|Colors:||Brown, snow, silver, mink, white belly, countershading, sepia|
|Suitable for:||Active families, multi-pet households, children, indoor living|
|Temperament:||Lively, playful, intelligent, happy-go-lucky, curious|
The wild-eyed, leopard-spotted Bengal cat wasn’t created by happenstance. Breeders worked diligently to create this magnificently marked hybrid—and the results are anything but disappointing. From their special markings to their intense eyes, the Bengal cat is a real sight to behold.
Behind their vividly colored coats and vibrant green eyes, you’ll find that they have personalities that are just as lively. Many describe them as being more in line with dogs than cats. You’re about to find out just what the famous Bengal has to offer so you can tell if they’re the right feline for you.
Bengal Kittens– Before You Welcome One Into Your Family…
3 Little-Known Facts About Bengal Cats
1. Bengal Cats are Part Wild Animal
Bengal cats are the product of breeding the wild Asian Leopard cat with domestic cats. The scientific name of the Asian Leopard cat is Felis Bengalensis—which is how they got their name.
2. Bengal Cats are Very Vocal
Bengal cats are known to chatter ’til the cows come home. If you talk to them, they talk back. They aren’t afraid to meow your way when they’re hungry, curious, inconvenienced, or happy. You might also notice how the meow tone changes depending on what kind of mood they’re in.
3. Bengal Cats are Incredibly Recognizable Amongst Purebreds
Because of a Bengal’s penetrating eye color against a marbled or spotted coat, this breed is one that is easy to pinpoint in a lineup. If you aren’t familiar, they immediately captivate people, so you’d have to Google just what that lovely cat is.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Bengal
Bengals are active, alert, and intelligent. Their personalities are vivacious, just like their looks. They’re incredibly playful, and they’ll want you to join in. Bengals have the classic cat curiosity, always needing to be involved in everything around them.
These cats will inquisitively look out of windows for hours, wishing they could catch those birds at the feeder. They will be the ones antagonizing the family dog for a wrestling match or pouncing on you when you least expect it—Bengals love fun and games.
These cats can figure things out, even when you might not want them to. It’s not unusual for them to learn how to open cupboards, nose their way through cracked doors, and slip out when you’re leaving for work. Always make sure to keep areas secured so they don’t get into trouble.
One thing is for sure—Bengals need stimulation. So, if you welcome one into your home, be prepared to give them lots of toys, scratching posts, and a cat tree to curb some of their thirst for action.
Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪
Bengals work very well in families, especially with children. Unlike some other cats who shy away from high energy, they will play right along with your kids. However, because these cats are excitable, you’ll have to watch just how hard they play, because their claws hurt!
These cats aren’t the kind you can let outside on the porch for a look around. They are far too curious. They could venture too far away from home and then not be able to find their way back.
Bengals aren’t quiet cats. They like to talk, even if it’s 3 a.m. and you feel like it can wait. They also aren’t mindful of your rules and tend to make their own. Since they are cats with no personal space or boundaries concept, it can prove challenging for some owners.
Even though they have all the best intentions, they can be a little much if you prefer the lackadaisical nature of an ordinary housecat. On the opposite side of things, these can be fantastic companions for people who prefer dogs to cats since they have many canine-like behaviors.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
Bengals do very well with other cats and dogs. Since they’re so friendly, they are usually accepting of new friends to play with. Even though some cats may be snobby toward dogs, Bengals are much more likely to partake in the fun when a dog is ready to party.
It would be best if you didn’t trust a Bengal, however, with a smaller animal. They have extremely high prey drives, so they may see your hamster as a delicious snack rather than a fellow pet. You can’t train this tendency out of your Bengal—it’s simply in their nature. They are part wild cat after all!
Things to Know When Owning a Bengal:
Food & Diet Requirements
Your Bengal should eat a high-quality dry kibble as their main source of food. Since Bengals are such active cats, they need a diet high in protein to replenish calories and strengthen their muscles.
If your Bengal cat is a typical feline—the stinkier the food, the more delicious it is. For this reason, wet food toppers work tremendously well. Not all wet cat food is created equal. You want to make sure they’re getting the healthiest food possible.
While wet cat food is super high in protein and moisture—two things your cats need most—it isn’t good for their teeth. For this reason, using it as an additive rather than a stand-alone diet is a better choice.
Since Bengals are prone to allergies, try to avoid food with many fillers such as wheat, corn, or soy. Also, avoid giving your cat dairy, as they are lactose intolerant, and their bodies don’t have the appropriate enzymes to break down the lactose.
Bengals need plenty of physical activity. A simple game of chase-the-string won’t tucker out these cats. They need attention, stimulation, and excitement in their lives. They will be the cat getting into shenanigans with your other kitties or bouncing off the walls with your kids.
Bengals benefit from having as many toys as you want to give them. They will also love a variety from scratching posts to jingly balls. If you don’t have time to play with them, you can buy toys to keep them occupied—like this Frisco Cat Tracks Butterfly Cat Toy—or something similar.
The more you can offer them to keep their focus, the happier they will be—and the less likely they will get into mischief.
We all know cats have a mind of their own. Even though the Bengal has a high level of intelligence, that doesn’t mean they will be gung ho about listening to training commands. You can probably teach your Bengal a few tricks, but this will happen on their terms.
Litter training should take minimal effort. The first few times you introduce them to their litter box, it will likely come naturally to them from that point forward. Bengals are very clean cats, grooming and bathing themselves regularly, so house training should fall in line with their innate cleanliness.
If you find your Bengal challenging in terms of litter training, try to have them spend some time in a small crate to get familiar with the box.
Bengals are notorious climbers. They will probably want to be at the highest peak of the house. If you’re having issues with your bangle climbing on the table or your counters, you can try to persuade them otherwise. But don’t get your hopes up because as soon as you turn your back, they might be doing the same thing again.
Because they are so witty, they may outsmart you at every turn. It’s not unusual to have to cat-proof your home to keep them out of mischief.
Bengal cats should be a breeze when it comes to coat care. They have short, sleek fur, and they do most of the grooming for you. You can brush your Bengal a few times a week to get rid of any excess shedding, but otherwise—they should take care of the hard parts.
Bengal cats shed much less than other breeds, and some people swear that they don’t shed at all. However, there is no definitive evidence of this since it depends so much on genetics.
Even though they don’t require a lot of coat maintenance, they will still adore a rub down. So, your Bengal will probably love a good brush now and again.
- Related Read: Are Bengal Cats Hypoallergenic?
Health and Conditions 🏥
Bengal cats can develop certain ailments that are breed-specific. While they are usually healthy, some issues are commonly seen in this breed over others. As long as you take your Bengal to frequent vet checkups, you can get ahead of any health concerns that may come up over time.
- Progressive retinal atrophy. Siamese cats are prone to this genetic condition, which may eventually lead to blindness in some cases.
- Systemic amyloidosis. This is a condition where the protein build-up in various organs may stop them from functioning properly and may result in organ failure.
- Hip Dysplasia. This condition is caused by the abnormal development of the hip joint and is fairly common in Siamese cats. The condition cannot be cured but can be successfully managed.
- Siamese cats are particularly prone to asthma and bronchial disease too, and some have kinked tails and squinted or crossed eyes.
- Lymphosarcoma –this type of tumor develops in cats and is sometimes related to the feline leukemia virus.
- Pancreatic Issues –these issues usually include pancreatitis and other problems with the organ.
- Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease—urinary tract disease usually develops in middle-aged cats.
- Kidney Disease –many diseases affect the kidneys, from renal failure to chronic kidney issues.
- Heart Disease –this condition can be congenital or affect adults.
- Allergies –common signs include itchy skin, sneezing, runny nose, wheezing, and coughing.
- Stomach issues –this breed can suffer from a range of gastrointestinal problems.
Male vs. Female
Your Bengal will have their own special personality, despite their gender. However, some traits are common in males versus females. Remember that every Bengal will develop in their own time, so there is no one-size-fits-all for the breed.
Females tend to be more particular about things. They may be selective about when or how they receive attention. They might also be more inclined to pick one person to love and tolerate the rest. If you’re that lucky someone—you better reciprocate her affection when she’s feeling lovable.
Males and females can mark their territory by spraying. Spray smell is extremely hard to get out of fabric, carpets, and clothing. To prevent this behavior, early spaying or neutering can help. This action is much more common in males, especially when they are exposed to other unaltered cats.
If you’re still interested in this intriguing breed, make sure that you find a kitten from a reputable breeder. It’s in the kitten’s and your wallet’s best interest to save on potential issues from poor breeding. Bengals are the perfect animals for so many lifestyles. If you wouldn’t mind being owned by this cat, start your search for an adorable Bengal in your area.
- You Might Also Be Interested In: Snow Bengal Cat Breed Info: Pictures, Temperament & Traits
Featured Image Credit: Elena Borisova, Pixabay
- Bengal Kittens– Before You Welcome One Into Your Family…
- 3 Little-Known Facts About Bengal Cats
- Temperament & Intelligence of the Bengal
- Things to Know When Owning a Bengal:
- Male vs. Female
- Final Thoughts