Bengal cats look like they belong in the jungle. But they can be seen roaming so sleek, smooth hunting for their next meal and just when you least expect it… wait for it…. wait for it…
Kitty comes running through the kitchen, over the couch, and into your lap! Haha the joy of it all!
Bengals are curious cats. Their coats are beautiful as they glisten in the sunlight. Their toes are webbed and they love the water. A lot of cat lovers, ones that I know of, yearn to adopt one. I know I did at one time too… but they take a lot of care and with an abundance of energy you need to keep them entertained and show them tons of affection or they “act up”!
Back in the 50s and 60s, you could purchase them at any pet store. Bengals were almost extinct at one point due to being hunted and killed for their beautiful coats.
An unhappy, bored cat = a cat looking for trouble, just to amuse themselves. 🙂 So buyer beware!
Just Where Do They Come From – The Back Story
In my last post “The History of Cats- Did They Domesticate Themselves? we learned about Hybrids. Bengal cats are a cross-breed “man-made” hybrid.
A breed created from hybrids of domestic cats’ and the Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). Their ancestors are the small Asian Leopard Cat which is a small wild cat.
Let’s take a trip 5,000 years ago to be exact. Archaeological evidence shows that the leopard cat was the first to be domesticated in Neolithic China in Shaanxi and Henan Provinces.
The Asian Leopard Cat is a native of Asia, living in the East and South East off the Continent from Indonesia to the Peninsula of Korea. East Russia to Pakistan into eastern Afghanistan.
This species is derived from Felis Silvestris Lybica from the Middle East – thus the Egyptian Granaries 12,00 years ago! In which we learned about this in my article “The History of Cats”.
Purchasing Bengal Cats – How Do I Pick the Right One?
One thing to remember when purchasing a Bengal cat is that you make sure they are at least 4 to 5 generations removed from any ancestors with wild blood!
This doesn’t make for a great cat. They are wilder than tamed and will NOT make great house pets.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, get the cats’ history of their parents, their great grandparents and so forth. You don’t want a wild cat in your house.
Try to get a Bengal kitten whose parents are two Bengal cats and so forth. 4-5 times removed!
Make sure you find out what breed types and their genetic illnesses that one particular breed is prone to get. Find out before you buy it!
Be careful because some breeders have poor breeding habits that can lead to certain genetic health problems that are hard to deal with.
Do your research and ask questions. It’s better to be safe than sorry my friends!
Bengal Cats Are: What Are Their Known Personality Traits?
Bengal cats are playful, athletic, agile, full of energy yet graceful. They are a very “talkative” friendly cat. They love water and wouldn’t hesitate to get into the bathtub or shower with you.
Meowers: Find out how much the kitty likes to “talk”, they are quite on the talkative side. If you don’t have the patience for a cat that meows all the time, get one that isn’t known to talk as much. And then, on the other hand, if you want one to be “talkative” with you then find out if they are talkers. Again, have a list and ask as many questions as you can think of.
Bengal Kittens is friendly and will tolerate big hugs from you and your kids. But, as you well know, animals of any type must be watched around children. With this stronger, energetic cat, don’t leave your kids alone with them.
Cats can get very large if cared for the right way and may be anywhere from 8 lbs. to 15lbs. Some Bengal cat parents have reported their cat weighing in at around 20 pounds. They hold a lot of strength and lean muscles. Very strong animals!
They may or may not be pet-friendly. In the first 4 weeks, you should only be the one to interact with the feline. They tend to bond with the cat parents who interact with them more. After 4 weeks, introduce the cat to your kids or other pets.
While the kitten is young, if left alone with one of your other pets, it will bond with that particular pet and you will be a secondary need of companionship!
Toys: What kind of toys will be the best for this type of kitty? I have attached (see above pictures) some of Sparrow’s favorite toys so that you can see that there are pretty good toys available for your Bengal cat. Something that they can play with and not get bored too fast, they need a selection of toys and scratching posts with different textures for their nails.
A cat tree with lots of landing pads to jump to and climbing on with vertical spaces and different levels!. Perhaps one with hanging things and it must be very sturdy and if it doesn’t hold them, then they will become way too bored and won’t play with it!
Offer interactive play toys, make sure you take off any buttons, eyes, strings, ribbons, twine anything you can think of that they could swallow! Make sure if their toys get worn down and start to fall apart, to throw them away or else they will eat the stuffing and such and could get sick or make a huge mess!
They need to be walked on a daily basis and can learn very quickly to wear their harness and leash. Lots of exercise is the key to these felines. They are highly intelligent and can grow bored easily. They do need lots of brain stimuli to keep them out of trouble in a big cat way 🙂
What Can I Feed My Bengal? Raw Meat – No Really!
What kind of diet do I need to feed my Bengal cat?
For Bengal Kittens, start them off with nutritious, high quality dry food. And as they grow older, introduce them to canned food. Since the cat is more active, full of lots of energy they tend to need more food than your average domestic cat.
A domestic cat needs to eat half a can of food per day. A Bengal needs to eat a whole can per day. Now here comes the shocker! Bengal cats crave raw meat. Yes, they do. You have to be extra careful with feeding them raw meat. Don’t let it sit out for more than 20 minutes after they have eaten. Throw away what’s left in the bowl after the 20-minute mark.
What Kind of Raw Meats?
Beef: Ground Round, Beef Hearts Ground Sirloin, some regular hamburger with high-fat content, this is an iffy food. It’s not always good for them. It can cause their tummies to get upset.
Chicken: Bengals love their chicken! Cooked or raw. My cat Sparrow loves chicken breast from KFC! Haha! He soon learned to love the chicken I cooked. It was super funny. Anyhow back to what we were talking about! Make sure the chicken is unseasoned and boneless! Add this with the combination of their wet food and they have all the nutrients needed to grow strong and healthy and happy!
Offer them fresh meat for a change and then high-quality dry food, leaving the dry food accessible all day. This is called “self-feeding” They can munch on it from time to time. Whatever works for your cat. It’s all trial and error!
Plenty of water: Give them fresh water every day. I like to give my cats bottled water. If I’d rather drink bottled water because it tastes better. My cats’ will drink more water if it tastes better to them too!
Happy Healthy Love bug- I Love My Kitty and She Loves Me!
One more thing, the average life-span of a Bengal cat is anywhere from 16 to 20 years! Awesome, right!
They are available in several colors in different combinations: brown/black is the main color, other shades are black and silver, seal brown and silver, charcoal and blue. They have green eyes and are just so beautiful.
One more note: Just a short note on whether to give your cat “people food” what is safe and what to avoid?
Safe: Tomatoes, apples, bananas, marshmallows, sweet potatoes, carrots, bread and asparagus (some high quality organic/natural dry foods have sweet potatoes and carrots and peas in them)
Avoid: onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, spinach, swiss chard, chocolate and with some cats’ avoid milk, because cats tend to be lactose intolerant. (you can follow these “people” food guidelines for dogs too 🙂
If you have a Bengal cat, leave their pictures in the comment section. and If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them. Just drop me a note below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Thanks a lot for stopping by. I learned a lot about Bengal cats. I hope you did too!
All my best,
Donna Rayne & Sammie Mae
Founder of mrsparrowshealthycat.com
Writer and member of the partnership program at Quora.com