The Bengal Cat – Intelligent, Playful and Demanding!
28 April, 2015
The Bengal cat is a beautiful, curious, playful and albeit demanding cat and not one for the laid-back types. The intelligent, curious Bengal is highly active. Constantly on the move, he or she loves climbing to high places, enjoys playing fetch and going for walks on leash, and thrives best when he has access to a large outdoor enclosure where he can indulge in the favorite feline hobby of bird-watching. While fun and exciting, the Bengal might not be the best fit for your first cat or if you have small children.
Bengal Cat Breed Traits
The Bengal’s spots are aligned horizontally rather than in random or tabby configuration. Rosettes formed in a part-circle around a redder center is the preferred look. Emphasis is put on the contrast between the spots and the background color; the edges should be sharp and pattern distinct for a show-quality cat. In the marbled pattern, the markings are derived from the classic tabby gene, but the overall look is random, giving the impression of marble.
Bengals often possess a ‘glitter gene’ that gives the fur an iridescent glow, as if covered with warm frost. Three recessive coat variations have been developed: the snow leopard, the marbled, and the snow marbled. These types are still quite rare.
Bengals demand a lot of attention
Bengals are a lot of fun to live with, but they’re definitely not the cat for everyone, or for first-time cat owners. Extremely intelligent, curious and active, they demand a lot of interaction and woe betide the owner who doesn’t provide it. If you won’t be home during the day to entertain your Bengal, plan to have two of them or don’t get one. When a Bengal gets bored, he is capable of taking things apart to see how they work and opening drawers and cabinets to see what interesting toys or food might be available for him. Don’t be surprised to come home with your house in disarray!
The Bengal loves his parents and will do anything for attention from them. If he figures out that you don’t like something he does — jumping on the kitchen counter, for instance — he will start doing it all the time because it will get your attention and force you to interact with him. He also likes to take things and hide them. Put your jewelry away in a place where he can’t get it (you hope).
Bengals get along with other pets, including dogs. They are best suited to homes with older children who will enjoy playing with them, but as long as they have an escape route from toddlers they should do well with them.
Bengals love to climb – make sure to buy some vertical perches
This is a cat who needs a lot of vertical territory. Bengals love to climb, the higher the better. Provide them with tall cat trees and window perches. They are also fond of playing water. Don’t be surprised if your Bengal wants to join you in the shower or bathtub. You may find yourself installing a motion-sensitive faucet in your bathroom or kitchen so he can turn the water on and off for himself. If that’s not on your agenda, he will appreciate having a pet fountain to drink from.
Typical size of the Bengal Cat
Bengal cats are usually quite large: males weigh on average between 10 – 15 pounds and females 8 – 12 pounds. Of course you will get some even bigger than that and a few who are smaller too, so don’t be concerned if your Bengal is outside of those averages.
The head of the Bengal should be quite small in comparison to the body, with small ears too, reminiscent of their wild cat ancestry.
Bengals are generally very healthy cats
Bengals are generally very healthy cats if you have bought from a reputable and registered breeder. The life expectancy is the same as many other cats: 14 – 16 years. In line with other pedigree breeds, there are some diseases that they have a slightly higher risk of – HCM (heart disease) and PkDef (chronic anaemia) being two of them. But if you go to a breeder who screens for these things, the risk of your Bengal getting them is much reduced, small though it is in the first place.
Bengals are wonderfully curious, active cats that are great with older children and preferably another pet. They will keep you smiling with their mischievous ways and outgoing personality.