About Cat Breeds: The Bengal Cat

The Bengal cat is a mix of Asian Leopard Cat and domestic cat.  The modern version of the breed originated in Arizona in the 1960’s.

There is some controversy surrounding the breed because early generations of the Bengal cat cannot be confirmed to have stable temperament.  Because of the debate, Bengal cats are not recognized as registered championship breed by all cat associations.


Characteristics of Bengal Cats

Bengals have a very dense short to medium coat that is extremely soft.  There are many coat colors including one bright orange hue called “hot rufus” .  The Bengal is the only cat breed to have rosette markings similar to those of leopards and jaguars.

The Bengal cat is long and sleek, males can weigh as much as 20 pounds and not appear chubby.

They have a tendency to stalk their toys as though they were prey, similar to their wild ancestors.

Bengals are very active, playful and very intelligent.  They’re also quite talkative and demand attention from their people.

bengal cats
Bengal Cats are very intelligent and need to be mentally stimulated

This breed also loves water!

Is A Bengal Cat Right For You?

Many people love the appearance of the Bengal but don’t do the research before getting one, only to discover the cat is too much to handle.

Bengals are not a “set it and forget it” type of cat. This breed does not tolerate being ignored and will talk or act out to get attention.  They are extremely active and need regular play sessions to keep their minds and bodies busy.

Since they are so intelligent, Bengals are easily trained, they’re naturals for clicker training.  Bengals are also great candidates for leash training.

bengal cat
Bengal cats can be good candidates for leash and clicker training

If you’re looking for a lap cat, a Bengal probably isn’t right for you.  Because they are so active, they enjoy some petting, but prefer to keep moving rather than be held or sit on your lap.

Bengal cats are not a breed for bargain hunters.  Bengals can run around $2,000.  I’m an advocate for adoption whenever possible, so check resources like Bengal Rescue Network for adoption information and rescues in your area.


Bengals cats are beautiful, but not for the inexperienced cat owner.  If you are willing to spend the time and energy needed to keep up with them, Bengals can be a great addition to your family.

This cannot be emphasized enough, it is very important that a Bengal guardian keeps their cat busy, since failure to do so will lead to behavior problems.

Many times prospective guardians are drawn to the Bengal because of its sleek, beautiful appearance, but once home the guardian does not provide the appropriate amount of mental and physical activity and behavior problems arise as a result.

If you’re willing to provide the right amount of care, adding a Bengal to your family can be a wonderful experience.

The International Cat Association recognizes the Bengal as a championship breed.  For more information on Bengals, check out their site at http://www.tica.org




Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.

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