In this guide
- Bengal Quick Guide
- Bengal Video
- About the Breed
- Breed Size & Personality
- Breed Health & Care
- Common Bengal Questions
About The Bengal Breed
Although the Bengal may look like a leopard with its distinctive pelt and large size this fabulous breed is 100% domestic. The name “Bengal” comes from the latin name for its larger Asian leopard relation, Felis bengalensis.
The Bengal first appeared in the 1950s and 60s when Asian leopard cats were bred with domestic shorthairs, variations since appeared however it was in California where the Bengal as we now know it was bred.
Bengals are recognised by The International Cat Association, the American Cat Fanciers Association, the Canadian Cat Association and the United Feline Organisation.
Bengals are large cats and weigh between 4 and 8kg.
Bengals are active, intelligent, affectionate and talkative. When considering buying a Bengal it is important that you are ready for a high-energy cat and have the time to keep him engaged. Bengals like to play games, learn tricks and enjoy being up high (advisable if you have a garden to get a kitty friendly tree for him to perch on).
Bengals also enjoy water, if you leave your bathroom door open they will certainly not be shy joining you for a bath or a shower. As mentioned Bengals are also very affectionate and will be more than happy to keep you company by sitting in your lap, your bed and anywhere else you may be!
Bengal cats are generally heathy however as with all pure breeds there are some conditions to be aware of:
- A nervous system condition known as Distal neuropathy causes weakness in Bengals as young as one however most cats recover.
- Lameness can occur from hip dysplasia in severe cases.
- Flat chested kitten syndrome which is a deformity that can be mild or very severe.
- Forms of heart disease such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be hereditary.
- Degenerative eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy.
- Hereditary dislocation of the kneecaps known as patellar luxation.
Caring for a Bengal
Bengals have short, pelt-like coats and therefore will not require lengthy grooming sessions. Weekly combing is recommended as this will strengthen the bond between you and your Bengal. It is important to check the usual areas including teeth, eyes and ears to ensure that they are cleaned and maintained. Bengals love height so it may be wise to create an indoor / outdoor play area with height so your Bengal can explore and take advantage of being up high.
With Kids & Animals
Bengals are great with kids and cat-friendly dogs. They aren’t scared of dogs but we have heard stories of them being aggressive with other cats so it is important to make sure that any integration can be done in stages. Bengals are wary of smaller children and often prefer children with as much energy as them! Bengals do have quite the killer instinct so it is worth ensuring that they are not introduced into homes that have small pets..
5 Common Bengal Questions
We’ve collated answers to some of the most common Bengal questions.
Where do Bengal cats from from?
Bengals originate from Asian leopard cats and were bred with domestic shorthairs both in Asia and in California.
What colour are Bengal cats?
Bengals come in a variety of colours and patterns from brown and snow in colour through to spotted and marbled patterns. Spotted Bengals are much more common than marbled Bengals.
How long do they live for?
Bengals reach full size between 1.5 and 2 years old.
Are Bengal cats hypoallergenic?