We would like to share some information with you that we find helpful as a breeder. Feel free to take what you like and leave the rest. This is meant as helpful information not as a judgment or telling you what to do with your cattery/program.
You should be selective of your breeding cat. Not ALL Bengals are meant for breeding. Search for the one that will compliment your program. What is your program lacking? Or what do you want in your program?Chin strength? Ears? Eyes? Nose profile? Shorter thicker tails? Colors? Patterns? Unless you're only looking to produce Bengal kittens for money you should be looking at the written standards (TICA - CFA - ETC...) Find a breeder who shows and wins so you can get a good idea of what a Bengal should look like. Someone who is working towards the standards.
Simply buying a cat because it's registered and available right now, isn't really how you should be choosing your Sire or Dam. We should all be looking to improve the breed. A MUST is buying breeding cats from breeders who test for Pra-B, PK-Def, HCM, Fiv/Felv and if available fecal pcr test results for the parents.Once you get your breeding cats PLEASE test them yourself. It’s only $65 dollars at UC Davis or about $100 to do Optimal Selection. Some breeders are not honest and you could be shown paperwork of parents that are not the parents. Or maybe they got something wrong. We have personally ran into this. I’m grateful we test all our cats. If we hadn’t, we most definitely could have produced pkdef kittens not knowing it. The breeding cat we bought was N/K not N/N. We were given the parents paperwork showing N/N too! Breeding blindly is NEVER ok. Pkdef and Pra-B are both things we can eradicate in our breed. Comparing pedigrees of the cats you are buying is always necessary. You want to look for any matching family for COI. Too high of COI can cause issues in the offsprings.
Don't just go for the outward color of the bengal. The genetics determines what kind of kittens you will produce. What genes are you looking for? Just browns? APB, (a), (cs), (cb), (d)....... if you don't know what any of that means then you have a LOT to learn before you get a bengal for breeding.
What's the breeders contract and restrictions like? Health guarantees? Guaranteed to produce a litter (male or female) within the first three years or you get a replacement. There's a lot of little things to look for in a contract. Creating a good relationship with the breeder you get your breeding cat from is also a huge plus. You NEED a Mentor! They are such a big part in your journey breeding. Find someone you can trust and share similar goals with. This person can be the breeder you buy your breeding cat from or another breeder you connected with along the way. Many well known breeders are willing to help as long as you show you are willing to learn and LISTEN. Nothing is more frustrating than someone coming to you asking for help, you give them the information you know and do then they do the complete opposite. Or they continue to ask the same questions over and over. If a breeder takes the time to help or mentor you PLEASE take notes either on your phone or get a notebook. Obviously occasionally asking again is ok. We are all learning and sometimes need things explained 2 times. What a mentor is looking for in a mentee is someone eager to learn and do things the right way. TICA also has a mentor program you can apply for on their website. This way if you do not have a mentor or do not know of a breeder willing to mentor you, you can be paired with a TICA mentor. If that mentor is not someone who you click with please request another mentor. We all have different ways of doing things. This is the link to the mentorship program. https://tica.org/owners-breeders/mentorship-program
Some things to think of regarding money.
• registering a Cattery? ($75/annually)
• Breeding rights on each cat? (Usually $2500-$4500)
•Do you have a mentor? (Priceless)
•How old to breed ? (1 year is best or 3 major heats)
• Pk-def N/N? ($40 test)
• Pra-b N/N? ($40 test)
Or recommend to do both yourself UC Davis$65, Optimal selection around $100
• HCM screening is a MUST ($250-$500)
• Fiv/Felv snap test clear? ($25-$50)
• Fecal PCR clean? ($150-$300)
•Pedigree for each cat ($50)
•Do you have a birthing kit made up for the babies and Mom? ($100+)
-Several types of nesting boxes
-Clean blankets I use the small $2.50 blankets from Walmart also reusable whelping pads
- 24wash cloth or soft paper towels. I used Viva paper towels. I usually go through a lot during a delivery. Plus a trash bag to toss stuff or to keep the wash clothes.
- heating pad( one that doesn't shut off)
- very sharp small scissors
- Hand sanitizer
- antiseptic solution to dip the umbilical cord in.
- bleed stop
- something to tie off the umbilical cord if you want to
- needle in case a kitten isn't breathing.
- bulb syringe
- b-12 (liquid) or gel ( you can get this at the tractor supply store)
- Digital scale( make sure it weighs 1g/0.01 ounces or less is fine too)
- kitten collars if you want. When needed I use small hair ties.
-paper and pen, notebook or notes app to keep records of how birthing went, kitten weights.
-Lubrication in case a kitten gets stuck
- Feeding tube
- formula ( we use Esbilac puppy)
-miracle nipples mini and original
- 3ml,5ml and 10 ml syringes
- colostrum ( I use breeders edge )
- day one diastat- probiotics, and electrolytes we order from
- a list of emergency vets (get at least 2)
- if you can get these meds from your vet meds:
(you will need to get dosing from your vet on all medications.)
3. Sub q fluids + 60ml syringes and needles
4. 1ml disposable syringe with needle 25G x 5/8 (Or buy on Amazon)
5. Clavamox for mom or Kittens in need
- a list of breeders( make sure you let them know the week your female is going to give birth. This way they can keep their phones on to help you.)
•Do you have $2000-$5000 for an emergency vet if there are complications during or after delivery? This is a MUST have!!! Complications happen when you least expect it!
•Cost to raise, vaccinate and alter a litter (approx $700 a kitten)
•Pay for stud fee ($1500-$2500) if you don't have one ready
• Pay for transport ($350-$750)
•Possibly pay for studs testing to ensure he is clear of everything and won't get your cat sick (add Fiv,Felv snap, upper respiratory and fecal PCR panels $250+)
There is a LOT that goes into breeding other than just having two cats making babies.
Breeding can be a wonderful experience or a disaster lol... To be done right, here's a few more things to consider above & beyond just the previously mentioned $$$ financial costs, which are huge, but $$$ is definitely not all that's involved in becoming a good Breeder.
*You need to know how to properly assist with a birth.
*How to ensure mama and kittens are healthy before, during & after a birth.
*When to assist mama if she needs help.
*How to cut umbilical cords and break the kittens sacs so they don't suffocate.
*Female cats are very loud and can spray on everything you own when they're in heat. What is your plan to house this type of female for 3-14days?
*You need to be home for several days in a row ...usually with NO sleep for a few days... to assist with birth and give post birth care to mama & babies.
*Be prepared & know how to prepare formula & properly bottle feed a litter (so they don't aspirate)every 2 hours around the clock for several weeks.
•How much to bottle feed and when as well as what supplies
It's roughly 8 ml per ounce every 24 hours.
So if they are 3 ounces they need at least 24 ml every 24 hours.
Every 2 hours they need to eat at least 2 ml.
Feed every 2 hours for week 1-2
Feed every 3 hours for week 3-4
Feed every 4 hours for week 5-6
Feed every 6 hours for week 6-8
For feeding Miracle Nipple Mini (Mini 10-pack) includes Syringe
Longer "original" Miracle nipple for kittens who have problems with mini nipple (4 Pack)
Easier to throw away syringes at night than to clean each time. You get more sleep this way.
10ml Syringe Only with Luer Lock Tip - 100 Syringes Without a Needle
Personal choice of formula
PetAg Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer
*know how to find/screen potential adopters for the kittens(application works best)
*have a vet familiar with the bengal breed
*know when & how to deworm and vaccinate a litter
*know the signs of & how to treat various things including but not limited to; pyometra, fks, hcm, fip, worms, various viruses, giardia, coccidia, uri...
*proper diet for mamas & kittens
*proper birthing area & safe kitten play area
*picture taking ( light boxes work great)
*many many many hours a day/night talking to potential adopters answering millions of questions and taking thousands of pictures.
*freeing up your schedule & cleaning your home to have adopters come into your home any day/time that works for you both,we usually do weekends
*writing up contracts (deposit, pet, breeder ETC…)
*checking state/town laws for the number of cats allowed per household
*registering a cattery and litters
*ensuring sire & Dam are not related
*ensuring you have proper breeding rights for your sire & dam
I'm sure I could go on and on but that's what I thought of off the top of my head. Feel free to reach out and ask for help. I know most well known and ethical breeders are willing to help as long as you are willing to breed ethically. Once you start off doing things the wrong way it's hard to redeem yourself in the bengal community. I always relate Breeding drama to worse than middle school and high school combined! So whatever you write in a post or private message make sure you are ok with that being screenshot and sent around the world. Good luck in Breeding. It's one of the best things I've accomplished in life. I still have a lot to learn myself and a lot to experience. ️
A link to swing ( I know it's a puppy but the best one I could find.)
A link on CPR ( again puppy)
Tags: breeding cats, breeding Bengals, bengal breeder, TICA Breeder , CFA Breeder, Bettering the breed, Champion Bengals, Grand Champion Bengals, nursing Bengals, selecting a bengal, selecting sire, selecting dam, cattery help, cattery info, how to select your breeding cats, Florida breeder, Florida Bengals, Florida bengal breeder, mentor, bengal mentor, TICA mentor, cattery costs