Having the visual features and patterns of its wild relatives, the Bengal cat is an impressive domestic cat gifted with numerous wonderful traits. It is also a unique and special cat since no other cats have a coat with these markings. If you’re looking to learn more about these magnificent cats, you’ve come to the right place.
After reading these brilliant facts, not only will you admire this wonderful creature more, but you will also know about how to nurture one.
Without further ado…
1. Bengals Have Wild DNA
Have you ever wondered how these cats got their unique coat?
The Bengal cat is the product of a cross between the Asian Leopard cat and the Domestic Shorthair. Therefore, it enjoys the physical appearance of a wild cat while the personality of a cute domestic cat.
Historically, people have always been fascinated by jungle cats and desired to keep them as pets. In 1963, Jean S. Mill pioneered the Bengal breeding program in order to meet this ever-growing desire.
With the Bengal, you get the eye-catching appearance as well as the temperament of a house cat. Hence, they can be kept in the house despite their appearance.
2. They Love Water
The Bengals have broken the stereotype that cats hate water. Unlike other cats, the Bengals love water so much that they would drink water right from the tap. So if you are a big advocate for privacy, keep your bathroom door shut, or else this little leopard will sneak right in while you’re taking a shower.
What’s more, these cats also drink differently. While most cats lap up the water with their tongues, these cats like to dip their paws into the bowl and lick the water off.
The reason for the Bengal’s love for water is that their wild ancestors were great hunters and fishers. These cats are also known to swim in family swimming pools. In fact, you should keep an eye on your Bengal near water so it does not get into trouble.
3. They’re Intelligent Cats
If you are looking for a lap cat that won’t need much attention, then the Bengal might not be the right fit for you. They are an intelligent cat breed which makes them curious. These clever cats need challenging stimuli to keep themselves interested which means you’ll have to provide them with interactive puzzles and toys.
However, if you fail to keep them occupied, they’ll find ways to kill boredom which might result in unwanted consequences, viz. broken equipment, scratched drawers, etc.
4. They Love To Perform
Bengals are known to be amongst the most intelligent cat breeds. These cats can learn tricks and can amaze you with how fast they’ll learn them. You can teach them to play fetch and impress your friends by showing off your precious cat’s abilities.
Another trick that cat owners have taught their Bengals is how to turn a switch on or off. However, beware of this one, or else you’ll find them switching the lights on and off throughout the night which can be extremely irritating.
5. They’re Incredible Jumpers
The Bengals will astound you with their incredible jumping and climbing abilities. If you think that your expensive china vase is placed high enough to be out of your Bengal’s reach, think again. There is virtually nothing that they cannot reach.
If you are thinking of bringing a Bengal cat home, then make sure all of your valuables are kept locked away, or else prepare yourself to lose them.
6. Their Coats Glitter
Although not true for all Bengals, there are some that have what is commonly known as the glitter gene which makes their coat sparkle under the sun. You might not notice this sparkle in a photo so you’ll have to see it to believe it.
Speaking of coats, the Bengals do not only have the spotted leopard-like coat, rather their coats come in a variety of colors and patterns. The Bengal coats are categorized into two classes on the basis of pattern:
- A spotted coat
- A marbled coat
These two categories consist of numerous unique patterns of coats. Moreover, their coats come in six different colors in the following two categories according to the International Cat Association (TICA):
- Solid Black
Of course, the Bengal cat’s coats are not only limited to just these six colors but consist of numerous tones and variations of these six.
7. They’re Social
Bengals are among those cats that like to interact a lot. These leopard-like cats crave attention and feel alienated if left alone. As said earlier, these cats are intelligent; therefore, they know when they are being neglected.
If you want your Bengal to develop emotionally and intellectually, you’ll have to give it enough time and attention. Otherwise, it might not develop as much as it would if you had given it due time.
What’s more, these cats not only enjoy interacting with their human owners but also love to spend time with other pets such as other cats or even dogs.
8. They Behave Like Dogs
You’ll have to keep a Bengal to actually experience this trait. Many owners have noticed that their Bengals get along well with their dogs and also act in similar ways.
Bengals like to follow their owners (even in bathrooms). Unlike other cats that can even resort to scratching when it comes to wearing a leash. They even love to go on evening walks and also enjoy the same games as a pet dog would.
9. They Steal
These little fellows are quite mischievous, especially when they aren’t trained. An example of their mischief is their habit of stealing. If you can’t seem to find your car keys or your TV remote, it is probably hidden inside your Bengal’s litter box.
Moreover, Bengal kittens love to shred or tear things such as pillows, toys, papers, etc. Make sure you are keeping all of your valuables far from its reach until your cat is fully trained.
10. Bengals Are Quite Vocal
Bengals love to talk, especially when they want something. You’ll never forget to feed your Bengal because it will let you know when it is time. Your Bengal will also try to communicate with you using a variety of meows. Make sure you are ready for that before you decide to adopt one.
11. They Can Be Wild
Since they have both wild and domestic ancestors, these cats can either have wild characteristics or be domestic. If you want to keep them as pets, breeders advise purchasing only those that are the fourth generation or onwards.
Preceding generations have been known to showcase behavioral patterns resembling their wild ancestors. Purchasing a Bengal that is 4th generation or onwards ensures that it does not have any wild behavioral characteristics.
12. They Are Very Affectionate
Bengals love attention and would do anything from meowing to scratching at the door to grab your attention. These cats love to interact and play with their owners.
If you want a low-maintenance cat, then a Bengal might not be a good choice for you. However, if you want some excitement and activity in your life, then adopting a Bengal cat would be a great option.
13. They’re Expensive
If you’re thinking of buying a Bengal, then you’ll have to start saving up because the Bengals rank among the most expensive cat breeds. These small-sized leopards can cost you anywhere from $1500 to $3000.
The price of a Bengal, or any other cat for that matter, depends upon several factors, such as the locality of the breeder, the reputation of the breeder, pedigree, etc. If you are also purchasing breeding rights, then you will most probably have to pay a premium.
However, don’t be disheartened by such a high price as there is a cheaper way to get these adorable playmates. There are several rescue agencies and cat adoption centers that can help you find an adorable Bengal cat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do Bengal cats have behavioral problems?
The Bengals have wild ancestors due to which many people believe that they have behavioral problems and they bite. However, that is far from the truth. Bengals are no more prone to making a mess or scratching than any other cat.
What’s more, these cats are highly intelligent and fast learners so they can be trained according to one’s lifestyle. However, these cats might not be for everyone. Their active lifestyle and craving for attention demand that the owner be proactive.
Are Bengals indoor cats?
There are two different opinions regarding this:
Many argue that the Bengals have a wild ancestry, so they demand freedom. These cats should be allowed to roam outside and enjoy themselves. They love to go on walks and keeping them restrained inside is cruelty.
The other side argues that these cats are quite expensive and precious, so letting them outside them means you’re putting them at risk of being stolen. Moreover, these cats love to hunt birds and will harm outdoor birds.
My advice on the matter would be to choose the middle route. Let your Bengal enjoy the outdoor environment under supervision. An excellent way to do this would be to build a cat garden. Make sure you build a tall fence around it so your cat doesn’t end up escaping.