As of 2010, the International Cat Association reported that with 6369 registered cats, Bengal cats were the most registered, and their popularity continues to rise. The physical appearance of a Bengal cat resembles that of their wild counterparts and the traits of a typical family cat.
The Bengal is the perfect cat for feline lovers looking for an exotic cat that comes in small size and without the danger posed by a wild cat. This cat comes in a marbled or spotted multi-colored coat.
The Bengal’s ability to form friendship with dogs is one of the traits that make them attractive. Depending on the dog's behavior around a Bengal, they can create long-lasting friendships.
The Origin of Bengal Cats
The Bengal breed is a hybrid of an Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat.
Dr. Willard Centerwall started breeding domestic cats with Asian leopard cats in the 1960s and 70s in order to study their genetics.
He discovered they were immune to Feline Leukemia. He hoped that the discovery would be used in humans with weakened immune systems.
When he became sick, he gave his kittens to Jean Sudgen Mill, who promoted the new breed, and the international cat association accepted the breed for championship status in 1991.
Bengal cats are the only domesticated cats that have the rosette markings. They are often associated with brown spots, but they also come in different colors, marbles, and markings.
They can be ticked, red, spotted, brown, black, and clouded. There are Bengals unique cats who resemble leopards.
The body of Bengal cats ranges from medium to large but not as large as that of the biggest domestic cat breed. Her torso is long but not foreign and oriental.
Her masculinity, especially among male Bengals, is one of her distinguishing features. Bengal bone structure is firm and sturdy.
They appear in sea mink tabby, brown tabby, seal silver mink tabby, seal sepia tabby, black silver tabby, seal silver lynx point, seal silver sepia tabby and seal lynx point.
Her tail is of medium length, has a rounded tip and tapered at the end.
The cat’s ears range from medium to small, fairly short, rounded tops, and broad at the base. They are located on the side as much as the top of the head.
Legs and Paws
The legs are of medium length and slightly longer at the back. The feet are round, large, and have protruding knuckles.
Lifespan and Health
Bengals typically live for about 12 to 16 years.
Responsible breeders make a point of avoiding genetic disorders and health complications; however, it is essential to be aware of the conditions associated with Bengals.
They may suffer from flat-chested syndrome and distal neuropathy. Still, the good news is, these conditions usually resolve on their own as the cat ages.
They may also develop patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as they mature.
They are fun-loving, adventurous cats who require a lot of interaction and attention from their owners. They will do just about everything to get your attention.
They also enjoy hiding stuff, so ensure that you keep your items out of their reach, or you will spend hours looking for your shoes or favorite jewelry.
Bengals have a strong predatory nature owing to their genetic composition. They will hunt down small animals, so ensure that you keep hamsters, bunnies, mice, and other small pets out of her reach.
Prepare yourself to wake up to a dead bird or mouse occasionally.
These cats are amusing to live with, especially if you are an active person. They are talkative, attentive, and very confident. They enjoy playing games and would often take part in the game of fetch.
When bored, they may resolve to fun activities like plucking CDs out of DVD players, switching lights on and off, or even fishing seals.
The intelligence of Bengal cats is seen in their ability to learn tricks fast, and the ability to come up with ways to entertain themselves in a dull environment. They enjoy learning new behaviors.
They are also nimble and athletic. This is why Bengal cats enjoy climbing; they tend to go for the highest point. It is therefore quite crucial that you provide them with window parches and tall trees to climb.
The Water Loving Cat
Bengal's great love for water is something one should consider before bringing a Bengal cat home. Do not be surprised if your cat decides to join you in the shower or tub.
Their love for water is attributed to their ancestors who were great fishers and hunters. Please pay close attention to your Bengal. They might be tempted to go swimming in the pool.
Make sure you also keep the toilet's lid down.
Caring and Grooming
Taking care of a Bengal is quite straightforward. They rarely require baths. Her coat requires a weekly combing to get rid of dead hair and spread skin oils.
To prevent periodontal disease, ensure that you brush her teeth, if possible, on a daily basis.
Remove any eye discharge by wiping the corners of her eyes using a damp and soft cloth. Further, clean the ears using a soft cloth or a cotton ball containing an equal ratio of warm water and cider vinegar
Keeping your Bengal indoors helps her avoid diseases spread by other cats and dogs and also protects her from accidental risks, like being hit by a car.
However, ensure that your Bengal has ample space to play, jump, and climb. A Bengal's nails should also be trimmed often, and the litter box kept clean
The Family Friendly Cat
Bengal cats are ideal for families with friendly dogs and children. They will keep your children entertained and occupied by playing and learning tricks.
Bengals will also enjoy the attention they receive from your children. Children match the Bengal’s energy and curiosity.
Bengals are certainly not lap cats. They are action-oriented and require owners who can match their energy; people who understand their domestic and feral nature.