With a wild appearance and a heart of gold, the Bengal has quickly become one of the most sought-after breeds in the cat world. The Bengal is a hybrid breed, which means it has actual roots in the wild kingdom: the original cross-breeding that created the breed was between the wild Asian Leopard Cat and a domestic cat. Today, most Bengals are the result of Bengal-to-Bengal breeding, and only Bengals four generations removed from their wild grandparents are recommended as pets.
It’s not just looks that the Bengal inherited from their wild beginnings, but a playfulness, athleticism, and intelligence that make them a wildly entertaining, but also challenging breed to live with. They crave constant activity and entertainment, and are intelligent enough to get bored easily. This is not a pet for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for adventure, the Bengal can be a rewarding companion.
Appearance / health:
The Bengal was bred from the desire to produce a cat with a domestic temperament and the looks of a jungle cat. They’re bigger than your average housecat with males weighing 10-15lbs and females weighing 8-12lbs. Their build is muscular with powerful hind legs that are slightly longer than the front legs, giving them an impressive stride and significant leaping ability. The head is broad but rounded, with a wide nose, strong cheekbones, and a strong chin. The ears are small-to-medium in size. The Bengal's eyes are oval, almost round, and wide-set, and feature a dark outline. The eyes are usually shades of green, but certain variants may have blue eyes.
The fur of the Bengal is short, dense, and silky, and usually has either a spotted or marbled pattern. Spots may be solid, or a more leopard-like two-toned rosette, or a mix of both spots and rosettes. The most common coloration for Bengals is the brown/black tabby, though shades of brown can vary from pale, almost grey, to vivid golds and coppers. A second variety, the snowf Bengal, features a coat of ivory, cream, or tan, with dark brown spots or stripes, and blue eyes. Silver Bengals have pale grey-to-white bodies with dark grey-to-black patterns. All variants tend towards a nearly white belly and tabby stripes on the forelegs and face.
Unfortunately, some Bengals may experience certain health issues, some of which are caused by irresponsible breeding due to the breed's popularity and expense. Some Bengals are born with a genetic disorder that causes blindness within their first year. It is a recessive disorder, and cats can be carriers without developing the condition, so it is important to find a breeder who knows the pedigrees of their breeding stock. The breed also has a slightly higher-than-average prevalence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition which results in abnormal thickening of the heart muscle.
Behavior / temperament:
Though several generations removed from their wild heritage, the Bengal retains some physical and personality aspects that can make this a challenging breed to own. They are athletic, energetic, and intelligent, which can be a difficult combination for the unprepared. They have a reputation for opening cabinets and drawers, and their climbing and jumping prowess means you will likely find them exploring the highest places in the house.
Much like a dog, time must be spent exercising and entertaining a Bengal each day, and they may seem tirelessly playful. They may be dissatisfied as a house cat, but for their own safety and the safety of the local wildlife (they are extremely skilled hunters), Bengals should not be allowed to free-roam outside. Outdoor enclosures with lots of climbing opportunities are highly recommended, and Bengals are generally easy to leash-train.
Though affectionate and friendly with their owners, this is not a cat that will spend a lot of time cuddling. They will want to be involved in all the household activity, and because they also have a fondness for water, it would not be unusual to find yourself showering with a Bengal. They can be talkative and demanding, with a meow composed of unique chirps and barks. If you’re looking for a dynamic and interactive companion, the Bengal may be a good fit.
Because of their boisterousness, size, and strength, the Bengal may not be a good cat for homes with young children. They can be territorial of other cats, and introductions are best made when the Bengal is young. The Bengal is a keen hunter with strong predator instincts, and keeping them with small animals and birds could be a deadly mistake. Likewise, their affinity for water means your fish tank should have a secure lid!
The Bengal is a unique and beautiful cat, but the very thing that makes it such a special breed can also make them a challenging pet. They are probably best left to experienced cat owners or those with the time and dedication to learn about the Bengal's unique needs.
wonderful loving pets, energetic animals, funny, smart cat, stunning beauty
destructive behavior, picky eater, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
beautiful spotted coat, vocal bengals, wild pedigree, strong personalities, active breed, trainable
Simba chose his own owners
Simba was a kitten when I got him, for a birthday present. He was incredibly independent from the beginning. He loved our dogs, especially our German Shepherd, they were the best of friends. He did not want to be cuddled or held. From the start, he always wanted to venture outside. He came and went as he pleased after getting neutered. He would leave for months at a time and come back to visit us. A neighbor was feeding him better (he was at least 20 lbs) than we were so he stuck around her house! It was unfortunate that this neighbor kind of "stole" him from us, but at least he still visited. When our German Shepherd passed, Simba came around a lot less often. The day after he passed away, however, Simba came home. After almost 5 months of being gone. I believe he sensed his best friend had passed away. It was amazing. Eventually we moved from our house and Simba stayed behind at the neighbors. He truly chose his new family. He was an interesting cat, that's for sure!.
From AmberForsythe17 Feb 2 2019 5:01PM
Rid Your Cat of Hairballs
It is a well-known fact that most cats do not drink large amounts of water. When examining their urine, we find they concentrate their urine greatly- confirmation of smaller amounts of water intake. When pets take larger amounts of water, they produce more urine that is more dilute. In order to encourage water intake, some owners feed only wet (canned) cat foods. There is more water in canned food than dried kibble, thus increasing the water intake. Other owners may elect to add a small amount of salt to the diet. This can increase the thirst and therefore increase the amount of water taken. Another option may require some investigative work. Owners observe their pets closely, I have discovered. They find their cat's water intake preferences. These include fresh water during the day, use of fountains for water intake or faucets. Some cats only like to drink outdoor and some only indoor. There are challenges with each pet. Finding a great way to increase water intake helps moisten the stool in the end and therefore helps prevent constipation - a goal for every cat owner. .
From T Lee 398 days ago
Save your couches!
My cat loves to scratch, whether it be people, my couch, or my cabinets. Getting a scratch post and putting one in every place he loved to scratch did the trick for me. Although my cabinets and couch and hands suffered until I remembered these things existed. Before you even think of getting yourself a cat, have a few scratching posts!.
From AmberForsythe17 380 days ago
Adopt a Bengal from a shelter near you