Who Is the Bengal Cat? Fascinating Facts About This Exotic Cat Breed
If you’re looking for the purrfect companion, you may have considered bringing a Bengal cat into your home. Bengals aren’t just amongst the most popular cat breeds in the US, they’re also one of the most unique and fascinating.
Want to know what life is like with a Bengal cat? Below, Cat in a Flat gives you the inside scoop on these beautiful and impressive felines.
What is a Bengal cat?
Unlike the British Shorthair, one of the most ancient breeds in the world, Bengal cats are a relatively new type of feline. The Bengal cat breed originated in the 1900s in the United States through interbreeding the domestic cat and the Asian Leopard cat. In 1983, the Bengal was recognized as an official cat breed.
This recent history and close connection to its wild ancestor lends this kitty its rather unique look, temperament, and personality! In fact, it’s often said that Bengals resemble and behave like smaller versions of the wild leopard.
Is it worth it to get a Bengal cat?
Bengals are amongst the most expensive breeds to buy—this feline can cost up to $3,000. They can also be very high maintenance and expensive to own. The Bengal’s average lifespan is 12-16 years, so it’s important to know what you’re committing to cost-wise before you buy one.
However, if a high price tag and costly maintenance isn’t an issue, the Bengal cat might make a great furry companion for you.
Here are the pros of owning a Bengal cat:
- Highly affectionate. Despite their recent wild history, these types of fur friends tend to form strong bonds with their owners. Don’t be surprised if your Bengal cat loves to sleep in bed with you or follows you everywhere (including the bathroom)!
- Gets along with other pets. Like how they bond with their humans, Bengal cats also get along well with other pets in the household. They’re the ideal breed if you already have pets or are planning to introduce a new pet at some point. Just make sure you follow the simple rules of introducing new cats into the household, so both your Bengal and your other fur friend can adjust to each other in a healthy way.
- Dog-like traits. Bengal cats can show personality traits that are very similar to dogs! This means that, if trained from a young age, Mr Whiskers will enjoy going out for daily walks. Training your Bengal to use a harness and leash can be a great way to channel their high energy into frequent jaunts outside the home. Also, like dogs, Bengals learn tricks and adapt to new situations easily.
- Entertaining. One of the pros of owning a Bengal cat is that you’re sure to never get bored! This breed loves attention and performing for an audience. Mr Whiskers will interact with you a lot and his antics will keep you on your toes.
While there are many pros to owning a Bengal cat, this feline breed is not for the faint-hearted. Make sure you do plenty of research and talk to a knowledgeable breeder before you consider purchasing one.
Here are the cons of owning a Bengal cat:
- Gets lonely easily. This breed does not do well when left home alone for long periods of time. Therefore, if you work away from home a lot, the Bengal cat may not be the ideal fur friend for you. If you do opt for a Bengal, make sure you book a good cat sitter to come in and spend time with your kitty when you’re away on trips. Look for a sitter who can do multiple daily visits or even stay overnight in your home. This will help ensure your Bengal is well looked after and doesn’t start to act out because they’re lonely.
- Mischievous. Because of their high-energy natures, Bengal cats are almost constantly on the move. They will find their way everywhere, so make sure to remove potential cat hazards from around your home. Because they also need constant stimulation, Bengal kitties are more likely to scratch your furniture and carpeting. Don’t get upset if this happens. Remember, it’s just in their feline nature! Instead, provide your Bengal with plenty of scratch pads, posts, and stimulating toys to productively focus their energy.
- High energy. While cats are known to sleep a lot, one of the interesting traits about Bengals is that they are more active than other fur friends. They need a lot of entertainment and thrive best when they have access to outdoor spaces where they can climb trees and get lots of exercise. Unfortunately, this also means these cats are not suitable for apartment living.
- Get bored easily. Another symptom of their high energy is that Bengals can get bored very easily. Not only should you keep plenty of toys around for them to interact with (read here about dangerous toys for cats), but you may have to change out their toys quite frequently for new ones. This can add some strain to your budget as Bengal cats are very demanding about staying entertained. You’ll also need to factor in more daily playtime with your cat as opposed to with other feline breeds.
Should I consider getting a Bengal cat
A new pet is a lifelong commitment, and not a decision to be taken lightly. The main thing to remember about Bengals is that they will require a lot more of your time and energy than most other cat breeds.
There is also a huge problem with unethical breeders selling Bengal kittens at a premium. So, if you do decide a Bengal cat suits your lifestyle and personality, make sure to do thorough research into ethical breeders before buying. And remember, there are thousands of kitties in shelters who need loving homes. If a Bengal isn’t right for you, maybe consider adopting a new fur friend instead!
Whether a Bengal, a tabby, or another type of cat, there’s no denying that our kitties are fascinating creatures. Want to know more about our feline friends? Check out this blog post with 9 amazing facts you don’t know about cats!