The following are just a few testimonies from our Bamboo's F1 Bengal customers. Keep in mind our F1s are about 60% and our 3/4 F1s are about 80% Leopard Cat. The letters were addressed directly to Bamboo or to a group list of Bengal owners and breeders.
We feel it goes without saying that other generations raised at Bamboo are just as well socialized and trained and didn't think we needed to post testimonies from them all, but we would be happy to provide references and contact information on any Bengal cats we have placed with their permission.
We wish all Early generation Bengal breeders were socializing and trained there kittens like Bamboo does, unfortunately very few do especially with the first generation known as F1s. We only hope that the public hold the individual breeder responsible, instead of allowing them to blame the poor cat, the breed, and/or the wonderful Leopard Cat inheritance for their short comings.
Example: Most of today's newer SBT's (F4's &F5's) have the same percentage of Leopard Cat as the original F2's yet the Bengal breeds reputation continues to improve by leaps and bounds, both in beauty and in temperament. This proves that the problems with the early Bengals were all caused by poor conditions, poor selection, poor breeding, poor training, and poor socialization, and had NOTHING to do with the wonderful Leopard Cat inheritance, in fact it is the Leopard Cat inheritence what makes the Bengal breed so unique and wonderful.
Last August I received my little princess Athena. I had no experience or knowledge of the Bengal breed. My husband and I were wanting to get another companion, because our other cat decided it wanted to be an outside cat. So we started our search for a special companion!!!
I came across a web site on Bengal Cats that took my breath away. I read everything it had to say about the breed and looked at the available cats. I have to admit that when I first started looking at the breed I was a little nervous, because we plan on having children in the future. But after talking to my husband and the very kind people that had Athena we decided that she was going to be our new companion.
After 6 months, Athena is like having an 11 month old baby girl. She has became my sweetie. I could not trade her for the world. She has so much energy. We enjoy watching her play and climb (boy can she climb). We have a toy that goes from the floor to the ceiling that she can climb on, but that is not tall enough for her!!! She also likes to hang out on my Husbands deer mount that he has hanging on the wall. She will sit up there between the antler and look around like she is the queen of the roost. She really is adorable.
I did not have an F1 female and did not know anyone that had a Bengal or even heard of them. So, until I actually got a chance to meet Mike and Marie and meet Bamboo Athena (who is an F1 from ALC Maximus) I really didn't know what to think.
Now that I have had Bamboo Athena around for a while and have seen how truly unique and special she is, I would do anything to get the truth out about the early generations.
Athena uses her litter box all the time. She loves to climb and be high though. Which does not bother me a bit. I treat her like part of the family. She does sleep with my husband and I every night. I did get over all my fears and any doubts that I had about the early generations. In fact, I am going to start breeding them. The more people spread the breed around and talk about it and the more new people that know things about them start to get involved and purchasing as pets, etc. I like that the bad name will start to disappear. I know that my opinions have changed. In fact, just a month ago, I had the chance to go head to head with a lady that was bad mouthing early generations and she did not know that I know anything about them until I started to prove her wrong.
The truth needs to be known. If there is anything I can do to help. I am more then willing to do it.
She is a sweetheart. The Breeder is the key and the socialization too!!!! Mike and Marie are great people and I have seen Bamboo and they really have things in order.
Kristin D. in Western Kentucky
F1 Bamboo Athenia with her F2 baby
Almost nothing makes me more angry than seeing a comment that "F1's
don't make good pets, they're skittish, unpredictable, destructive,
shy..." It's funny that these comments are always from someone who
doesn't have one.
Mike and Marie Bloodgood at Bamboo Cattery allowed me to have one of
their exceptional kittens. She is an F1 out of ALC Maximus. I flew to
Kentucky to pick up my girl and meet Mike & Marie. They came to my
hotel, open the carrier and out she came...purring. I had some toys
that I brought and while Mike and Marie and I talked, she played with me
and crawled all over me for 2 hours straight. When I went to sleep she
jumped up on the bed, curled up in the crook of arm and slept there all
night. We got home & she was off exploring. She met my other cat and
she was apprehensive, but followed him all over the house. Whenever
anyone comes over she comes right up to them. She LOVES to play fetch,
hide and seek, cat dancers, and wrestling with my other cat. She is
NEVER aggressive with me. She never lets me out of her sight, when I
put my face down and call her she runs up and licks my face, she purrs
and head butts me, nuzzles me, and sleeps with me every night. She
gets in the shower with me, helps me do dishes, gets in the fridge,
types e-mails with me (her's never make much sense). Is she skittish?
Only when the vacuum is around. She has overcome her fear of the
blow-dryer. I was so proud that day... I always read that Bengals like
to be up high, but she is always on the floor. She always uses her
litter box. The worst thing she does is hide my jewelry if I leave it
out. She likes to sit across my shoulders while I get ready for work.
I can't believe how loving she is. She is so much fun.
Stereotypes are a hard thing to shake, but if enough F1 owners get their
voices heard, maybe we can change some opinions. I have never had a cat
that craved so much human attention, gave kisses and purred SO LOUD!
Kara in New York
F1- Bamboo Nix relaxing
Hi Mike & Marie,
I really can't say enough about her. Her personality is amazing. It is so
obvious how much you focus on socializing. She came right into our home,
made herself comfortable and decided right away to be Queen. She's sitting
with me right now. She's got a full belly and is settling in for a nap.
Thanks again! I'll send you some updated pictures soon.
Follow up letter:
Bastet (ZaRu F1) is doing great. She honestly just amazes me. I am genuinely impressed with the results that you and Marie get! She is so affectionate and is my new best buddy. When we're walking around the house she's either prancing along next to me or getting a ride on my shoulders. As soon as I leave the house she cries at the door. She's great with everyone though, she even has a blast with our little beagle mix.
Stacey S. in Massachusetts
Hi Mike & Marie,
After more than a year of looking for the right Early Generation Bengal, I came across your website. I saw an F1 male posted on your website and was for some unknown reason immediately drawn to this particular kitten. Although I was not a new pet owner, I have never owned an F1. Nothing could have prepared me for what awaited.
I could never thank you enough for allowing this perfect boy into my life. He has brought more joy to me than what I could have ever imagined. His never ending desire to love me and my family has given him the nick name "The kissing bandit." All who come in contact with him are immediately taken with his gentle spirit and warmth. I have never experienced such closeness from any pet. He waits for me at the door till I come home and he greets me every morning with an abundance of kisses. He plays tag with my son (his playmate) and takes full baths to play with his favorite tennis ball > amazing to watch!!
He has been truly wonderful to have in my life. It's funny how honored he has made me feel to be the recipient of such pure hearted affection. He trusts me with no limits. I can kiss him anywhere, clip his nails, examine his teeth and hold him till my arms are tired. He lays there with his eyes closed loving every moment of the attention. This is him everyday, all day. How do I say thank you for doing whatever magic you do which allowed him to feel secure enough to be who he was intended to be, naturally.
Samurai's Mother is Triple Champion Bamboo "Spice Girl" and His Father is an Amur Leopard Cat "Zaru" of Bamboo. The F1's get such bad press from those who don't know any better and so do the Amur Leopard Cats. With this being the case. I was so blessed to have not only in my eyes the most beautiful cat in the world but my loving, forever soulmate. I am happy that such influences were never considered in my desire to experience the truth.
Eternally grateful :o)
Ivette J. in New York
F1- Bamboo Samurai
I am a newbie to breeding and have read and heard many things about first, second and third generation Bengals. The books that I have found out there on the Bengal breed are from the old school of thought. I do not think that any of the authors had anything positive to say about having an early generation Bengal cat living as part of your family. I too was brainwashed into believing what I read to be true, after all these books were written to promote the Bengal breed were they not?
Unfortunately these books are out dated in their ideology. I found out first hand by adopting an F1 female kitten from Bamboo Cattery. I was very intrigued with what I read on their web site about their cats. The beauty and exotic look of these cats and of course my own curiosity, lead me to inquire about adopting a kitten.
Asia arrived here in Minnesota in mid July. I was worried that the stress of the trip would spook her and she would not trust any humans ever again! I was so wrong. She came out of her crate purring and immediately gave me a head butt as a greeting or most likely a thank you for letting her out. She had been in that crate for quite a long time.
I decided that from the start I was going to do right by her and continue her socialization as recommended by Mike and Marie. She has been exposed to many different situations which include trips to Petco and work. Of course she has a ton of energy and gets excited about new things but she has always been gentle and open to strangers. I think it is because she trusts me. I truly believe that. She knows that she is safe.
She is my constant companion at home and lives with my other cats and dogs without too much trouble. Sometimes there are squabbles about a toy, but Asia is never the aggressive one. It is always one of my "domesticated" house cats that starts it. Asia retreats. She is a lover not a fighter.
Asia had bonded to me. I am her person. However, she still thinks that my husband has a very comfortable lap to take a nap in too. I am the person who is more involved with the cattery and the care of all of our cats. I think this is why she has bonded to me and seeks me out first. I feed her and am the one who takes her out on all of her adventures. I think that in her eyes, I am much more interesting to hang out with. LOL She is also litter box trained and has never had an accident unlike what I had read about these cats in books.
Living with an F1 has been a wonderful experience. She is always giving me kisses and love like no other feline I have every shared my life with. My other cats show affection sure, but Asia is more dog like about hers. She is also incredibly intelligent, loves to take a bath with you if you let her and did I mention that follows me everywhere? Trips to the bathroom are no longer a solo tour. She also fetches a ball stuffed animal etc.
I don't believe that an early generation Bengal is for everyone. She does chew on stuff so I had to Bengal proof the house. Which is not too unusual, if you were to bring home a new puppy you would have to puppy proof the house. She has a ton of energy and needs a way to constructively release that energy. I own Siberian Huskies so I already knew about releasing energy in a constructive way. If you are up for the challenge an F cat is a wonderful addition to your family. Socializing your early generation Bengal is the key to success. My hope is that I will do as wonderful a job socializing Asia's kittens as Mike and Marie have done with Asia.
I also have an F3 female who has had kittens in September. She is such a gentle and wonderful mother. She allows another cat's kittens to nurse right along with her own kittens. I have kept these two queens in the same room without any problems.
F1- Bamboo Asia giving head butts, hugs, and kisses
I have one of Marie and Mike's F1 girls and she is super affectionate to both my husband and myself. She's even affectionate to strangers that come in the door.
Guess it was all that early lovin' going on at the Bloodgood home!
My Bamboo Mei Roo is THE most incredible cat I have ever owned. She is all of what you describe and more. She is so communicative and affectionate it is hard to describe. She is so trusting and unafraid. She is a beautiful, beautiful cat. I am so fortunate to have her!
F1-Bamboo MeiRoo of AspenGold enjoying some sun
Hello Mike and Marie,
I LOVE THIS BABY!!! Eveyone fights (argues) over who she gets to sit with... But She sleeps with ME!!!
Even Johnathan tries to steal her in the middle of the night...
She is WONDERFUL! She has this, "What do you mean no I can't do that." look...then I swear if she could talk her next sentence would be, "But I'm the baby, I
should get everything I want." LOL
She is A DOLL! I JUST LOVE HER!
Thank you SO MUCH for this baby... she has stolen my
heart... (like that's hard to do...LOL)
F1 - Bamboo Li'i Li'i Akahi of FantasyCats
Mike and Marie,
What have you SOLD me??? This is a pic of Nix with my friend Brigitte
who had NEVER been to my house before. As you can see Nix is CLEARLY
frightened and looks like she may attack.
F1 Bamboo Nix ready to attack Brigitte :)
Mike and Marie,
Jean and I would like to thank you for our wonderful Amur F-1 girl (Shayna), she is quite the treasure! Not only is she big, bold and beautiful, she also has the best manners of any of my Bengals, including her litterbox habits.
She is so incredibly smart, was quick to pick up her name, and run to me when I call her, knows when she's wrong and run the other way and first in line for food (she eats anything!). She greets all visitors like the dogs, on her hind legs sniffing and will quickly perch herself on their shoulder if they pick her up.
I know that there is some genetic element to temperament and personality, but I also know that Marie spent many an hour with this girl giving her a ton of love and affection!
Thank you both again for all your efforts and for sharing this lovely creature with us.
F1 Bamboo Shayna of Bengalscape/Baako Bengals
Dear Mike & Marie,
We are thrilled with this Maximus/Spice Girl baby and very impressed with the extraordinary results you achieve. Mitali stole our hearts from the moment he fell asleep purring and relaxed in our arms during that first meeting, many months ago. He is a complete sweetheart. It is truly amazing how loving he is--I get my face "washed" every morning. I am not allowed out of his sight for too long without getting scolded for my absence (I think we have perhaps bonded? lol)...I just love his chatters and kisses! He charms everyone who visits, whether child or adult. He is such an outgoing and affectionate cat, always with a snuggle, kiss, or headbump to give out. He gets along great with our other kitties, and has perfect litterbox habits as well. It is something to realize that the beautiful creature frequently cuddled in our laps is an F1 Bengal. You did an incredible job raising him. He is an absolute treasure, and has grown into quite a gorgeous fellow to boot--thank you so much!
Photo's of Bamboo Mitali in his loving pet home
See more photo's of Bamoo Mitali at http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/cboss04/my_photos
Thursday was a wonderful day. I drove to Bonnieville (a natural place for me) and visited Mike and Marie. Of course it was great conversing with two of my favorite people and seeing their marvelous kitties and holding baby leopard cats! I also left with a dear little love and new member of my feline family, Mitsouko. She is a first generation Bengal
kitten. A more beautiful, playful and loving animal has never been born.
Thank you, Mike and Marie, for this little four footed joy!
Life With Yoda,
For years I have been intrigued by Bengals, and seven years ago I got my first two SBT´s.
It didn´t take long before I was reading everything I came across about Bengals, and I first got to learn about Early Generation Bengal cats.
I saw some amazing pictures, far from any I had seen of SBT´s, and I immediately started to investigate the possibillity of owning one. The problem was that everyone said that these cats weren´t suitable as pets.
I read about hostility, non existing litterbox habits, shyness etc.. I wasn’t ready to give up, so I started visiting catteries around Europe that had F1´s, and sure enough, the F1´s I met were caged and seemed shy and fearful.
At this point I started to loose sight of my dream of living with an F1. Until I stumbled across Bamboo's website. They told about F1´s sleeping in your lap and sitting on your shoulder. From my experience so far, it seemed unlikely, and to good to be true.
But I decided to look into it, and got on a plane to the US, heading for Bonnieville, Kentucky.
Me and my wife were greeted by Mike and Marie, who immediately took us to see their Early Generation Bengal cats. At this point I was stunned. The first cat we met jumped up on Maries’ shoulder and started licking her hair, purring. Then they told us this was a 3/4 F1 (F1 mother/ALC Father, 80% Leopard Cat)..I just couldn´t believe it! I tried holding the cat myself, and she just kept on purring.
All my doubts and reservations were blown away at once! Even my wife, who up until this had been skeptical to my dream of having this ”wild” animal in our house, was now going on about how we just had to have one :) Right away we placed a deposit, and started to wait for our very own 3/4 F1 Bengal.
These rare creatures aren’t easy to breed, so to make a long story short, we waited for a year and a half for our ”Yoda”. All this time Mike and Marie were extremely patient with us, answering all our questions and regularly sending us photos and updates.
Then finally the day came, and we went to the airport in the morning to pick up Yoda.
I had been worried that he would be stressed after the long flight, So we waited with opening the carrier until we got safely back home. Yoda just snuck out, investigated the room and then snuggled up in our sofa. I decided to try to pet him, and he started to purr straight away! I was astonished by how well he seemed to cope with the transition.
We have now been living with Yoda for four months, and I can tell you it’s like nothing else! It’s not even comparable to having an SBT. They’re just completely different creatures. Yoda has an extreme energy level, he is all over the house at once.
He’s almost dog like in the way he follows me around, to see what I’m up to.
Sometimes I start looking for him and calling him, just to discover that he’s been right at my foot the whole time :) Actually, we have to be careful not to step on him, because he’s allways around..
To Yoda, everything is a game. He will chase anything that moves. I have seen him jump 6 feet straight up in the air to catch a toy! He is completely at ease around all people, and will run to the door and greet anyone that comes to visit.
To sum it up; life with an F1 is never boring, and has been an amazing experience for us!
In retrospect I can understand why people have been saying that F1’s aren’t good pets. Many of the F1’s around have not been properly socialized, and some poorly treated.
This is NOT the case with Bamboos’ cats.
Mike and Marie are doing a remarkable effort in socializing Early Generation Bengals. And their approach should be studied by any breeder wishing to accomplish raisng F1’s!
Bamboo Yoda (3/4 F1 Bengal cat 80%)
Hello Mike and Marie,
We made the long ride home....just wanted to take a little time to thank you guys for such a wonderful visit....we had such a great time....i wish more people could experiece the visit that Melissa and I had....the kitties were just AWESOME....your cattery is a dream come true for people like us to be able to own a F1 kittie from you guys....SCOOTER was such a good boy all 15 hrs on the way home....giving hugs...headbutts....and loud purrrrrrrrsss....these cats are living proof of the hard work and dedication you guys put into your cattery....others should take notes....and follow the path you have paved for them....once again....thank you....for such a awesome boy....
Will and Melissa
F1 Scooter just before going to his new home and Scooter in his new home.