Hello! My name is Monique Peden and I own Sierra NV Bengals with my husband, Brent. I am a retired Army Veteran. Brent still serves and we absolutely love animals. While I did not grow up with animals in my own household until I was a teenager, I absolutely loved being around animals- riding horses with my friends, being around and playing with my grandparents' dogs, and being around my friends' cats. When I was younger, I wanted to be a veterinarian however, that never happened and I ended up studying business administration, project management and accounting. Sierra NV Bengals is a small, in-home cattery. Our focus is to breed quality cats with exceptional bloodlines and amazing temperament. Sierra NV Bengals is a TICA and LCWW registered cattery. We are located in Carson City, NV, 20 minutes from Lake Tahoe and 30 minutes from Reno. We are also members of The International Bengal Cat Society (TIBCS) and Verified Bengal Breeders (VBB).
Brent grew up with all kinds of animals and would often bring home strays. To this day, he still brings home and rehabilitates baby birds until they are able to fly and survive on their own. While he does help out with the cattery, Brent has found his hobby in raising chickens. He also has some experience as a veterinary technician.
The obsession we have with the Bengal breed started in 2008 when my husband wanted me to have a four-legged companion when he would be out of town for military obligations. We picked up a beautiful seal mink marble female we named Espoir ("Hope" in French). She had so much attitude and sass, but we loved her for it. She also had so much glitter that she literally sparkled all over.
The Second Bengal
In 2009, I picked up my first male Bengal, a tri-colored brown marble, we named Jobin. Where Espoir was full of sass and demanded attention on her terms, Jobin was full of love, cuddles and absolutely craved the attention of everybody around. Jobin earned the hearts of many.
When we first started breeding in 2009, we didn't have a mentor to guide us in what we wanted for our program, nor did we understand the importance of genetic testing or HCM screening. After our first couple of litters, we dug a litter deeper and did more research to better understand any health risks of the breed. Both my husband and I deployed shortly after and had to put our breeding program on hold.
In 2018, when researching the perfect Bengals that I wanted to restart my breeding with, I found Meghan Waals of Elysian Bengals in North Carolina and Lori and Beth Bearry of SimplyBlessed Bengals in California. I have some amazing mentors with so much knowledge and involvement in all aspects of the Bengal, from genetics and outcross, cat shows and championships, and the support they offer in the breeding program I am trying to achieve. I am very blessed to have the mentors that I have and building the friendships with these amazing breeders.
Bengals are such an intelligent, beautiful, graceful, athletic, unique, and full of personality breed. They are confident, interactive, and more dog-like that once you have a Bengal in your life, you wouldn't want to have any other breed.
The Bengal is such an amazing breed that we decided that we want to share our love of Bengals with others. There are so many unique characteristics of the Bengal that make them beautiful and amazing. The details, love, and dedication that it takes to breed the goal Bengal is time-consuming and costly, but it is so worth it.
My very first cat show was the 2013 On Safari show in Reno, NV. We didn't really know what to expect, but we showed our silver marble girl Heartfelt Black Ruby. While Ruby didn't win any finals, we were able to network with other breeders. I didn't show again until the 2019 On Safari show in Las Vegas, NV where SimplyBlessed Ice Cube earned his championship title. Thanks to Lori and Beth Bearry, who have shown me the ropes of cat shows and have been great mentors.
As I have already stated, I recently retired from the military (Army) in the logistical field. I have served in a number of logistical positions over the course of my career. I also have some experience in acquisitions.
I hold a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in project management and am currently working towards a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA). That being said, you will notice that some of my pages will have references from at least one source to credit where my information was gained.
Want to learn more?
I rely heavily on my mentor and learning through other experienced breeders. I often ask and confirm to ensure that I understand correctly to be a better breeder. Because I don't know everything and there is still so much to learn, I recommend reviewing and researching the information and blogs from the below listed breeders, as well as conducting your own research regarding the breed.
Elysian Bengals- Meghan Waals. Specializing in silvers and charcoals. Wrote the charcoal standard for TICA. Blogs, articles, discussions, research.
Quality Bengal Kittens- Robyn and Jon Paterson. Combination of Solana Ranch and Wildernesswell Bengals. Exceptional breeders. 20+ years breeding experience. Blogs, articles, discussions, research.
Without the help of my friends and family, I wouldn't be where I am at today.
Much of my knowledge regarding the Bengal breed for health and genetics can be credited to my amazing mentor, Meghan Waals of Elysian Bengals. We also spend countless hours discussing physical traits and my goals for the Breed.
I have also gained quite a bit of knowledge, especially in the Bengal standard (i.e. head, ears, nose, tail, etc.), by following discussions from Robyn Paterson of Solana Ranch (Quality Bengal Kittens). I also follow Robyn's blogs regarding behavior, litter box habits, and enrichment.
I must also credit Beth and Lori Bearry of SimplyBlessed Bengals (also my mentors) in introducing me to the cat show world. I have come to enjoy going to shows, learning, and networking with other breeders.
I also want to acknowledge and thank an old friend for allowing me the privilege of using his beautiful landscape photograph of Lake Tahoe, JD Higgins. Lake Tahoe is 25 minutes from us and is a gorgeous place to vacation any time of year.