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Looking for a Kitten? Don't want to get scammed? Arm yourself with the right questions.

Tips to avoid being scammed when looking for a Bengal breeder

The internet and social media has made it easier to find that perfect kitten you've always wanted and to make your dreams come true but it also opens up the doors to scammers. Joining several Facebook Bengal groups has its advantages. There are a lot of knowledgeable breeders who are very active in these groups and willing to give their advice. These breeders are in the groups helping answer questions like: "What type of food should I feed",  "why does my bengal  have soft stools", "how do I introduce my kitten to my other cats". Take advantage  of their knowledge and ask questions. For the most part when someone is looking to add a bengal to their family you will see these breeders recommend someone with available kittens in their area or you might see a pet owner recommend their breeder based off of personal experience. These recommendations are important as it gives legitimacy to a breeder.  It helps reassure that a breeder is real and you will likely have a good experience if you choose them for your bengal.   With this said you must still proceed with caution. Just because someone suggests a breeder or suggests themselves, this doesn't necessarily mean they are good breeders. It's up to you to do the research, ask the questions and gather the proper information to make a sound judgment. I'm not sure how familiar you are with the breed or the breeding process but please read this and take notes.   When searching for a Bengal kitten please be sure to ask the breeder for proof of Pk-def, Pra-b and  HCM screening test results. Ask for official pedigrees for the Sires and Dams from one of the following registries: TICA, CFA, FIFe, ACF, WCF, ACFA/CAA, CCA-AFC, GCCF or NZCF. You can search for their registered name on the registries website or call the cattery's registering agency to verify they are still active and in good standing * TICA- (956) 428-8046 * CFA- (330) 680-4070  If you can't physically visit the cattery, then ask for real time live videos of the kittens so you don't get scammed with stolen pictures from the internet and other breeders. You can use "Facetime", "Messenger", "Whatsapp" etc for live video chatting.  If you have suspicions that they have used pictures of kittens that aren't theirs you can usually do a reverse image search through "Google reverse image" or "Tineye" Just save the picture they are using and upload it through the search feature. If you see the picture they are using on another breeders website or somewhere else on-line it could be stolen.     Remember: the price of the kitten is only one small piece to consider. Finding an ethical breeder is worth its weight in gold. Kitten prices are likely going to be over $1000 from a properly health tested cattery. Typically they will range from $1500-$3000 depending on various factors. Be very hesitant for anything under $1000. Scammers like to lure buyers in with the price tag. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. An advertisement for $600 is a lot more appealing than $1800 but don't fall for it!  The kitten for $600 doesn't exist  these types of scams give you hope and string you along until they tell you your kitten is at the airport and they need an additional $800 for a special kennel the airlines is requiring.  Don't fall for it! They already took your $600 and are now playing on your heart strings with a sense of urgency to get your kitten home.  There is no kitten,  it's not at the airport,  they are not requiring a special kennel for flight.  Do not give them more money- Walk away… RUN!!  Scammers are getting smart and creative. They will go through the trouble of creating very nice websites to help sell the con. You can usually spot these scammer sites by improper english and weird terminology.  For the most part a breeder will use similar words common in the breeder world.  These scammer sites don't understand the same terminology and will use it wrong which will likely stand out.  They will sometimes use a shopping cart feature which you'll never see a breeder use for their kittens.  Kittens are not something you "add to a shopping cart" as you would on Amazon.  You don't see specials like "buy one get one 25% off". Look at the kitten picture for discrepancies in backgrounds. Different people or arms and hands holding the kittens for the picture. The same picture sometimes used for different kittens on their available listing. There is usually something that will stand out if you look close enough.  These sites get taken down fairly regularly which makes them start a new one frequently.  To see how new a website is  go to a Website Age Checker, type the web address, and you'll have a better idea of its legitimacy. 

There are a lot of breeders who don't do the proper health testing of the parents to ensure healthy kittens such as pk-def, pra-b and annual HCM screening. There are also a lot of scammers out there who will copy test results and use them as their own. Look for font discrepancies within the form. Whitted out boxes where they covered up the original information and put in their own.    If they are talking to you on social media but they do not have a strong social media presence within the groups then chances are they could be a scammer. Most will have never posted and only comment when someone is searching for a kitten.  They sometimes never even comment and will only direct message the individuals looking for a kitten.  This is a huge red flag.   -No website? -No Facebook page? -Will only speak to you through text messages? -They offer no info other than "we have kittens, text or message if interested" -ask for payment in form of gift cards or western union These are all things I would be cautious of and definitely do some serious research before placing a deposit. Read reviews and maybe message some of the people who have bought from that breeder to ask how socialized their kitten was when it got to their new home. And do NOT purchase from anyone who will let the kitten go before 12-14 weeks old and a minimum of 2 vaccinations.  Here's an article about why age is important: <Kittens age for going home> Do not buy kittens off Craigslist, Hoobly or any similar site!!!! Most reputable breeders will have a website or at the very least a Facebook or Instagram page. These other advertisement places are full of scammers and backyard breeders.  

  Overall just be very cautious and do your research. A cute kitten picture is great but don't let it be the thing that allowed somebody to take your money and run.   We hope this helps you in your search for that perfect companion.  Remember. Breeders don't always have kittens available but finding the right breeder and waiting for the right kitten is worth the wait. Don't support back yard breeders who don't health screen and don't guarantee their kittens.  They should come with registration papers, a health guarantee from health screened parents,  a contract of some sort with these guarantees and what to expect.  They should come with a minimum of 2 vaccinations and preferably already spayed or neutered or at least with an alter contact in place and no younger than 12-14 weeks old. Getting a kitten is a 15-20 year commitment. Be sure you're doing the best you can to get one from someone who has done all that they can to produce healthy socialized kittens. 

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If you are interested in one of our kittens (Cosmicbengal) All of our testing results are available on our website under each King and Queen . Take a moment to fill out our application, read over the contracts. There is a kitten care sheet with several recommendations for toys , litter, transitioning your bengal to its new home, spay/neuter info etc... .

Regardless of who you select as your breeder, please use the references and Info above in your search. Its important for the health of the kitten and overall life of your Bengal.


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