Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Posted Jan 15, 2013
I fell in love with these cats after attending a cat show where no other cat could hold a candle to the beautiful spotted or marble markings and the quirky personality of the Bengal. I knew that they were prohibitively expensive, but still thought about owning one of these cats nearly every day until I was able to locate a breeding female that was being retired. For $200, I finally had my beautiful exotic pet, already spayed and up to date with her shots. Usually a purebred Bengal costs $1000 or more, depending on if you are looking for pet or show quality.
Living with a Bengal has been an adventure. My Bengal, Win—with a striking marble pattern that looks like a bull's-eye on her side—possibly has some quirks that come from her early breeding experience. The breeder told me that she was not suitable for breeding because she'd had two litters and lost both of them before she turned two years old. One of the strange behaviours that Win still does to this day (she is now almost 12) is to collect her stuffed animals, build a little blanket nest for them and then lick each and every one of them as if putting them to bed.
When Win first came to us she was one of the most active cats I have ever seen. She would tear through the house without ever touching the floor—from the couch she would spring up onto the table, from the table she would leap to the top of a high dresser. She did this from one end of the house to the other at mach speed; and she's not dainty about it either! She lands with a thump that shakes the house and then looks at you with her huge golden eyes just daring you to be disturbed by her.
Another Bengal characteristic is the signature voice. Win Never. Stops. Talking. Ever. Even in the middle of the night, when you change positions in bed and—Heaven Forbid—disturb her, she will meow or chatter at you. She responds when you talk to her and it feels like you are actually having a conversation. If a constant stream of meows and chirps sounds annoying to you, then reconsider getting a Bengal. This is what they do. Even in Win's old age, she is still active and constantly telling us about her day.
If you are looking for a beautiful, active animal who sometimes behaves more like a dog than a cat, a Bengal could be for you.