We are located in Texas. We fly our kittens within the USA. We focus on health, structure, and temperament.
I grew up on an island on the Texas coast. While living there, I learned and absorbed the aquatic life. As a child, I spent my days going to the beach, playing with friends and my pets, or watching animal planet. During that time, my parents had and still have a large ranch near the Texas/Mexico border. I would stay for days and weeks at a time, with my Dad. There wasn’t much to do there, except be outside, immersed in nature, and exploring. I grew fond of the simple, country life and knew that’s what I wanted in my adult life. Today, I enjoy taking my cats out on hikes and living our most primitive and natural lives.
In my early twenties, I ended up in a small, rural Texas town and have been here ever since. I worked as a veterinary technician and was heavily involved in animal rescue. I’d like to think that I have innate ability to nurture, help, and care for animals. I’ve been called a bleeding heart once or twice in my life. Being involved in rescue, I knew that if I ever did breed an animal, I would only do so ethically and responsibly. That is why all of my kittens leave my home spayed/neutered, vet checked, and with a health guarantee. It is also why I have a clause in my contract stating a kitten always has to be returned to me in the event that the owner can no longer keep it. I have a thorough homing process to ensure my kittens end up where they will live happily and thrive. I care about my kittens, not only while they’re with me, but for the duration of their life. All kittens are raised in our home, amongst children, and a bustling family environment. This allows them to be very social and acclimate easily to their new homes. Once in their new homes, I am always available, around the clock, for endless support for my clients and their cats.
Now, about my program. My goal is to produce an SBT Bengal with as many wildcat attributes as possible, while maintaining health and temperament. I work with early generations to achieve this and to add genetic diversity. Early generations are my passion. A Bengal should have certain, obvious structural components, and not only a flashy rosetted coat. For example, a Bengal should have low-set and wide based round ears, large nocturnal eyes, horizontal flow to their spots versus vertical barring. They should have a muscular build with a proportionately shorter and thicker tail with a blunt end. These are what make the Bengal cat different than other domestic breeds.
At Utopian Bengals, we do annual HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) scans on our adult breeding cats. Heart health is very important, as bengals are susceptible to developing HCM. Heart testing our adults into an older age, ensures we are doing our part to produce cats with good hearts. Our breeding cats are also genetically health tested through Optimal Selection. They are tested for a plethora of genetic conditions, as well as coat colors and any genetics they may carry. Having a background as a veterinary technician, health is paramount to my program. Bengals are predisposed to certain medical conditions if not screened properly. I have been breeding long enough now to track and follow the heart health of the cats in my program.
I will only keep and breed cats that exude a social and friendly temperament, this includes my early generations. I take my F1 girls on walks, they get heart scans in Austin, Tx, and all are a delight to work with. This passes down to their offspring. My cats happiness comes above all else. Our studs are housed outside in VERY large and spacious custom areas with full access to a nice, finished heated and cooled building. They have natural enclosed oak trees to climb, homemade cat trees made from whole, real 6 foot cedar trees we cut down and cemented into the ground, hollow logs, native grass and plants. I spend hours a day with them. They are part of our family. I don’t sell breeding kittens, mostly because, I can’t guarantee that breeding males will have the adequate space that I deem fit, once they leave here. I prefer my kittens to all be in pet homes.
All of our cats are fed a raw diet that we make ourselves. We are fortunate to live in a rural area where we have access to the freshest ingredients. We rotate proteins from organic pork, venison, chicken, and beef. Our recipe is always balanced and made using a specific ratio. I don’t require my pet owners to continue this diet, but do HIGHLY encourage it. I have many resources and tips to transition a new owner to this healthy, raw fed lifestyle for their kitten.