If you are looking to learn more about your Bengal cat or are thinking of owning one, then this article was created for you. We have covered everything we have learned from successfully breeding and owning Bengals to help you with any questions you might have as well as things you may not have thought of yet. We hope you enjoy it 🙂
What are Bengal cats?
Bengal cats originated from the crossbreeding of the wild Asian leopard cat (Prionailurus bengallensis), which is a type of jungle cat, and domestic cats. The main purpose of this breeding was obtaining a cat with a disposition of a domesticated cat, but with the beautiful wild markings of the Asian leopard cat.
The domesticated Bengal cat is a hardy cross of both domestic and wild species. The hybrids, generally referred to as F1 “foundation” to refer to the first generation, F2 for second, and so on, were actually bred across a number of generations. The resulting breed is an intelligent, strikingly beautiful, and often quirky cat that can be kept at home as a pet. Today, Bengals are a widely recognized and sought after breed all over the world.
Types of Bengal cats and their colors.
There are two main types of Bengal cats, namely, spotted and marble. Spotted Bengals have spots over their bodies, however, Bengal spots can vary greatly in shape a size with rosetted markings being some of the most sought after due to being two toned and giving the look of mini leopards.
Marble Bengal cats have the tabby markings of other breeds while still retaining the look of spotted Bengals in some areas, such as their tummies, legs, faces and tails.
As well as having different patterns, Bengal cats also come in a variety of different colors with the most recognized ones being brown, grey and snow Bengals which are categorized as Seal Mink, Seal Sepia and Seal Lynx. The images below show an example of these three most recognized Bengal cat colors.
If you would like to learn more about Bengal cat colors and patterns you can do so on our dedicated page that goes into far more detail.
Bengal cat size
A Bengal cats size can vary somewhat depending on their family lines and pedigreed but on average male Bengal cats will tend to grow larger than females weighing in at around 12-15 pounds (5-6 kg) with Females weighing in at around 8-12 pounds (3-5 kg). In terms of actual size an average fully grown Bengal will be about 22 inches or greater which is roughly about 56 cm).
Bengal cat personality
The Bengal breed as a whole is extremely active, highly intelligent, and curious which makes them fun to live with, but they’re definitely not the cat for everyone. Generally, the Bengal cat is talkative, confident, friendly, and always alert. Nothing seems to escape their notice.
As such, they demand a lot of interaction and attention so if you have a busy schedule or won’t be at home to spend time with your Bengal and entertain it, you may want to consider having two so they can entertain each other in your absence, or not to get one at all if you know you won't be able to give it the attention and love it will crave.
When a Bengal gets bored, they can easily take things apart out of curiosity, and will open cabinets and drawers to see if there’s food or toys that they can play with. Note that bored Bengals can also form other unconventional habits like fishing seals out of drains, turning switches on and off, and excitedly perching the highest points around the house.
Bengal cats form special bonds with their owners and will do anything for your attention, and while every cat is an individual, most Bengals will also bond well with other pets, including dogs.
Unlike most other cats Bengals are also fond of playing with water and are not above strolling into the shower or jumping into the tub with you. In fact one of our Bengals insists be turn the bath tap on for her each morning so she can splash about while we are getting ready.
Bengal Cats also love to climb things, the higher the better. So, it’s wise to provide them with window perches and tall cat trees.
To engage their intellect, teach your Bengal new tricks and games, and provide them with plenty of puzzles or interactive toys and reward them with treats and attention.
Are Bengal cats good pets?
Bengal Cats are good pets which are a highly active and intelligent but need lots of love and attention from their owners. Due to this they are not for everyone, but if you can give them what they need you will be able to create a special bond with them that will last a lifetime.
Do Bengal cats like to cuddle?
Our experience with this has shown that while all our Bengal cats like a cuddle, it does vary greatly on each of their personalities how often they will want one. You can also expect them to snuggle with you in bed, however, they’ll do this on their own terms, not just when you want them to.
Can Bengal cats be left alone?
If you spend a lot of time away from home, Bengal cats are perhaps not the right cats for you. Bengal cats need attention and frequent interaction. If a Bengal cat is deprived of this or are restricted to long periods of solitude they can get depressed and/or start acting up.
Are Bengal cats aggressive?
We have found our Bengals to be very loving and caring animals that are no more aggressive than any other cat breed. That said, you need to remember they are animals so can still exhibit aggression if feeling trapped or threatened, unhappy or if they have any health issues.
Are Bengal cats hypoallergenic?
Bengals are considered one a the few hypoallergenic cat breeds, which is why we are able to have them. People who are allergic to cats either have a milder reaction to Bengal cats compared to other breeds, or as in our case no reaction at all.
Bengal cat lifespan
Bengal cats are generally healthy cats, with a lifespan of about 12 to 16 years. With that said to ensure your Bengal stays as fit and healthy as possible you should invest in routine pet visits for vaccination shots and deworming.
Why are Bengal cats more expensive than other cats?
Bengal cats are generally more expensive than other breeds due to the fact they pedigree cats specially breed for their unique look and characteristics. F1 Bengal kittens are the most expensive costing as much as £7500 (around $10,000) but you can also get pedigree or Cross Bengals costing a low as £300 depending how far removed they are from the original F1 Bengals.
You will also have to pay a premium if you want your Bengal cat to be given to you as an active Bengal, meaning you will be allowed to use it for Breeding purposes.
Exercising your Bengal Cat
Bengal cats generally require a lot more exercise than other cats, you will find that if they don't get enough exercise they can start misbehaving and also have spurts of hyperactivity which could involve them running up your blinds or swinging off the chandelier (okay maybe not quite but you get the point). As such, we recommend plenty of toys for your Bengal, and if possible to just let them play outside.
They also love to play with their owners so try to interact with them as much as possible, our Bengals love playing with interactive feather cat toys, their favorite is made by Da Bird as it contains real feathers which they go crazy for. They also have an exercise wheel made specifically for cats by One Fast Cat, that they love to run on to burn any excess energy.
Bengals are very chatty
Bengal cats seem to have the need to communicate about everything, especially when looking for attention or trying to tell you that they want something and ignoring them will likely only make them louder.
So, if you’re a new owner, don't be surprised when your Bengal starts talking to you, expecting you to know what it wants. But don't worry, after a short time you will start to read your Bengal and instinctively know what they want (most the time) but its super cute to see them do this 100% of the time, whether you know what they want or not.
Bengal cat diet
We have found that our Bengal cats have different tastes in what they prefer to eat with some liking dry and some preferring wet food. Most of them love a serving of cooked chicken which always proves to be a particular favorite. Whatever you feed you Bengal just make sure you give them a balanced diet recommended for cats that is rich in protein and nutrients and always make sure you don't feed them anything cats are allergic to.
We hope you have found this article on Bengal cats useful and it answers many of the questions you may have had. If you want a quick crash course in video format please see below for a great video we found on Youtube that goes over lots of great information on Bengal Cats.