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Bengal Cat Breeders item created by Anne, Jun 9, 2014
Pros - fabulous temperament, local, helpful, well socialized, kid friendly, dog friendly
Cons - parasites
I have three of Karens bengals. Her cats are well socialized to children, large dogs, and other cats. All of my cats have incredible personalities. Two of my cats are really great at fetching toys. They are super sweet and all love to be pet and to hang out with us. My favorite part of having bengals is that they are very confident cats. I have a chihuahua and a pitbull and because they are confident cats they do not act like "prey" They do not run away or over react which is important I did proper introductions to my dogs and took a very long time to integrate them into our household.
I notice that there is a lot of talk about how bengals have a specific "personality" which can sometimes come off as being a negative. From my experience with PPs bengals I don't know what they are talking about! Younger cats are super active, older cats are lazy. All of my cats enjoy being pet. One of my cats sleep in my bed, one sleeps on my body or on my pillow. My youngest cat is the most active and he is a trouble maker, but Im pretty sure that is just age related. I just feel like people speak negatively about bengals sometimes and i just don't see it with Karens cats. As I type this one my bengals is laying next to my lap top with his paw on my wrist.
When I got my first cat from Karen (about 4-5 years ago) she was perfectly healthy and settled into our house very easily. The two cats I got from Karen this year had problems with diarrhea. The first time we took them to the vet they came up positive for round worms. We treated for RWs. We retested 3 times and the RWs were gone, but the diarrhea persisted. We retested for coccidia and giardia and they were both positive for coccidia. So we treated for that. It was a lot of time and money to treat both cats.
However, with that said, these are very, very common problems in catteries, rescues and pet shops. It requires medicating and constant sanitizing to get rid of parasites, if you can get rid of them at all in that sort of setting. Parasites seem par for the course when there are many animals sharing the same space. Most likely Karen will medicate them before they leave for their new home. This is standard procedure for most breeders since almost all baby animals from larger scale breeders, pet distributors and pet shops come with parasites.
I would strongly suggest that you make sure they are tested several times over the course of weeks for worms, coccidia and giardia before you introduce them to your existing pets and before you integrate them into your household. Because even though they were probably treated at the breeder, the stress from leaving the breeder, traveling and being in a new home contribute to them getting sick / sicker. . Even if you do not have other pets, I would always suggest a complete initial check up and repeated stool testing when you first get any pet no matter where it comes from.
The things I found frustrating when dealing with Karen would be that it takes her a long time to answer phone messages/emails. I have found no one ever answers the business phone, it always goes to voice mail. It can take her a month to respond to voice mails. She seems to have a pretty busy schedule. However, after getting my cats from her earlier this year she gave me her cell number an she responds to texts much quicker. (from the same day up to a few days later). I did have to follow up more than once to remind her of things she was supposed to send me.
I think that there is both good and not so good aspects to dealing with breeders in general, but at the end of the day doesn't it really come down to if I would get another cat from Pleasant Pond? The answer is yes I would.
Pros - Karen of Pleasant Pond has always been available to discuss any issues with the Bengal we acquired from her.
Cons - They are 100 miles away.
Ten years ago, I acquired a Bengal boy kitten. He has been the best cat I have had in my lifetime. Karen has always been there to talk about my boy Scooter and his crazy Bengal antics. I have come to trust her implicitly and consider her to be a great friend who is truly interested in my boy's welfare and well being.
Pros - Cutest kittens ever, Karen is super responsive prior to sale
Cons - Sick kittens despite health guarantee - ear mites, ringworm, giardia
I wish I'd stumbled on this site before I bought 2 kittens from Karen in May 2015. I purchased 2 girls from Karen and encountered pretty much the same problems as the other reviewers. I did have a chance to visit the breeder in person prior to putting down a deposit but as I didn't have a car Karen offered to bring the 2 kittens I was interested in to the train station so I never saw the kittens in their home environment. When I first saw them (in her car) they were 4-5 weeks old and I was instantly taken by their cuteness. They seemed well socialized and Karen mentioned how her grandkids play with them every day after school. I checked them for any obvious problems (like ringworm) but being as I never had a cat before I wasn't quite sure what to look for. All in all they looked quite healthy, was receptive to being held by a stranger (me), and Karen was a very warm person who patiently answered all my questions so I made the decision to put down a deposit on the two kittens right away.
Throughout the couple weeks before I could take them home Karen sent batches of pictures every 1-1.5 weeks. Due to personal reasons I asked if it was possible to take the kittens home a week earlier than she initially suggested. She was away at her granddaughter's graduation that weekend but said okay she'll meet us when she gets back. I don't know if it was because the kittens were left alone the week/weekend before we took them home that they developed all these health problems or if they already had them, but Karen said she took them to the vet for their second shots the day we got them. We never got any paperwork from her vet indicating a full bill of health but given that there was a health guarantee I figured everything was okay. In hindsight I should've been more diligent.
We took the two kittens home and the second day we noticed a small but sizable bald spot on one of the kittens. When my boyfriend took them to the vet the next day they found both had earmites, one had ringworm, and we didn't know it at the time because the stool test took a few days to complete but they both also had giardia. We knew something was wrong though as they both kept incessantly scratching their ears, going to the litterbox very frequently, their stool was extremely smelly and gooey, and one of them started having diarrhea all over the place a week in. We initially thought there was something in our water that made them sick as they only started having diarrhea a few days in, but after reading the other reviews I have my doubts.
We emailed Karen throughout the first week. She responded occasionally and was quick to answer our questions on how to take care of the kittens, but skirted around the health questions. She did ask to see a picture of the bald spot but only said she didn't know what it was and was surprised neither she nor her vet noticed it. At that point we debated between taking the kittens back and having her treat them for the ringworm and giardia but ultimately decided against it and treated them ourselves. The vet bills totaled about $500 for both and she never offered to pay all or even part of it. Another thing was our vet mentioned that their first 2 shots had been given when they were way too young, so it wasn't even effective, and they needed 2 more shots afterwards as opposed to just 1. One of the kittens also had a faint heart murmur which the vet said could go away as she gets bigger.
The kittens are adorable and both are really active and well socialized which is why I'm giving her 2.5 stars. However I would not recommend getting a kitten from Karen, unless you go with her to the vet and make sure everything gets checked out prior to taking them home or something. A $1000 kitten with ear mites, ringworm, and giardia is not acceptable.
Cons - RINGWORM
I bought my kitten from Karen Lemaster, owner of Pleasant Pond Bengals, in October 2014. The kitten she sold me had both ringworm and earmites. Despite my efforts to resolve the situation amicably, I ended up having to report her to the Attorney General's office for consumer fraud under the NY State Pet Lemon Law. She refused to answer emails, phone calls, or have any communication with me after I brought up the illnesses to her. I threatened to sue her and sent her a spreadsheet of my medical costs, which she was legally supposed to cover having sold me a sick kitten, and instead of sending me a $600 check she sent one for $60 that I never deposited. She is the worst woman - I urge you never to buy a bengal from her. She even told me that she didn't know that she had his litter until the mother came out of hiding with a kitten in her mouth. Awful!
Pros - My kitten is beautiful and we love her so much!!
Cons - This breeder sells very sick kittens and will not return your phone call for help.
My fiance proposed to me in May with our beautiful kitten which we picked out in Karen's home in early April. Most of the cats were kept in a separate room and we didn't see them however there was one black cat walking around named little bill. This cat was missing hair on its leg which Karen claims is "from stress". This should have been a wake up call for us but we really did not know much about kittens. We spent about 45 minutes in Karen's home and we fell in love with our kitten and put down a deposit. The day we got our kitten, I noticed that she had a small patch of fur missing on her leg. We immediately sent Karen a picture of our kitten and asked her if she could recommend a vet in the area. Karen did not respond. We also began to notice that our kitten had completely liquid diarrhea with blood. Since it was a holiday weekend, we had to wait until Tuesday morning to bring her. At the vet appointment, our vet informed us that our kitten was not fit to be sold and that she was very sick. She had ear mites, ring worm and coccidia. Our vet also questioned if this kitten had ever been brought to a vet before we purchased her. We tried frantically to reach Karen for help since the contract states that we are only supposed to have her treated by Karen's vet. After hours of not being able to reach Karen, we chose to pay the $150 vet bill and treat our kitten. We were given medicated wipes and an oral medication for the parasite. We were told we had to keep our kitten in one room of the home and to disinfect everything she had touched. We cleaned the entire house with bleach and proceeded to keep her in the bathroom (which we had to bleach the walls, floors and all just about everything else in it daily.) We brought her back to the vet two weeks later and the patch of missing fur had expanded across the majority of her back and she still had diarrhea. At this time, the vet gave us a prescription shampoo for the ring worm. Our vet informed us that our kitten had a second parasite (giardia) that wasn't detected since the coccidia had been so prominent. We had to now give her different oral medication twice a day. After another three weeks of bathing her and giving her medicine we brought her back to the vet. This time.. HALLELUJAH her ringworm is mostly healed and she only needs to be contained in one room for another week. Due to all the parasites, her intestines are still sensitive and she still has diarrhea.
It has been awful to watch our kitten suffer with all of these illnesses. It has been difficult to keep her cooped up in a small room due to the ringworm. She also has not been able to control her bowels and leaves drops/puddles of diarrhea all over the floor.
We emailed and called Karen MULTIPLE times before I was able to reach her. Karen did offer to pay for our first vet bill before we really knew the extent of her illnesses. We have spent about $500 in vet bills in one month for a kitten that we spent $1000 for!!! When we did speak to Karen, she acted as if she had no idea that the kitten had been sick at all. We have not spoken to her since, and we are honestly so disgusted that we might just report her so that no one else will have to go through this experience.
We are mostly upset that our kitten has had to suffer and it has taken a tremendous amount of work energy and money to nurse her back to health. We are truly disappointed by Karen's lack of compassion and willingness to help.
Now that our kittens fur is growing back, she is gorgeous. We hope that we are on the road to recovery and are able to let her come out of the bathroom soon!!!
Please please do not put yourself through this pain- DO NOT BUY A KITTEN FROM THIS BREEDER!!! You WILL regret it!!!
Cons - SICK SICK kittens - parasites, diarrhea, ringworm, all contageous and will make your life a living nightmare!
DO NOT BUY A KITTEN FROM THIS LADY! Karen had sold me a kitten an INTESTINAL PARASITE which caused gross diarrhea as the kitten pooped everywhere multiple times a day, spread to my other cat, an ear infection, and ringworm which has spread to me and my family.
She is not only having these kittens suffer but also destroying homes by selling them with these illnesses!. I had originally put down the deposit for 2 kittens, and she told me one of them wasn't going to survive. So, she gave me the other one which barely survived and I had to pay over 1000 in vet costs the next week.
I texted and emailed this to her. No answer. She is super responsive before you buy the kitten and while you are asking questions about prospective kittens, but does not pick up her phone after you pick up the kitten! I am furious. Will take legal action after I'm done blasting her online. First red flag is her front page of her website saying "people love us on yelp" --- they don't have a yelp!! Do not buy a kitten from her - your house will be full of diseases!