically with love.
A poem from a breeder's prospective:
We as Breeders Say:
We've sat the whole night through, waiting for babies to be born,
Felt the stress and trepidation when they're still not there by dawn.
We've often felt the heartache, of a little life in our hands,
a darling little baby, who weighs but 60 grams.
Should I do that instead of this ....or this instead of that?
Alone we've fought, and hoped one day, he'll grow to be a cat,
And bring joy to another being, and make a house a home,
We know it's all just up to us; we'll fight this fight alone.
Formula, bottles, heating pads, we've got to get this right,
Two hourly feeds for this tiny guy, throughout the day and night.
In our heart we often know, we're almost sure to lose the fight,
To save this little baby, but God willing ... we just MIGHT.
Day one he's in there fighting, we say a silent prayer,
Day two & three, he's doing well, with lots of love and care.
Day four & five ... he's still alive, our hopes soar to the heavens,
Day six he slips away again, dies in our hands day seven.
We take this little angel, and bury him alone,
With aching heart and burning tears, and an exhausted groan,
We ask ourselves "Why do this? ... Why suffer all this pain?"
But seeing the joy our kittens bring... it really self explains.
So, when you think of breeders and label them with "greed",
Think about what we endure to fill another's need.
When you buy a kitten and with your precious dollars part,
You only pay with money .. we pay with our heart.
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