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Disinformation About Bengals on Animal Planet

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just watched an episode of the SPCA rescue show from Houston and it bothered me even though I don't own a Bengal cat or ever even seen one other than pictures or videos. They rescued over 100 Bengals from a backyard breeder, they were scared and obviously hadn't been very well socialized but they weren't feral. I heard several times about even though they are considered domesticated from F4 on they still maintain their 'wild' instincts. After spaying and neutering them they took them to a sanctuary where the person who runs it is supposed to be an 'expert' on Bengals was going to evaluate them. The ones that she deemed could be put in private homes would go to homes with no other cats, no dogs, and no kids because they still retain 'wild' instincts from their ancestor. The rest would go into an enclosure by her other big 'wild' cats. It drove me nuts so I can imagine how it would bother someone who breeds, shows, or owns a Bengal. They are supposed to be a network that people can learn about animals from but I think they got it completely wrong this time.
post #2 of 13
What? That's just utter and complete nonesense!

Lots of people watch Animal Planet so that's really harmful disinformation.

Bengals make lovely pets. They're not for everyone but that's just because they're full of energy and want to play all the time or be a part of pretty much everything you're doing not because they're 'wild' or dangerous.

They're really social usually and love having other cats to play with and get along great with dogs.

Nikita is also great with strangers and even when a toddler came to visit she let him pet her a bit (under supervision).

That's so wrong, aaaaargh!!!

Also the wild instincts they would get from the ALC is mostly to be shy and hide away if they're scared/encounter new things. The ALC is not an aggressive feline.
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siggav View Post
Also! the wild instincts they would get from the ALC is mostly to be shy and hide away if they're scared/encounter new things. The ALC is not an aggressive feline.
The bengals yes but the ALC is bit different i would say
.. they can be aggressive when they feel cornered, some people use gloves to handle their pets as some are super tame but some are not at all.

Did your house cat ever scratched you when you washed it? Now imagine you would corner a ALC in a similar way... not washing but taking him to a doc for some injection for example... or getting him in his transportation cage when you are in hurry.
post #4 of 13
No no you're right they can be aggressive in what they see as self defence but they're not the type of animal that would go on to aggressively attack people for no reason.

The program there seems to think that Bengals would go out of their way to try to kill/attack dogs and small children because of their 'wild' blood. I ment that even if they have a lot of wild blood (and most bengals don't) they wouldn't go around trying to kill dogs or other cats.
post #5 of 13
Can you not e-mail the program to tell them your experiences with Bengals?
post #6 of 13
Animal Planet was such a great station back in the day when it was still shared a channel with the Discovery Channel. But, it's really gone down the drain over the last few years. I'll stick to not owning a TV and to researching things on my own.
post #7 of 13
I didn't see the program so I can't comment much. Heard that this happened over 4 years ago and it's new programming of an old event.

I'm willing to bet that a lot of the Vet and SPCA people's comments were taken out of context. The programming editors love to make drama, so people are interested in watching, due to outrage or curiousity.

I've been breeding bengals for 10 years. I have never been bitten and I rarely get scratched. When I do it's not the cats fault.

Unfortunately the bengal cats popularity paves the way for back yard breeders to start up all over the place and some of them become hoarders.

I've heard through the grapevine, that this hoarder/breeder is STILL producing bengal cats.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
They said that they were allowed to have 20 cats back. They were supposed to be checking to make sure the limit wasn't exceeded and if it was they would be taken away and they would be banned from having any cats again. I am sure in time they probably quit checking and they could very well be back in business again.
post #9 of 13
A semiferal Bengal might be better off in an outdoor enclosure, but that's because of the "semiferal" part--not the "Bengal" part. From what I've heard about Bengals, and from the two I've met, they are more like Siamese in temperament than anything else... curious, social, active creatures. A handful, sure; but not wild and shy and aggressive.

I think what's happened to these cats is the same thing that happens to any cat when it's not socialized properly... their personalities now contain a healthy dose of "wary stray survivalist" which could easily be mistaken for wildness.
post #10 of 13
How unfortunate that a respected channel could get it so wrong. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation out there on any number of things and is why we need to research, research, research before making decisions on just about anything these days.
post #11 of 13
That sounds like an old episode that first ran 2 or 3 years ago. It causes an uproar every time they air it but that doesn't stop them from airing it.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/met....18f4f79b.html
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
I've heard through the grapevine, that this hoarder/breeder is STILL producing bengal cats.
I have wondered if that might be where my Coco came from. It's a long story but the person who surrendered Coco to the shelter I got her from surrendered a large number of bengals and took great pains to make sure no one knew where her "cattery" was. I thought one possible reason for this might be because she had run a foul of the SPCA before and didn't want them to find out she was at it again.
post #13 of 13
I saw the show and they clearly stated that the bengals were not feral but were not your everyday domesticated cat. Some of the bengals were straight out vicious - and I'm pretty sure it was due to self defense and sensing it was in danger but simply put - they were pretty aggressive compared to your typical everyday domesticated cat. I don't think they were being socialized to humans very much at all. The show also noted that the breeder had the earlier generations of the f4 bengals so...it was what it was. They did not sensationalize it, some of the other bengals were quite tame, curious and simply breathtaking. They also had the most adorable bengal kittens that were weeks old and that just made my heart melt! The kittens weren't used to being hand fed so it took the handler a while before they started accepting the food from the lady's fingertip.

The SPCA had numerous complaints about that breeder and dealt with the person on many occasions according to the program. I'm not sure why and I'm not going to speculate. It was what it was.
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