Is a Bengal cat the right breed for you? Well, here’s the bottom line: Don’t get a Bengal if you’re looking for a sweet, gentle lap cat.
This is not a delicate animal. The Bengal cat is a long, muscular, athletic, medium-to-large sized cat weighing about 8 to 15 pounds or more. They are highly active and athletic, with the grace of a jungle cat. Because of their high intelligence and wild ancestry, Bengal cats tend to have some strange behavioral quirks.
The Bengal cat has a very lush, soft coat and distinct leopard-like spots. The coat is sometimes referred to as “glittered” because it can have an iridescent shine. The coat can be spotted, marbled, bull’s eye, or rosette. The preferred colors are black or brown spotted, or black or brown marbled.
This cat can move quietly and with great stealth. The back legs are slightly longer than the front legs, so the hind end sits a little higher than the shoulders, which lends to this breed’s wild appearance.
The Bengal cat is the result of breeding a small, wild Asian leopard cat with a domestic shorthair. Jean S. Mill began the Bengal cat breeding program in 1963. Today, Bengals are considered to be one and the same with domestic cats, and they should be at least four generations removed from any ancestors with wild bloodlines. The International Cat Association granted the breed experimental status in 1983, followed by full recognition in 1991.
Now, let’s take a look at the Bengal cat personality.
Bengal Cat Personality, Temperament, and Traits
The Bengal cat may not be the cat for everyone – especially not for first-time cat owners. Their personality makes them fun to live with, but it can sometimes be challenging. They are extremely intelligent, alert, friendly, curious and active, demanding a lot of interaction and attention.
When a Bengal cat gets bored, they can get into things and become destructive. They love to take things apart to see how they work, and can even open drawers and cabinets to see what they can find. Be sure to hide your jewelry from a Bengal cat, because they love to take things and hide them.
The Bengal cat personality is playful, so be sure to keep them entertained. Not surprisingly, they love playing games and even like a good game of fetch. Give a Bengal cat a good puzzle toy that will challenge their intelligence and they’ll be hooked! Bengals also like learning tricks. You should reward them with treats when they learn a new trick or master a puzzle game. They also adore the attention they get from clicker training.
Bengal Cats Love Water, Climbing, and Hunting
Don’t be surprised if your Bengal jumps into the tub or shower with you, or swims alongside you in the pool. These cats love water and running faucets. When drinking from their water bowl, they might even dip a paw and lick the water off. Having said that, be wary if you have an aquarium with these water-loving cats, since they’re avid hunters and fishers.
These cats also need a lot of vertical territory, since they’re expert climbers, and the higher up, the better. They can often be found perched at the highest reachable point in the home, making tall cat trees a great diversion.
All cats are different, but most Bengal cats will get along well with other pets, including dogs. Bengal cats can be territorial, so if you want to have more than one cat, it is a good idea to get the cats at the same time. Bengals will also behave well around children, since they’ll feed off the energy and playful interaction.
To learn more about cat personality, go to What You Need to Know About Cat Personality.