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Breed advice-bengal after a lifetime of siamese and balinese?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I am pretty new here. I found the site when I lost my beloved kitty and got a lot of support from fellow moms. I've been checking back in from time to time throughout my grieving process. Now that I am feeling ready to welcome a new kitty into my home I was wondering if I could get some advice.

My hubby and I are ready for a new kitten. We lost our Zoe in early March to lymphoma. She was the most remarkable girl, a beautiful 12 year old seal point balinese. Previously I had a wonderful traditional seal point siamese (20 years). I have heard the advice that you should not get another kitten that looks too much like your last cat, expecially if you've lost that kitty under tramatic circumstances, which was certainly the case for us. However, I have no idea what kind of kitty would be right for us.

My hubby is very interested in the bengal breed and I would like to learn more about this beautiful cat. After my entire life loving siamese and balinese kitties, I have no idea what to expect from a different breed. I have heard they are very active. We live in a large (1000 square feet) condo, but is that too small for an active bengal? I am used to smart, playful and vocal siamese and balinese kitties. What could I expect?

At the same time, I loved my balinese so much. She was independent but very cuddly and playful. Friendly, but very bonded to me. I wouldn't be trying to replace her or expect a new kitten to have the same personality, but some of the same characteristics would be nice. Any advice?
post #2 of 6
There is some good info about Bengals at Kai Bengals' site. Nial and Teri are wonderful people and raise loving Bengals.

I just adopted Penny from them.
post #3 of 6
Also try to attend a local cat show (ACFA or TICA) to see some of the Bengals - CFA shows do not accept the Bengal in the show hall.

You can talk to various breeders and learn all you can. Bengals are not for everyone. In the past few weeks I've seen TWO Bengals on craigslist - owners looking to rehome the adults!
post #4 of 6
That's how we got ours too, although not adults. They were half-grown "refurbs." Well, we didn't get them from Craig's list, they came from the local Bengal rescue league.

Anyway, I'll bet if you start asking around, you'll find someone you know who has one and you might be able to meet some that way. I think visiting cat shows is a good idea, but since you're looking for a pet, it might be good to try to meet some others that are simply pets rather than show cats. The only reason I say this is that a show cat will likely be more used to being handled than a pet, and may not give you a true picture of the breed (not just with bengals, but with any breed.) Right about the time I got mine, I found that one of my coworkers has one, and that the sister of a friend has one, so I was able to talk to them about their temperment. Since that time, I've crossed paths with other bengal families, so I've learned a lot that way.

They can be a handful, but I love them. I really like active cats. We do get annoyed sometimes because Rajah is so vocal at night - it's like he just likes to hear himself talk sometimes. But we have them trained to quiet down if we put them in their room and shut the door (as long as they're both in there together), so if they really get noisy, we just do that.

Having had a Siamese as a child, I know what they can be like. I would think that bengals would be a natural progression from that, so you might be an ideal bengal family. And as far as the size of your place goes, as long as you provide plenty of toys and places to climb, it seems like it should be fine.
post #5 of 6
I have 2 Bengals and 2 Siamese. I know Siamese are noted for being active cats, but they are NOTHING compared to a Bengal. Still if you like the intelligence and inneractivity of a Siamese, you should like a Bengal. Just be prepare that Bengals are a LOT more active than Siamese.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I will start asking around and see if I can see some up close for myself. It is such a big decision...nothing to rush into!
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