There’s a lot to love about the Bengal breed. They’re friendly, energetic, and loyal. This breed fits in well with any household. Keep reading to learn more about this wonderful kitty.
|Bengal Cat Breed Overview|
|Height||8 - 10 inches|
|Weight||8 - 15 pounds|
|Lifespan||10 - 16 years|
|Temperament||Loyal, Intelligent, Active|
|Suitable For||All households, children, other pets, young couples|
History Of The Bengal Cat Breed
This cat breed has ancestry from non-domesticated cats. Jean S. Mill was the first person to breed a Bengal cat.
In 1963, she crossed a domesticated cat with an Asian Leopard Cat. Her goal was to create a domestic cat breed with a loving nature and physical traits of wild cats, such as Jaguars, Leopards, and Ocelots.
Despite this cat having Asian ancestry, Bengal cats were initially bred in the United States.
Today, this cat breed is purebred, only being born by two Bengal cats. However, some Bengal cats today have DNA tracing Jean S. Mill’s cats dating back to the 1980s.
What Does The Bengal Breed Look Like?
This unique cat breed was bred to look similar to wild cats, such as the Leopard, and that’s precisely what it looks like.
According to the Cat Fanciers’ Associate (CFA) Bengal breed standard, this kitty is a medium to large breed with a muscular build. They have broad heads with large, wide noses. However, the ears are medium to small in comparison.
A Bengal’s eyes can be round or oval in many eye colors. However, the Lynx Point coat typically has blue eyes.
In addition, this cat has a thick tail. It’s medium in length with a rounded tip.
Finally, this breed has a short, soft coat. Often, you’ll notice the coat has an iridescent shimmer to it.
What Coat Colors Do Bengals Have?
Bengal cats can have a wide range of coat patterns and colors. For example, they may have rosetted/spotted tabby patterns, marble tabby patterns, or charcoal tabby patterns.
Colors may include the following:
- Brown (Black) Tabby
- Black Silver Tabby
- Blue Tabby
- Blue Silver Tabby
- Seal Lynx Point
- Seal Mink Tabby
- Seal Sepia Tabby
- Blue Lynx Point
- Blue Mink Tabby
- Blue Sepia Tabby
- Seal Silver Lynx Point
- Seal Silver Mink Tabby
- Seal Silver Sepia Tabby
- Blue Silver Lynx Point
- Blue Silver Mink Tabby
- Blue Silver Sepia Tabby
Bengal Pet Care
Bengals are relatively low-maintenance cats to care for. So, let’s discuss what you should know to take care of your feline friend.
As with all cats, Bengals will do well to keep themselves clean. They’ll groom themselves daily.
However, if you notice a lack of or excessive grooming, they might be trying to tell you something is wrong.
To help keep their coat clean, you can comb their short fur once weekly. Not only will it get rid of dead hair, but it can help distribute skin oils. Also, this kitty doesn’t shed a lot, but they do shed a moderate amount.
You won’t need to bathe this cat unless they get filthy or need it for health reasons, such as fleas.
In addition, to avoid periodontal disease, brush their teeth regularly. You should also trim their claws and ensure their ears are clean.
As with all pets, you’ll want to ensure you get high-quality cat food for your feline companion. You can provide them kibble, wet canned food, or homemade cat food.
Whichever you choose, discuss it with your veterinarian. They’ll be able to help you provide the proper diet for your cat.
Remember, your cat’s food should reflect its breed size, age, weight, metabolism, and energy levels.
One thing to note is that cats are prone to become obese. It’s easy to overfeed them if you free-feed your cat. Free feeding is when you leave dry food out all day, refilling it whenever it gets empty.
This type of feeding discourages a meal routine, encouraging your cat to eat constantly. Thus, causing them to gain excess weight and possibly get sick.
While a Bengal cat will be more than happy to cuddle with you and snooze on the couch, they are an active breed.
These kitties are also intelligent, always looking for something to do. Your Bengal kitty will need plenty of physical and mental stimulation every day.
Bengals have a high prey drive, so they’ll most likely “stalk” other animals or humans in the house if they get bored.
Your cat will be able to entertain itself, but be sure to set aside some time every day to bond and play with your feline companion.
Since this breed is intelligent, you can train them easily enough. Bengals aren’t difficult to litter box train. You might even be able to teach them a trick or two.
However, as with most cats, they’re independent. So, they may know the command for “sit” but may only listen when they want to.
Luckily, Bengals are relatively healthy cats. However, you should still bring them to the vet at least once yearly for their annual checkup.
As a kitten, during its first year, they should go to the vet more often. Doing so will allow you and the vet to keep your kittens up to date with vaccinations and boosters. You’ll also be able to track their overall growth and development.
In addition, this cat is known to get some health issues, such as:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Anesthetic Allergies
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis
- Patellar Luxation
- Hip Dysplasia
- Flat Chested Kitten Syndrome
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Distal Neuropathy
- Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency
With regular vet visits, a proper diet, and plenty of exercise, Bengal cats have an average lifespan of about ten to 16 years.
Bengals are a love to have. They can fit in well in just about any home environment. They’re great with younger children and seniors.
However, seniors may be unable to keep up with the cat’s activity levels. Also, always supervise the cat with the children to ensure both the kids and the cat respect each other’s boundaries.
In addition, this kitty is friendly with everyone. They’ll get along well with strangers, meeting new people and extended family members.
Bengals will enjoy having another cat around in the house. It’ll be good to give them a friend to play with. They’ll also get along well with dogs.
However, this kitten has a strong prey drive. You’ll want to keep your cat away if you have small animals in the house, such as guinea pigs or hamsters.
Overall, Bengals are a fun family cat to have around. They’ll enjoy snuggling with you on the couch after a long day, easily bonding with their family members.
Are There Any Differences Between Males And Females?
Regardless of gender, Bengals are a delight to have as part of the family. Personality varies from cat to cat, but it’s been known that males are generally more energetic than females. Males may also be more vocal than females.
Who Should Own The Bengal?
Whether you have kids or no kids, other pets or not, Bengals will do well in your home. They can live comfortably in a bigger house or an apartment.
However, apartment living may not be best suited for them. They’ll run around a lot and are vocal, which can upset the neighbors. You’ll also need plenty of toys, such as cat trees. If your apartment doesn’t have the room for that, you may want to look into a calm cat breed.
Where Can You Get A Bengal?
You’ll be able to adopt a Bengal cat wherever you can adopt pets. First, it’ll be a good idea to check out your local animal shelter or breed rescue organization.
These cats may have been looking for loving families for a long time. You’ll be able to find purebred or mixed-breed Bengal cats. Also, they may have Bengal kittens, adults, or seniors available.
Alternatively, you can go through a cat breeder. You’ll be able to find Bengal kittens for sale and know where they came from and their background.
Remember, an ethical breeder will do the following:
- Ensure the kittens are up to date with their vaccinations
- Health test the parents prior to breeding (to ensure they’re healthy and it’s safe to do so)
- Health test the kittens to ensure they’re healthy
- Provide health documents and family tree history to you upon adoption
- Answer any and all questions you have about their work, the breed, or adoption process
In addition, a good breeder will also want to meet with you in person to get to know you. They won’t allow the kittens to leave their mother before they turn eight weeks old.
You can find reputable catteries through CFA breeders.
Question Corner: FAQs About The Bengal Cat Breed
Are you thinking about adding this cat breed to your family, but do you still have more questions? Reading the frequently asked questions answered below to learn more.
What’s The Average Cost Of Bengal Cats?
The average Bengal price ranges widely. You can expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000 for this cat breed. If you adopt through a shelter or rescue, the cost will be much lower.
What’s The Average Litter Size Of Bengals?
The average litter size a Bengal cat can have is about four kittens. However, they can have as litter as three kittens or as many as six kittens in one litter.
Are Bengal Cats Vocal?
Yes, they are. This cat will have no problem telling you when they’re hungry or bored and want your attention.
Should Bengal Cats Be Indoor Or Outdoor Cats?
Bengals, as with every other breed, should be indoor cats. Yes, instinct wants them to be out in the wild. However, they may pick up unwanted diseases and parasites, eat something they shouldn’t, or get lost or hurt.
Is The Bengal Right For You?
Bengal cats might be the right choice for you if you’re home most of the time and are looking for an energetic, friendly cat. If you can give them the proper mental stimulation and play time they need, you’ll have a lot of fun with this kitty.
Rachel Poli is a content writer and author, but her real job is being a stay-at-home pet mom. Her zoo currently consists of a dog, a cat, two turtles, and two fish tanks. She’s also an avid pet sitter for a few local families, caring for various animals.
After realizing how little information there is for pet sitters on the internet, Rachel decided to start her own animal website. She strives to educate pet parents and pet sitters about the overall care of our furry friends.