Surely by social media, you may have seen a leopard but in a smaller version, something different and more like an exotic cat, indeed, its name is the Bengal cat, one of the most eye-catching breeds nowadays, surprising people by its great looks, unique beauty, and being a different cat. Despite being a famous and desired cat, it’s not so easy to get it, because they usually have a high price and you must get the right breeder. If you are interested in knowing more about the Bengal breed, I recommend you to keep reading.
The Bengal cat is a new breed, recognized in the United States in 1963 when the geneticist Jean Mill, who has a great interest in wild cats, started a breeding program and made the first crossing experiment between a domestic cat and a wild leopard cat (prionailurus bengalensis) from South Asia, having as results the first generation of Bengal kittens that we know today. Despite achieving the desired results, this generation maintained a fierce personality and behavior of the wild cats. After the years they began to make crosses with other domestic cats with wild origins like the Abyssinian, the Egyptian Mau, the Ocicat and among others domestic shorthair. These were part of the following generations and had as a result that their personality and behavior are more like a domestic cat and that the currently known Bengal kittens are descendants of these same crosses in the early 1980s. Even so, nowadays this cat keeps his wild DNA, but still being a unique and very loving domestic cat. This doesn’t mean that any person can assume the responsibility of breeding this cat, you have to be aware of what it takes to fulfill and give him the lifestyle he needs and deserves.
After this was the beginning of the modern breeding of this new cat and was officially recognized in 1991 by The International Cat Association, nowadays the Bengal cat breed is only known for the breeding and exhibitions that are part of the fourth and following generations, due to the feline records they are prohibited from having a close relationship with their wild ancestors and must be suitable or already cataloged as domestic cats for the safe coexistence with the human being.
CHARACTERISTICS AND PERSONALITY
The Bengal cat is known to have a lot of attention for its wildcat resemblance, unique physical features, for having an adventurous instinct and for being familiar. This feline has a large body due to its origins; the length is about 27.5 inches, and as much as the female and male Bengal, they weigh between 12 lbs and 19 lbs. His body is muscular and robust, and the bones are dense, with long and sturdy legs, while the head is smaller and triangular compared to its body. Its cheekbones stand out, and the eyes are big, either green or blue, added with a strong and sharp jaw. Their ears are rounded and have a broad base. Their neck is thin, as is their tail, and they have an approximate life expectancy of 9 to 13 years.
Its coat is short and shiny, it also has a unique characteristic that only the Bengal cat breed has, and it is something called Glitter, it is a golden shine that has its coat that emits when it is under the reflection of the light. Its base color can be of various shades, such as orange, dark yellow or sand, gold, ivory, or cream, and can have other color variations such as chocolate and black. The marks that Bengal coat has are spots or rosettes that tend to be of several tones with black borders. Also, this feline comes in a marbled pattern, with different tones, and with specific striped patterns and is also known as the spotted tabby pattern that is the most wanted in this breed, for its spots and points are more similar to the leopard cat.
An interesting fact is that Bengals cats, when they are kittens between 3 and 5 months of age, have a camouflage or puppy coat, also known as Fuzzy. At this stage, their coat has less contrast and is something they inherit from their ancestors because it allows them to hide from predators.
Also exists a variety of this breed that is very rare and is the Snow Bengal, is white, and it was created between the crossing of a wild Asian leopard cat and the Siamese cat, is very rare to get this type of white coat Bengal.
The personality or character of the Bengali cat is known to be curious, intelligent, affectionate, and somewhat temperamental. Because in his gene exists the wild side he has a great instinct to search, move and discover, of being very active, athletic and playful, he likes to have access to gardens but remember to keep them under a closed are for safety, to be able to climb trees, or if you have a terrace you can put a protection mesh for cats and it will just have fun. He likes a lot of intelligence games, looking for the ball, or going out to walk on a leash. Because of their origins, they tend to be somewhat temperamental and territorial, so their education and socialization should be stricter since they are kittens and raise them in a family environment, make them live with other pets from a small age, either with other cats or dogs, to avoid problems in their future. For example, Bengals get along well with cats with a quiet personality like Persians.
Something that is not common in cats, but the Bengals inherited from their ancestors, is the love for playing with water since the Asian leopards are known to be great fishers, I suggest that you give him access to play in ponds, rivers if you have one nearby but with a lot of attention or you can put a simple small pool on your house, taking care of the fun and especially when it is summer, during the winter you can let it use your bathtub. Despite being independent and active cats, they also like to create bonds with their owners, and they demand affection from them; they want to attract a lot of attention and do their best to be cared for, to chase them, and to enjoy a good time together. You have to take into account that having a cat of this breed brings responsibility, you have to give them the right environment for what their instincts ask for, and you must have experience with breeds that are of wild origins since their lifestyle is entirely different from an average and quiet domestic cat.
Something very peculiar that has the Bengal cat is that his meow depends on his state of mood and can be very different if he is in a good mood, his meow can be sweet and soft like any cat but if you hear that his meow shows a deep and strong sound that reminds you of a wild animal is a sign that he is upset or you should be alert on what it wants to communicate or that he is feeling bad about something specific.
CARE AND HEALTH
This feline doesn’t need much care, its coat is effortless to maintain, with a simple weekly brush that helps it remove dirt and dead fur will help it stay in the best condition, and you can bathe it approximately every two months helping to maintain a good shine. The care and shine of their coat will depend on the healthy food you feed it, Bengals don’t tend to tolerate an industrial or processed food, so you can try them with high-quality food to see if they can handle it, but if they can’t choose a raw or natural food, you must make sure they eat all the necessary nutrients, especially their proteins, so they can develop good energy and have good growth and health. You must also control the rations and be aware of how he processes his food to avoid gastric problems. An excellent way to know which food is right for him is to see the shine of his coat. You must always be attentive to leave him clean water within his reach and keep him well hydrated. To make your pet comfortable indoors you can also give him a particular room to have fun and do what he likes, and you can put a cat tree or window hangers that are sold in pet stores with different levels so that he can climb or rest whenever he wants, making him feel that it is his own space. If you like your cat to stay indoors more, don’t forget to give it a sandbox to relieve itself and keep it clean every day, once you feel it has a bad smell you should change it for a new one.
Bengal cats have excellent health thanks to their background, but as all cats can develop some genetic disease, a few years ago it was noticed that this breed can develop a genetic disease in the first year of life that caused progressive retinal atrophy and might have as a consequence the loss of sight. They can also develop polycystic kidney disease, which can be detected by a blood test. Bengals may be prone to infectious diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis and trichomonas foetus. These diseases can be avoided by a good Bengal cat breeder who is dedicated to good breeding and proper care. Also, this pet can develop obesity if you don’t give him his adequate nutrition and doesn’t do his exercises and the activities it usually does, once you decide to have a Bengal kitten in your house, it’s your complete responsibility of how he will live, and depending on the lifestyle you give him, you can help him prevent many diseases and give him a healthy and long life.
If you decide to choose this cat, you have to determine if you want to keep it as a pet or to dedicate it to breeding. If you choose to have him only as a pet, I recommend you spay, because the Bengal cats are very intense with their jealousy and they are very territorial, and they can start to be like that starting from the seven months onwards, and if they don’t have a partner they can get stressed to a very high level and it isn’t the right thing for the lifestyle that he is going to have, and in the long run it could cause him health problems.
To also maintain good health, you should visit your vet at least twice a year for check-ups and rule out any type of illness, be up to date with your vaccination schedule, and have your pet dewormed both externally and internally.
Once you have decided to have a Bengal Cat as a pet, the first thing you have to do is get informed about this animal, everything about its breeding, care, feeding, and lifestyle. Then you should look for a reputable breeder who is registered in an association and has all its legal documentation. The Bengal cat price can be between one thousand to three thousand dollars, only if they are pure breed if you think that the price is a little high don’t resort to buying one that is at a low cost because you won’t have the security of their breeding and they can be lying to you. One thing to keep in mind is that you should make sure that it is a fourth-generation cat, as mentioned before, this will ensure that the behavior and temperament of your kitten are the same as a domestic cat. Once you decide to make this investment, your breeder will allow you to have contact with your kitten, and when it’s old enough, you can include it as a new member of your family. You should make sure that your Bengal cat breeder gives you all the health certificates and shows you if it has any genetic diseases, that has been cared for and raised correctly and that its mother has been checked and cared for as she should be, get all its vaccinations up to date and has been reviewed by a veterinarian.
I hope that all this information will help you to decide if you want to have a Bengal cat as a new family member, it’s a significant investment that you will make but it will be worth it and more if you are an adventurous and athletic person, who likes to take long walks or if you live in natural areas, without a doubt this cat can be your best partner, considering all the love he will share with you. If you have any questions or if you think I’ve missed anything, please let me know in the comment section down below.