Adopt or Shop – Does Buying a Bengal Cat, Make You a Bad Person?
Your life is full of choices.
While some choices may be no-brainers, that’s not always the case. But the point is, in the society we live in today, we can still make them. A heavily debated choice in the animal world happens to revolve around breeding. Does buying a Bengal cat make you a bad person?
At Buckaroo Bengals, we believe freedom of choice is incredibly important. Adopting pets and buying pets are both good choices for different reasons. Let’s dive in and hopefully bring some clarity, compassion, and community to a divisive topic.
First, let’s talk about your options.
It’s Your Choice – To Adopt or to Buy a Bengal Cat
As a Bengal cat breeder, I see and am often involved in – though not by choice – a lot of drama surrounding this topic. It’s easy for people to point fingers at what they believe is right or wrong.
But the truth is, you should make choices based on your lifestyle and your needs.
When you decide to add a furry family member to your family, the first thing to do is determine what your needs are.
What Kind of Cat Is Right for You? Evaluating Your Lifestyle
Cats are a big commitment. It’s important to think through what you can commit to before adopting or buying a cat.
- Can you commit to caring for a cat for 15-20 years?
- Are you home or away a lot?
- What kind of lifestyle do you have? Active? Adventurous? Relaxed?
- What is your home environment like? Kids? Loud or quiet family?
These are all good questions that you should ask yourself before you adopt a cat or buy a Bengal cat. Your answers can give you a lot of information about your pet needs.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to look at your choices and what may fit your family.
Adopting a Cat. The Pros. The Cons. The Choice.
Pet adoption1 is an extremely important part of our society. There are animals in need all over the country and the world. There is no greater feeling than finding the perfect cat who needs you as much as you need them.
Let’s dive into a few of the benefits of adopting a cat.
- A home for a cat in need: Cat adoption benefits both you and your new cat. You can feel good knowing you are providing a home for a cat that may not have found one otherwise.
- You are set up for success: Cats at shelters are vaccinated, fixed, and receive health assessments. All the initial health maintenance has been completed. You just have to keep them on an annual schedule.
- Saving on cost: Adopting a cat is cheaper and you don’t have to pay for the initial vaccines and spay/neuter surgery.
- Supporting the cause: When you adopt a cat, you free up more room in the shelter for other animals in need. And your adoption fees typically go right back into the business.
- Variety: Looking for a black cat? A long-haired cat? An orange cat? A cat with different colored eyes? A male? A certain age? Guaranteed you can find a shelter that has what you’re looking for.
On the flip side, there are several aspects to adopting a cat that can be less pleasant. Here are a few of the cons to cat adoption.
- You don’t know their history: Were they given up due to health problems or behavioral problems? Do they get along with other animals? Have they been abused in the past leading to people avoidance? How old are they?
- Adjusting a cat to a new environment: Cats can take a long time to adjust to new environments. Especially if they’ve gone from a home to a shelter with lots of constant change, and then to your home. It can take months to win the trust of a cat and make them feel comfortable.
- Finding a specific temperament: A cat’s behavior at a shelter may not be their normal behavior. It is an extremely unusual environment for them. So even if a shelter says a cat has a certain personality, that may not be the case.
- Finding a specific breed: Do you know what breed of cat you’re interested in? Whether it’s due to looks or temperament? Purebred animals rarely wind up in shelters unless they have behavior problems.
- Finding a kitten can be hard: Kittens don’t last in shelters long, because that’s what most adopters want. So finding a kitten to adopt isn’t always easy. Let’s face it, kittens adjust faster and often better than cats do. Most people know this and scoop them up.
Adoption success stories are some of my favorite stories out there. There is nothing better than hearing about the right cat landing with the right family. It is heartwarming and extremely satisfying for everyone involved.
Some adoptions lead to amazing bonds between the cat and their new family. But that isn’t always the case.
Adopting a cat can have a lot of risks involved. It is heart-wrenching for the family who has to return an animal to a shelter. Whether unexpected behavior problems crop up or health problems.
Not every person or family has the bandwidth to deal with every pet scenario. Whether it’s a cat who has experienced past trauma or who has behavioral quirks.
That’s where buying a cat from a breeder can benefit you.
Buying a Bengal Cat – Personality, Adventure, and Fun
- Health testing of breeding cats and usually a health guarantee
- Quality care from a young age for better health when they’re older
- Kitten socialization for a friendly Bengal cat with no behavioral issues
- An understanding of your kitten or cat’s temperament
- Knowledge about their friendliness with other cats and dogs
- Their pedigree and the ability to show them if desired
- Ongoing support from an ethical breeder who wants you to succeed with your new cat
- Specialized knowledge about the breed and what’s “normal”
- Buying from an ethical breeder supports the continuation of the Bengal breed.
Despite all these wonderful aspects of buying a Bengal cat, no system is perfect. This holds for Bengal cat breeding.
- You have to research breeders to learn about their animal practices
- It can be hard to know if a breeder is ethical or not
- You have to research a breeder to learn about their health testing practices
- Bengal cats from an ethical breeder are NOT cheap
- Sometimes you have to wait for the right kitten to be born
- It can be hard to find adult Bengal cats to adopt
- You may have to travel to pick up your kitten or cat
Words of Caution When Buying a Bengal Cat
One of the most important things you can do if you want to buy a Bengal cat – is make sure you aren’t supporting a kitten mill or a backyard breeder (BYB).
Kitten mills are basically kitten-hoarding situations. The animals are kept in terrible living conditions. They often have health issues and behavioral issues.
Backyard breeders aren’t as bad as kitten mills. They typically sell unregistered kittens. They often don’t have breeding rights with their cats. Which means they’re breeding without permission from the breeder of their adult cats.
They are also known for not health testing, providing poor nutrition to their cats, and being unprepared for emergencies that may occur during the birthing process. This is why doing your research is so important.
Find a reputable, ethical Bengal cat breeder who is committed to providing excellent care for their cats. And excellent support to your kitten long-term.
The Truth About Adding a Cat to Your Home
As you can see, neither adoption nor buying a Bengal cat is foolproof. There are pros and cons to both.
Knowing your lifestyle and and ability to address issues that come up is very important. Feel confident when you make the decision to add a cat to your family. After all, they’re going to be part of it for 15-20 years.
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