Why Bengal Cats
Only because they are probably the best cats EVER! Let’s look at the basics of why you’d want a Bengal Cat
What are Bengal Cats?
Even though they share their breed name with Bengal tigers, they are indeed a domestic cat even though they often look exotic.
The breed originated when a domestic cat was bred with an Asian leopard cat, a small wild cat found in Asia, in 1889.
After many generations of crossbreeding, the goal was to create a cat that had beautiful exotic stripes but that had a more domestic deposition.
In the 1970s, Bengal cats were accepted as a breed by the American Cat Fanciers Association.
Other associations followed suit in the 1980s. While Bengal cats do have domestic dispositions, many of the cats also kept the intelligence and quirks that Asian Leopard cats are often known for.
Bengal cats are mostly known for their exquisite markings. These markings can range between large spots, rosettes and a light belly. They typically have stripes on their front forelegs and stripes along their eyes.
Additionally, they tend to have a leaner body structure, more reminiscent of an Asian leopard cat than a domestic cat. They are also typically larger than other breeds of domestic cats.
Males can weigh up to 15 pounds while females can weigh up to 12 pounds.
When it comes to personality, Bengal cats have it all! They are extremely vocal and affectionate, often bonding strongly with their owners. They are an acrobatic breed; in fact, Bengals can often jump 4 feet from the ground!
They require large amounts of attention from their owners. This breed is also often very territorial, though they can be introduced to other cats and even non-cat animals as kittens.
Taking Care of a Bengal Cat
While they look exotic, this breed does not require a special diet or specialty care. They can eat regular dry or wet cat food depending on their preference. However, please speak with your vet as they may have recommendations on a specialized diet.
Also, Bengals shed very little, meaning they do not need to be groomed beyond a weekly brushing session.
Bengal owners will get the most out of their cat when they let his or her personality shine. This often means indulging in some of their quirks.
For example, Bengals, like their Asian leopard cat ancestors, often love the water. This may mean playing around in the water dish, trying to catch drips from the faucet or just playing in the water while their owner showers or bathes.
Additionally, Bengals have a high IQ and are generally active. These two traits are often a recipe for disaster if the cat is not properly exercised and challenged.
They may grow tired of new toys very quickly or steal items that they have no business having. This can make life as a Bengal owner either very frustrating or exciting.
Getting Your Hands On A Bengal Cat
The main way to get your hands on a Bengal cat is to purchase one from a breeder.
This can be tricky, as you want to purchase from a responsible breeder who cares for the cats' wellness and health.
Not only does this mean your new friend is more likely to live a long and healthy life, but you will not be dealing with expensive health problems and unstable cats.
Reputable breeders will ensure that the kittens have had their vaccinations and have been dewormed.
Before you bring your kitten home, the breeder should also ensure that they are at least 12 weeks old, are litter trained and are eating solid foods.
You may also want to visit a few local breeders if possible before making a decision.
A Bengal kitten can cost starting around $1500 and upwards up to $3-4k. Now those are the typical prices. Depending on the breeder, Bengals can and have gone for a lot more!
Getting a kitten is always fun, as you get to be a part of their growth and build a strong bond right from the beginning. I recommend ThunderCatBengals as I've had a great experience with them.
Of course, another option is to rescue a Bengal cat.
Unfortunately, many people purchase Bengals without fully understanding that Bengals are not normal domestic cats.
When they become too destructive from lack of attention their previous owner may surrender them to a shelter. Although, you may be able to find a Bengal cat at your local shelter, there are rescues that specialize in Bengal cats only. Kittens may be available but that is a rare occurrence.
Most of the cats you will find at rescues are one to seven years old. However, the advantage to this is that their personalities are already known and they do not have infinite kitten energy.
Even though I recommend you do start with a kitten to develop that bond.
It's definitely a good feat to adopt an older cat that has been abandoned and unloved.
Are Bengal Cats Recommended As Pets?
If you are looking for a cat that is quiet and happy to sit in your lap or next to you while you read a book, a Bengal cat may not be the best pet for you.
Trust me they follow you everywhere!
Any room, any place in your house if they are sleeping and they notice you are gone out of their site, they'll relocate to find you and sleep in that same location.
So if you want a cat that is active, has infinite energy, loves to play and is interested in spending time with you, a Bengal cat may be just the right cat for you.