Trendar Bengalsbutterflies
So you are thinking about breeding Bengal cats ....
Here is a small sample of what you have to look forward to.....

 Holly Baker in West Virginia USA
written April 2001

tinycats hr

I have been breeding Bengals since 1987, over 15 years.
This is not a typical spring kittening season, but Hay....

It Could Happen... to you too :-)

I knew it was going to be a bad day(s) when!!!

We were off for a fun weekend at a cat show..
My Mother brought a stunning long hair silver and white Munchkin male, my Nephew Elliott looking forward to learning to steward, a Friend with 4 cats (one ready to deliver kittens any minute) and me with a male and a young female who had been in raging heat for 2 weeks. Surely the drive to the show would take her out of heat....NOT...

We all piled into Jennie's, my friend's motor home Jennie had already driven 6 hours so it was my turn to drive.

still showing  showing together   a year later

Things went smoothly, for a while.....

I know it was all going to change when on the way to the Motel from the Show Hall I totaled Jennie's motor home..... no one was seriously hurt except the vehicle, my pride, and Jennie's purse. (we know how insurance companies pay what we expect)

This was Elliott's first ever trip in a motor home, and his first ever cat show.
He is all of 8 years old, venturing out with Grandma and Auntie Holly. Elliott was so strong and helpful through the accident and following turmoil. His only complaint was "Why did that police have to ask us so many questions? He asked me if I took drugs!"

Shadow was calm too, waiting to deliver her kittens the night Jennie got home from Ohio.
The motor home was replaced, with a larger one ( wonder if she will trust me to drive this one.
A week later Jennie took the motor home and some cats to FL. for a cat show and to help plan her son's wedding.
The following weekend, Jennie, Cats and motor home, went to the show in Winston-Salem. One of her Show cats escaped in the parking garage. It was found within 24 hours by another breeder from TN. Enjoying breakfast between two trash cans behind a restaurant. The cat was eating outside, the TN breeder was eating inside:-)
Cat Shows are such fun... but you DO Learn who your true friends are. Like the breeder who caught up and returned the escaped cat, and Maria Kumm and her traveling buddies were saviors in Ohio, carting around 4 people and 8 cats and all our show gear.

It started innocently enough.
One of the cats I had placed in the care of a nurse and her daughter gave birth. Now Gipsy is an only cat and no one ever told her she was a cat, let along what she had to look forward to.
Gipsy presented her owners with 2 kittens and walked off. Karen cleaned and gave mouth to mouth resuscitation to one kitten, it did not make it. The second kitten was active and noisy. Mama Gipsy thought Great! a new squeaky toy... Where was Holly when she was needed??? out of town.
Baby Bastette did not want to take a bottle... Karen and Brittany took baby Bastette to their vet who showed them how to tube feed. Even being a nurse, Karen not at all comfortable with doing this to such a tiny creature.
Karen knew my Mother, who had a litter of eight 5 day old kittens. The Munchkin mama was more than happy to oblige and nurse the tiny orphan.
Kitten was happy but Karen and Brittany did not get to play with and nurture the growing kitten as they had planned... We will give Gipsy another chance.

Two weeks later I had a new litter and brought Bastette home to nurse with Legacy's babies. She was still smaller then they were, but a strong gal. Legacy did not mind at all.

Three weeks later Legacy came into raging heat... This hormone serge tainted her milk and gave the kittens diarrhea.
How do you tell when a tiny baby had diarrhea?? A strange sour odor, they start to look dehydrated and Mom can not keep up with the but cleaning. The bed starts to get gray-yellow cottage cheese looking sour smelling piles in it.
Now I have Legacy's 3 kittens plus one orphan to transplant to new Mama's.

Luck have it, Cherokey delivered...
Cherokey came into heat at about 5 months old, I did not let her breed; she developed a pyometra ( uterine infection ). After clearing up the infection I had to breed her on her next heat to prevent scarring and permanent uterine damage.
Cherokey was to young to know what a baby kitten was... Another Gipsy experience here folks...
Now I did not want Cherokey to think that you can pop out babies and the job is done. So, I took her tiny defenseless baby from Cherokey and gave her the 4 from Legacy. They were old enough to teach Mama a thing or 2 about letting hungry babies nurse.

Things seemed to be going fine........ for a few days...

Azara was in my bedroom with her 3 kittens, plus an F2 kitten. F2's need more handling so I put them with Mama's who will let me play with them.

In my office;
Naked Truth was happy nursing her 6 kittens.

Sahara was happy nursing her 5 kittens plus Cherokey's one.

Silvarzann was in the cattery with one kitten.

Princess was in the cattery with a single week old kitten.

another bad day...

Fat Princess ( fat probably being the reason there was only one in the litter ) laid on her kitten and broke it's back. Princess is now spayed and happy in a pet home.

Silvarzann got stressed and over cleaned her baby, licking and nibbling a hole through the skin in the kittens head... not once but twice. I took the kitten and gave it to Azara, making 5 for her; from 3 different litters.

Cherokey came into raging hormones again. Come on girls, you know what PMS can do, well Cherokey has it big time and is not being very loving to her foster babies... Good thing the crew with her are eating fine and all but one are sold.

Somewhere in there Naked Truth got Mastitis in one teat and the rest went dry (temporarily, thank goodness)
I put Naked and her kittens in with Sahara and her kittens, letting them share duties.

Thank Goodness for digital cameras or I would never keep those kittens straight! Naked and Sahara are my 2 most stunning, hot colored, rosetted lean type girls. Bred to the same boy, with several Stunning kittens in each litter.

Oh, did I mention that there is a super bug going around my county. Flu/ bronchitis, cough till you throw up green junk, lasts 2 months or more, kind of bug.. Yes I have it.
I went to the Dr for the first time in 2 years. He said I am no longer contagious so I am letting people come over again.

As I write this the kittens range from 9 weeks to 4 weeks old. They are all starting to eat meatloaf, canned food mixed with raw meat and vitamins. It is easier for me to mix in the raw meat and get them growling for more. No energy for separating Moms while serving warm milk and canned food 3 times a day. Don't think I could manage that many little bowls of milk without spilling them as I cough my way up and down the stairs.

Nearly half of the kittens are spoken for... Please let them remain healthier and friendlier than I am :-)

Someone with a stronger hand than mine is taking care of these kittens as all are healthy.

Now do you want me to pick out a nice breeding pair for you :-) 
                Holly; April 2001

Brittany enjoying kittens

Take time to enjoy

what you have  

I try to.

spring in WV

If you are still thinking about breeding...
here is a letter that I recently sent to 2 different people this week asking about getting started breeding Bengals :- )

 The first thing to think about is... you do not usually get a breeding quality kitten for less than $1500. Most lower price pet kitten do not have the qualities necessary for improving the Bengal breed and for you to establishing a reputable breeding program. 

There are few people who do stud service. It is just to easy to bring home things that do not wash off. I do trade studs with people that I have known for a while ' year or 2' and I have seen how they keep their cats. 

The part above about a nurse wanting to breed for just one litter.  This is only the tip of the problems that can and often DO occur when breeding cats or any other captive species. It is Extremely time consuming and often frustrating. It can be heart braking. The stress can be overwhelming at times. 

Just this AM one of my VERY sweet 'with humans' F2 girls jumped out of her cage.  I let her in with an Extremely sweet spayed F1 gal twice her size. The F2 set into screaming and squalling lashing out with claws extended and terrorizing the poop or of sweet F1.   I just opened the cage and screamed madly ... both of you get out!!!   I put the F1 in her cage then took a broom to safely guide
the still screaming F2 to back to her cage.  Anyone who had seen and heard this would have had me committed :-)  
Sometimes I wish I had another way of making an income.... but I have not the physical or mental stamina to do a 9-5. I could give you names of people who have started breeding and had THOUSANDS of bills in poop problems and c sections and spays and... and... and... before having one kitten to sell. Breeding cats is not for the light of heart. so why am I still here?????? 

Please talk to a few other breeders, old timers and new ones who have 4 or more adult cats. Ask them straight out...
when was the last time you were at a vet's office, and what for??
how many times have you been to the vet this week or this month?
do you know how much you spent on vet bills last year?
how many times have you had to pay with a credit card because your checking acct was to low?
how much do you spend in a year for feed? litter? and where can you dump all that dirty litter?
Vet Bills are a HUGE expense for all breeders.
purchasing new bloodlines?
showing  / advertising?
equipment? toys?
What to do if your kittens do not sell? There are a LOT of new breeders that start up then find they can not sell the kittens for a profit.
Can you find a vet that does early spay and neuter?   it is such a pain to follow up and track people down that have not given you proof of spay. Bengals CAN and do breed at 4 to 6 months old!
How many nights have you stayed up with an expectant queen? How many days off from your regular job sitting home worrying about the delivery?
How long do you spend each day doing the regular scooping?
Washing and filling food and water bowls and litter pans?
Cleaning up spilled food and water and litter?
Can someone smell your home before entering?    after entering?   Do you know anyone honest enough to tell you??? because most people will say politely, it smells OK!!
How many candles do you keep burning to help cover up the odor? poop stinks, even if only for a few minutes....
How often do you clean your carpeting?
How long after starting to breed did you replaced your carpet with tile or vinyl?
What does your furniture look like? what is it made of? some furniture shows scratches more than others. Are you prepared to sacrifice the leather sofa?
Is it kitten proof? A recliner will brake the back or neck of a kitten playing underneath if you unknowingly sit up .
How often do you buy new furniture?

Please give this more investigation... then get back to me :-) OK

 Holly,   9-03

2 Cat Shows in Aug 2003!

Lots of information about Bengals

Holly's online book.....
Read about Bengal Cats
as I share my 20 plus years
of knowledge and  experience Raising, Breeding, Showing and Selling Bengal Kittens.

tinycats hr

logo for web design  

If you like my web site, I could build one for you :-) Just click here and ask...

  Bengal Kittens Available most of the time