Bengals are a unique and charming cat breed that is loved by numerous cat owners worldwide.
Showed up in the second half of the 20th century, these animals can be recognized from their circular, rosette, and striped fur patterns that are similar to a leopard’s coat.
Playful, active, very smart, and affectionate, a Bengal cat is the perfect pet for a person who is looking for a loyal companion and great playmate!
Check out each section below and discover the most relevant things about Bengal cats:
- Bengal appearance and characteristics
- Bengal personality and temperament
- Bengal intelligence
- The history of Bengal cats
- Grooming a Bengal cat
- What to expect when keeping a Bengal cat
- How big do Bengals get?
- What do Bengal cats eat?
- What is the lifespan of a Bengal?
- Can Bengal cats be kept with other animals?
- How much does a Bengal cat cost?
Bengal appearance and characteristics
The first thing you notice when you take a look at a Bengal cat is its fur, of course! This particular breed has risen from a mix of a domestic cat and a leopard cat, so it seems accurate where the wild-looking coating has come from.
Brown and orange shades are the most popular to see in the coat of a Bengal cat. However, there are some silver and black silver tabbies too! The fur is short, glossy, very smooth, and with circular, marbled, or/and stripped patterns.
Furthermore, a Bengal has a rounded head with medium-sized pointy ears, oval-shaped big eyes that are mostly goldish or green. You can easily get lost in the eyes of a Bengal cat due to their deepness and bright colors!
Continuing with the body, a Bengal cat has a very strong, muscular, and athletic body shape that allows it to keep up a high activity level. This type of characteristic can be spotted the best in male Bengal cats but females still don’t lag behind.
Bengal cats have strong legs that are a little bit longer in the back than the front. This detail is a very important one for the animal because the length of the hind legs allows it to jump higher and also develop a faster speed while running.
Bengal personality and temperament
Bengal cats truly do have bright personalities! Don’t forget, they have a little bit of wild cat blood running in their veins… Very active and playful, these pets need daily activity to release their energy. That means – playtime, human!
If you decide to own a Bengal cat, keep in mind that it might become a fidget if it doesn’t get enough exercise and start zooming from one room to another that can end up with a big mess at home and long clean-up hours.
However, if you provide your Bengal with interesting toys, create or buy places for it to jump and climb on, include at least 20 minutes of playtime every day, your pet will be truly thankful as you will help it to satisfy the need for activity.
Continuously, Bengals are in high need of attention. You shouldn’t forget to shower your pet with love, especially when it starts meowing at you or rubbing against your body. Don’t worry; you will also receive a decent amount of affection!
Bengal cats are loyal pets that will definitely express their affection towards the people who take good care of them. You will be able to enjoy purring, sweater kneading, lap nap times, and friendly bites from your friend.
No wonder that Bengals are known as very smart cats as they can learn very fast and be taught all types of tricks or… figure some out by themselves. Boredness can lead these pets to crazy and even annoying ideas.
If a Bengal cat doesn’t have what to do it might figure out how a light switch works and start turning it on and off multiple times. Nevertheless, this animal can bother you by taking CDs out of your DVD player. Crazy, isn’t it?
So, be active with your Bengal cat and it will be less likely to cause such problems. Also, you can change some daytime activities into teaching tricks such as fetch as these animals are very quick learners and can be taught to understand various commands.
Besides, a Bengal doesn’t scream of horror when it sees, hears, or touches water. Actually, these cats love wet things! Just be careful here, if you have an aquarium, your Bengal might also enjoy fishing from it…
The history of Bengal cats
Including an active personality and wild look, the Bengal cat definitely has some genes similar to a wild cat’s. It all started by breeding a domestic cat with a leopard cat that looks like a mini leopard and was bought by Jean Mill from a pet store. She had an intent to own an original pet.
Some years after that, Jean Mill decided that her little leopard needs a friend and this is how the domestic cat appeared in her home. One day, in 1965, she woke up to find one alive newborn that was produced by the leopard cat.
Later on, the kitten grew up into a cat and gave birth to two newborns after mixing her with her own father, a domestic cat. Afterward, Jean Mill discovered that this type of breeding will be beneficial to the leopard cats and the American market.
The mixing process continued, however, the Bengal cats that you can get nowadays weren’t created from the first pair. It took four generations to get a healthy and friendly Bengal cat. This happened at the end of the 20th century, in 1985.
Grooming a Bengal cat
Gladly, Bengal cats are pretty easy to take care of. So is their fur. Due to the short and straight coating that is not likely to shed much, a Bengal should be brushed no more than once a week. Excessive brushing can end up in skin problems or baldness.
Even though Bengals are mostly home-based cats, some people might let them run outside or take them for walks. If you’re such an owner, make sure that you check the fur and skin regularly for fleas and ticks, especially if your cat wanders in long grass areas.
Also, don’t forget the ears! If your cat is constantly trying to scratch its ear out, it might have ear mites, so a visit to the vet and proper medication is a necessity here. To add, you can get a specific ear-cleaning liquid and wash the inside of your Bengal’s ears once in a while to keep them constantly clean.
What to expect when keeping a Bengal cat
Summing up all the information that has been written in this article, we can say that Bengal cats are a great fit for active people that are looking for a perfect combination of friendliness, loyalty, intelligence, and an eye-catching appearance.
You will get a pet that has a lot of characteristics of a wild cat but truly is an affectionate and loving animal. Isn’t it best to have both a touch of exotic and great companionship in one?!
Of course, you have to take good care of your Bengal cat for it to love you back. This includes giving attention, keeping your pet healthy, proper feeding, etc. No wonder there is a phrase that says “give to others and receive twice back”.
Also, I have outlined the activity level of these special creatures. Bengal cats aren’t lazy sleepers, so be ready for action! However, isn’t it more interesting to own an animal that you can play with and even teach some tricks?
Bengal cat information and facts
Read below to find out answers to some relevant questions about Bengal cats!
How big do Bengals get?
As I already mentioned, one of the Bengal cat’s ancestors is the leopard cat. It weighs somewhere between 5-7 kgs and this is the main feature that influenced the weight of Bengal cats nowadays.
Bengals are medium-sized and sometimes larger cats. Their weight can fluctuate between 4-7 kgs, the females usually being lighter than the males. The height of these animals can reach somewhere around 33-41 cm. Bengal cats are considered to be fully grown at the age of 1,5-2 years.
What do Bengal cats eat?
Every cat owner should know that the most important thing while talking about food is a healthy and balanced diet! As the same goes for humans, the same goes for animals. Bengal cats are totally carnivorous just like others from the cat family.
This means that a large percent of your pet’s diet should include protein (up to 80%). The rest should be fiber and vitamins. Don’t try to feed your Bengal cat plant-based food as its digestive system is not created to synthesize nutrients that come from vegetables, fruits, etc.
The best protein sources for Bengals are known to be turkey, beef, chicken, lamb, and fish. While looking for cat food at a pet store, make sure that it includes a high nutritional value, doesn’t have any added sugar, and is full of vitamins.
Avoid high-calorie food that lacks important macroelements as it might only make your cat obese and lazy. Talking about Bengals, they are extremely active animals, so it’s very important to help them keep an excellent physical state through balanced and healthy feeding!
What is the lifespan of a Bengal?
Bengal cats normally live somewhere between 12-16 years, just like most of the animals from the cat kingdom. Even though Bengals are generally healthy creatures, they still have a tendency to some diseases more than others.
These two following conditions can appear in newborn kittens and usually resolve when they become mature:
- Flat-chested kitten syndrome
Flat-chested kitten syndrome is a condition where the lungs of a young kitten collapse and cause the compression of the chest or rib cage. Usually, only the underside of the cat’s chest turns out to be flat. However, in rare and hard cases, the newborn can look like it was squeezed as its entire chest or rib cage becomes totally flat.
- Distal neuropathy
Distal neuropathy is a case that mostly affects shorthair domestic cats. Around 9% of Bengals appear to be affected by this condition. It can cause a big variety of symptoms such as weak motor control, constipation, loss of muscle mass and reflexes, general weakness, non-healing wounds, etc. This particular disease occurs due to the degeneration of nerve axons and around 60% of cats get healed from it.
When Bengal cats age, more diseases might appear. The most common ones are:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy appears to be one of the most common heart diseases in cats. The walls of the animal’s heart become thicker and the organ starts losing its productivity. This case is more frequently found in male cats that are 4-8 years old, although the disease itself was discovered in cats of all types of ages starting from only a 3 months old kitten and ending with 17 years senior.
- Hip dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is known to be an orthopedic condition that affects a lot of dogs and cats, Bengals included. One or both hip joints degrade because of atypical development. Even though many cats don’t show any symptoms of hip dysplasia, some of them might start experiencing trouble while jumping, become lazier, and even lose some muscle mass.
Can Bengal cats be kept with other animals?
Bengals are very affectionate towards their owners but might find others (especially children and animals) suspicious. However, if you are looking forward to introducing another cat or animal during the young days of your Bengal cat, you can make good friends out of them.
Bengal cats are not known to be aggressive animals, so they should get along with other pets, if not from the first minute, then in the meantime. Make sure that you are patient and careful during the introduction of your two pets. Give them both space and time to “sniff things out”.
How much does a Bengal cat cost?
Owning any type of pet will require at least some finances and you have to be prepared for that. Starting with the primary cost of purchasing a Bengal cat it can go anywhere from £300 to £5,000. The price depends on the breeder and mostly on the appearance of the cat, e.g. Bengal kittens with rosette patterns on their fur have a very high cost.
Furthermore, you have to take care of your cat’s health and microchipping. Vaccination can cost anywhere from £70 to £100. Neutering (spaying) is a procedure that costs around £40-£50 for female cats and £10-£20 less for males. Also, microchipping can be somewhere around £20-£30.
These procedures are for life (except vaccination), so you won’t have to pay for them again. However, you shouldn’t forget about food and other equipment that will be necessary for your cat, e.g. toys, hairbrushes, food bowls, etc. The price often depends on the brand, so you should pick one according to your pet’s needs and your financial state.
I hope that you enjoyed reading our article about Bengal cats and created a fascinating image of this pet in your head! If this writing even helped someone to decide to get a Bengal, we’re also glad. However, keep in mind that bred or not, every cat deserves to be appropriately loved and taken care of!
Do you have any experience with Bengal cats? Feel free to share it with us!