The Bengal Cat Ultimate Guide

Thinking of getting a cat for your family?

Maybe you just want a companion for your feline friend because you can’t give it enough time.

Whatever your reason might be, having a cat or two roaming around your house is the best thing you can do to bring excitement and extra spark in your life.

And what can be a better option than the unique and charming Bengal cat?

There are innumerable reasons why a Bengal cat is a great feline pet to have and this guide is filled with it. What’s more, we’ll also discuss how it’s like living with Bengal cats, their amazing traits, and a lot more.

But before we jump into the guide, I’d urge you to go through our Bengal cat checklist if you have one. Bengals aren’t your everyday cat and require special care.

This checklist would ensure that you have every aspect of your Bengal’s care covered.

So, without further ado…

Contents show

Chapter 1 – Introduction to Bengal Cats

CharacteristicLevel
Grooming difficultyLow
Socialization (Kids & Pets)High
ActivenessHigh
IntelligenceHigh
AffectionHigh
Pet-FriendlinessHigh
SheddingLow

Contrary to popular belief:

Bengal cats, unlike their wild ancestors, are quite affectionate and loyal.

In fact:

Bengals are known to be one man cats, meaning a Bengal would be extremely loyal to one person in a family.

However:

That does not mean that it would not be friends with other family members as well.

Bengals have a strong built which complements their athletic and active lifestyle.

These precious little felines are hybrids of the Asian Leopard Cat and domestic cats.

Interesting, right?

Here’s more on their history and how they came into being.

History

Bengals are the only hybrid felines born as a result of a cross between a wild cat and a domestic cat.

Although there is evidence of previous attempts at breeding Asian Leopard Cats (ALC) with domestic cats, the credit for successfully breeding ALCs with domestic cats goes to Jean Sudgen.

Miss Sudgen was an amateur breeder of California who got an Asian Leopard Cat not to breed but to provide a playmate for her black tom cat.

To her surprise:

The two mated and produced kittens from which she kept a spotted female.

Miss Sudgen then bred this spotted kitty with the original Asian Leopard Cat and got a litter of spotted and solid kittens.

During the same period:

Dr. Willard was breeding ALCs at Loyola University to test their genetics for a partial immunity to feline leukemia and to see if this trait would also transfer to their hybrids.

After the experiment:

Instead of destroying these cats, Dr. Willard decided to find them an appropriate home.

Consequently:

Miss Sudgen, in the 1970s, got some of these hybrid ALCs from Dr. Willard to initiate her breeding program to get cats with wild-like coats but the personality of a domestic cat.

Miss Sudgen was warned by many that the litter of her crossing would be sterile.

Even though the male kittens were sterile, the female kittens were not.

Therefore:

To proceed with her breeding program, Miss Sudgen needed the perfect males to cross with her hybrid females.

This search was quite tough but, at last, her patience and determination paid off:

She found an orange domestic shorthair in a zoo in India and a brown spotted tabby from a shelter.

This was the genesis of the domesticated hybrids that we now know as Bengals.

Generations of Bengals

All the Bengals present today descend from these hybrids bred in the early 1980s.

Bengals are divided into generations on the basis of their ancestry i.e.:

The first generation (F1) Bengal cats are those that are the direct offspring of an ALC and a domestic cat

The second generation (F2) Bengal cats are those that are the offspring of the first generation Bengals.

And so on and so forth.

Bengals from the first three generations i.e. F1, F2, & F3 are considered to be the foundation cats.

Although the foundation cats are considered to be domestic by their breeders, they are not allowed into official competitions and exhibitions due to their close association with the wild Asian Leopard Cats.

A Bengal of the fourth generation (F4) or onwards is considered a domestic cat by most cat breeders and associations.

Recognition

Due to the Bengal cat’s wild ancestry, many cat associations did not, at first, recognize it as a domestic feline.

It was not until 1991 that these exotic cats got recognized as a domestic breed.

The first cat association to fully recognize Bengals was the International Cat Association, followed by:

  • The United Feline Organization
  • The American Cat Fanciers Association
  • The Canadian Cat Association

Bengals are now one of the most loved cat breeds and are also among the most expensive ones.

In the year 1990:

A British woman bought a Bengal for more than $50,000 calling it the “Rolls Royce” of the feline world.

Size

Bengals are medium to large sized muscular cats with an athletic built.

Bengal males are fairly larger than their female counterparts and usually weigh about 10-15 lbs.

On the other hand, the female Bengal cats weigh around 8-12 lbs.

However:

Do not worry if your Bengal is outside this average.

Because several cat breeds were crossed with the Asian Leopard Cat during the Bengal breeding program.

And the size of a Bengal depends upon which cat breed was crossed with the Asian Leopard Cat.

For example:

A Bengal cat having several British Shorthair cats in its ancestry will be larger than other Bengals.

While a Bengal having several Bombay cats in its lineage will most likely be shorter.

It takes a Bengal cat normally 1.5-2 years to grow to its full size.

Lifespan

If you are giving a home to any pet, you’d obviously want it to have a long life.

With the Bengal cat, you are in luck.

Because:

These miniature leopards are quite healthy and have fairly long lifespans of 14-16 years.

According to anecdotal evidence, Bengal cats can even live up to 20 years of age.

Appearance

Its feral-like physical features set apart Bengal cats from the rest of the feline family.

Bengals are widely known for their high contrast markings like that of a leopard.

The markings on the face become darker around the nose.

Bengals have big eyes and ears that curve at the tip.

The hind legs of a Bengal cat are longer than the front legs making its posterior slightly elevated.

These hind legs also enable them to run faster than other cats.

Moreover, because of a feral ancestry, they have muscular bodies that are longer than other felines.

Bengals also have long tails and larger round paws.

Coat

Bengals have a soft and dense pelt (undercoat) rather than a coat

What’s interesting, due to a gene mutation some Bengal coats shine in the sunlight.

Bengals come in coats of various colors but the most common among them is the Brown Bengal.

Moreover, various patterns on Bengal coats can be divided into the following main divisions:

  • Spotted
  • Marbled

Are Bengals indoor-only cats?

This is a matter of great controversy.

Some people are of the opinion that Bengals should not be bound to a limited environment.

While there are others that say that keeping them outside is dangerous.

Why should Bengal cats be kept indoors?

People that say that Bengals should be kept inside provide the following arguments:

  • Bengal cats are brave cats and if left unsupervised tend to run away. Although they come back home, being far away from home puts them at various risks.
  • Bengals are quite precious and expensive cats. Therefore, letting them outside is equivalent to putting them at risk of being robbed.
  • A cat roaming outside may get hit by a vehicle or get attacked by other animals.
  • A cat roaming outside is also at risk of several infections and diseases spread by stray cats.

Reasons why you should let your Bengal cat outdoors

On the other hand,

People that claim that Bengals shouldn’t be bound inside argue:

  • Bengals come from a line of wild cats that have enjoyed unrestricted freedom for generations. Therefore, keeping them inside means you are taking their freedom away from them.
  • Bengals are active and intelligent cats that like to climb up things. Indoor environments do not provide enough stimulation for them. Therefore, it is essential to take them outside where they can play and have fun.
  • Bengals, just like dogs, like to go on walks and do not mind a leash.

Verdict

After reading the arguments of both sides, it is clear that both of them are right (to some extent).

So:

Which side should you take?

But I’ll ask you this:

Is it really important to take sides?

Why not choose the middle road?

So, the best way would be to allow your precious Bengal to roam outside under supervision.

You could make a small garden in your backyard surrounded by fences.

You could have a Cat Climbing Structure fixed for your Bengal to show its crazy moves.

A word of advice:

Double-check your garden for any openings which your Bengal can take to escape and close them.

Because Bengals are quite clever and can quickly find out ways to get what they want.

Moreover, micro-chipping your Bengal would ensure that you’re reunited with it even if it does go missing.

Top 5 food products for Bengal cats

Your miniature-leopard deserves lots of love, extra playtime, snuggles, and of course, quality food.

Everyone knows that, like all other cats, Bengals also require protein-rich food that is good in quality.

However:

Bengals are not like other cats and have their own unique tastes and preferences.

One can get super confused when standing in front of a long aisle of cat food filled with various brands all promising top-notch quality.

Obviously, not all of them will deliver what they promise.

But don’t lose hope.

I have created a list of the best foods for your Bengal:

1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Adult Cat Food (Dry)

As the name suggests, this cat food is inspired by the diet of wild cats.

It is filled with proteins and good fats and does not have any sorts of fillers.

Most of the food’s protein is derived from chicken and turkey.

Moreover, this food is filled with important minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants.

Lastly, there are no preservatives and additives in the food which might harm allergic and/or food sensitive cats.

2. Hill’s Science Diet Cat Food (Dry)

If your Bengal is not an outdoor cat, it means that it doesn’t wander off in the garden and eat grass.

This could mean that your cat is deficient in certain minerals and fibers (found in grass).

But, wait:

Don’t force raw grass into your precious Bengal’s mouth just yet.

Hill’s science diet cat food is specially formulated for indoor cats so that their mineral and fiber intake is enough.

This food is filled with proteins, good fats and lots of fiber.

Therefore, not only is this food delicious and filled with nutrition, but it is also easily digestible.

3. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Cat Food (Dry)

Natural balance limited ingredient cat food is best for your Bengal if it has certain allergies and food sensitivities.

The main protein sources for this food are duck meat and green peas.

The ingredients of this cat food are good for skin, coat health, and muscle development.

And it also helps in digestion.

4. Weruva Grain-Free Canned Cat Food (Wet)

Weruva is a family-owned cat food manufacturing company working for more than 10 years.

It is known for its simple yet nutritious foods.

The grain-free canned cat food produced by Weruva is a great food to give your Bengal because it is extremely delicious and full of healthy proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins.

If your cute little Bengal kitten does not consume enough fluids then this is the food for it.

Because Weruva grain-free cat food is specially designed for kittens having sensitive stomachs.

And it helps create a healthy urinary tract.

5. Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Poultry & Beef Cat Food (Wet)

This cat food is the perfect combination of paw-licking deliciousness and balanced nutrition.

There is no Bengal cat that wouldn’t scratch your feet for this delicious feast.

Moreover, the following three different flavors of this cat food won’t let your Bengal get bored:

  • Grilled chicken flavor gravy
  • Roasted turkey flavor gravy
  • Roasted beef flavor gravy

Beef and chicken are the main protein sources for this cat food.

A word of advice:

Mixing its gravy along with a simpler dry food will complement its nutrition.

Chapter 2 – Care for Bengal Cats

Living with a Bengal cat is no easy endeavor. And not all people are meant to have one at home.

All its charm, grace, feral appearance, and astonishing personality come at a certain price.

But that does not mean it is not worth it.

Health

Bengals are generally healthy cats with a comparatively long lifespan.

However:

Like most cats, Bengals do have certain health issues that you should be aware of.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in Bengal cats

One of the health issues that are apparently increasing in Bengal cats is the Progressive Retinal Atrophy.

PRA causes the cones and rods of the Bengal’s eyes to deteriorate to the point of blindness.

Sadly:

There are no tests that can detect PRA in Bengal cats.

So, you will have to confirm from the breeder that there is no sign of PRA in the lineage of the Bengal that you are taking home.

On the bright side:

Experts have found a link between PRA and lack of taurine in a Bengal’s diet.

So:

In order to be on the safe side, you’ll need to pay a visit to your vet to make sure your gorgeous little leopard is having the right amounts of taurine in its diet.

Cataracts in Bengal cats

“Cataracts” is another disease that Bengals are prone to.

It can be inherited, caused by an injury or can even be a consequence of other illnesses.

This disease causes a layer to form on the cat’s eye turning the otherwise clear lens opaque.

In severe cases:

Cataracts might even lead to blindness.

But Cataracts disease is known not to affect the lifespan of the cat.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in Bengal cats

Heart diseases are common among cats and Bengals are no different.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease in which the ventricle becomes thick.

HCM can be inherited.

Moreover:

It can get worse with hyperthyroidism or hypertension.

A lack of taurine in the cat’s diet can also become a factor.

If you suspect your Bengal to have HCM it is best to visit a board-certified cardiologist to perform required tests.

Early detection of HCM can help control it to an extent that is not life-threatening.

Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) in Bengal cats

Chronic Renal Failure is quite common in all types of cats.

Age, environment, and genetics are some of the factors that tend to cause CRF.

CRF can also be a symptom of other diseases.

It is best to take your Bengal for yearly CRF tests as soon as it turns seven.

Early detection can help control the disease and make sure your Bengal leads a long and happy life.

If you detect any of the following signs in your Bengal, make sure you take it to a vet, immediately:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Loss luster in the cat’s coat
  • Lethargy

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) in Bengal cats

Contrary to popular belief:

Bengal cats are as much prone to Feline Leukemia Virus as any other cat.

FeLV is a form of retrovirus that rewrites the RNA of a cell which causes it to copy itself on the cell’s DNA.

After the process initiates, it can neither be stopped nor reversed.

There is no cure for FeLV and death is the only conclusion.

Once the disease is diagnosed, the cat survives for merely a few weeks.

However:

There have been reports of cats (including Bengals) that have lived a long life after the diagnosis of FeLV.

Your Bengal can catch FeLV from a cat infected with it.

Secretions from eyes, mouth, or nose help spread the disease.

Diagnosis of FeLV can be difficult because there are numerous symptoms of the disease that tend to vary a lot.

Moreover, many of its symptoms are also similar to that of other diseases, which does not help.

Health precautions for Bengal cats

No one wants his cat to get seriously ill or get a fatal disease.

Therefore, one should do everything in one’s capacity to keep one’s cat safe from diseases.

One of the most important things that you can do is not to miss regular visits to a vet.

Make sure you are getting your Bengal regularly vaccinated.

But don’t over vaccinate your Bengal cat as it can potentially cause cancer at the vaccinated spot.

Either keep your Bengal indoors or leash train your Bengal so that it is under constant supervision when outside.

It is to make sure your Bengal doesn’t go somewhere it is not supposed to.

Lastly:

Pay attention to the kind of cats you are allowing your Bengal to socialize with.

You do not want your Bengal to interact with unhealthy or unvaccinated cats and catch infections and diseases.

Grooming

Bengals are quite different from other domestic cats, thus, they have different grooming requirements.

Bengals have a pelt rather than a regular coat.

A pelt, in layman terms, is skin that has soft and dense fur on it.

The bottom line is:

Bengal cats do not have outer-coat like most other cats.

This means that Bengals shed quite less than a normal domestic cat would.

Therefore, Bengal cats require less frequent grooming sessions than other cats.

Bathing Bengal cats

Bengals have a natural affinity towards water which goes back to its wild ancestors.

This unique trait makes it easier to bath them.

However, Bengals do not need to be bathed as often as other cat breeds.

How to bathe Bengal cats?

Bathing a Bengal is just like bathing any other cat, except:

A normal cat splashes water because it dislikes it, whilst a Bengal splashes water because it plays with it.

Before bathing your Bengal, make sure you properly brush it to remove any dead skin, fur and dirt.

After that:

Dampen your hands and massage your Bengal in order to find any abnormalities, such as:

  • Rashes
  • Bruises
  • Scars
  • Other abnormalities

If your Bengal passes this initial inspection without anything unusual, you’re good to go.

First:

Put your Bengal into the tub (you’ll have to prepare a tub filled with water beforehand).

Shampoo your Bengal (which would be busy splashing the water across the floor by now).

In our Bengal cat checklist, you can find our top choice in Bengal cat shampoos and conditioners.

It should go without telling that you are to use a shampoo designed especially for cats.

Because normal shampoos are too harsh on the delicate skins and coats of our beloved felines.

Gently massage your Bengal cat while applying shampoo and then rinse it off.

Note:

Remember not to apply water and shampoo on the face of your Bengal (or any other cat, actually).

Because water can cause infections in your cat’s eyes and ears.

To keep water from getting in, take a dry cotton ball and place it in each of your cat’s ears.

Cleaning the ears of Bengal cats

Cats tend to get ear infections frequently.

The main reason being:

Cat owners tend to ignore or forget their cats’ ear hygiene.

But how to keep your Bengal’s ears clean without using water (as water tends to harm a cat’s ears)?

However, before the actual cleaning, it is essential to visually inspect your cat’s ears for the following:

  • Abnormalities
  • Insects
  • Bruises

Now that you’re done with the preliminary inspection, let’s start with the cleaning.

You’ll need to buy a vet-approved cat ear cleaner for this.

All you’ll need to do is take a clean and dry cotton ball and soak it with a little ear cleaner.

Then rub your Bengal’s ears with it to remove all the dirt inside.

Cleaning the ears might be tricky due to their shape, so:

Remember to be gentle so that your cat doesn’t feel uncomfortable.

Cleaning eyes

Cleaning your Bengal cat’s eyes means removing the dirt accumulated in the area around its eyes.

Again, you’ll need a pair of clean cotton balls.

You’ll need to dampen them a bit.

Then take a damp cotton ball and gently dab it in the area around its eye.

The do the same with the other eye with a different cotton ball.

Using a different cotton ball for each eye is essential so that an infection in one eye doesn’t spread onto the other eye.

Note:

Make sure you dab the area around the eyes and not the eyes.

This would irritate your cat and make the cleaning process difficult.

Cleaning the teeth of your Bengal cat

Cats are susceptible to oral infections mainly because of the ignorance of most cat owners.

Seldom one finds a cat owner that cleans his cat’s teeth regularly.

Cleaning a cat’s teeth might not be an easy task but it is an important one.

Cleaning your Bengal cat’s teeth is just like cleaning your own (just a tad bit difficult).

Obviously, you’ll need a toothbrush and toothpaste for your cat. Remember that you can’t use human toothpaste and toothbrush for this matter.

If you need a suggestion for the best toothpaste for your Bengal cat and much more, check out our Bengal cat checklist.

However, if not already used to it, your Bengal would be quite reluctant to let you clean its teeth.

If that is the case, certain anecdotes claim that using one’s fingers, instead of a toothbrush, initially makes the task easier.

Once your Bengal is comfortable with the routine, you can switch to the toothbrush.

Nail trimming for your Bengal cat

Your cat doesn’t need a pedicure; however, you will have to clip its nails from time to time (if it is not declawed).

Since we are on the topic of declawing, it is important to know that:

Some people opt to declaw their cats but are unaware that it can be extremely painful for them.

Moreover:

It also causes inconvenience to the owner as a declawed cat becomes aggressive and develops behavioral issues.

Only declaw your cat if it is advised by an expert to avoid any health issues.

A word of advice:

Don’t use regular nail clippers; instead, use ones that are specifically designed for cats.

And make sure its blade is sharp so that you won’t need to apply much pressure.

Chapter 3 – Feeding Bengal Cats

As the saying goes:

You are what you eat.

If you want your beloved Bengal to live a happy and active life you might want to feed it quality food.

However:

The quality of the food is not the only thing that matters when it comes to a cat’s health.

To decide on the perfect food for your cat it is important to know its nutritional requirements.

Bengal cats descend from a family of wild cats that got their nutrition from birds, insects, and lizards.

Therefore:

Their nutritional requirements slightly deviate for that of a normal domestic cat.

However, what’s common in a Bengal’s diet and other cat’s diet is an abundance of protein.

But the sad reality is that most of the cat foods available in stores are filled with grains, rice or corn.

Such types of food are harmful to a cat because, being carnivores, a cat’s digestive tract is designed to digest protein.

And if fed grain-rich food your cat will get digestive problems.

Raw Meat

Some cat owners feed their cats with raw meat.

Raw meat is good for gastric problems and skin problems in cats.

However, when feeding raw meat to your Bengal it is important that you provide your cat with meat, bones, and organs in the prescribed proportions.

Your vet might help you in deciding the right proportion depending on the weight and size of your cat.

Moreover:

Adding cat food supplements to raw meat ensures that your cat is getting complete nutrition.

Fish

As the stereotype goes, cats, including Bengals, love to eat fish.

What’s more:

Fish have lots of iodine which is good for your Bengal’s coat.

However, overfeeding fish can have lots of detrimental effects on your cat so you should generally avoid this.

Cat Food

If you don’t want the hassle of getting your proportions and amounts right then you can opt for cat food.

The good thing about cat foods is that everything is clearly mentioned on the box.

All you need to do is pour the required amount in your Bengal’s bowl.

Note:

A detailed review of the five best cat foods for Bengal cats is mentioned in the last section of chapter 1 of this guide.

What your Bengal shouldn’t eat

It can be tempting to treat your Bengal with a piece of chocolate especially when is doing its amusing antics.

However:

Beware of chocolates as they tend to disturb a cat’s digestion and can even lead to severe digestion problems.

Here are some other things you shouldn’t feed your Bengal:

  • Avocados
  • Fresh eggs
  • Potatoes (raw/sweet)
  • Yeast dough

Obesity in Bengal cats

Obesity is a major issue in most cats, and Bengals are no different.

Bengals have an overall active lifestyle.

Owners worry that they might be underfeeding their Bengals compared to their active lifestyle.

But the fact is that it is easier to overfeed your Bengal than to underfeed it.

But what is the right amount?

To get a rough estimate of the right amount you’ll have to weigh your Bengal.

For a Bengal kitten:

Feed it 100 calories per pound (of its weight) every day.

For a 40 weeks old Bengal kitten:

Feed it 40 calories per pound (of its weight) every day.

For an adult Bengal:

Feed it 30 calories per pound (of its weight) every day.

What if you feel your cat is getting over-weight?

Measure its weight and subtract it by two pounds.

Now, feed your Bengal food according to the new weight.

Within weeks you’ll notice a positive change.

Lastly, don’t forget to keep a bowl of fresh water available at all times.

Chapter 4 – Training Bengal Cats

If you’ve brought home a cute little Bengal kitten that is not trained, you might be worried on how to train it.

However, you do not need to be worried at all as Bengal cats are quite intelligent little creatures which makes them easy to train.

Litter training

The first things you need to do after bringing home your Bengal is to provide litter training.

Bengals, unlike other cats, are rather picky about their litter boxes.

And because a Bengal cat is quite private when it comes to “Business” you’d want to place the litter box where your Bengal can have its privacy.

What’s more:

They want their litter box to be spotless.

So, purchase a self-cleaning litter box if you don’t want to be busy cleaning your Bengal’s litter box several times a day.

Keep a close eye on your Bengal and notice its behavior right before it needs to go.

Take it to the litter box the next time your Bengal starts to act in the same manner.

After a few repetitions:

Your Bengal will know that it has to use the litter box when it needs to go.

Leash training

Bengal cats are known to behave like dogs; an example of such behaviors is their comfort with a leash.

Training any other cat breed to walk on a leash would be a tiresome endeavor with lots of scratches.

However, Bengals seem to quite like the idea of leashes.

In fact, these little leopards love to go on evening walks, just like dogs do.

Now, before starting the training make sure you get the perfect harness for your Bengal after trying different harnesses as Bengal cats can often work their way out of them.

After you’ve selected a harness that your cat feels comfortable wearing, attach a leash to it and practice walking indoors.

After you are confident that your cat is ready, take it outside (initially, in a less crowded area).

Don’t punish your cat if it is not behaving accordingly.

Instead:

Give it treats to reinforce positive behavior.

Chapter 5 – Temperament of Bengal Cats

It is a widely known fact that the Bengal cats have descended from a lineage of wild cats.

However:

This very fact has caused widespread prejudice against the breed.

In fact:

Due to this very prejudice, the Bengals were not recognized until the year 1991.

However, the notion of Bengal cats being wild cannot be farther from the truth.

Bengals of today are completely domesticated and parted from their wild ancestors since generations.

These miniature leopards are lovely pets with a great personality.

Moreover, Bengals are regarded as one of the most intelligent cat breeds.

But everything good comes at a price.

And the charismatic Bengal cat is no different.

A Bengal cat demands attention and likes to interact with its parent a lot.

Bengals are also known to be quite vocal and share several behavioral traits with dogs.

Anyways, let’s jump into the deets!

The active nature of Bengal cats

One of the things you’ll notice after bringing home a Bengal cat is that they are quite active.

Unlike some cats that slug on the couch or ignore your existence, Bengals are always ready for playtime.

This means that Bengals are not lap-cats.

You’ll need to provide them enough attention and playtime so that they don’t get bored.

You’d also want to provide them with lots of interesting toys to play with so that that they don’t destroy your furniture.

And now that we are on the topic of precautions, I’d advise you to keep all your important documents somewhere where this naughty little brat cannot reach.

Moreover, you’d want to keep all your precious ornaments and crockery locked away.

Note: It is not a good idea to place your important ornaments or documents on top of shelves or drawers thinking they are too high for your Bengal to reach.

Because they are not.

Bengals are excellent jumpers and climbers and love to climb up on things.

There is almost nothing that a Bengal cannot climb up to.

Bengal cats are intelligent

As mentioned above:

Bengals are quite intelligent which means that they are quick learners.

So, you won’t have much trouble teaching them to adjust to your lifestyle.

Moreover:

You can teach your Bengal to do a lot of tricks to amuse yourself and impress your friends and relatives.

A common trick to teach your Bengal is to teach it how to turn a switch on/off.

Affection is in a Bengal’s blood

On one hand:

Bengals are quite active and all over the place keeping their minds stimulated with one thing or the other.

While on the other hand, they are quite affectionate and love to cuddle up, roll themselves into soft fluffy balls and purr themselves to sleep.

But beware:

They might even wake you up in the middle of the night by rubbing against your face and then sleeping right next to you until the next morning.

So, if you have a big day ahead of you, you might want to close your door for the night.

Bengal cats love water

One of the things that sets apart these cute little beasts is their love for water.

A typical house cat might run away from water bodies but not Bengals.

It is said that their love for water comes from their wild ancestors’ ability to swim and hunt in water.

So:

You might want to close the lid of your toilet seat if you don’t want your Bengal splashing the water across the bathroom floor.

Fun fact: A Bengal’s love for water also manifests itself in its peculiar way of drinking water.

A typical cat would drink water right from the bowl but not your Bengal cat.

A Bengal dips its paw in the water bowl and then licks off its paw.

Weird, right?

Moreover, a Bengal also loves to drink water straight from the tap.

Therefore, if you want to treat your cat you should open up a tap for it to drink water from.

A word of advice: A Bengal’s love for water might even get it into trouble.

So:

If you have a pool in your house, you might want to keep your Bengal away from it by building a fence around it.

Curiosity killed the cat

While having an intelligent cat around is quite amazing, there are certain drawbacks to it as well.

With intelligence comes curiosity.

And every day of a curious Bengal cat is an adventure into the unknown.

You’ll find your Bengal in the most unexpected places, and interacting with anything that pokes its interest.

However, this curiosity can sometimes lead your cat into dangerous situations.

So:

Make sure your house is foolproof and remove anything that might harm your cat in any way.

Bengal cats love to interact

Bengals are social cats that love to interact with their family members, be it humans or other animals.

You’ll find your cat playing with another cat or a dog (if you have one at home).

And if you have kids at home, you’ll not have to buy them a toy ever again.

Because your Bengal cat will never let them get bored.

Misconceptions about Bengal cats

Bengal cats got the official spotlight quite late.

Therefore, there are still several misconceptions prevalent in the general public regarding their behavior.

Many people are still of the opinion that Bengals are not good with litter training and show certain behavioral flaws.

But, that is not true.

Bengals are as friendly and safe as any other domestic cats.

They bite or scratch as much as any other domestic breed would.

So:

Do not fall prey to such misinformed rumors.

Because a Bengal cat will be one of the most loving pets you’ll ever own.

In fact, Bengals are known to be one-man cats.

Meaning:

They remain extra loyal to one person of the family.

Attention for Bengals

Bengals love attention and would do anything to get it.

Moreover, their intelligence makes them extra sensitive.

It means that they realize when you are not giving it enough time or attention.

Lack of attention can make your cat stressful and lonely.

Make sure you are giving your Bengal enough time.

If you have a 9-5 job to tend to then you should at least give it 10-15 minutes of playtime and socializing before leaving in the morning.

And when you come back home, make sure you acknowledge its presence by petting it.

Schedule at least two 15 minute playtime sessions for your Bengal so that it doesn’t feel ignored.

Price of Bengal cats

Bengals are considered as one of the most expensive cat breeds.

In fact, a British lady once titled Bengals as the “Rolls Royce” of cats after paying $50,000 for her Bengal.

However, the price of a Bengal cat can vary a lot depending upon various factors.

For example:

A show-quality Bengal with a sparkling coat would cost more than a pet-quality coat.

Other factors include pedigree, age, size, breeder, etc.

Normally:

A show quality Bengal cat would cost your around $1000-$3000 from a breeder.

However, a pet Bengal can be purchased for $2000.

Adoption

Adopting a Bengal is better than buying it from a breeder and here’s why:

It is less expensive.

You are providing a home to a homeless cat.

It is most probably vaccinated so you won’t have to go through the hassle of initial visits to the vet.

Although:

You’ll have to search for the perfect Bengal, which can be exhausting.

You’ll have to compromise on the color and coat.

A word of advice: Never purchase any cat from a pet store because:

  • They keep their cats in horrible conditions.
  • Most of them are cruelly stuffed in tiny cages.
  • The conditions are unhygienic.
  • There are high chances of cats being exposed to different infections and diseases.

Is a Bengal cat right for you?

Bengals are not high-maintenance cats because little grooming is required.

However:

These cats do love to play and socialize.

They are loving cats and want you to love them in return.

Bengals demand time and attention.

And if you are a busy person then a Bengal might not be a great match for you.

However, if you are looking to spend your days in excitement then getting a Bengal cat would be a great choice for you.

Related Questions

How did the Bengal cats get their name? The name “Bengal” is derived from the scientific name of its ancestor the Asian Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).

What are the best Bengal cat names? Having trouble with naming your Bengal?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Oscar
  • Tiger
  • Ginger
  • Misty

Related

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