Do Bengal Cats Have Big Ears?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

Bengal cat’s ears were a hot topic of discussion in my family when we decided to adopt one of these adorable beings.

Here is a detailed discussion about a Bengal’s ear size for all the Bengal lovers out there.

So, do Bengal cats have big ears? Bengal cats have medium-sized to large ears depending on how they’ve been bred. Usually, Bengal cats have triangular ears. However, those Bengals that resemble Asian leopard cats have wide ears that are somewhat rounded at the tips and are larger in size. Their heads are smaller than the rest of the body with their ears set wide.

Bengals’ ears have been of significant interest to breeders since decades.

Read on for an overview of the Bengal’s ears and other physical traits. 

Bengal Cat’s Ears

Bengal cats aren’t anything like regular domestic cats. That’s why we advise you to go through our Bengal cat checklist if you have one.

In order to really determine the size of the ears of Bengals, it is important to consider two factors.

The ear size perception is greatly dependant on these two factors.

These factors are:

  1. Their head shape and size of the skull
  2. The earset

For a given pair of ears of the same size, the skull size affects the perception of ear size.

If the skull is extended behind the ears, the ears appear to be slightly smaller. For the same size of ears, if the skull size is smaller, the ears will appear larger.

So, the skull size, most importantly the back skull, does have a significant effect on the perception of the size of ears.

If the back skull is present, the ears will appear smaller as in Abyssinian cats.

If the back skull is absent, the ears will appear larger. This is the case of a Leopard cat, specifically the Asian Leopard cat.

The other important factor that determines the perception of ear size is how the ears are set on the skull.

If the ears are set as much on the top as along the side of the skull, they angle out, slightly making them appear larger.

If the ears are set on top of the skull, they look smaller, by comparison. 

Skull Size and Ear Set of Bengal Cats

The International Cats Association has a set standard for Bengal ears according to which the ears should be set as much on the top as the side of the skull.

So, the ears in Bengal cats angle slightly outwards, which make them appear larger.

It all depends on the parents that they are bred from.

Since Bengal cats are domesticated hybrids of Asian Leopard cats and domestic cats, their ears and overall physical appearance vary according to that of their parent cats.

So, to get an idea of what a Bengal kitten’s ear would look like, get a good look at its parents’ ears.

The Bengals that resemble Asian Leopard Cats have rounded ears, set wide apart, on the side as well as on the top of the skull.

So such Bengals have large ears.

But purebred Bengals are a little different.

They have narrow skulls, their heads are triangular and their ears are also triangular and are medium or small sized.

Physical Traits of Bengal Cats

Bengals are domestic felines.

They are medium-sized; the females weigh around 7 to 10 pounds while the males weigh around 9 to 12 pounds.

It is a common misconception that Bengals are larger than normal cats as they are just the same size as domestic felines.

These cats are well-structured with strong bones and muscles. Their bodies are long and lean.

Their eyes are large, ears are widely set and rounded or triangular with medium to large size, whisker pads are also widely set and they have a wide nose with an arch.

Physical Feature in BengalsColor
EyesGreen (golden green or gooseberry green)
Blue
EarsBlack or brown rimmed. Light spot on the back of ear
NoseBrick red with a black rim
CoatThick and shiny, brown with a ground tone range: grey-tawny to vivid orange

Cleaning Your Bengals’ Ears

To clean your Bengal’s ears, opt for an ear cleaner suggested by the vet instead of using only water.

This cleaner will wipe away any kind of bacteria or mites present in the ear that are sometimes not visible to the naked eye.

Cleaning a cat’s ears is a two-step process:

  1. Inspecting the outer ear
  2. Actually cleaning the ear

Step 1: Inspecting the outer ear

The first step is to inspect the ears for any visible signs of disease or contamination.

The outer ear is pink in color with a uniform layer of fur.

You will need to take your cat to a separate room where there are no pets or kids (to make sure it stays still).

Carefully put your cat onto your lap and fold back its ears timidly.

Observe the ear canal, it should be pink without any debris or discharge.

If you observe excessive earwax or similar discharge in there or it smells strange, you will have to take your cat to the vet.

Look out for any bald patches, discharge or redness. These might be the warning signs of ear disease.

If you see any of the mentioned symptoms, take your cat to the vet.

Step 2: Cleaning the ear

Cats can not clean their own ears, so you will have to clean those for them.

You will need a cotton pad and a good cleaning liquid, as prescribed by your vet.

Generously put the cleaner onto the cotton pad and gently clean the outer ear.

Don’t attempt to clean the inner ear or ear canal, don’t be harsh while cleaning the outer ear. This can cause lesions or injuries that might lead to further infections.

If you feel that your cat’s inner ear needs cleaning, consult your vet. Do not attempt it by yourself.

Signs and Symptoms that Indicate Unhealthy Cat Ears

If you clean your cat’s ears regularly and carefully, your cat shouldn’t develop any kind of infection.

Still, you should always be on the lookout for any signs of infections that your cat might exhibit.

Following are the warning signs that indicate a possible ear infection:

  • Discharge in the ear canal and/or outer ear (black or yellow in color)
  • Abnormal swelling or redness of ear canal and/or outer ear
  • Earwax accumulation in the ear canal and/or outer ear
  • Brown and black debris (this is caused by mites)
  • Strange odor
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Hearing problems

Some behavioral changes that are tell-tale signs of ear infections and diseases are listed below:

  • Excessive scratching of ears
  • Your cat keeps shaking its head
  • Your cat doesn’t respond when you call it
  • It seems to be very agitated and aggressive, more than normal
  • Your cat keeps falling more than normal, it seems to be dizzy and disoriented

If you observe any of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet immediately.

Common Ear Diseases You Must Know About

Ear mites are pretty easily acquired by cats when they go outside.

You can prevent their attack by cleaning your cat’s ears regularly.

However:

If you still observe any symptoms like accumulated debris or discharge and a strange odor, you should take your cat to the vet.

Yeast and bacterial infections are also common in cats.

Again, you will need to take your cat to the vet if you observe any of the aforementioned symptoms.

An ear hematoma is another disease caused by abnormal accumulation of serum and blood between the outer ear and the ear cartilage.

It is caused by severe infections, ear mites, and even by the presence of dirt in ears for prolonged periods.

Related Questions

Are Bengal cats larger than normal cats? Bengals are not larger than normal cats, they are almost the same size as that of a domestic cat.

They might appear larger due to their lean bodies and muscular physique, however, their size is just the same as that of a normal domestic cat.

Can Bengal cats clean their own ears? Cats in general and Bengals in particular, unfortunately, can not clean their own ears.

Cats can clean the rest of their bodies pretty well, but their ears, you will have to clean for them.

Make sure you clean your Bengal’s ears regularly in order to avoid any infections.

What is the right way to use ear drops? The most advisable way is to let your vet use them.

However, if you want to put in certain drops prescribed by the vet yourself, then put back the ear flap gently, drop in the prescribed amount of drops and then massage its ear gently so that the medicine can easily glide down the canal.

Are Bengal cats aggressive? Bengals are not exactly aggressive. They are very similar in their behavioral characteristics as other cats.

They are comparatively more affectionate than normal cats, however, they do not necessarily qualify as lap cats.

Are bengal cats hypoallergenic? Bengal cats are among the list of the top ten hypoallergenic cats.

People who are normally allergic to other cats experience no or lesser symptoms when they are around Bengals.

This is due to the fact that Bengals have fine coats that do not require much grooming, so their coats have lesser allergen-rich saliva.

They don’t shed a lot either, so that helps, too.

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