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Bengal Cat Breed - Personality, Size & Characteristics

Bengal Cat Breed - Personality, Size & Characteristics

The Bengal cat breed is strikingly beautiful and looks like a docile, mini leopard because of the spots on its body and its muscular frame.

The Bengal cat breed is strikingly beautiful and looks like a docile, mini leopard because of the spots on its body and its muscular frame. Did you know the Bengal cat was initially named Leopardette because of these exact reasons?

Leopardette felines or Bengal, as they are now known, were the result of a failed experiment. In the 1970s, scientists tried to cross-breed the shorthaired domestic cat and the wild, small leopard cats - native to Southeast Asia. The experiment was done to introduce the wild cat's natural immunity to feline leukaemia into the domestic cat population, but unfortunately, it wasn’t successful. But the resulting hybrids were again crossed with various domestic pedigree cats such as the Egyptian Mau, Bombay, Abyssinian, and British shorthair, with the outcome being this gorgeous breed - Bengal.

A Bengal kitty will bring a piece of Jungle into your living room with its regal wildcat like looks. However, rest assured that these very gentle fur kids are anything but wild. Bengal cats are friendly and affectionate with a lot of energy. Being one of the smartest cat breeds there is, Bengal beauties are also easy to train and can be very entertaining.

However, one word of caution for first-time owners, the Bengal cat can be territorial, so if you have other domestic pets at home or babies or very small kids, it is best to get your Bengal baby when they are still kittens. Having said that, do note that Bengal cats are highly energetic little munchkins and need a lot of playtimes to stay physically healthy and mentally sound.

Key Pointers:

  • Weight – 12 to 22 pounds. 
  • Height – 13 to 16 inches.
  • Lifespan - 12 to 16 years. 
  • Coat – Luxurious and dense coat that is silky and soft to the touch.

Rankings:

Friendliness – Moderately friendly
Ability to adapt – Very adaptable as kittens
Behaviour towards other pets – Territorial as adults
Behaviour towards humans – Very loving
Playfulness – Extremely playful
Tendency to obesity – Low if the diet is well taken care of
Overall health - Good
Life expectancy – Good
Easy to train - Yes
Advisable for first-time owners – No

Physical Appearance

The first thing you would notice about a Bengal feline kiddo is its coat. The striking spotted or marbled patterns in brown, silver, snow, and blue colours on its body will remind you of the Bengal cat’s ancestry of the wild jungle leopard cats. Bengal cat coats are soft to the touch and are silky, smooth, and short.

The Bengal breed has characteristic small roundish heads, pointed ears, large eyes that are pretty shades of brown, green, orange, and yellow, and very muscular, agile bodies with stronger hind legs. Bengal cats are royal creatures that weigh like most other domestic cat breed but looks much larger, thanks to their well-built bodies. 

Health

Bengal furries are among the healthier cat breeds, but there are some ailments that trouble Bengal cats. You need to watch out for these diseases to ensure a healthy and long life for your Bengal fur friend.

  1. Heart diseases

    Just like many other cat breeds, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) that causes thickening of heart muscles is common in Bengal beauties as well. Look out for symptoms like:

      • Laboured breathing
      • Weak pulse
      • Rapid heartbeats
      • Lethargy
      • Rapid breathing

    If you notice any of the listed symptoms in your Bengal cat, do consult a vet immediately since HCM can result in congestive heart failure and early death.

  2. Allergy to anaesthetics

    Bengal fur kids, can be allergic to anaesthesia. So much so that they can die of cardiac arrest as a result of anaesthesia allergic reaction. Hence make sure you are careful when your Bengal feline baby undergoes any surgeries, including neutering.

  3. Eye problems

    Bengal cats are genetically prone to eye problems such as cataracts and retinal atrophy. So, make sure you get your Bengal baby’s eyes checked regularly to prevent deterioration of their eyesight and eventual blindness.

Grooming

Bengal cats are clean animals who love to keep themselves well-groomed at all times. Like many other fur kiddos, Bengal babies also spend hours cleaning and grooming themselves. However, regularly brushing their coat will not only keep them looking spic and span, but your Bengal fur baby will also revel in the attention.

Giving your Bengal cat an occasional bath will also keep them happy, healthy, and thriving since these fur kiddos love the water, unlike so many other cat breeds. You must also clip your Bengal cat nail, brush its teeth and clean its ears regularly to ensure your Bengal furry stays as healthy as possible.

Playing

Your Bengal baby belongs to one of the most playful and intelligent breeds there is. It is crucial to keep them entertained with a lot of different kinds of toys. Bored Bengal babies are notorious for causing destructions, such as breaking things around the home and becoming grumpy and moody.

And, don't think your breakable valuables are safe if you keep them on top shelves since Bengal cats are superb climbers, all thanks to their wild cat ancestry. They will climb the topmost shelves easily, and their agility ensures your Bengal cat can reach every nook and corner of the house. Get them the highest climbing trees to keep their climbing interests satisfied.

If you have to leave your Bengal fur baby for a long stretch of time, it is advisable to have lots and lots of different toys that stimulate them mentally as well as physically available at their disposal or, better still, get another fur kid to keep your Bengal baby busy. Constant entertainment and long playtimes are crucial needs for the Bengal cats, just like food and water.

Bengal Cat FAQ 

Do Bengal cats get along with other pets?

Bengal furries are territorial. But they can get along fine with other domestic pets if the Bengal fur babies are introduced to other animals while the Bengals are still kittens. Adult Bengals can have a difficult time adjusting to other pets if they have not been adapted to socialising from a young age. When Bengal munchkins grow up with other household pets, they can be extremely loving and accommodating.

Are Bengal cats friendly?

Bengal kitties are extremely friendly, loving, and affectionate towards their humans. Bengal cat personality is very playful and would love it if you spent time playing with them. Bengal kids are also loves snuggling and cuddling and would happily snooze on your lap after a day of mischief and play.

How long do Bengal cats live?

Bengal fur kiddos are one of the healthier breeds of cats, and they live quite long, between 12 to 16 years, if they are well taken care of. However, they are also susceptible to some diseases that are common to this breed of kitties and need regular check-ups to ensure they are healthy and thriving.

Are Bengal cats easy to groom?

Bengal feline beauties require very little grooming since they have short hair and spend hours cleaning themselves. However, Bengal cats thrive on attention from their loved ones, and hence regular brushing would not only keep them happy but also make their coats shinier and smoother. They would also require regular grooming common to most domestic cats, such as bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing. Overall, Bengal kitties are one of the easiest to groom breeds.

Do Bengal cats like to bath?

Apart from their leopard patterned coats, another thing that makes Bengal furries unique is their uncanny love for the water. Most Bengal fur babies would happily slosh around, swim, and dip their paws whenever they see a puddle. Of course, there might be an occasional exceptional Bengal who hates water just like its counterpart breeds. But if your Bengal fur baby likes the water, you should regularly bathe your Bengal baby even though they might not need it. Your Bengal cat would thank you for all the attention and the splash.

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