Everything you need to know about Bengal Cats
So I worked really hard to think of something witty like finding a way to do ‘Eye of the Tiger’ lyrics and somehow turn it into the like the eye of the Bengal. But let’s be realistic and agree that that was a swing and a miss. So my non-exciting introduction is this, today I am going to break down the breed of Bengal Cats.
The goal of this is to hopefully answer all your questions about what makes this breed special, unique, and whether these could be a good pet for you and your family.
Which reminds me, regardless of what cat you get, they will need toys. If you want to “pimp” out your cat attire you should should out Meowingtons Co. They have great products for cats and humans! (This one is my favorite because I’m immature and laugh at everything). If you use code LLAPTRIBE, they have been kind enough to give my readers and additional 10% off because I love their products so much.
Another great option that I always recommend is getting a monthly box. Now I am going to go into more detail on cat boxes soon, but there is one that I am currently using that I wanted to let you guys know about. It is called the Pawtree PawBox. I get to PICK three toys every month and they send me this adorable box for my kittens. I spend less time trying to figure out toys for them and just let them try everything once! It’s easy and simple and actually a pretty great price! If you’re interested, you should check them out!
Bengal Cat History
First, let’s talk about what is actually a Bengal cat. Bengal cats are a pedigree breed that with you cross-breed and Asian Leopard Cat with a Domestic Shorthair cat. In order for a Bengal cat to be considered a Bengal cat and not a hybrid, they must be a least a fourth-generation mix. Oye! Anyone else’s brains hurt from reading that? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!
A pedigree breed means that it was only bred with the same breed, meaning a Bengal cat and a Bengal cat. Which is fairly ironic because you get that breed from cross-breeding. It would be like getting a pedigree shade of purple is only made from purple and purple, but first, you have to mix blue and red, but I digress.
Next, what make is considered to be a Bengal breed and not a hybrid is the fourth generation. That means that a First Generation (first breeding of an Asian Leopard and Domestic Shorthair) must breed three more generations. So, in order to be considered a Bengal cat, it would need to be great-grandchildren or more to the first-generation mix. Hopefully, that description helps shed a little bit of light on what truly makes a Bengal breed.
Bengal Cat Breed Facts
Now that we know what is officially considered a Bengal cat, it’s important to describe them. Bengal cats are known for the leopard-like spotted coats, their slim build and wild personalities. Because of their ancestry, they are known to have very athletic, muscular bodies. They usually weigh between 8 and 15 pounds when they are full grown, though they can vary slightly for males and females. (Males typically larger and weighing more).
Bengal cats usually are full grown when they reach maturity which is typically anywhere from 18 months to two years depending on the cat. Additionally, they typically live to be between 12 and 16 years depending on their health history. A healthy diet, normal weight, and sufficient exercise can also help to extend the life of your pet as it grows closer to those teen years.
Bengal Breed Personalities
Whew, enough of those schematics. Let’s talk fun stuff, like the personalities of Bengals cats. But before I get into personalities, one important thing I want to call out is while most Bengal cats will have similar and some of these traits, each one is different. Just like humans, each cat has their own personality and mannerism that are altered by their environment.
A typical Bengal cat though is known for being high energy. Like their jungle ancestors, they like to move and are always on alert. This breed is rarely the type of cat that will sleep all day when you are gone and will snuggle with you on the couch on a Sunday afternoon. They want to be moving around and use up that energy they have, especially while they are in their kitten phase.
Because of their high energy levels, Bengal Cats also love to climb. It is always recommended to have plenty of designated places for them to jump to and from. This can also help prevent them from jumping on things that you may not want them to jump on, like your counter.
Another thing to call out about their personalities is that they are known to be very talkative. Their sounds are commonly known for ‘cooing’ and ‘chirping’ when they are trying to communicate with their owners. These extremely intelligent creatures are also sensitive to their owner’s moods and can adapt to how they are feeling. If you are exciting, they may become more rambunctious and hyper and vice versa when you are sad.
One last thing to call out about Bengal Cats is that they LOVE water! Unlike most cats, they thrive when there is water around so using a spray bottle to try and train them would probably not do much in terms of reinforcement.
The Intelligent Bengal Cats
Like I mentioned before, this breed is extremely intelligent. They are talkative and can sense their owners’ emotions. They have excellent memories, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Luckily, their memories can be used for positive things.
They can be trained to play games such as fetch or chase and even be clicker trained. If trained properly, they can learn to do tricks. Teaching them tricks can be very rewarding for both you and them as it helps keep their brains moving. And toys that are like puzzles for them can help stimulate their mind in a positive way and keep them happy and content.
Bengal Cats Care
Bengal cats require care just like any other breed of cat. They require their nails trimmed, proper food, nutrition, and normal vet visits. And as I said, these cats love water. So giving them a bath should not be too terribly difficult. Though trying to get them to stay still in the water may. On the unfortunate side, because cats love water so much, you probably don’t need to bathe them very often because they will do it themselves. (If only all animals were that way!)
Bengal cats have coats that tend to shed less than a typical cat, which is great for people with allergies. Their coats that do shed are also supposed to be somewhat hypo-allergenic. Which is perfect for families with allergies. However, in order to decrease shedding even more regular brushing is always recommended. Regular brushing is usually considered to be about once a week on average.
Bengal Cats and Your Family
Bengal Cats can make great family pets! They are great for kids as they are very playful. They would get a lot of joy out of chasing toys around with your kids. Their extremely affectionate personality makes them perfect for children.
They love people, kids especially, and thrive on their attention. In fact, Bengal cats usually want attention so bad that they will do anything they can to get it. If you are not giving them attention, they will pester you until they get the attention they seek, even if it is not always positive.
In addition to loving children, Bengal cats usually tend to get along really well with other animals. The adore other cats and even get along great with dogs! Which is great if you already have a cat or dog and are thinking of adding another member to the family. The only thing to consider is to make sure your dog or cat is accepting of a new friend.
Chances are, this new Bengal cat is going to come into your family ready to love everyone. Be ready to for that and know that your other animals may not adjust that quickly. That does not always mean that they won’t get along forever. Sometimes they just take some time to warm up to each other.
Bengal Cat Advice
Bengal Cats are not for everyone. With their high energy, they are best for families who are active and/or spend a good amount of time at home. In addition, they are best for people who are not averse to noisy animals and are willing to put the work into training them.
A Bengal cat is not the best cat for people who want a typical cat that sleeps 12-18 hours of the day. A Bengal cat is one of the closest breeds to a dog that you will find. So that is something to keep in mind.
If a Bengal cat is bored and not given enough attention, they can become frustrated, unhappy and destructive. If you are not playing with your cat, they will find a way that they can be entertained, even if it is by your favorite sweater or knocking over water glasses.
The last thing that you want to have happened is to come home from a long day at work to find out your beloved cat has done something destructive like take all the toilet paper off its roll or chewed up your favorite shoes. (Again, if this does happen, try and remember that they are not doing this to be malicious. They are bored at trying to find ways to entertain themselves. Entertainment for them means a mess for you).
This is not to say that if you are gone for many hours that you should not have a Bengal cat. If you own a Bengal cat and are gone for long hours it is important that your cat has things to occupy their minds on their own and that they get some attention when you are home. I always recommend an interactive toy like this interactive mouse, but any toy that allows them to play without you is a win for your family.(I know, they are soooo needy). If you are gone for long hours of the day, I would highly recommend something to keep them occupied and perhaps even a water fountain that they can play in. (They could get to play with water and use their intelligent brains). The best thing for them is to be challenged, whether it be an interactive chasing toy or a complex puzzle for them to solve. This will keep them from becoming destructive.
Bengal cats can add a great deal of joy to a household. But it is important that before you decide to purchase a Bengal cat, you need to understand their characteristics and needs in order for them to be happy. A lot of the time people will adopt a kitten because they expect them to not be a lot of work.
And while Bengal cats look beyond adorable, they do require a little more work than most cats. You want them to be challenged, entertained, and given lots of attention. If you are able to do so, then you all will have a happy and wonderful time together. Usually. They’re still kittens at times and like to have their devious moments