Owners have the option to buy a kitten, rescue a stray, or adopt one. Given that you are reading this, you are either considering on getting one or just generally curious, but before you invest on it, the first step is to read and research to know if a retired breeder cat is the right cat for you!
Should you adopt a retired breeder cat?
Yes, because breeder cats are held to a high standard in terms of genetics and behavior before they can mate and produce, so you’ll know you’re getting a good quality Bengal. They are also less likely to have litter issues, and are a better option over an overly curious kitten that can get to trouble.
There are other factors that you should look into when adopting.
Home or cattery-raised?
Cats raised on a home are – you get it – felines that have lived in a house with human companion/s. In a cattery, this is where they can be placed temporarily (boarding cattery), or where they are bred for a hobby or for commercial purposes (breeding cattery).
Is the Bengal you are considering to adopt raised in a home or in a cattery? Bengals raised in the cattery may be frightened by the amount of space they have access to in a home and may need extra time to become socialized.
Once they become used to more freedom and living in a bigger space, your Bengal will start showing its true character now that it finally has its own people and a house.
If you adopt one that lived in a home, the adjustments are more minimal – only a change of human owner and surroundings.
Still, whether the cat was from a cattery or a home, it needs time to settle in the new environment and will need lots of your patience and time.
Bengals love their people fiercely and bond almost instantly with them. So, if you can help a retired breeder through the first few weeks of transition, you will get a pet that is loyal, loves to be with you, and is happy to have a real home.
Extra transition time
Many retired breeders could be described as terrified for the first few weeks after they get to their new forever home. Give your Bengal the extra time to learns what it means to live as a family cat.
They might need to be confined for up to a month in one or two rooms until they lose their fear and settle in. PAWS.org advises us to keep the cat indoors as they go through the process of recognizing that you are their new packmate and that this place is their home.
Since they rely solely on you, be generous in providing them the love that they need. Build the trust needed between the two of you before you introduce the Bengal to the outside world.
They may hide in places under the couch or disappear elsewhere, so make sure you secure the house and that it can’t find a possible escape route.
Male or female cat?
Most tomcats spray as part of the attraction and dominance of attracting a mate. They may or may not stop marking their territory once they are neutered.
If you are not prepared to deal with this, you’ll want to consider adopting a female.
Not all male cats mark after neutering and they seem to have an easier time emotionally with the initial move to the new home.
Seeing is believing
Since your Bengal is older, they have a complete medical history of their shots, and their coat has been fully developed. You get to see what you are getting before you adopt.
If you found them through a website or a blog, don’t be shy in asking for videos of the cat, so you can see how they behave and how they look. When you’re available, it’s always best to take the time to meet your potential adoptee and get to know it better – think of it like adopting a child!
The right fit
Rely on the breeder to help find the right match for you.
Since most of the cats adopted that is a retired breeder will be a few years old, the breeder has had time to learn their personality and knows what type of situation will work for the cat. Work with them to find the right fit for you.
When do breeding cats retire?
Queens, or non-spayed female cats, are retired from breeding at about 5 years old to preserve their health and wellbeing. As they get older, more complications and risk come with the pregnancy and delivery of a new litter.
Female cats must be 18 to 24 months old to be able to nurse, and other factors are considered aside from age. They should be healthy and are in good condition to breed.
As for tomcats, male cats, they can breed for as long as they can; that’s why veterinarians strongly recommend to neuter cats thar are only meant for companionship. They are sexually active by the time they reach 6 months old.
How much does it cost to adopt a Bengal cat?
Adopting is more budget-friendly than buying. Bengal cats may cost $75 to $100 to adopt, whereas buying from a breeder could have you pulling out thousands out of your pocket ($1,000 and above).
Like a rescue, retired breeding cats need a loving home too. If you would consider adopting a rescue, then a retired breeder may be for you, because both cats of different circumstances can both become loving, grateful companions.
Are older cats better to adopt?
Retired breeder cats are not that old, usually at the age of four to five or more. Adopting a Bengal cat of age is way better, and there are benefits to it!
Retired breeder cats have certain boxes to tick before they can mate and sire kittens. By adopting one, you are usually getting the best the breed has to offer in both looks and personality.
Most retired breeding cats are used to a multi-cat environment and adapt to existing pets easily.
If you already have other pets and are planning to complete the pack, a retired breeder Bengal will fit in like a missing piece to the puzzle – with your efforts into it of course! Bengals are social, playful felines that do great in pair or with a companion.
These types of cats are quite expensive, and the cost can range from nothing to a few hundred dollars. Typically, breeders charge the cost of the spaying only.
Keep in mind that quality pet Bengal can cost between $1000 to $1800.
Adopting a retired breeder can help you to be able to afford a cat that otherwise might not fit into your budget. It’s also a good opportunity to get two cats at once since the cost is so much less than a pedigree kitten.
They are also good companions, especially for the elderly. A retired breeding cat can make an excellent companion for an older person who may not be up to the challenges of the kitten phase.
An older Bengal may know more basic household manners, are easily trainable or were trained, less curious as they were once and will relax with you throughout the day, and will always be thankful that you chose them as they live their last life.
How long does it take for an adult cat to bond with you?
It can take weeks to months for an adult cat to form a bond with a new owner. Each cat is unique and may find comfort in you in a matter of days or longer.
In every relationship, it is built upon trust, so your first goal must be to obtain your new Bengal’s trust.
Bonding with you
In the first few days, your Bengal will be sniffing around, lurking in corners and shelf tops. Whether the feline was trained or not, expect it to spray on walls to mark it as its territory, especially if it’s a male.
It’s recommended to keep the cat in one room first, and make sure to keep down your voice. Don’t raise your tone or it may scare it and the transition period will take more time.
Be in the room with the cat, and don’t force intimacy (cuddling for example). Your presence alone should be enough, and wait for the Bengal to approach you and deem you trustworthy for a touch.
Dedicate a special sleeping space for your cat somewhere in the house, away from distractions. Give them food as scheduled, and don’t hover over them as it eats.
Bonding with the children and other pets
If there are kids in your place, or an animal or two, make sure to isolate your adoptee cat in a room before socializing it to the others. It can be overwhelming for them to be met with other animals and squealing children.
During feeding time, set up a screen between the Bengal and the pets, so they can each have a hint that there’s a new member in the house. This adjustment will take time.
Don’t let the kids handle the cat in the first few days.
Instead, instruct the young ones to watch as you play with the Bengal, and while it is engrossed with the activity, have your partner or friend bring in the other cat/dog. Your helper will play with the other pet while you play with the Bengal.
Keep this session going, and one of two things will happen: A. The animals will start to engage in the play together; B. They will show signs of distrust/dislike, and that’s a cue for you to try again next day.
The transition period will take time, but the result will be so much rewarding!