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Do Bengal Cats Like to Cuddle? Breed Preferences Explained

Here at Excited Cats, we take our cat cuddles very seriously, and if you want a cat who will cuddle you all night, we can help you find one! After all, who wants to settle down after a long day at work only to be ignored? Luckily Bengals tend to be pretty cuddly, with a catch: you have to be able to keep up with their high energy throughout the day.

Keeping up with your Bengal’s energy needs is easier said than done as these cats have direct ancestry in the wild and energy to match that claim. If you aren’t careful about keeping your Bengal occupied, you’ll have a cat bouncing off the walls at all hours of the night.


How Cuddly Are Bengal Cats Compared to Other Cats?

Bengals are definitely on the less cuddly side of the cat spectrum. While they need a lot of attention, they don’t need that attention to be given as cuddles. They would rather play with you than cuddle for hours.

That doesn’t mean they’ll never come after you for a cuddle. It just means that the cuddle time you get will be unique since your cat was really in the mood for your hugs right then. There’s something special about being sought after by your cat that indefinite snuggles can’t replace.

However, when you compare the Bengal to cats considered highly cuddly, the Bengal’s temperament seems to pale compared to these hyper-cuddlers. It doesn’t mean that your Bengal loves you less than the other cat breeds; they just show their love differently from other cats.

Do Bengal Cats Get Attached to Their Owners?

Bengal cats may be playful more than cuddly, but that doesn’t mean they don’t bond with their owners. Bengals are very affectionate and become very attached to their families. Bengals have a relatively high rate of separation anxiety when compared to other cats. Bengals are also known for experiencing jealousy regarding their favorite people.

If your Bengal feels ignored, left out, or like you’re giving another person or pet more attention than they get, they might begin to act out for attention. This can be frustrating for cat parents who have to clean up after their Bengal cat’s tantrums. However, the behavior is generally pretty easy to handle by just giving your Bengal extra attention before or after a visit from a new person.

bengal cat licking each other
Image Credit: Ilona Koeleman, Shutterstock

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How to Encourage Your Bengal to Cuddle

You probably won’t be able to turn your Bengal into a lap cat. They’ve got too much energy, and their prey drives are too high to coincide with a life of lazing around. However, you can help your Bengal learn positive emotions relating to cuddling and encourage them to cuddle with you when they’re ready.

  • Getting your Bengal to cuddle with you starts by speaking their language first. Start by getting your Bengal’s energy out through playtime, but be warned, this could take a while! Bengals have an energy level that mirrors modern-day wild cats, and they can go for much longer than many humans without a physical break.
  • Grab a chaser toy, a teaser wand, or get ready to throw some stuffed mice to your Bengal to engage in play with them. Not only does this help get your Bengal prepared for some relaxation and cuddles, but it also helps you bond with your Bengal on their terms instead of yours. Relationships should be based on a give and take system, even with animals. So, if you want your Bengal to humor you and cuddle for a while, you’d best be ready to play with them because that’s the trade-off!
  • Once you see our Bengal starting to slow down and get tired, it’s time to invite them up onto your sofa for some snuggles. It’s unlikely that most Bengals will become true lap-cats. It’s most likely going to be a trade-off of playtime and cuddles.
  • If your Bengal gets another burst of energy or the dreaded zoomies while cuddling, let them get the energy out before inviting them back for more cuddles. This will ensure that they’re as comfortable as can be while cuddling and help them build positive experiences with snuggling.
  • Additionally, if your Bengal is allowed to sleep in bed with you, this is prime time for snuggling. Bengals are most likely to want to snuggle when it’s time to sleep. So, when the people in the house goes to sleep, and your Bengal is left alone, they’re likely to want to come and join your family for a nap rather than play alone. This is especially true if you exercise your Bengal enough during the day. Your Bengal should be all tuckered out and ready for a cuddle session by the end of the day.

What Cats Are More Affectionate Than Bengals?

Since Bengals are on the lower end of the cuddliness, most cats are more cuddly than they are. But some standout cats are known for their cuddly and affectionate natures that would love to make your home their home as an exalted lap cat.


female owner holding her ragdoll kitten
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

Ragdolls are hailed as one of the cuddliest cats you can get. The name ‘ragdoll’ comes from the breed’s tendency to go lax like a doll when picked up. These are actual lap cats who don’t have the same wild prey drives and energy levels as Bengals.

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Siamese Cats

Siamese Cat, blue point
Image Credit: Jagodke, Shutterstock

Siamese cats are also known for their vocal and affectionate tendencies. They’re a little bit more playful than Ragdolls and could have more energy, making them a perfect choice for anyone who wants an in-between between the Ragdoll and Bengal dispositions.

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Final Thoughts

Bengals might be trendy, but that doesn’t mean they’re the perfect breed for every owner. If you prefer a more relaxed lap cat, you probably want to go with a different breed, as the Bengal is only being set up to fail in such a situation. There are plenty of cats that are cuddly and huggable. So, there’s no need to try and jam a square peg into a round hole!

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Featured Image Credit: lshman000, Pixabay