About Bengals Cats

Welcome,

If you are looking for more information on Bengals and this amazing breed of cat, then you have found what you are looking for.  If you are trying to figure out if your cat might be a Bengal, I recommend reading my post Is My Cat a Bengal?

Enjoy!

 

Are they Wild? – The Origin of Bengals

Bengals are descendants of the Asian Leopard cat crossed with a domestic cat.  So yes they are bred from a true wild cat, however a Bengal is not wild by nature like you would assume it to be.  The first child of a domesticated cat and an Asian Leopard cat is considered an F1 cat.  A Bengal is not a Bengal until that child is bread with a domestic cat, then that child is bred with a domestic cat and then that child is bred with a domestic cat to create what is considered and F4 – This is the Bengal cat that is accepted within Cat Shows and is typically the one you will get as your pet.  You may even get an F5 or an F6.

What’s wonderful about Bengals is that since they originate from a crossing of a wild cat and a domestic cat breeders, from the start in the 1960’s, have ensured that the domestic cat has only the best traits when it comes to personality, health and looks through each generation of breeding.  This has ensured that Bengals are well tempered and only the best traits have come through.

What Makes a Bengal a Bengal

Furrsonality – Physical Traits

Because of their Asian Leopard heritage they do have some traits that are different from regular cats.  In addition to the list of traits below one impressive feature is that they are immune to FLV (Feline Leukemia).

Their Coat:

  • Is beautifully spotted or marbled and come in some different ranges of colour but grey / brown is most common but also come in white (snow leopard), grey, reddish brown, pink (mink seal), black / melanistic  (panther like) and a variety of brown/grey and brown/orange that have almost a tiger like colour quality
  • Is not thick like a normal domesticated cats and is instead super soft and very much like a rabbit’s fur and is pelt like in quality *
  • Their bellies are spotted and the fur around the spots is typically lighter than the rest of the fur
  • Glittering & Ticked fur – Bengals can have a gold glitter effect in their fur that seems to shimmer when they are in the sun or can have ticked fur colour which is when each strand of hair has bands of colours.

 

*It’s been said they are a somewhat Hypoallergenic cat and I can vouch as an allergy sufferer (see how much I love cats) and as an Asthmatic when I pet our Bengal Cookie and then touch my face I do not get an allergic reaction like I do with our two tabby cats.  She is the one cat I can have rub up against my face or bury my face in her fur and not have a reaction.  This is me, if you are allergic or have someone who is allergic I would visit a breeder and test before buying.

Their Head:

  • Has a mascara colouring around the eyes
  • The eyes are much more reflective than a normal domestic cat
  • They have rounded ears and rounded eyes
  • Has intense facial markings and usually darker colour of fur around the nose


Their build:

  • They have a longer body than a domesticated cat
  • Muscular hind legs with the ability to run very quickly and tend to be slightly higher than their front shoulders
  • They can jump higher than most breeds with a few exceptions
  • They have a longer tail
  • Manual Dexterity in their front paws – This something I haven’t read or found in other reasearch but I find the way they can manipulate their paws to grab things much more advanced than my domestic short hair cats.  Which could be a trait from the Asian Leopard Cat which is known to catch fish in the water.
  • Overall Bengals cats take up to 2 years to mature and reach adult size and weight, inherited from the Asian Leopard Cat


Their Voice:

  • They have a huge vocal range, more so than a domestic cat
  • They can meow but they also chirrup, chirp, grumble, chatter and several other noises you won’t understand till you have heard it

 

Purrsonality Traits

Where do you start when you have a laundry list of amazing personality traits ?

Bengal cats are extremely active and playful cats, remaining kittenesque for pretty much all their life.  Tie into this that they are very curious and highly intelligent they sometimes can get into things they shouldn’t.  They are also quite dog-like and usually come when you call them, fetch their toys when they want to play and can be trained to do tricks.  What this all boils down to is a cat who is very curious about any new objects or things in the home.  They aren’t scared of new people and prefer to investigate them.  They always want to play and they love to climb and be up high (although my Cookie hasn’t shown an interest in this).

This active side mixed with the Asian Leopard influences make them love some things normal cats don’t love.  1. Water – Bengals are known to love water and will play in a tub of water or with running water from the sink, and was one of our first clues before we knew Cookie was a Bengal that she was different than normal domestic cats.  2. Food – Bengals eat a wide range of food, pretty much anything with the exception of some fruits, from what I’ve experienced.  I plan to have a fun section of things I’ve seen Cookie eat.

I’ve read that Bengals typically bond with one person in the family more so than others and this has held true in our house, however she spends time with everyone in our household and comes to anyone who calls her or happens to be in the kitchen and proceeds to beg for treats. Bengals aren’t overly cuddly cats, however ours doesn’t mind being held and has her moments where she just wants to be cuddled and will come curl up in bed at night with me.

Bengals are talkative, and they have an amazing array of sounds.  Bengals will announce they are around with a chirrup (the sound heard in the video above), she makes the sound when chatting with our tabbies to chatting with us or announcing her presence as she walks into the room or someone walks up to her. She meows loudly in a variety of styles which we know know if she wants to play, wants food, wants out etc.

Each Bengal, like each domestic cat will be unique and is also directly affected by it’s upbringing, but these are some of the common traits you can expect.

Is a Bengal Right For you?

Because of it’s highly active and playful nature this is not a cat for everyone.  This is not the cat for you if:

  • You are away most of the day (although some people do get away with this by ensuring it has companionship with another Bengal)
  • You don’t like active cats running around and getting into things
  • You want a lap cat to cuddle with on your schedule
  • You don’t have time to play with them
  • You can’t give them a large space to run around in and a fenced backyard to play outside in.  (A small apartment is just not the place for a Bengal!)
  • You don’t like a “noisy” cat (not that all Bengals are noisy but if you find meowing annoying don’t get a Bengal)
  • You don’t want to have to buy new cat toys or invent new cat toys frequently (Bengals get bored with the same old toys and need constant mental stimulation, they love what’s new so they need their toys swapped out frequently)

 

I Want One!  Now What?

Bengals aren’t cheap.  The prices range from a low of $500 to a high of $5000 it all depends on who you are getting the Bengal from and the quality of their breed line.  There are breeders who know a lot about what they are doing and others who are essentially the “Puppy Mill” of Bengal breeding.  What this means is you have to research and find a good breeder. A lot of the price comes from the breed lines, rarity in colour and look, show cats and if they are papered and registered with Tica.  Many breeders will also want to ensure you are spaying the cat, a high price tag comes for show quality cats but also breeding rights.

 

If you want to learn more feel free to browse through the blog and read posts and comments from other Bengal enthusiasts!

Animal Planet has a great 3 minute video about Bengal Cats that is also very insightful about this amazing breed!