[dropcap]B[/dropcap]ringing a new Bengal kitten into your home means a big change in your routine. Your new kitten is also dealing with a big change in his or her life at this time and some stress-related symptoms such as sniffles and/or sneezing or diarrhea may be experienced and are usually transitory and not signs of generalized illness. It is recommended that your new Bengal cat/kitten be in quarantine during this time (if there are other cats in the household).
Having a Bengal cat in your residence requires that you maintain a flexible and sometimes forgiving attitude. Lots of patience goes a long way. Your kitten will outgrow some of his super active tendencies as he matures into adulthood. You can always return furnishings and other household items you are concerned about, to the main living area, when he has matured into an adult. Use distraction and train your kitten to scratch on his new cat tree or post. Clapping your hands and a sharp “no”, or using a spray bottle with water in it can act as a deterrent (try not to let him see you spray at him or in his direction); use praise and treats as rewards for good behavior. And don’t forget to keep the toilet seat down at all times.
If you want to take your kitten out for a walk, get him used to a secure harness first (not a collar), then an attached leash. Do not leave the kitten unattended with this on him! Do the initial practice runs inside at first. Then take him out to a quiet area and sit down with him, let him lead you. Do not let him go off on his own outside, he may get lost or stolen. If you have a balcony, do not leave him out there unsupervised. You may want to consider a mesh enclosure on a patio or deck.
Stress, territoriality, feeling unsafe or trapped, poor location, and unclean litter box may cause your kitten or cat to not use his litter box. Scoop several times a day and dump litter every 2 days; wash litter box with bleach and water. One litter box per cat and then one more is the rule of thumb for multi-cat households. Bengals are fastidious cats and do not like dirty litter boxes. I recommend using an open litter box for the first week, at least. It is your responsibility to look after this important aspect of caring for your kitten or cat.
If possible, use the same brand of litter he has been accustomed to using, then gradually switch the litter to a new product (if you wish) and add the new to old type litter until the new is accepted by the kitten. You may want to use a “Litter Genie“, a receptacle for putting the used litter in. The less change the better at the beginning of the kitten’s stay will help with his adjustment and provide some sense of security. Same goes for the food. Once the cat has had time to adjust to his new environment, gradually changing to a different brand of food will be fine. Hasty changes in diet will cause diarrhea and tummy upsets.
Above all, enjoy you new Bengal kitten! They are like little children and have the mental capacity of a toddler. Although, I am sure sometimes they act smarter than this! Bengal proof your house, especially at first in respect to ornaments, plants, open windows and doors. Do not let your kitten outdoors unless he is on a leash and harness or in an enclosure. Bengals can get bored easily and the safe outdoor adventure can be a good diversion for them!