A Few Fun Facts About The Brilliant Bengal Cat

Bengals are known for their striking fur coats, from marbled swirls to spotted rosettes that make them look like tiny jungle cats. But it's not there that the resemblance ends.

Like their wild cat ancestors, Bengals are intelligent, highly active, and avid hunters. Unlike their wild cat ancestors, Bengals do make wonderful pets for those looking for loyal, affectionate, and high-energy felines. Here are some facts about the lovely Bengal! 

Wild DNA 

The Bengal Cat is a relatively new hybrid breed in the cat fanciers scene, first bred in the 1960s by Jean Sudgen Mill. Bengals are a cross between an Asian leopard cat and a domestic shorthair cat.

Mill is said to have created the breed had the look of a wild cat and the temperament of a domestic cat, supposedly with the intention to stop women from wearing leopard-skin furs and coats. Her reasoning was that if women had cats that looked like wild cats, they wouldn't want to wear leopard-skin coats.

The Bengal breed was achieved by crossbreeding a small wild Asian leopard cat with a domestic shorthair cat. It had a rough beginning and almost went extinct as a breed. 

She originally called the cats the "leopardette," but their name was changed to Bengal in honor of their scientific name, Prionailurus bengalensis. Although not recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association, the International Cat Association recognized Bengals in 1991. 


Do you have a Bengal at home? Now you can get their photo printed on any custom item, like a mug or blanket! Click here or the image below for more details.


Bengals are a Delightful Handful

Sean McGrath from Saint John, NB, Canada / CC BY 

Because Bengals are very active, owners need to provide plenty of exercise and toys to keep them from being mischievous. This might make them a challenging breed for first-time cat owners or those who are more interested in a docile lap cat. Every cat is unique, of course, and that's not to say there aren't calm laid-back Bengals.

But generally, due in part to their hybrid nature, Bengals are much more active and energetic than standard domestic cats. Bengals like to stay on the move and are avid climbers, explorers and can get bored if not given proper mental and physical stimulation. This is most likely a survival trait from its wild ancestors.

Vertical space is a must to keep these hybrid kitties entertained as they jump and climb their way to happiness; be sure to provide your Bengals with tall cat trees and window ledges for climbing. The higher, the better!  


Beautiful Coats


The first thing most people notice about Bengals is their gorgeous fur! Bengals can have a variety of different patterns that hearken back to their wild ancestors, ranging from leopard-like rosettes to striking marbled swirls, much like you'd find in marble stone. The most popular color for Bengals is a brown and black combination, but they can come in a variety of hues and shades, ranging from black, silver, seal brown, charcoal and even blue! 


Is One Enough?

V. SauvagetV. Sauvaget / CC BY-SA

Because Bengals are so active and social, consider getting two to make sure they are getting enough attention and don’t turn destructive if bored, especially if they are left alone for most of the day while you're at work. Be sure to provide them with plenty of kitty activities and toys to keep them entertained and stimulated while you're away. 


An Affinity for Water

roberto shabs / CC BY

Domestic cats that like water seemed to be a rarity, but Bengals seem to love playing in the water. As with all animals, every cat is unique - but a lot of Bengals LOVE the water! Offering your Bengal some playtime in the water can be a great source of entertainment and stress relief for these active felines. Whether that’s a sink, pool, beach, shower, or a motion-sensitive pet fountain is up to you. 


Who Needs a Dog?

Via Bennilover, Flickr.com, CC 4.0

Because Bengals are so active and social, they can be great candidates for leash training and walks. Walks are another great way to make sure they get plenty of exercise and stimulation.

Bengals' natural intelligence and curiosity make them ideal for clicker training. Challenge your Bengal with new tricks, whether it's a simple 'sit', high-five, or even as amazing as riding a skateboard! 

Finding a Bengal

Bengals aren't for everyone. Consider your lifestyle and whether a high-energy cat would be a good fit, and whether you can provide such a cat with the care and attention they need to lead a happy, healthy life. Bengals can also be quite expensive to purchase from breeders, depending on certain factors of their breeding. If you are considering purchasing a Bengal from a breeder, be sure to do your research beforehand

Here at Meowingtons we always encourage our fans to adopt cats from rescues or shelters that are fighting for their lives and deserve a second chance. Believe it or not, purebred cats like Bengals do end up in shelters and rescues due to owner death, divorce, and other factors. Look on sites like Petfinder.com for Bengals available for adoption or even Bengal-specific rescues that may be near you. 


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