or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Finding a Cat

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure where to put this, but my question has to
do with breeds.

I'm trying to find a cat to get in the future.
I have been wanting a lean looking, tall cat.
I was thinking 20-30 pounds.
The more I look at Jungle Cats the more I like
the coloration. Chausies look really good,
but they're expensive.

So, does anyone have any suggestions?

I forgot to mention temperament.
I would like a loving cat that will get very attached to me,
and will sit in my lap and play with me.
post #2 of 69
If you want that size cat you will only have a couple of options, either a Savannah, Bengal or a Maine Coon. Most cats do not get anywhere near that weight but a few may get in the low 20 lb range.

Savannah are not common and are very expensive. Savannahs and Bengals are not considered lapcats and are VERY high energy. A Maine Coon may likely be more of a lapcat, but it depends on the individual cat.

You need to ask yourself more questions:

Do you want a very vocal cat?
What energy level can you live with?

I'm sure others with a lot more experience in various breeds will be coming along to help.
post #3 of 69
IMO there is no breed that fits your look, weight, and temperament criteria. Chausies are not a lap cat and either are Savannahs or Bengals imo. Maine Coons don't have the look you want and the only other large breed that reaches in the 20lb. range are Ragdolls and they don't have the look you want either.
post #4 of 69
Also bengals aren't huge cats. There is the occasional male that reaches 20lbs but most are much smaller. They're still a medium to large cat and for example my female bengal is 12lbs but they're definately not in the 20-30lbs range.

The only cats that get that big are early generation hybrids (either Savannahs or Chausies etc.) and those cats have very special needs and are incredibly active and are very rarely lapcats. They can make great pets but only for people who really know what they're getting themselves into and are prepared to make a major commitment to an animal that may never behave exactly like the owner wants them to. It's a big lifestyle decision to take care of one of those cats.

Why do you want that big a cat? Really the way I see it one of the reason it works to keep cats as pets on average is because they're the size they are. If my cat were the size of a german shepherd I'd be dead now. Not because of her wanting to hurt me, just from over enthuastic play on her half, i.e she had a period as a half grown kitten where she tried to pounce on my back/neck when I wasn't paying attention to her.

Anyway I would pay more attention to the sort of personality you want in a cat rather than the look (although the look is important as well). Even low generation bengals (i.e far removed from the original Asian Leopard Cat) can be much too high maintenance for some people, same with the more active 100% domestic cat breeds like Ocicats, Abysinnians and Somalis.

When I say high maintenance I don't mean just a cat that will need to be played with regularely. It's a cat that if not given a constructive outlet for their energy will figure out very imaginative ways of waking you up at night, rearrange your house by knocking things over, climb everything, attack your feet or hands if they've not had enough of an outlet through play you control. Meow and vocalise a lot. Constantly in *everything* looking for something to do so they often get destructive if bored.

With early generation cats all this is intensified and the amount of damage to furniture a 30lbs cat can do vs. a 15lbs one is significant. I don't just mean scratching things, this is also just jumping on stuff and having for example a book case fall over because the cat is powerful and heavy enough for that to happen when they try to climb it.

My cats newest trick is to climb inside my wardrobe and throw all my clothes onto the floor.

I'm not trying to scare you off that type of cat, not really, but you need to read this and think "It sounds like a never ending source of fun and amusement to share my life with a cat like that" rather than think it's a bad thing. You can train the cats and teach them but that's a lot of work as well.

My cat makes me laugh every single day and I love her to bits. It can be a challenge to keep a high energy feline happy but for me it's more than worth it.

So yeah to sum up I would really think through what sort of temperament you can handle in a cat and how much commitment time wise and in the leeway you'll give in how "cattified" your living space becomes.
post #5 of 69
Thread Starter 
The weight thing isn't a huge issue.
15 pounds would even be fine. I just want it
to be tall, and muscular looking.

My current cat isn't very vocal. She talks when she's hungry
or when she wants out.
I have met very vocal cats, though. My grandparents cat
is very vocal and meows when you're talking to her.
I really could go either way. I like vocal cats, but it isn't

Energy level is something I'm having trouble deciding on.
I'd like a playful cat. I want it to be able to hold it
without it jumping around. I guess I would like a
cat that's playful but will relax in my lap on occasion.
If I had to choose between playful and relaxed then
I'd probably choose relaxed.
post #6 of 69
Thread Starter 
Why do I want a big cat?
I'm afraid of little things. I'm always concerned about
accidentally hurting them. Even my current cat.
She sleeps with me every night and I'm always afraid of
rolling over on her. If she was a little bit bigger I wouldn't worry
as much.

I can take high levels of energy. One of my dogs was
very high maintenance when she was a puppy. I
don't think I handled that well, though. I was young.
I worked with 5-6 year old children for about 3 years
and I handled that without a problem.

I realize you're not trying to scare me.
I appreciate all the warnings.

I had about 20 cats at the same time for a few years.
The were outside/inside cats and I gave them all attention
and took care of them all pretty much by myself.
post #7 of 69
Hmmm.. I don't really know what breed to recommend. I would probably stay away from the hybrid cats.

One option is just to look through shelters and see if you can find a cat that fits what you want since there's not really a match with a specific breed.

Also a cat not being the manic very high activity level of for example Bengals doesn't mean it's a lazy cat that never plays. It just means it's a bit easier to take care of and will probably let you sleep through the night even though you don't play with him for 2 hours a day, every day.

Most of the bigger cats are longhaired cats. I.e Ragdolls, Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest cats. The tall lean cats are most much lighter, but you can often really see their muscles more since they have shorter fur and they're leaner.
post #8 of 69
Just saw your second post now.

If you can handle high energy cats you could take a look at Bengals. They're very muscular cats, usually not too tall or lean but the males often reach 15lbs. The weight is mostly muscle mass rather than size so they can look smaller than you'd guess and then are surprisingly heavy when you pick them up.

They can be complete terrors but are great fun as well. You said you're not in a hurry so I'd do plenty of extra research and thinks things through.

For fun here are a few video clips of my cat so you can see a bit what I'm talking about:
post #9 of 69
Siggav- I thought i had it bad and i just have a bengal mix!
Backing up the whole bengals are really demanding and energetic thing (even the bengal mixes), mine is really good at pulling things off of hangers/pegs to sleep on , will follow me round the house shrieking if she feels ignored, and likes to enthusiastically lick people who stroke her.
She doesn't like being picked up for more than 5 seconds, but is happy to curl up in a lap for a while in the evenings.
When she was a kitten we could basically only hold her when she was asleep- she wanted to play ALL the time. I remember her chasing a ribbon when she was so tired her eyes were drooping, but she just would quit.
I'd say an adult bengal could be a good choice, if you're willing to set up cunning little stashes of toys, treats and challenging puzzles to keep them occupied.
post #10 of 69
Thread Starter 
Siggav, your Bengal cat looks just perfect.
I love the exotic coloration and the body.
I actually reeaallly love the body. Very
lean and muscular looking. And the face
is so beautiful.

I'm just planning on a cat to get after I get married.
Which will take quite a while. But I should be getting
engaged in march.

How vocal are Bengals? I know it's not the
same for every cat, but just in general.

cata_mint, you said your Bengal follows you around the house.
Is that typical?
post #11 of 69
You might want to look at Ocicats, from what I hear, they are not as high-energy as bengals, but have the spots/markings you like. They are also active and are supposed to be people-oriented as well.

post #12 of 69
I would also suggest getting a cat at least 2-3 years old as their personality will be established. A kitten is a total unknown and may not be what you want as they get older.
post #13 of 69
Bengals are usually quite vocal. It depends on the cat of course but most of them are not shy in letting you know if they think things aren't perfect. Lots of different vocalisations from loud meows to chirp and trills.

Nikita is almost always in the same room as me. She wants to know what's going on and she loves to play and is always up for playing. If given the choice between hunting a toy or cuddling she'll always go for the hunt. She sits in my lap sometimes but it's not often and never for long.

However she'll often sit next to me on the sofa or in the chair next to mine so she likes to be around me, just not *on* me. She sometimes but not always sleeps in my bed. She usually wakes me up in the morning though.

So yeah Bengals are usually not lapcats, there are exceptions but most of them like affection on their terms (they can be complete hams rolling around on the floor showing their belly when up for a cuddle) and like a high energy dog they'll prefer activity and doing stuff over lazying around. They're still cats though and sleep a lot.

You might look into adopting a retired breeding bengal. Good cat breeders don't breed their cats for very long because it's not healthy to have them pump out litter after litter so you can sometimes find really loving absolutely gorgeous 2-3 year old ex breeding bengal cats that need a loving pet home. They're usually sold cheaper than kittens then and you get to skip over the completely manic kitten stage.

You won't loose out on having a playful cat, bengals usually stay playful and high energy for many years.

You should also look at Ocicats, they're a little bit more mellow although they're still very active and a lot of fun. Ocis are spotted cats as well and also quite muscular and very pretty.
post #14 of 69
Thread Starter 
If I buy a two year old cat will that effect how attached it will
be to me?

I'll check out the Ocicats.
I'm looking through Wiki and the pages listed on

Where would one buy a retired breeding Bengal?
post #15 of 69
Thread Starter 
I can't even get a cat in my state.
Georgia is crappy state. I'm moving.

But keep going with the info. I'm moving after I get out of
college anyway. I have to wait about 8 freakin years though.
post #16 of 69
You'd buy a retired breeder just like you'd buy a kitten, directly from a good breeder

If there are any cat shows near where you live you could go to them and get to see the different breeds of cats and then talk to the breeders you meet there etc. If you can't make it to a show you can search out breeders near you. When they have breeding cats they want to retire they're usually advertised on the breeder's website.

As for bonding with you, as long as the cat is healthy, well adjusted and properly socialized they should bond well with you even though you've not raised them from kitten hood. Ex-breeding cats are usually very happy to be in a home with fewer cats where they can command much more of your time and bond with you rather than having to compete with all the other cats and kittens for attention.

I mean it's nice of course raising a cat from when they were a 3 month old kitten (You shouldn't get any cat younger than 12 weeks, the time until then is vital for their mental health and socialising and for the kitten to learn to control their claws and bites when playing with their siblings and mother.) but it can also be a very difficult phase to live through, they are spotted balls of energy and it can be hard for everyone involved and since a cat is a cat for most of their lives and a kitten for only a short bit, what sort of cat they are is more important than what they were like as a kitten.

If you go for an adult cat their personality is much more known than that of a kitten so it's easier to find a better match for you. Having said that kittens are of course a bit more of a blank slate so it might be easier to get them used to your quirks then but I don't think you should close off the option of getting a young adult cat.

There's a bengal breeder who's sometimes here on this site. Nial, he's a really good guy and you can see his website here: http://www.bengalshowcats.com/

I know he has adopted several of his ex-breeders to people he's known through the forum here and they're all really happy with their cats.

One thing to beware with Bengals is that the wild cat that was bred into them is a very shy and reserved animal and there are occasional bengal breeders who don't socialise their cats well enough. If they're properly socialised they're absolutely wonderful, outoging and very social cats but I know of atleast one person who got kittens who were not properly socialised and it was a big heart break for everyone involved.

This is not really a problem with the breed, it's just something you need to be aware of and be certain to only deal with a good breeder. This goes both for kittens and adult cats.
post #17 of 69
Bengals are particularly into everything, they belong to the group of cats that takes an active interest in family life - "helping" with the washing up, or sitting on the edge of my bath checking i'm throughly clean I think siamese cats and ocicats also generally belong to that group as well, unlike the stereotypical persian.

I'm not 100% sure i'd ever get a purebred bengal kitten- knowing the amount of work involved i'm not sure i could give them the constant attention, its only cos i live with my parents, and we work quite different hours that we have the time to keep her and her brother happy. Plus she's mellowed out alot in the last 6 months, and a game of fetch usually does the trick.
post #18 of 69
Thread Starter 
I'm not rich, guys.
How much do you think a retired breeding Bengal would cost?
Or a early adult?

I'm also looking at Savannahs. I looked at Servals about a year ago.
I thought they were pretty. I also like their shape.
Any info about them?
post #19 of 69
They're more expensive than the Bengals- new breed and all, and are therefore more likely to be shy. Some breeders are willing to lower the price of their retired breeders- its more important that they go to a good home.

They have one for $500 plus shipping which is a good deal for a retired breeder.
post #20 of 69
It depends with the price on the retired breeding bengals but I'd expect them to go for something between $250-350. The pet kittens are from $600-1000 usually.

You also don't want to go for "cheap" kittens because they're usually not nearly as good examples of the breed then, they might even look much more like normal tabby cats than bengal cats or aren't properly socialised etc. It's really important to buy a cat from a good breeder.

Savannahs are also very high energy cats. Because the breed is so much newer there is still quite a lot of variation in their look, especially in the lower generations.

Early generation Savannahs are absolutely gorgeous but they really need specialised homes and they are very expensive. Some of them need to be fed a raw diet and they may start urine marking and not be great at using litterboxes. This is in additon to leaping about 5-7 feet in the air while playing and knocking things over and being quite aloof with strangers and not lapcats at all.

As an example Nikita is an around F10-F12 Bengal (I lost count going through her pedigree. That means she's atleast 10 generations away from the wild cat.
post #21 of 69
Originally Posted by cata_mint View Post
They're more expensive than the Bengals- new breed and all, and are therefore more likely to be shy. Some breeders are willing to lower the price of their retired breeders- its more important that they go to a good home.

They have one for $500 plus shipping which is a good deal for a retired breeder.
wow, the cats on this page are just beautiful! I am a lover of just normal (no paper) cats but I can see why people fall in love with a certian breed.
post #22 of 69
Thread Starter 
In my state I can only have F4 or above(below? I really don't know how to say it).(Only Bengals, no other hybrids are allowed)
No F1s or anything.

What are the differences between F1, F2, F3 and so on?
post #23 of 69
the amount of ALC (asian leopard cat in them)
F1 min 50%
F2 min 25% etc
F4 is where the amount of ALC is considered small enough that they are basically about as wild as other domestics.
post #24 of 69
Servals are not domesticated pets. They are wild cats found in Africa and are on the endangered species list.
post #25 of 69
The F numbers (as I tend to call them) signify how close to the original wild cat the cat is.

An F1 means it's one generation away from a pure wild cat so a wild cat is the parent. That's 50% wild blood.

An F2 has 25% wild blood and has a wild cat as the grandparent.

F3 is then 12.5% wild blood and on it goes.

However when you hit F4 in bengals and F5 in Savannahs the males become fertile so you can breed bengal to bengal or savannah to savannah and you don't get much more dilution so most pet bengals for example are probably between 2.5-6.5% wild blood, of course you never know exactly what genes come from what parents.

The F1, F2 especially are quite heavily part wild non domesticated cats which is why they require special licenses or are illegal in some parts of the world. That's also why they can have some behavioural "problems" that are not usually encountered in normal cats. They can have heightened reaction to various stimulus and handle any change in their routine very badly. Putting them in a cattery or getting someone to look after them while you go on holiday for example is very hard to do.

Also early generation Bengals have a big tendency to use water as their toilet so they will go in sinks, bathtubs, showers, their water dish etc.

I don't think that anyone should get an early generation pet without having had a lower generation cat for a while first. The SBT (SBT is any cat F4 or further away from the wild cat) cats are often too much cat for people anyway. Like I mentioned earlier my Nikita is an F10-F12, the bengal breeders have done a fantastic job in keeping the coats and type of the cats without constantly needing to go back to the wild cat.
post #26 of 69
Thread Starter 
I don't know if you were talking to me, but I know about Servals.
I read a lot about them, and I know where they are from. I don't think
I said I wanted to buy one.

So, it doesn't matter about the how far away they are from the wild
cat, correct? They still carry the same traits? Looks the same and all?
post #27 of 69
Originally Posted by shadownet View Post
So, it doesn't matter about the how far away they are from the wild
cat, correct? They still carry the same traits?
Pretty much, basically once you hit F4 you have cats that are much easier to care for and make better pets usually than the F1, F2 and F3s, after you're at F4 it doesn't matter how far the cat is from the wild cat as long as you're getting your cat from a good breeder who knows what they're doing and use good cats.

You should only be dealing with good breeders anyway so yeah, it pretty much doesn't matter.
post #28 of 69
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Siggav View Post
Pretty much, basically once you hit F4 you have cats that are much easier to care for and make better pets usually than the F1, F2 and F3s, after you're at F4 it doesn't matter how far the cat is from the wild cat as long as you're getting your cat from a good breeder who knows what they're doing and use good cats.

You should only be dealing with good breeders anyway so yeah, it pretty much doesn't matter.
What are the differences between the wild cat(not sure what wild car is bred with a domestic to make Bengals) and Bengals?

Thanks for all the help.
I really appreciate it.
post #29 of 69
The wild cat that was bred into domestic cats to make bengals is the Asian Leopard Cat, they're a small tree dwelling jungle cat. Nocturnal and shy.

The ALC is the same size or even slightly smaller than the Bengals. They have very big nocturnal eyes. You can see what they look like here: http://images.google.com/images?q=asian+leopard+cat

They're very reserved, nocturnal and shy and don't tame down much and don't like to be handled when kept in captivity and react very intensively with a fight or flight reaction if startled.

While Bengals are usually very social high maintenance cats that want to be the center of everything that's going around. They've gotten those gregarious "I'm happy around humans" qualities from the domestic pet cats that are the bigger portion of their heritage. That's what makes them pets rather than wild animals.
post #30 of 69
Thread Starter 
How smart are Bengals? If you could give examples, I would appreciate it.

How agile are they? How high can they jump, what distance, ect.

And is any of this effected by the "F numbers" or however you would say that?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Showing and Ethical Breeding