The Bengal cat is a hybrid cat born between the cross of a domestic cat and a leopard cat (an Asian wild cat), for this reason, many people today wonder if the Bengal cat is a wild cat. The proper name of “Bengal cat” was born after the name of the wild relative also sometimes called Bengal cat. The breeding of this cat has been practiced since 1963 in the United States of America using human intervention.
Who doesn’t want to pet a leopard? And to have such a cat as a pet? Felinologists have tried and bred a breed of domestic cat that looks like a wild animal, but at the same time is absolutely social.
Bengal has a spotted coat with a characteristic sparkling tint, they have an athletic build and a keen eye. This cat has a quick temper, but at the same time is not aggressive, loves affection, is devoted to the owner and gives tenderness to a loved one.
In this ‘ Pets Feed ‘ breed sheet, we will explain everything you need to know about the Bengal cat, starting with its origin, its characteristics and character and the basic care it needs.
Bengal is a relatively recent cat breed, created by crossing an Asian leopard cat with a domestic cat in the US. The Bengal owes its name to the Latin name of its wild ancestor, Felis bengalensis (Asian leopard cat).
When developing the domestic Bengal cat breed, it was intended to maintain a strong physique that reminded of its beautiful wild ancestor and, at the same time, obtain a pleasant and trustworthy companion for the whole family. Currently, Bengali cats are the fifth most popular breed in the United Kingdom.
Country of origin: USA
Characteristics of the Bengal cat
The Bengal is a strong and muscular cat, robust and heavier than other cats of similar size. Indeed, the bones of this breed are also heavier and denser than what could be considered normal, which makes this animal has a unique presence compared to other breeds of domestic cats.
The weight of the Bengal cat can reach up to eight or nine kilos in an adult male, a weight which is not exaggerated for the size of this cat. At the other extreme, you can also find females that do not exceed 3 and a half pounds, so the specific data largely depends on the characteristics of each specimen.
Among the characteristics of the most notable bengal cat is its head. And it is that the head is also very striking for its size, rounded and wide, although still proportional to the rest of the body. Its expression is of great beauty thanks to huge almond-shaped eyes, which can be of different colors, generally yellow or greenish, and a strong and pointed jaw which gives it a wild expression very typical of the leopard, an animal to which it definitely refers. Small pointed ears help complete this wild image, which they always keep standing on their heads.
And without a doubt, what does not go unnoticed in the Bengal cat is its unique fur, worthy of a larger feline. Soft and thick, bright and with a colour pattern very similar to that of the leopard. It tends to weigh on your body, so as part of your care, it is advisable to clean it frequently with a cloth to remove dust or dirt and to look more loose, showing all its majesty.
Although the pattern of his coat is tabby, the truth is that the basic color can be very variable, from ivory or cream to gold, yellow or orange. Even the spots that make it look like a small leopard can vary from black to chocolate or cinnamon, although the tip of the black tail, the pads of the feet and a mottled abdomen should always be maintained, as per the standard.
Character and behavior of the Bengal cat
The Bengal cat is distinguished by its well-known hyperactivity and curiosity. He is an insatiable cat who likes to play and surround himself with people who pay attention to him. In general, we are talking about a loving and close breed of cat with those who live with those who will follow throughout the house.
It is a cat that will relate correctly to other animals in the house such as other cats, dogs and even ferrets. Being so intelligent, they will spend long hours inspecting every detail they find intriguing.
It is a fun and sociable cat. The character of the Bengal cat is defined by duality as a pet and a wild animal. It is an active and playful animal, sociable by nature and also affectionate, but we must not forget that it maintains certain patterns in its temperament which remind us of a wild cat.
His curiosity and hyperactivity are immense, ranking first among other cats. He always has the instinct to seek, discover and move, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t be a good pet or that he doesn’t build a good relationship with his owners. On the contrary, the Bengal cat is very close to its family, it follows its owners in the house and frequently requests affection and attention.
The only thing to keep in mind is that its education and socialization must be more strict than with other cats so that behavior problems do not appear when the Bengal kitten grows up. Even kittens that are raised from a young age in a familiar environment tend to get along well with other cats, dogs and other pets, with which they will always look for game.
Because of his savage ancestry, he can sometimes be finicky and stubborn, nothing that cannot be controlled by a strong, trained leader to guide him. The only thing to know is that it is a unique cat that requires specific care, so to make sure it is happy and balanced, you need to educate yourself on all of its needs and be prepared to cover them.
Although Bengal is a very sociable animal with members of its family circle, some anecdotal reports claim that some appear to be very territorial and intolerant of other cats in the neighborhood, which could create difficulties in neighborhoods with an abundance of cats.
To ensure the good health of our Bengal cat (as well as any other breed of cat) it is necessary to strictly follow the vaccination schedule of the cat, even if he does not have access to the outside. Remember that we can carry viruses and bacteria ourselves through shoes or clothing.
Likewise, the deworming schedule should also be followed using the best deworming products for cats. Do not forget to consult the veterinarian every 6 or 12 months to carry out a general review which will help you to ensure the good health of your cat and which will be able to alert you on any pathology that went unnoticed. The most common bengal cat diseases are:
• Lateral dislocation
• Cerebral histoplasmosis
• Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
• Progressive retinal atrophy
Finally, note that the life expectancy of the Bengali cat is between 13 and 16 years.
The Bengal cat needs to play a lot – you can buy ready-made structures with labyrinths and racks, or you can make such fun yourself. It is also important to have different toys – mice, balls, teaser rods and similar entertainment. Some dog toys will work as well.
It is useful to have routine check-ups with a veterinarian from an early age. Your cat needs to be vaccinated regularly, carry out treatments against external and internal parasites. For fleas and ticks, they are treated in the spring-autumn period every month, for helminths (parasitic worms) – every 3 months. Vaccinations are done annually, starting at two months of age.
For the Bengal cat who lives only indoors, it is advisable to trim his claws. It is not difficult to learn how to use a nail clipper, but if you have no experience, you should consult with experts. The Bengal cat loves outdoor walks. You can walk such a pet only on a harness or in a collar; it is reasonable to have an address label that contains the contact phone numbers and details of the owner. Cats with access to the street are not clipped.
It is useful to conduct a complete examination of the pet on your own every week – to evaluate the visible mucous membranes (gums, conjunctiva of the eyes), the condition of the oral cavity – teeth, tongue, eyes, if necessary, clean ears, skin.
To maintain the natural beauty of Bengal cat’s hairline, you need to brush your pet every week. It is better to choose brushes with soft bristles. It is useful to polish the coat by rubbing with a soft cloth in the direction of hair growth. Even regular hand stroking will help maintain the shine and silkiness of the coat.
The Bengal cat does not need to be bathed with shampoo unnecessarily. But if your pet gets dirty, you can resort to water treatments. It is permissible to use only special cosmetics for short-haired cats, it is also important to take into account the age of the pet. Scheduled bathing can be carried out no more than 2 – 4 times a year, so as not to wash off the protective fat layer from the cat’s skin. Otherwise, dandruff, irritation, and even dermatitis may occur.
Be sure to brush your Bengal cat’s teeth at least 1 – 2 times a week. Every day you need to cleanse your eyes from dirt, clean your ear canals as needed. It is useful to use special lotions and sprays for these purposes.
The Bengal cat breed has sensitive digestion, so it is important to pay special attention to the freshness and quality of the food your pet eats. You need to decide on the type of feeding for your pet – natural food or ready-made branded food.
In addition, it is better not to change the diet, and if the need arises, switch to a new type of food smoothly. When feeding with natural products, you need to enrich the diet with vitamins and mineral supplements.
From natural products, these foods are useful for a Bengal cat is:
- Cereals (rice, oatmeal, buckwheat);
- Seafood (sea fish, boiled and deboned);
- Necessarily meat (beef, turkey, rabbit, chicken is acceptable);
- Fermented milk products (cottage cheese, low-fat kefir, yogurt, fermented baked milk);
- Boiled chicken eggs;
You can add vegetables in small quantities (pumpkin, carrots).
With such a diet, it is necessary to accurately calculate the proportions of products, choose the right combinations of them, and be sure to introduce vitamin and mineral supplements into the diet in order to compensate for the lack of necessary substances.
You can give preference to ready-made branded food. It is important to use only products of at least premium class, only they willingly eat this. For the Bengal cat, both canned food and dry coma are suitable. It is difficult to immediately suggest the best dry food. A suitable company is chosen only on an individual basis and the manufacturer is not changed unnecessarily.
Remember that there are special automatic cat feeders for both dry food and natural feeding. With its help, many nutritional problems are solved. And if you add an automatic drinker-fountain, then all problems with water will be solved.
Mixing of different types of feed is not allowed – products of different companies, natural and ready-made feed. It is also dangerous for the pet’s health to introduce spices into the diet, treat them to fried foods, sweets and pastries.
You should never neglect education and exercise as part of the Bengal cat’s care, as this will help your pet to be calm at home, loving and obedient. Play as much as possible with your Bengal cat and give him the possibility of carrying out intense and varied activities which test both his physique and his intelligence, which is great. And always educate him in a firm but loving manner, remember that he is a wild-blooded animal and that getting angry or punishing him will only worsen his character and his self-confidence.
Bengal cat highlights
The Bengal cat is a bright individual. Active and perky pets, loving the owner and infinitely loyal to him.
These are the main Bengal cat advantages:
- He has a sharp mind – the Bengal cat learns quickly and is able to perform various tricks;
- Has an excellent appearance – recognizable “wild” color and sparkling shine of wool, harmonious features and confident movements;
- This cat feels confident with strangers, but open only to his owner;
- The Bengal cat is very clean;
- He’s very playful, tireless;
- This is an affectionate and gentle cat;
- He’seasy to keep pets.
Bengal cat disadvantages:
- He’s too talkative – impatient people can be annoyed by the many different sounds made by the Bengal cat;
- Quick-tempered – if the pet decides to retire, it will not let anyone in;
- Prone to kleptomania – He is attracted by bright and shiny things, so such cats without a twinge of conscience borrow from their owners the things they like;
- This cat is stubborn – representatives of the breed by all means try to act as they see fit (proper upbringing eliminates such antics on the part of the pet).
Although the Bengal cat respects personal space, this cat needs to communicate with people. He also accepts other pets well. It can be difficult for older people to cope with such cats, families with small children should also be careful. The best solution is to acquire these cats for active young people.
• Keep in mind that for a Bengal cat to truly belong to this breed, it must be a fourth generation. In other words, they had to pass three previous crossings with domestic cats which guarantee that the puppies will also be domestic and sociable.
• The first males that emerged from the cross between the domestic cat and the leopard cat were sterile, which predicts a bad future for the breed. However, after the female’s subsequent crosses with other domestic cats, the males were fertile, so it continued to develop and evolve to the present day.
• It is such a current breed that, until 1985, it was not when it really presented itself as such to everyone. It had already been recognized in some places, but recognition of official associations was still lacking.
• There is a very rare variety of Bengal cat, called white snow of Bengal, which was born from the crossing of the Asian leopard cat and the Siamese cat. However, it is very rare to find specimens with a white coat.
• The meowing of the Bengal cat is very particular. Sometimes it will be soft like that of any domestic cat, but it could also show a deep, low meow, which is much more like that of a wild animal. An indication of his state of mind that deserves reflection.
• The Bengal cat loves water – he will gladly splash in the bathtub, follow his owner in the pool and even follow his owner into the pond.
• Their genotype contains the gene responsible for the sparkling shine of the coat.
• Bengal cats are talkers. They can make a wide variety of sounds – from gentle and soft, lingering and quiet to sudden shouts, loud and harsh.
• Kittens have fizzing. The phenomenon when at a young age the spots of kittens are indistinct, the basic tone of the coat does not yet acquire all the characteristics that are in adult cats. This property is associated with the need for wild relatives to disguise themselves in order to protect the young from dangerous predators, since the color of the kittens merges well with the environment.
• Contradictory nature – The Bengal cat is an affectionate and a sensual cat, but if such cats are not in the spirit – they can bite and beat with their paws. These pets require attention and at the same time, they need a personal space in which no one can penetrate. They are stubborn, but at the same time they lend themselves well to education and training.
• Love for the heights. These pets always try to climb on cabinets and shelves, if not educated, they can climb the curtains.
• Bengals are well accustomed to ammunition – they easily allow themselves to put on harnesses, collars and vests, walk on a leash without any problems, just like dogs.
• Personality traits depend on the generation. The most good-natured cats are born in the 4th generation and above. Kindred born in previous generations are more likely to show stubbornness and self-will.
The Bengal cat is very loyal and loving to his owner. He is friendly with strangers, but only open up to loved ones. These are restless, perky pets, they love to play, come up with fun and constantly require attention, so they should not be turned on by people who are seriously busy at work. For people who cannot devote enough time to raising Bengals, provide their pets with a full-fledged balanced diet, as well as those who love peace and quiet, these cats will not work.