You want a first filial (F1) Bengal cat. Read this.

By June (28th August 2013)

Hello, I have an almost 5 month old F1 female Bengal cat. I am overwhelmed with her and afraid I am not giving her the home she deserves. I work long 12 hour days and she is home with my husband who she has not bonded with and our 2 older pets. The 9 year old yorkie tolerates her but our 13 year old cat (we got him as a feral kitten) hates her and he is so stressed out that it is ruining everything. I don’t know what to do. She is so sweet and all she wants to do is play but she jumps on him and he hisses and wants out and hisses and my husband stresses.

F1 First Fillial Bengal Cat
Mielikke. Female F1 Bengal Cat. Photo by June.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I  would like to say that I was assured that she was sweet and loveable and loved everyone at the breeder’s home including her husband and children. Well she loves me but not my husband who is the biggest animal lover I know. I believe it has to do with the fact that he gets so stressed when she jumps on Bob, our old boy.

She is only wanting to play and desperately needs another kitten or young cat to hang out with. She is not trying to be mean, I thinks she is lonely for another cat to play with. Bob on the other hand has never been around another cat unless you count the ferals he has encountered on our 10 acres in the woods. He has been in several fights over the years but now stays close to home. He is an indoor/outdoor cat of his own choosing and it has never been an issue because our home is so isolated. He just hates the kitten and now does not want to come in the house at all. I realize it is not fair to him and it breaks my heart.

Mielikke, is so full of energy and all she wants to do is go outside like Bob and Emmie (my yorkie). I did not want her to ever go outside but she is so vocal that I finally ordered a walking vest, no way to escape, and out we went. She loves going for a walk around the house and hiding in the landscaping.

On about the third day she figured out how to escape from the walking jacket. She did not run away but just went for the walk and stayed fairly close as usual. Now she goes out for her evening walk wearing a bell on her collar.

She knows that after we finish eating she gets to go out for her walk and yells at me loudly until I put her collar on. Then out we go and she has a ball. I have to keep a close eye on her because If I get distracted she may take off. She doesn’t go far but I am terrified that will change as she gets older. Right now she never wants her human too far away.

Outside she loves to play in the hose and jump up into the birdbath and lay in the water. She stalks the dog and pounces out at her and then lays in the grass wanting to play. She also follows Emmie to the woodpile to search for mice. She has not seen one yet but winter is coming and Emmie is quite the mouser.

We have to stay out until she is tired and then it is easy to get her to come back in. Yesterday it was very hot and humid and she was panting heavily so I was able to pick her up and carry her in. Most days that is not an option. She will follow us to the door but refuse to go in. I shut the door and wait a couple of minutes, while watching out the window for her to start yelling at me. Then I open the door and she comes in.

She is a very picky eater and will not touch her dry food. It must be mixed with wet. She will eat Bob’s dry food for old cats and Emmie’s food when she is done with hers but I thinks she just wants to see what they are having. We have to protect Bob while he eats because she wants to get next to him and eat out of his bowl too. She also cannot resist attacking his tail.

She sits on a barstool and watches me cook dinner. She knows she is not allowed on the counter but has a hard time controlling herself. All in all she is pretty good about it and looks so cute sitting there watching me.

She has never had an accident and always uses the litter box. She likes me in there when she is going and will call loudly for me to come. Very Strange. She also jumps on my lap when I using the bathroom. We are going to start on toilet training soon.

She plays hard and loves to crawl up into my lap and sleep when she is tired. She also likes to sleep in our bed at night. She has a cat condo with a tall perch where she sleeps during the day.

I was told she was removed from her mothers care (her dad was the ALC) at three weeks which explains why she loves to nurse on a special blanket that used to belong to Emmie. It is now hers. I find it sad that she needs to do this but it makes her happy and there is no real way to stop her.

All in all I love her very much but do not feel like she is in the proper environment. I am not home enough and she needs other cats to play with. She need lots of attention and I do not have the proper time to give her. I thought that it would be shared with my husband but that has not worked out. I really want what is best for her and have feeling of guilt that neither her nor Bob are getting what they need. I takes a very special situation to do justice for a special animal like an F1 Bengal. I also fear that she will get lose and end up far away in the woods where a hunter may end up shooting her. She makes such unusual vocal sounds and calls and she looks so wild.


Note: June made a comment on a page about another F1 Bengal cat. I asked to expand on it and this page is the result. Thank you June.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

19 thoughts on “You want a first filial (F1) Bengal cat. Read this.”

    1. Great set of photos of an F1 Bengal cat. Rare cat. There two F1 Bengal cats on PoC. Yours and Striker. There are 12,000 photos on PoC.

      Thanks for taking the time to upload them, June.

  1. Thanks for your comments and support. Mielikke is a good kitten and if it were not for Bob I would not even consider trying to find her another home. I would go to the shelter and get her a playmate but we can not have three cats. One was perfect, but I thought Bob would be fine with a new kitten and having some young blood in the house would perk him and Emmie up some. Now, I really don’t think he would like any kitten but Mielikke is especially active and loves to pounce. She is already getting on the tops of the doors and cabinets and I have had to put my nick nacks up so they won’t get broken.

    Bob was born to a feral cat out in the woods on our property. We brought him in and he has been the best pet ever. That made me think an F1 would be similar since she was never in the wild and did not have training from her parents on hunting and such.

    I do know in my heart she needs a better home but I do not have a clue how to find her one. I could give her back to the breeder who would sell her again but I do not think that would be the best thing for her. She needs a special home, maybe with kids and another kitten so she will have plenty of attention and a playmate. Any suggestions on how to find her that perfect home? I am not even sure I could go through with it, the new humans would have to be special just like her. Also, she does not hate my husband. She just doesn’t curl up in his lap or next to him and is not interested in having him pet her. Whenever Bill is on the couch he always has Emmie and/or Bob next to or on him and I think he feels bad that she doesn’t join in. She loves me to stroke her face and ears and she sleeps either on me or next to me. Maybe she is too attached to me already but she is so young I would think she could adapt to an new family.

  2. I say leave wild cats in the wild,stop interfering with Nature because things often go wrong.
    Why do folk have to own animals that should be free.Why do they have to breed from them.Why not leave them where they belong.They have no right to do this to them.
    How many people like June want a cat like that but aren’t prepared for the difference in caring for a small cat like Bob?
    Not only does that big cat suffer but like Ruth says a small already domesticated but homeless cat could have been adopted instead and its life saved.
    June I hope and pray you get that cat a good and suitable home and I wish your husband well and I hope Bob soon has his home as it should be again as well.

  3. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    This is the very reason I am against half wild cats being bred and sold as pets! Again I must mention the Savannah cat here:

    she was exercised before the video was made, to the point where her mouth was hanging open and so that she walked docilely on a leash with a child!
    This gives the totally wrong idea about half wild cats, they are not small domestic cats suitable to be pets!
    I feel so sorry for June and admire that she knows she made a mistake buying Mielikke and wants to do the beat she can to ensure she has a home where she can have a quality life and the companionship of other cats.
    Poor Bob, how was he expected to react at his age, it would be awful if he was driven away from the home he loves by what he sees as an ‘intruder’ into his territory.
    It’s a very sad state of affair and all because breeders make half wild cats look like ‘pussy cats’ to sell them on.
    They breed on, while small domestic cats are killed day after day for lack of homes, buying a half wild cat deprives another domestic cat of his/her life.
    June I hope you find Mielikke a suitable home and I hope the news about your husband isn’t as bad as you fear.

    1. Well said. I am friends with the Stucki’s who breed Savannahs so it tough for me to say, “you are right”. If everything was perfect in the cat world and all cats had good homes, perhaps then it would be possible justify breeding exotic wild cat hybrids. The world is a million years from that cat utopia.

      1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

        It’s so sad that we can see it happening Michael yet it still goes on. Each and every cat to me is special and deserves to live his/her life and it’s wrong that especially bred cats are more valued than ordinary cats.
        But as you say, it’s not a perfect cat world and I expect your friends the Stuckis are very careful about homing their cats and ensuring the people who buy them know what they are taking on and how to care for them.
        But many breeders don’t care, whoever sold June her Mielikke obviously didn’t give a damn about Bob being ursurped in his own home, June herself said she wasn’t prepared for her new cat’s special needs, how can people be prepared if no one tells them?
        This comes after the poor Savannah who was shot in Detroit
        Why was that cat wandering about at risk? Another one sold to someone who wasn’t prepared?
        It’s just heart breaking and seems so wrong!

        1. Hearing about the Savannah, Chum being killed in Detroit, which is less then 2 hours away from where I live, really hit home. My land is surrounded by state land and crazies are out there with guns every now and then. If Mielikke were to get lose and run into the woods the same thing could happen to her. I would be devastated.

          It is said that Chum jumped through a screen to escape and I had Mielikke climbing them in my house trying to get out. That is part of why I gave in and started taking her out in the walking vest. She was pitiful crying to go out with our other pets. It broke my heart.

          She is so wild looking she could be mistaken for a wild animal even with her bright pink collar and bell. Bob, my old boy has been going out for 13 years with no issues. He never goes too far because he has everything he could ever want right on our property including a sun deck, trees, rocks, woodpile and pond. With my F1, I am not sure and if she wandered away and starting making her unusual calls and cries………….

          1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

            June you must feel devastated and so worried and none of this is your fault!
            It’s wrong to breed half wild cats, it’s very unfair on the resulting kittens who naturally yearn for their freedom, their deepest instincts tell them that they should be living free. They must feel very confined in houses and even in runs, with no chance to run free like the wind, enjoying the great outdoors.
            Why do people have to mess with Nature, surely we have enough breeds of cats without wanting more.
            It’s so very sad, my heart aches for cats like your Mielikke trapped in un-natural lives.

  4. Mielikke drinks lots of water. We have a water fountain bowl that she plays in and drinks from a lot. Now she is starting to drink out of the toilets as well. I am giving her a mix of Royal Canin and Science Diet kitten food along with grain free canned and sometimes Science Diet for kittens. She loves raw chicken but has not had it much.

    I was not prepared for her Special Needs. I had been looking at SBT Bengal kittens for months but when I saw her I fell in love. I talked to the breeder quite a bit before I got her but still did not understand. I am torn between keeping her because I love her and finding her the right home where all her needs will be met. I feel I owe it to my old guy Bob and to her because she wants a playmate so bed and someone who can spend more time with her. Also my husband may have cancer and that will make it even harder. We see the specialist next week.

    1. I like the way you are being very sensible and realistic.

      Also Bob is number one boy really. I think you agree this.

      I have always believed that F1 wild cat hybrids do have special needs as you say and the person who cares for such a cat has to have the extra time and be living under special circumstances to successfully care for the cat.

      I also believe that the F1 Bengal is harder to integrate into human lifestyle than the F1 Savannah because of the fact that the wild cat parents are different. Asiatic leopard cat = super independent and untrainable, can’t be domesticated —– serval = can be domesticated and trained.

      I really don’t believe that the F1 Bengal cat should be in an “ordinary” home. They are for breeders and people with large enclosures etc. Or they should not be bred at all.

      It is a bit of a human folly to breed these cats. F1 Savannahs are pretty domesticated but Bengals are not the same it seems to me.

      For what it is worth, I would find an ideal home for Mielikke. A hard decision but probably the right one.

      Thanks again, June, for taking the time to write this. People need to be aware. It’s about education. If you have read this before adopting Mielikke, you may have thought twice about it.

    2. June thanks alot for sharing all this. IT’s a great insight. It sounds to me like you are a very honest, kind and generous person who is entirely unselfish about this. I am sure these wild cats end up in the hands of people who are no way near as giving or understanding as you are. You need to find the right place for her. I guess that in itself will enable you to let go of her and you will have to be sure it’s the right place too. That sounds like it might be quite hard to do.

      Perhaps she doesn’t like your husband because he is Bob’s territory. Nothing to do with your husband, just that he, in cat terms, is owned by Bob and so technically off limits.

      I would be very worried about her growing older and then getting lost out there and shot but a nutjob with a gun. As painfull as it may be I would keep her inside or on a strong secure leash if out, until you either build an outdoor enclosure for her or you find a palce for her to go that you are satisfied with.

      Wherever you leave her you can make a contract ensuring her to be returned if it doesn’t work out – you can make it legal so you are secure that she will be safe.

      I am sorry for your situation and for Bob and your Husband.

      The other option is to get her a playmate and build them a big enclosure outside but this will benefit all except maybe Bob.

      IT is a consideration though.

      1. Good thoughts. Thanks Marc. There is no doubt in my mind that a special sort of environment is the only suitable one.

        This is a cat with 50% wild blood. Semi-wild and the Asiatic leopard cat is a very tough wild cat.

  5. Hi June. F1 Bengals are virtually wildcats and they need a high protein diet as close to their natural food as possible. Well all cats need a good high protein diet but for the sake of convenience most people use the canned or dry commercial foods. To improve their diet I mash the dry with cooked chicken liver, canned wet food, and extra water. They love it and appear to do well on it. This also overcomes the chronic dehydration that cats on dry food can suffer from. Your Bengal should also have chopped raw chicken leg to be sure she gets enough taurine. Canned mackerel or sardine in oil (no tomato sauce) is also good because it contains calcium which tuna does not. I have a male Bengal who lives happily with my big Turkish Angora male Balkar since my female Bengal recently died of unknown causes.

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