If you are a lover of felines and wish to pet one, then you have plenty of cat breeds to choose from. Some of you may like the furry lap cats, while others may like the slightly bigger ones. However, amongst all cat breeds, the Bengal cat breed has the spotlight on it as the favorite of many feline lovers. In this article, we give you a definitive guide to the Bengal cat breed so that you get all the necessary information you need before buying or adopting one.
How Affectionate Are Bengal Cats?
If raised properly, the Bengal cat breed can become extremely affectionate creatures. If humans show Bengals intense love, they also can become quite loving towards them. These cat breeds are seen to act like dogs sometimes; they play fetch with owners and like being around humans.
Given their affectionate nature, Bengal cats are easily trainable. You can teach them commands like “sit” and “stand” and they will be happy to learn them.
Are Bengal Cats Aggressive?
Since the Bengal cat breed has the genes of a wild Asian leopard cat, you may think they are aggressive. But don’t be surprised because Bengal cats aren’t more aggressive than other domestic cat breeds.
Instead, these cats are quite timid and shy by nature. They have intense personalities but they don’t have the aggression that’s typical of wild cats.
Are Bengal Cats Good For First-Time Owners?
If you are fond of lap cats, then the Bengal cat breed would be suitable for you, especially if you are a first-time owner.
The Bengal cat breed is something new pet owners can handle easily. Their personality certainly makes them fun to live with.
Other FAQs About The Bengal Cat Breed
What Is The Bengal Cat Breed?
Bengal cats hail from the family of brown spotted cat breeds. Jean Mill, a reputable breeder, and conservationist, is considered to be the founder of the Bengal cat breed. The breed originated in 1963 from mixing or crossbreeding wild Asian leopard cat and the domestic cat. They are rightly called “miniature leopards” because they have the appearance of a leopard, but have the personality of a house cat.
In the 1970s, after Jean Mill founded the hybrid, Willard Centerwall started the process of breeding Bengals as a part of his genetic studies in the Loyola University. This was because it was believed that the Bengal cat breed was found to be immune to the lethal feline leukemia virus. After Centerwall was taken ill, Jean Mill continued the program of breeding Bengals, along with other reputable breeders like Elizabeth and Creg Kent. Here’s a quick look at the history of these cat breeds you should check out.
What Does The Bengal Cat Breed Look Like?
As mentioned above, Bengal cats are called “miniature leopards.” These cat breeds resemble exotic wild cats in appearance, such as ocelots, clouded leopards, and margays. The size of these cats vary greatly; their height ranges somewhere between 13 and 16 inches, and their weight falls somewhere between 8 and 15 pounds. These cat breeds are considered medium to large in size.
Compared to other cat breeds, Bengal cats have a broader head, shorter ears, and a longer, more muscular neck. They have a lean and muscular body, which is supported by medium-sized legs and has a thick, long tail. The brown spotted coat of these cats is thick, short, soft and silky. The background color of their coat varies from sand, ivory and buff to rusty and golden tones. The glittery and shimmery appearance of their coat sometimes comes from their sheened fur.
It is interesting to note that the size of Bengal cats vary according to the genes of the wild Asian leopard cat bred with the domestic cat. When a wild Asian leopard cat is crossed with British shorthair cats, the resultant Bengal cat can weigh between 11 and 18 pounds. The crossbreeding between wild Asian leopard cats and Ocicats makes the Bengal cat weigh 6 to 15 pounds, while breeding with Egyptian Mau cats results in a cat weighing 7 to 11 pounds. Bengal cats from crossbreeding Abyssinian and Bombay cats weigh 6-11 and 6-10 pounds, respectively.
How Intelligent Are Bengal Cats?
The Bengal cat breed is arguably the most inquisitive and intelligent felines. Most people have seen that Bengal cats often outwit Siamese cats, which are quite shrewd in nature. The highly intelligent nature of these cat breeds can be traced back to their ancestry—the wild Asian leopard cat. Owing to their wild ancestry, some quirky and weird behavioral tendencies are commonly seen in the Bengal cat breed.
Do Bengal Cats Like Water?
Given their ancestry, Bengals love playing in water. Almost every Bengal cat breed has some obsession with water. These cat are seen drinking water by dipping their tiny paws into the bowl of water and licking it. This makes them different from the normal house cats who drink water straight from the bowl. They are also seen splashing water or intruding into people’s bathrooms while they are showering. They lurk around fish tanks because they like to catch goldfish.
How Active Are Bengal Cats?
Bengal cats are very active cats. These cats tend to have a skinnier body owing to their highly active nature. Since these cat breeds have the genes of a leopard, they are extremely playful. This is what makes them more burn calories than other domestic cat breeds. These cats have an extreme need to be running around. As such, it’s important for owners to give them a balanced diet so that their energy level is maintained. Plus, it’s also important to have a cat-friendly home where they get enough space to prance around and stay active.
Can Bengal Cats Be Left Alone?
The Bengal cat breed is always hungry for attention. They are seen to push their limits to make their favorite people spend some time with them. Leaving a Bengal cat alone in the house for many hours a day may not be a good idea because they crave for company. Like most cats, this cat breed requires a lot of stimulation from their external environment. If you are somebody who’s constantly on the go and has no time to stay at home, then perhaps getting a Bengal cat wouldn’t be a good idea.
What Health Issues Do Bengal Cats Face?
The Bengal cat breed, just like other cat breeds, are prone to some health issues. These include Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), renal failure, luxating patellas, anesthetic allergies, as well as coat and skin issues.
How To Groom Bengal Cats?
Just like other cat breeds, the Bengal cat breed grooms itself adequately. However, owners also need to take measures to groom them and keep them clean. This includes weekly baths, weekly brushing, and nail and coat trimming. Fortunately, these cats don’t shed as much as other cat breeds. So, grooming and maintaining their cleanliness is easier if you have a Bengal cat. Here are some tips you can follow for grooming the Bengal cat breed.
There are many Bengal rescue programs across counties that match interested owners with Bengals that are up for adoption. If you are looking for a fun, intelligent and playful feline companion, then you should certainly getting a Bengal cat.