Known to be extremely athletic, agile, and made to look like a miniature wildcat, a Bengal cat is a great addition to your home if you‘re looking for a little adventure.
If you‘re not the kind of cat-lover that wants a calm, quiet pet, the Bengal cat can be for you.
It is deemed as the definition of athleticism in an athletic build.
With its agile, muscular body, you might think your Bengal cat is a bit out of place in your home since the breed looks like it definitively belongs in the jungle.
Developed to look a lot like leopards, ocelots, margays, and clouded leopards, breeders worked on various other breeds to develop what Bengal cats are today.
Ultimately, the final result of a Bengal cat is a species that are not only healthy and friendly but also confident and have a very distinctly marked coat that can be recognised among man.
The Asian leopard cat, with its large spots, also called rosettes or arrowheads might surprise you as they turn over and show off their lighter, white belly.
If you want a loud, vocal and friendly cat, the Bengal cat will definitely be a great breed for you.
In this article, we‘re going to go through the history of the Bengal cat, as well as various facts and features that set this cat apart from the rest.
The History of The Breed
Getting to know your new Bengal cat first will begin with knowing about where it came from, and we don‘t mean talking about the breeder or adoption center.
You should definitely check out the history of the particular breed, especially since the history of the Bengal cat is an exceptionally wild one.
Ever feel like you are looking at a wildcat?
Well, you technically are.
The Bengal cat has come from a wild set of ancestors.
Even though it might seem like a miniature version of its larger past relatives, actually, the wild Asian leopard cat that it has derived from is quite small for a leopard.
The Bengal cat has its name from the scientific name of an Asian leopard cat, which is Felis bengalensis.
They also don‘t have a very long history, being introduced and evolving in the 1950s.
By the next decade, this breed could then be purchased at pet stores.
The crossbreed was founded by Jean Mill, a California resident who simply just wanted her black Tomcat to have a leopard cat friend.
However, the two species actually ended up mating, thus bringing the Bengal cat.
What‘s interesting about the Bengal cat is that the final cat that can be considered a house pet has to actually be at least four generations out from a wild ancestor.
The Bengal cat gained its breed experimental status in 1983 and then got full recognition eight years later in 1991.
Average Size and Lifespan
Before you bring in your new Bengal cat to your home, you should get to know how big they will get in adulthood by their average size and get to know how long they will live through informing yourself about the average lifespan of this breed.
The Bengal cat, despite their ancestry of large, wildcats, actually don‘t get very big themselves.
They usually weigh an average of seven to twelve pounds, which is rather light as a maximum weight.
This breed definitely has a healthy lifespan, however, with the average life expectancy is anywhere from 12 to 16 years.
What‘s great about these cats is the fact that you can really find a Bengal cat in a variety of different colours.
Even though brown is the most common colour, a Bengal cat can be dark-golden, tricolour, cinnamon-sorrel, grey-beige, charcoal, silver, and even blue!
The Bengal cat is known for quite a few genetic health problems.
Even though they are generally healthy and you should always check in with the breeder or adoption centre before you purchase or adopt your Bengal cat, it‘s important to know what to possibly expect from this breed.
With the medical history of a Bengal cat, you might expect your new pet to actually possibly have any of these issues: distal neuropathy, which is a disorder in the nervous system that can appear as young as one year old.
This will eventually cause weakness in their system.
However, fortunately, most cats will make a full recovery on their own.
There is actually something called “flat-chested kitten syndrome, which can affect baby cats.
This sort of syndrome can either be mild or can even be extremely severe.
However, if your kitten lives into adulthood, they normally leave the deformity behind once they mature.
Hip dysplasia is also another possible medical condition that a Bengal cat can face, which can make it impossible for them to walk and even possibly make them unable to walk.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is seen in other cats, which means an enlarged heart.
Patellar luxation, which is a dislocation of the kneecap that can either be alleviated or fixed with surgery or can remain dormant or mild their entire cat life.
Possible retinal atrophy, which is a degenerative eye disease that can progressively worse throughout your cat‘s life.
As for temperament and behaviour, the Bengal cat is ranked extremely high on both activity level and also on intelligence.
This means that you have to have a serious patience level with this cat; however, it also means that there will never be a dull moment at home.
If you‘re looking for a companion that will always keep things interesting, a Bengal cat will definitely enrich your life.
They are generally extremely confident cats, friendly with strangers (and with you), and can talk your ear off (not saying you would understand anything, however).
The Bengal cat is also extremely attentive and alert.
If something is different, they will notice.
Which also segways into the fact that they are also highly intelligent and clever, making it easy for you as an owner to teach them behaviours and tricks but also makes it hard for you to keep things hidden.
Actually, a few known quirky behaviours of the Bengal cat (especially when they are bored) that can be potentially “destructive” are turning lights on and off, taking discs out of your DVD player, playing with water, and messing with drains.
Don‘t be surprised if they also attack you while you‘re in the shower.
In other words, if you‘re looking for an active and social breed of cat that will not only play with you but keep life interesting, this breed is definitely what you‘re looking for.
They are smart enough to be in a home with children and young kids and dogs or other pets (however they might not be perfectly entrusted with smaller pets like rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs).
Grooming and Care
When it comes to grooming, you might be a little unaware of all the extra “work” that a cat may take.
However, a cat can only groom itself so much.
Sometimes, it simply just needs a little help.
With the Bengal cat, it‘s soft coat is rather short, which makes it relatively easy to care for.
You can get away with brushing your cat‘s coat only once a week; however, if you like to bond with your cat, you probably will want to brush him or her much more often.
Especially if you want to minimise the amount of hairballs or dust bunnies, brushing on a regular basis (a few times a week or even daily) can really make a difference in bonding and keeping the house clean (it‘s a win-win!).
Essentially, the rest of the “care” part is really just basic cat care.
You should always stay attentive when it comes to dirty ears and brushing their teeth on a regular basis.
Clipping or trimming claw nails can get pretty difficult and might even be risky, whether it‘s for the cat or for you.
So, if you want, you can always head over to your vet or local pet store to have your Bengal cat‘s claws trimmed instead of trekking it on your own and potentially hurting him or her or yourself.
Bengal Kitten Prices
For a pet Bengal kitten, the current average price is $1,500 – $3,000 (USD) when buying from a good breeder.
Several factors affect this price, including the kitten’s traits, what the breeder includes with the kitten, and most importantly, the level of breeder care that went into raising the kitten.
Before we wrap up this article, there are a few last minute facts you should know when it comes to the Bengal cat.
As we mentioned before, the coat is really the show-stopper with a Bengal cat.
You can get a Bengal cat in a variety of different colours, from golden, ivory, sand, orange to brown or even rust.
The coat is often littered in black, charcoal, brown or rusty spots, which also makes for a very interesting look.
You might also even notice that the Bengal cat‘s coat tends to look particularly shiny, as well.