What is a Bengal cat breed?
In 1983, the breed was officially accepted by TICA registration, originally started by Jean Mill. The Bengal is a domesticated cat breed from hybrids of domestic cats (utilizing the Egyptian Mau, Abyssinian, American shorthair, etc.) with the Asian leopard cat. Bengals have a wild appearance with beautiful spotting/marbling and rosettes. Bengals from the first 3 generations are considered "early generation" Bengals. To be considered a domestic Bengal by the cat registries, a Bengal must be at least 4 generations or more away from the Asian leopard cat, which would the be considered as Stud Book Tradition (SBT).
What is their temperament like?
Bengals are very smart, energetic and playful. They are considered dog-like and because of this, a lot of owners have a really fun time playing fetch with their Bengals without much training necessary. They also love playing in the water. As natural tree dwellers, they really enjoy exploring high places. They are also typically a vocal breed and love to chat with their family. Bengals are generally confident and curious, so a lot of owners will take their Bengals traveling and out hiking.
What generation do you breed?
We breed SBT bengals, this term stands for "Stud Book Tradition" and means they are least 4 generations away from their ancestor, the wild Asian leopard cat. Our earliest generation that we produce here at Bougie Bengals is 5th generation (G5) and as late as 10th generation.
Is the Bengal hypoallergenic?
Hypoallergenic means less likely to cause an allergic reaction. With that being said yes, Bengals are hypoallergenic. Bengals have a very fine coat that don't require much maintenance. Because of this attribute they don't have to groom as often thus usually not causing an allergic reaction from their saliva. Bengals usually shed less so this is also a factor when considering the likelihood of causing an allergic reaction. It's important to know how you are going to react to a Bengal in terms of allergies before committing to bringing one home. For this reason, we do send "scent patches" that is filled with fur, dander, and saliva to potential owners that have shown cat allergies when they are considering one of our kittens.
How are Bengals with young kids?
Bengals, just like all animals, should be supervised with young kids. Bengals can play rough, but with the right redirection to an appropriate toy, kids can be a wonderful match to play with Bengals. That being said, we have had several families with young kids and our kittens cuddle and love to follow them everywhere!
Do they get along with other animals?
Yes, Bengals temperament is very dog-like and, because of this, they are usually a great fit for large and small dogs. Our cats play with our larger dogs and its quite cute to watch. They do need supervision with smaller pets such as hamsters, rats or birds. That being said, we have all of our kittens meet our pet parrot "Birdie" for proper socialization and because of this, we have seen our Bengal families enjoying other birds including ducks and chickens.
How big do Bengals get?
Bengals can weigh between 9-15 lbs. They should be lean and muscular. Typically males will weigh more than females.
What color Bengals do you breed?
As of 2023, we will produce brown, silver, brown charcoal, silver charcoal and snow lynx/mink including silver snow variations.
What enrichment item should I buy for my new kitten?
Enrichment items are key to a happy Bengal. You want to be sure you have the time available to play with your Bengal daily, as they are a high energy breed. We recommend a cat wheel, wall mount cat shelving, cat trees and plenty of toys. Bengals are very social and do well with other high energy type breeds, so a potential playmate might be good to consider depending on your lifestyle. Finally if available, we also encourage a safe outdoor catio for your cat to enjoy fresh air and sunshine!
Do Bengals need a special diet?
In short, No. However cats are obligate carnivores and evolved from getting majority of their water through their diet. Thus, we recommend a species appropriate raw diet. Bougie Bengals' breeder is a carnivore nutrition and wellness coach. We do provide a list of companies that have put together balanced formulas, as well as, offering education for families that are new to feeding raw. There are some raw alternatives we feed as well that includes freeze dried raw.
When can I bring my kitten home?
TICA registry recommends kittens to go home between 14-16 weeks of age. We find this is the ideal time to have them go home with proper health protocols, socialization and litter training necessary to thrive!
Where are you located?
We are located in the beautiful Tryon, North Carolina area. We prefer our families to pick up their kitten in person however, we do have a wonderful relationship with a flight nanny company to fly with your kitten to your nearest airport or have your kitten drive with a ground transport team to arrive at your home.
What are my options to bring my kitten home if I live in another state?
Although we do prefer our families to pick up their kitten in person, we do realize that it's not always the easiest or most cost effective option. We offer flight (in cabin only) and ground transport options. We have developed wonderful relationships with a flight nanny company, as well as, a few ground transport teams. This is offered as a third party service and the delivery price is not included with our kittens. We are more than happy to connect you with the best option to get your baby home safely.
What are your health protocols for your kittens?
We believe in raising our cats and kittens as naturally as possible without the use of toxic chemicals. We follow the health protocol recommendations by our holistic vet, which includes feline immunity nosodes in replacement of vaccines to build natural immunity. Homeopathic nosodes immunize against feline distemper, herpes virus, FIV, calicivirus, mycoplasma virus, leukemia and FIP. A nosode is a homeopathic immunization remedy made from an infectious disease, similar to vaccines, without the mercury preservatives that are within vaccines that can have a negative affect to the overall immune system. Nosodes are given orally to avoid adverse reactions that can happen as a result of intramuscular vaccines.We also use a homeopathic dewormer along with regular fecal testing.
What continued health protocol do you recommend?
Our suggestion would be to continue with a holistic vet for your immunization protocol. Most regular vets will over vaccinate causing adverse reactions that are NOT reversible. This includes a forever compromised immune system, behavioral changes such as aggression/fear/anxiety, autoimmune disease, sarcoma (cancer), etc.
To best benefit your kitten, natural immunization protocol feline nosodes are highly recommended to be continued by your holistic vet. If you must vaccinate for rabies, holistic vets will utilize a specific rabies vaccine brand (IMRAB 3 TF stands for "Thimerosal free") that doesn't carry Thimerosal (toxic mercury-based preservative), thus a better option. If you must vaccinate for FVRCP (regular kitten vaccines) a holistic vet would be able to give an intranasal vaccine in order to mimic a natural way for disease to enter the body vs an intramuscular vaccination that is considered foreign to the body. Please keep in mind there is NOT a TF "Thimerosal free" option for FVRCP vaccines currently on the market.
What health testing do you perform on your adult cats?
We perform genetic testing by Optimal Selection Wisdom panel to test for Progressive retinal atrophy (Pra-B) which is a genetic disorder that causes early blindness and Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK-Def) which is an inherited hemolytic anemia caused by a defect in the enzyme pyruvate kinase, along with 40+ genetic diseases. We screen annually with a board certified cardiologist for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) which is a thickened heart muscle that can make it harder for the heart to pump blood. Finally, we periodically PCR test our adults that includes upper respiratory and fecal illness. You can find copies of these tests and documents located under the tab "Kings & Queens."
What is your waitlist and how does it work?
Due to buyers demand, we have a waitlist in place. Once you have learned more about us and ready for one of our kittens, you will fill out the kitten application on our homepage. Once you are approved by the breeder, the $200 waitlist payment is applied toward the overall cost of your upcoming kitten. After approval, waitlist payment confirmation and the waitlist contract is signed, you will join the waitlist for an upcoming kitten here at Bougie Bengals!
How long does it take to wait for one of your kittens?
We currently have kittens available and ready to go to their new home. However, if you are looking for a specific sex and color, the wait could be a bit longer depending on the kittens we produce. If you are looking for a specific sex and color, please reach out to us via our contact form or email BougieBengals@gmail.com.
Prices and what is included with your kittens?
Our kittens include:
*Feline immunity homeopathic nosodes
*Spay or Neuter
*Litter box trained
*Vet health certificate
*Airline approved pet carrier
*Weekly video/picture updates via Facebook group
*Parents health testing including HCM, PRA-B, PK-DEF and Optimal Selection genetically tested for 40+ genetic diseases. Results located on Kings & Queens page of our website.
*Extensive socialization program focusing on the development of the critical socialization stage
*Extensive Health guarantee including lifetime Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, FIP and Congenital Disease guarantee
*Enrichment items including familiar scent plush toy, sample freeze dried balanced meal, teething chew treats, raw feeding education book and discount coupons with Raw Vibes Pet Food Company
*Kitten food supply (Species Appropriate Raw Diet)
*30 day pet health insurance with Trupanion
*Lifelong Breeder Support
These kittens are being holistically raised and will be seen throughout their care by a holistic vet. Our kittens receive the highest quality care and socialization for your family.
We prefer our kitten families to come pick up their kitten in person, however, USDA certified flight nanny and ground transport nationwide are available. Transport is not included in our prices.
Do you sell kittens with breeding rights?
We do selectively offer exceptional kittens that show quality attributes including health, temperament, pattern and structure to benefit the breed only to established breeding programs with similar goals. Breeding programs must be able to show health testing results performed on their adults including PRA-B/PK-Def and HCM.
Do you have retired breeder cats available?
Yes! We do encourage families that are interested in one of our adults to please email us below. Our retired adults include TICA registration, spay or neuter, microchip, fecal test, vet health certificate, airline approved carrier, online health testing results, raw feeding education book, food supply (species appropriate raw diet), extensive health guarantees and lifelong breeder support. Please contact BougieBengals@gmail.com to inquire.
What do you feed your breeding cats and kittens?
Cats are obligate carnivores and evolved from getting a majority of their water through their diet. Thus, we recommend a species appropriate raw diet. The breeder is a carnivore nutrition and wellness coach that offers education for families that are new to raw feeding and provides reading material, as well as, a list of companies that offer balanced meals. We also utilize freeze dried cat treats/food as well through RawVibesPetFood.com, Stella and Chewy's and Vital Essentials.
What should I do if I'm interested in a kitten?
Please fill out our kitten application on our home page. However, if you have any questions, you can find the contact form under our "contact" page or you can email BougieBengals.com and you will hear back from us shortly!
Tell us more about Bougie Bengals and its breeding goals?
Bougie Bengals is a TICA registered Bengal breeding program started in 2019 and based in Tryon, North Carolina. Our goal is to offer the highest quality of health, social temperament and closest to the breed standard through progressive breeding and natural rearing practices. Specifically producing vibrant contrasted color, with horizontal pattern flow, spotted legs, rounded ears, large nocturnal eyes, straight profile and strong chin with lean muscled long bodies is the structural goal. Family oriented, cuddly, curious, adventurous members of the family in regards to temperament as well as upmost health, through extensive health testing and supportive health guarantees. We stand behind our kittens throughout their lives and offer lifetime support in their development and your education!
Tell us more about the breeder?
Alexa Rodriguez is a breed preservationist and animal wellness coach including expertise in animal nutrition, along with an extensive background in animal behavior and psychology over the last decade. Alexa is an exclusive raw feeder for her breeding program and has been raw feeding since 2016. Alexa has worked in rescue for 15 years with a focus on fostering and raising kittens for shelters and rescue organizations. She is very experienced in raising a variety of species including dogs, wolf dogs, horses, including some wildlife as a volunteer rehabilitator. She is also an accomplished horse trainer specializing in behavior as well as a silver medalist dressage rider and trainer over the last 20 years. Her husband is a Canine Behaviorist over the last 20 years, they both have worked together on extensive behavioral cases including fear, aggression and certain medical conditions utilizing her skills in (natural and conventional) medicine, behavior and animal communication. Her passion is within the relationship development between animals and their humans.