Trimming your cats nails

Cats nails grow quickly, as quickly as your fingernails.  They should be trimmed as frequently as yours do (at least once a month).

Some cats can properly maintain their nails (though they will be very sharp) and it won’t cause them any problems; however, a lot of cats can have problems if you don’t trim them (additionally they won’t scratch you as much).

You want to trim both the front and back nails (including the dewclaw (thumb)). You can start as young as 8 weeks old.  Talk to your breeder as to how they trim nails and how they can transition to you.

Select a quiet room with no distractions and calmly sit with your cat.  The basic process is as follows:

  • Gently press a paw to extend the nails:
  • Look at the nail from the slide and determine where the nail ends and the quick begins.
  • You need to avoid the quick as if you cut the quick you will cause pain and bleeding.  As well, it will make it harder to cut it in the future (your cat will struggle more).
  • Clip the nails quickly as it’s going to be hard to keep them still for long.
  • Give lots of praise / treats / scratches when finished, to create a positive experience and association with nail clipping.

Some tricks

  • Grab them by the scruff to show dominance if they try to run away.
  • Talk to your cat while clipping.  Give praise for being still (Good Girl/Boy!) or say NO if they try to escape, bite or growl.
  • Cover their head so they can’t see what you are doing.
  • Have a partner distract their attention while you clip the nails.
  • Lift them by the scruff and clip them while scuffed (this will usually work until they are 8 months or so).
  • Wrap them in a towel (only use as a last resort — your cats will hate this!)
  • If all else fails: bring them to your vet to get them clipped.

Cat scratching

Every cat has a need to scratch and if you don’t supply them with sufficient items that they can use for scratching then you will find your table, chair, couch, bed or rug scratched.  So what do they need?

Every cat needs

Both a horizontal and vertical scratching item.  Some cats like to stretch out high or long and some flip between them.  

Cardboard makes excellent material to be scratched.  Avoid carpet as it can confuse the cat into scratching things they shouldn’t (like your favorite rug). You can buy lots of great scratching items on Amazon or your neighborhood pet store.  Here is one of our favorites:

Pet Fusion Cat Scratcher

To encourage scratching you can use cat nip or play with them on /around the scratching post.  A laser pointer can work really well to direct them into the scratching post.

Destructive  Scratching

If you find your cat is destroying your favorite chair or table here are some tips:

  • Move a scratching post directly beside what they are scratching.
  • Gently lift and transfer the cat to the nearest scratching post any time you catch them in the act.  
  • Place tape or aluminum foil on the item being scratched.
  • Spray the spot with Felaway.
  • Clip your cat’s nails more frequently.

Spraying your cat with water usually won’t help as they only learn to not scratch when you are around.

Litter Boxes

How to choose an appropriate litter box

Cats prefer unscented, fine textured litter.  People prefer scented but cats do not, if you switch to a scented litter you may find the don’t use it as much or at all.

Cats like clean litter boxes.  If you don’t clean it regularly that can easily avoid it until it’s clean.

A good depth is 2-3 inches of litter.  Too much and they will spray it all over the place.  Too little and they can avoid it or make a big mess.

Make sure you get a box big enough for your cat.  Bigger cats need bigger litter boxes.  Overweight and large cats will like litter boxes with larger sides. This is an excellent choice as well for stand up pee-ers and those who like to play and dig deep.

Electronic litter boxes

Open Air Litter Robot

We’ve had both success and failure with these litter boxes.  We currently use an Open Air Litter Robot; however, these are expensive and only work for full grown cats. Additionally you need to user only certain types of litter. Quick clumping and fine litter is necessary.

Other electronic litter boxes we used still need to be cleaned really regularly and basically don’t twice the burden very much.  Just not worth the cost.

Flushable litter

Flushable litter is great and we use it for our kittens.  We’ve used a few different kinds and they all seem to work similarly.  The key thing is the cats liking them and the smell to you.


Like in real estate it’s all about location location location.  Find a quiet private location away from their food.

It needs to be easily accessible

You need multiple litter boxes (one per cat minimum and usually one more extra).  This is especially important with multiple cats to avoid litter box guarding.


Daily cleaning is important or they will stop using it.

You can use a covered litter box but not all cats will like it.  If it’s covered you need to clean it very regularly.

Change all the litter at least once a month and you should clean the entire box at that time.

If the litter smells or the bottom of the box is wet then replace the litter.

Replace the box when it’s cracked or smells and can’t be cleaned.

Understanding Cat Shows

So we when decided to show Xena and Shinobi in a cat show we had no idea what to expect. We scoured the internet and various resources trying to understand how a cat show works and it was super confusing. It wasn’t until we actually participated that we truly understood how they worked. This is our attempt to bring some clarity to the world of Cat Shows.

Shinobi and Xena at their first cat show

Where can you find a list of shows:


Here’s some basic information on Cat Shows:

Rings are individual cat judgings

Each cat show typically has ~4 rings (I’ve seen as few as 3 and as many as 6).

Each ring has its own judge and is completely isolated from the other rings.

Each day is separate from every other day

If the show goes multiple days then the only difference between each of the days are the judges. Each day will have a new set of judges — everything else is the same! So if you have a 2 day show with 4 rings each day you really have 8 completely judgings going on over 2 days.


When your cat is being judged they are first judged against the other cats of the same breed, sex and colour. It’s very possible that a cat may be the only cat of that sex, breed, coat and colour, especially with cats of lots of different colours. We have Brown spotted Bengals (Male / Female).

Next they judge against the same breed, coat and colour. We have Brown spotted Bengals.

Then they judge against the same breed. We have Bengals.

Finally they judge against all cats in the same rank: Kitten, Open / Championship, Premiership, Household Pet. Note that Open / Championship compete together; however, the rankings are Open -> Championship -> Premiership.

Read more about Awards / Ribbons

Xena finishing as the #2 overall kitten

How do I enter a show?

Once you have found a show and decided you want to enter the process is really simple. Just contact the clerk for the show and fill out the form. They’ll be able to tell you anything you need to know for requirements. Typically you’ll need to be registered with the association for that show (TICA, CFA, CCA), fill out the form and pay the entry fee. You can usually do it all by email.

What should I bring to my first show?

  • Cage (optional) — they will provide a cage in the show, you do not need to bring one. If this is your very first show — don’t buy a cage. You should wait until you see if your cat takes to shows (quite a few do not like it). The cage they provide is adequate.
  • If you don’t supply your own cage then you should supply the following:
  • Cage Curtains. You need to surround the cage with curtains so that your cat cannot see the other cats or what’s going on around then. Super important (and mandatory by the show)
  • Cage Floor. We liked to get a soft bottom (rug or something similar) that they can lie on instead of the table (note that the cage is sides and top only — there is no bottom to the cage).
  • Absorbent Padding. Basically if they have an accident or spill water you don’t want them lying in it all day — a padding on the bottom to soak it up makes it so it doesn’t spread and you can clean it up easily.
  • Bed (optional) — somewhere for them to relax — it’s going to be a long day.
  • Litter Box — the show will provide litter (though we’ve found that frequently it takes the show a while to provide it) however, you should consider bringing some of your own as they may not like the show’s litter. The show does NOT provide a litter box though and you are expected to bring one.
  • Toys — it’s going to be a long day — they need something to do.
  • Paper Tower — super useful for any messes that may happen.
  • Food / Food Bowl — it’s good to get something stable that’s not easy for them to knock over.
  • Water / Water Bowl — if you can get a water bowl that hooks to the side of the cage — that’s best — otherwise something super stable. We like the metal bowls with rubber bottoms.
  • Brush / Comb — something to straighten out their coat with

Anything beyond this list is really up to you. There are cleaning / coat sprays, baby powder, ear cleaners, the list goes on and on.

What should I expect to happen at the show?

  • When you arrive you will check in with the clerk who will tell you your seat assignment, your cat’s assigned number, give you the schedule and take your money if you owe it.
  • Take your cat(s) to your table and setup your cage. If they are providing you with a cage and one isn’t there, go and ask the clerk. Leave your cats in the carrier until you have fully set up your cage.
  • Put your cats in the cage, try to settle them down. Give them a chance to go the bathroom, eat and drink.
  • Checked the schedule and look at each ring and when your times are. They should be spread out throughout the day.
  • Wait for your number to be called — they will announce the numbers and the ring to go to.
  • Take your cat to the ring and put them in the cage with your number on top.
  • Close the cage and get out of the judging area — they don’t want you hanging around.
  • Feel free to watch the judging and when the ring clerk takes your number down that’s your cue to take your cat back to the cage.
  • If you won any ribbons (congratulations!) they will be on the cage before they take the number down.
  • Wait for your number to be called again.
  • Talk to visitors, talk to neighbours, check out other cats, read a book — there’s a lot of waiting.
  • If you are in a multi-day show then it’s expected to leave your cage setup for the next day. Take your valuables; but it’s fine to leave your litter box or other inexpensive items at the show.

Basic Bengal Genetics

So this is a massive topic and there is a lot of information about feline genetics that you can get into.  What I would like to focus on is purely the most commonly asked information about Bengal Genetics.  I’m going to brush over all the complicated details of genetics and just say this at a high level.

One chromosome comes from the father and one from the mother.
The father’s chromosome can be dominate over the mother’s or vice versa.
If one is dominant then that is the trait that applies.  If they are the same, then you get that trait.
Dominant chromosomes are denoted with capital letters while recessive ones are lower case.


The coat contains a bunch of different genes:

Agouti: this gene controls whether the hair of the fur contains a single solid color or alternating banded hair.
A (meaning banded) is dominant and a (solid color) is recessive.

Charcoal is from the ALC agouti allele and is recessive to A and dominant to a.

Brown: this gene controls the color with B (Full Colour), b (brown), b(l) – Cinnamon and b(s) – Snow as the options.

Dilute: this gene controls color dilution with D being Full Colour and d being dilute.

Inhibitor: this gene inhibits the color and creates silver colours.  With I being inhibits and i being not.

Pattern: Sp is now thought to be the pattern gene and (T was previously thought to control pattern).  Sp is spotted and sp is marbled.

Glitter: this gene controls whether their coat has glitter (g) or not (G)

Example Bengal Colours

This shows you how changing one gene changes the colour of the Bengal.

Brown Spotted Bengals: They must be Brown Full Color (B), Full Colour (D), Not Inhibited (ii), Spotted: (SP)

Snow Spotted Bengals: They must be Brown Snow (bsbs), Full Colour (D), Not Inhibited (ii), Spotted: (SP)

Blue Spotted Bengals: They must be Brown Full Color (B), Dilute Colour (dd), Not Inhibited (ii), Spotted: (SP)

Silver Spotted Bengals: They must be Brown Full Color (B), Full Colour (D), Inhibited (I), Spotted: (SP)

Brown Marbled Bengals: They must be Brown Full Color (B), Full Colour (D), Not Inhibited (ii), Marbled: (sp)

What is a Bengal Cat?

Cats could be considered nature’s perfect hunter; stealthy, agile, graceful, high jumps, fast movement, incredible athletes capable of performing amazing feats.

Bengal cats are everything you would imagine that cat to be. Athletic, muscular, agile, high jumper, fast movement. Bengal not only look like they belong in the jungle; they look like they would rule there. Bengals are, on average, better climbers, jumpers and generally more athletic than other breeds of domestic cats.


The first thing that most people notice about the Bengal Cat is their amazing coat. It’s beautiful, soft, sleek, it can glitter – it’s a wonder! They shed less than most other domestic cats and some people allergic to cats are not allergic to Bengals.

Like most cats they do not need to be bathed (though Bengals have been known to play in water!)


Are they Hypo-Allergenic?  This term comes around a lot with Bengals and there are definitely people who might be allergic to cats in general but are not allergic to Bengals.  As a breed, Bengals do not shed much, they have a different style of coat which is soft and silky and are often compared to mink.  Since Hypo-Allergenic means that they cause fewer allergic reactions the answer is yes; however, that doesn’t mean that no one is allergic to a Bengal.  Your best bet is to go and visit a house with Bengals and spend some time there.  Most Catteries will welcome visitors so test out any allergies for yourself.


Male Bengals average 12-14 pounds; however, they can get to 16 or even 18 pounds.
Female Bengals average 8-12 pounds; however, you can see smaller females as low as 6 pounds.


Bengals have a lot of personality and are lively, intelligent and interactive cats. They, typically, don’t ignore you nor are they dull cats. They will be an active part of your family.
Read more here: Bengal Personality

Common Genetic Diseases

Bengals are generally healthier than most pure breed cats. This is due to them being a relatively newer breed with lots of new blood from other breeds and the wild Asian Leopard Cat. That being said – watch out for the following diseases:

HCM: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. This is a genetic heart disease. while there is no genetic test for it, a lot of breeders do regular testing of their breeding cats to ensure that if they show signs of HCM they stop breeding those cats.

PRA: Progressive Retinal Atrophy, a degenerative eye disease which causes blindness. There is a genetic test for this disease – ensure your breeder has a clean bill of health.

PKD: Polycystic Kidney Disease, a progressive kidney disease which, also can be tested for – ensure your breeder has a clean bill of health.

PK Def: Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency, not to be confused with PKD, this impairs red blood cells and causes anemia. Once again this can be tested for – ensure your breeder has a clean bill of health.