This cat breed has to be one of the most attractive and appealing breeds to big cat lovers. The Bengal is a relatively new breed from crossbreeding between the Asian leopard cat and the common domestic shorthair. Because of this fact, they do tend to have a few more “wild” instincts than a Persian or a Siamese cat would. Interestingly the Asian leopard cat is resistant to feline leukaemia due to their genetic profile, although it is still unconfirmed if this is the case with the Bengal.
1. Personality Profile
Bengal cats/kittens are a very outgoing, talkative and athletic cat breed. These cats require simulation and need to play. Bengal cats are amongst the easiest breed to train as they can be very engaged in an activity and clicker training is commonly used to train this feisty breed.
However, they can be cheeky. Because they do need a lot of stimulation, they can wreak havoc on your home/couch/curtains/anything in site when they can’t release their energy. They are not a conventional “lap-cat”. Although they can become a lap-cat when they are completely exhausted from playing in a pool or destroying your home.
I will also warn, Bengals are big. They can be up to 15 pounds and can be very tall.
Also because of their physical activity, you will need an in-home cat tree for them to jump and play around on. Otherwise you can say good-bye to your curtains, windowsills and bookshelves.
Bengal kittens are busy, they will tear your home/letters to shreds if you don’t play with them and keep them physically active. They also tend to enjoy water, so putting them in the bathtub for a little swim can be a great way to burn off that excess energy (but be sure to keep the water warm and supervise their
3. Genetic Conditions
Bengal cats are assumed to have a reduced risk of feline leukemia. Bengal cats can be prone to having cataracts (when a cloudy film develops over the lens of the eye, if left untreated can cause blindness).
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, this simply means thickening of the heart wall and can cause enlargement of the heart. Because of this defect, annual check-ups are needed for ongoing checking of the Bengal. However, if you notice they are acting slower/more tired and have any blue tinge to the tongue or the mouth, make sure to send them to animal emergency immediately.
Alopecia is another common condition Bengal kitties suffer from, this is often from over-grooming. Over-grooming can be cause from a range of problems, but commonly can be related to not having enough physical activity and boredom. If you notice your cat is doing this, increase their physical activity. If you notice that the problem continues or is accompanied by a skin rash or sores then have them assessed by a vet.
Many different pedigree cats are predisposed to having eyelid deformity and the Bengal is no different. If you notice abnormal weeping or appearance to the eyelid, it required immediate medical attention.
4. Things to bear in mind before committing to a Bengal cat
- The Bengal is incredibly physically active and needs a lot of stimulation. So if you don’t have the time for playing at least 1 hour per day, this isn’t the kitten/cat for you.
- They can vary extensively in color, not all will have the typical “leopard-like” appearance. Some can have almost a grey-pale coloring or even stripes.
- They can grow big and can jump incredibly high, some can jump over 4 feet – translation: they can easily jump on your bench and take foodAsk the breeder what generation they are and whether any inbreeding has occurred. If the cat isn’t far enough removed from the Asian Leopard cat then you will have a pet that may possess more “wild” personality characteristics. In-breeding sadly does occur frequently with pedigree pets meaning that male and female first cousins and relatives are allowed to mate to produce kittens. Inbreeding increases risk of genetic deformity and defects.