Is this gorgeous feline a cat or a tiny leopard? Well… it’s both! Before buying a Bengal Cat you should know that they are truly unique in the cat kingdom not only due to their heritage but also due to their wonderful personality. That’s why Bengal Cats hold the 1st position in the Perfect Feline Friends List of PawsomeTips.
Bengal cats are a relatively new breed that was developed by Jean Mill. In the 1960s, it was pretty common to find Leopard Cats sold in the United States. These small felines are wild, and shy but were very popular back then due to their exotic look. They were especially wanted for their big eyes and gorgeous pattern.
Jean bought a Leopard Cat but noticed after a few days that her female Leopard Cat was feeling lonely. She decided to get a cat to keep her company, which happened to be a male. Curiously enough, these two cats mated and even produced a kitten. Jean was surprised, and so were the veterinarians that helped her take care of the hybrid. This kitten was a female, and everybody thought she’ll be sterile. But surprise, surprise, she wasn’t! She actually mated with her father and had kittens of her own.
That sparked an idea to Jean Mill – what if she could create a new cat breed, one that would be wild-looking but domestic? She started her dream to develop the breed but had to take a break until 1980. The Bengal Cat quickly became popular, but cat associations were wary of this new breed. It took a while for them to realize that Bengal Cats are domestic and suited for being pets. Even if they’re widely accepted as domestic cats, owning Bengal Cats is forbidden in some states and in some countries. Make sure to read the regulations first before buying a Bengal Cat.
Bengal Cats are medium-sized cats, weighing from 8 to 15 pounds, females being smaller. They are gifted with a luxurious coat. It’s incredibly soft to the touch, much like silk. A Bengal’s fur can be stroked in any direction without resistance. You probably won’t be able to keep your hands off your Bengal Cat!
The background color varies from light yellow to rust, and it has spots ranging from black to reddish tones. The gorgeous spots are called rosettes. They are the only domestic cats displaying them. Thus, Bengal Cats closely resemble Leopard Cats and Ocelots, having a truly unique look. But Bengal Cats can also be marbled, although this is a rare pattern. Usually, marbled Bengals will still display some rosettes. There are also Snow Bengals and Silver Bengals, but these colorations are newer and quite rare! Additionally, some Bengals have inherited a particular gene that makes the coat glitter in the sun. The fur of those cats looks like it’s covered in warm frost.
Bengal cats are amazing, but they’re also strong-willed, curious, demanding, opinionated, and very smart. Bengal Cats are deeply affectionate with their family members. They form strong bonds with them and can even develop social anxiety if separated from their owners. It doesn’t matter if you come home from work every evening; being away for more than a few hours is enough to make these loving cats suffer. Bengal cats don’t always want cuddles, though. For them, playing is loving!
Moreover, they will closely watch everything you do. They’re always found at the center of any family activity. Bengal Cats can be very vocal when they want something. Usually, they make cute chirps and thrills, but they also howl. They won’t hesitate to use their loud meow when bored to get you to play with them. And when it’s playtime, you’ll have to leave everything and play with them. Bengal Cats much prefer the games in which you take an active role. They love to play fetch, which comes naturally to them. For this reason but also due to their outgoing personality, they’re said to be dog-like.
These felines can quickly resort to mischievous behavior. If bored, they’ll start making a mess by opening cupboards and drawers, scratching furniture, and sometimes even spraying inappropriately!
They’re also fascinated by water and like to play with it. Many of them also love to get into the shower with their owners. Besides these, Bengal Cats have an incredible ability to jump, leap, and perform air tricks. So, before buying a Bengal Cat you should know that there’s no place they can’t get to.
A large number of cat lovers are fascinated with this beautiful cat breed. These are the answers to some common questions that come to their mind before buying a Bengal Cat:
How do Bengal Cats get along with other pets?
Each cat is an individual indeed, but Bengals are often opinionated and territorial with other cats. As such, they will always be the dominant cat, but they can get along with relaxed cats.
If you do want multiple cats, the best idea is to get littermates. However, it is suggested to get two boys or two girls to avoid potential sexual aggression from the male. On the other side, Bengal cats tend to get along with dogs. But as always, don’t get a cat if you have a dog with a strong hunting instinct.
How do Bengal Cats get along with kids?
Bengals are great with children and tolerant. They even allow their tails to be pulled while keeping their claws retracted. They seem to understand kids are like kittens, so they make perfect playing companions for children.
How active are Bengal Cats?
Bengal Cats are one of the most active cats in the world. They have a high energy level and are always on the look for entertainment. It’s not easy to cater to their needs. They love to climb, jump and leap, but they need you to play with them. Let’s say you fail to satisfy their hunger for activity. In that case, your Bengal will resort to bad behavior, such as shredding furniture or chewing cables. Bengals are not in any way suited for people looking for a chill and loving companion. They are the exact opposite of a chill cat.
What are the environmental needs of Bengal Cats?
As mentioned earlier about their love for climbing, it’s no surprise they will need a bunch of tall spaces to sit on but also to jump on. When chilling, they love to peer down from above. Cat trees and tall shelves are not only nice to have but absolutely needed. Cat trees are expensive, but a Bengal Cat is not a happy cat without them. You’ll also have to cat-proof those shelves, leaving no decorations that can be knocked over or eaten.
If you have ceiling-high curtains, your Bengal could climb on them. Tap any electrical wires that are exposed as they can look enticing to your Bengal. Make sure to buy a sturdy scratching post before buying a Bengal Cat, as they are vigorous scratchers. You should get more than one and have it before you bring your Bengal Cat home.
Are the Bengals indoor or outdoor cats?
Bengal cats are exceptional hunters; they are perfect predators and can easily catch birds. They love climbing trees, so you may think you can leave them outside on their own. There are a ton of dangers out there, and your cat is a small creature. Therefore, no cat should be left outside unsupervised.
Additionally, Bengals might hunt and kill threatened bird species. You can take your Bengal out on a leash if you live in a quiet residential area. They can easily be trained to use it, especially if you start when they’re kittens. The walk in the neighborhood will make them happy and will keep them safe. You can also build them a cat enclosure; that would be even more awesome for your Bengal Cat.
How to care for a Bengal Cat?
Fortunately, caring for them is a piece of cake. Bengal Cats are said to shed less than other cats. They have short, thin fur that is easy to comb. Brushing your cat’s coat once a week will be more than enough, and the occasional baths will be a fun experience for both of you!
What are the health concerns associated with this breed?
Bengal cats tend to be relatively healthy. This breed’s major health concerns are progressive retinal atrophy and a heart disorder that can cause sudden death. These, however, are pretty common amongst all cats. It can be passed down to kittens even if the parents are healthy. To detect it earlier, you should screen your cat at a veterinary cardiologist once a year.
Moreover, Bengals can have joint issues as they’re highly active. These problems are usually fixed through surgery. Bengals tend to be very sensitive to anesthesia and can develop acute allergic reactions leading to death. It’s vital to choose a veterinarian that is used to this breed. If not, inform the vet about the Bengal’s sensitivity and discuss the best option for your cat.
How much do Bengal Cats live?
Before buying a Bengal Cat, you should be aware that they have a few medical issues, so their life expectancy ranges from 12 to 16 years; that is if the cat is kept indoors and fed good quality food.
How much do Bengal Cats cost?
Pet quality Bengal Cats cost between $500 to $1000. Show quality Bengals sell in the range of $1000 to $3000. As always, look for accredited breeders to minimize the chances of your cat having health problems. If you can’t afford a Bengal Cat, the best option is to adopt a cat from a shelter. Doing so, you’ll only pay a small amount of money.