An Exotic Beauty

The Bengal Cat

by | Breeds | 0 comments

Breed Group:

Hybrid.

Size:

Medium. Average body.

Weight:

Lightweight mouser. From 8-15 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Professional athlete. Needs no exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjusts to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

12-16 years.

Need For Grooming:

Once a week. Low shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.

Potential For Playfulness:

Through the roof!

Breed Group:

Hybrid.

Size:

Medium. Average body.

Weight:

Lightweight mouser. From 8-15 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Professional athlete. Needs no exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjusts to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

12-16 years.

Need For Grooming:

Once a week. Low shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.

Potential For Playfulness:

Through the roof!

Breed Group:

Hybrid.

Size:

Medium. Average body.

Weight:

Lightweight mouser. From 8-15 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Professional athlete. Needs no exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjusts to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

12-16 years.

Need For Grooming:

Once a week. Low shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.

Potential For Playfulness:

Through the roof!
Exotic and wild looking, the Bengal Cat seems like it belongs in a jungle. This breed was developed from cross between domestic cats and wild Asian Leopard. The Bengal Cat is athletic and agile breed with a muscular body made for jumping. The most distinctive trait of this breed is its coat that reinforces the “wild” look. Even though its appearance seems wild, the personality of the Bengal Cat is anything but that. This is an affectionate, intelligent, chatty and highly energetic breed. Bengal Cats get along with everyone but tend to form deeper bonds with their owners. This breed that loves children, other pets and isn’t afraid of being in the water.

Breed History

People attempted to cross wild and domestic cats since the 1800s, if not earlier. The Bengal Cat is a cross between wild Asian Leopard and a domestic cat. The first mention of the breed was in 1963. The American geneticist Jean Mill-Sugden crossed a domestic male with a female Asian Leopard. This mating produced a single spotted female kitten with a distinctive wild look. The kitten was named Kinkin. She was later bred back to her father and produced a litter of spotted kittens. About at the same time, Dr. Willard Centerwall from the Loyola University was crossing wild Asian Leopards with domestic cats. The leopard cats were resistant to feline leukemia virus. The researchers were interested to find out if this trait can be passed on to the hybrid offspring. Several breeders were interested in developing a new breed out of these hybrids. One of them was Jean Mill-Sugdan. Dr. Centerwall gave some of these hybrids to her and she started searching for fit males to breed them to. Feeling that neither Mau, Abyssinian or Burmese were genetically strong enough breeds, Jean looked farther. The suitable candidate turned out to be a male feral orange cat from India. With numerous and well-planed crosses, outcrosses and re-crosses, the wild looking, but temperamentally reliable breed was created. The Bengal got its name from the Asian Leopard’s scientific name – Prionailurus Bengalensis. In 1983, The International Cat Association granted this Bengal breed an experimental status, and a full recognition in 1991. The Bengal Cat is also recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association and the Canadian Cat Association.

Size Standards

The Bengal is medium to large cat with a graceful but muscular body. The head is broad, wedge-shaped with medium-sized ears that are set on its sides. The back legs of the Bengal Cat are slightly longer than the front ones and end in round paws. Male Bengal Cats typically weigh from 10-15 pounds. Females are slightly smaller and weigh from 8-12 pounds. Thanks to its active nature the Bengal Cat keeps its muscular body in top shape. With proper nutrition and food like this one, you can help your cat maintain her weight. Generally, this breed isn’t prone to obesity. So it shouldn’t be hard keeping it on the ideal weight.

Bengal Cat Personality Traits

The Bengal is highly intelligent, curious, and active breed that can sometimes be a hand full. Despite its wild ancestry, it’s a friendly and social breed that loves having company. It gets along well with all family members but develops a special bond with its owner. These cats love playing, jumping on high places and need to be occupied. Otherwise, they can become destructive and will certainly make a mess in your home.
Since they are highly social, they demand almost constant attention. Hence, they are suited for people who spend lots of time at home. Since this breed loves height it is best to have one or more cat trees like Pet Place Activity Tower. The Bengal isn’t a lap cat, per say, but will curl beside its owner at the end of a fun day. Compared to other breeds, Bengal is a chatty one and will communicate with thrills, chirps and meows. Since the Bengal Cat is very active, you may want to consider getting a cat enclosure. These cats have great hunting instincts and playing with toys, especially like these, will keep your kitty occupied for hours. Unlike other cats, the Bengal Cat isn’t afraid of water. So don’t be surprised to find your kitty in a shower with you.

Adaptability

The Bengal is a highly adaptable breed that reacts well to lifestyle changes and new scenery. This is probably because it descends from wild Asian Leopard cats. This trait stays constant, so the Bengal cats don’t have troubles adapting even when they are older. This is a very active and highly energetic breed that is almost in constant motion. It can spend hours playing and enjoys toys like Petstages Tower. Since this is a social and inquisitive breed, it is best to spend at least 15 minutes a day in interactive play.

Health and Potential Health Problems

The Bengal Cat has a very good health and can thrive if taken care of properly. However, like all pedigreed cats, it can develop certain health problems. This doesn’t mean your cat will for have any. But it is better to familiarize yourself in advance.
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This condition causes the thickening of a portion of the heart. The thickening affects the heart’s ability to pump blood which results in chest pains and shortness of breath.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This is a hereditary eye disorder that causes a degeneration of retinal photoreceptor cells. The retina slowly loses its function. This first results in night blindness and progresses to complete blindness over time.
  • Patellar Luxation: This condition occurs when a cat’s kneecap is dislocated from its normal position. The dislocation can be mild to severe. In the latter cases, it can be fixed with a surgery.

Lifespan

On average the Bengal Cats can live from 12-16 years or even longer with proper care. Invest in a protein-rich food like Blue Buffalo to maintain your cat’s healthy weight. To ensure your cat’s longevity buy or adopt from a reputable source who can provide a health guarantee.

Grooming Needs

Bengals have a short, dense, luxurious and soft coat that is very easy to maintain. Use a dual-sided grooming brush once a week to remove any loose hair. Regular brushing will help distribute skin oils through the coat and keep it healthy. This breed sheds minimally and won’t leave tufts of hair on your furniture. Generally, this breed doesn’t need bathing. But since it isn’t afraid of water you can give it a go. Use only natural products, like Earthbath Cat Shampoo to avoid drying of the skin.

Bengal Cat Coat Colors

The Bengal Cat’s coat is the feature that gives it the exotic and wild look reminiscent of Asian Leopard cats. The coat can be spotted, have marble or leopard-like rosette patterns. Furthermore, the coat of some Bengals has an intricate sheen like it was sprinkled with gold. The combinations of colors and patterns vary. The most commonly seen include, Brown, Silver, Snow and Melanistic. All of these colors are complemented with black or tanned spots or marbles.

Compatibility with Children and Other Pets

Thanks to their friendly nature and fun personality Bengals make great family pets. Since they are highly active and curious they get along great with children. This breed prefers the company of older kids that can match their energy levels. The Bengal can spend hours playing fetch or running after teaser toys. This breed is intelligent enough to stay away from younger children and toddlers who can’t keep up. Social and friendly, the Bengal gets along and behaves nicely towards other household pets. Since they prefer having company they enjoy spending time with both cats and dogs. Just make sure that you introduce all pets slowly and in a safe environment. Bengals have a strong hunter’s instinct. So it isn’t advisable to keep them together with smaller animals like guinea pigs or hamsters. Furthermore, this breed doesn’t have issues slipping its paw into an aquarium to fish out an extra meal! This is an extremely playful breed that likes being entertained. It will find ways to entertain itself. So try to involve your cat in play sessions every day. Invest in toy sets that will provide plenty of entertainment and fun to your cat.