Bengal Cat Breed

10 Sweet Bengal Cat Facts You Haven’t Heard Before

Are you thinking about adopting a Bengal cat? Perhaps you already have one of your very own that you’d like to get to know more about?

Before buying this breed, make sure you know all the important Bengal cat facts.

From their price range to personality, we’ve got all the Bengal cat facts you should be aware of about these fiercely lovable felines.

Check out the following Bengal cat facts that are sure to me-wow you!

The Top 10 Brilliant Bengal Cat Facts to Know Your Feline Friend a Little Better

1. Where These Cats Come From–Wild & Wonderful DNA

Asian Leopard Cat
© Emmanuel Keller

First thing’s first, where do these cats even come from? The first of our Bengal cat facts will answer this question with the brief history of Bengal cats.

Here are the Bengal cat facts you need to know about how these cats came about:

  • Domestic Bengal cats come from hybrids, a cross between the Asian Leopard Cat and a domestic cat.
  • Documentation of the hybrid reaches back as early as the 1800s.
  • Various people developed the Bengal breed.
  • Jean S. Mill was the most notable developer of Bengals. Through careful breeding in the 1970s and 80s, Mill had the aim of harnessing the beauty of the wild cat while maintaining the temperament of the domestic cat. (And she nailed it!)

2. They Can be Controversial Cats

Unfortunately, one of the sad Bengal cat facts is that they’re not greeted with open arms from all.

While their descent makes them unique and intriguing, the wild and wonderful DNA of Bengal cats also makes them controversial in some circles.

By 1985, Jean Sugen Mill had bred numerous Bengals. She then began to show them at cat shows hosted by The International Cat Association (TICA)–one of the world’s largest registries of pedigreed cats.

However, kind greetings weren’t waiting for the new kitties. Instead, cat breeders protested.

Some cat breeders complained it was dangerous to show cats descended from non-domestic wild animals, while others claimed that it was unethical to breed threatened or endangered wildcats with domestic ones.

Although the new feline wasn’t accepted by all, the exotic cat still managed to find fans. Clubs such as The International Bengal Cat Society (TIBCS) were formed to celebrate the breed.

3. What Bengals are Known For

Bengal cat fur coat
What’s the first thing you and many people notice about the Bengal cat? Most likely, your answer is their wonderful coat.

One of the better known Bengal cat facts is that these kitties have crazy cool coats!

The Famous Bengal Markings

Bengals are known for their distinctive spotted or “marbled” fur.

Bengals have two basic fur patterns. These include the spotted pattern, which is more common, and a less common swirly marbled pattern.

Both the spotted and marble fur patterns are often tri-colored and have various shades throughout that form the unique markings.

It’s this tri-coloring that gives spotted Bengals “rosettes.” These cats have several different types of rosettes, and those rosettes are in different stages of development on each cat.

A rosette is where each individual spot has an outline of a darker color. This is what gives Bengals a similar look to that of a Jaguar or Leopard.

Not all Bengals have defined rosettes. Some have spots that appear more like a Cheetah, with no outline of color.

Other Bengal Cat Coat Characteristics

No two cat’s markings are exactly alike.

The most popular Bengal cat colors are brown/black. However, these cats can come in a variety of shades, including black and silver, snow (white), charcoal, and blue.

Not only is it beautiful visually, but the Bengal cat coat is also very soft and sleek.

Because of this, Bengals “glitter.”

That’s right, their distinctively patterned fur is short, silky, and often “sparkles” at the tips! You can see this with many Bengals who seem to shine in the light as it permeates through their hair shafts.

4. How Bengals Feel About Water

While the threat of getting wet sends most cats into a frenzy of fear, leaving them clamoring for cover, Bengals, on the other hand, love water!

These water-loving felines will gladly drink directly from the tap if allowed.

Don’t find it strange if your Bengal follows you right into the shower or bathtub, as this is even a common habit of some Bengals, believe it or not.

If you’re looking for a little alone time when bathing, close the door but be prepared for some major meowing and complaining from your Bengal.

5. Bengals Get Bored

The image that comes to the mind of most when talking about domestic cats is those furry felines laying in the sun, snoozing the day away.

However, Bengals are not typical house cats.

One of the most important Bengal cat facts to know about your feline friend is that they need entertainment. This breed is very smart, and they require a lot of attention and the right toys to keep them occupied.

What do we mean by the right toys?

Good old stuffed mice won’t do the trick for these guys. Toys with puzzles to solve are best for the curious Bengal breed.

Keep in mind that if you don’t provide your Bengal with adequate entertainment, he’ll find ways to make his own fun. This can include destroying your electronics or getting into and/or damaging things he/she shouldn’t.

6. These are Some Costly Cats

Adopting a Bengal cat often means big bucks.

If you want to purchase a Bengal, start saving up, as fans of the breed can pay anywhere from hundreds of dollars for a “pet” quality Bengal to thousands for a show-quality one.

A “pet” quality Bengal simply means it’s not a kitty meant to be exhibited at shows.

There’s even a rumor that one British woman paid over $50,000 for her Bengal in 1990. This kitty was then known as the “Roll’s Royce” of cats.

7. Bengals are Active & Athletic

Large Bengal Cat
While Bengals may look like wildcats, they’ve been bred to have the personality of a typical house cat.

Bengal owners are known to describe their cats as intelligent, vocal, and very active.

Bengals are excellent jumpers and climbers as well.

They love to climb on furniture, leap up onto high surfaces, splash around in bathtubs and sinks–they even love a great game of fetch. That’s right, pups, fetch is for felines as well!

This means, if you’re looking for a lazy lap cat or docile pet, the Bengal isn’t the one for you.

On the other hand, however, if you’re an energetic person who can keep up with a highly active cat, these kitties might be just the companion for you!

This breed would work best with those with a high-intensity lifestyle.

8. You Can Teach Tricks to Your Bengal

One of the better known Bengal cat facts is that this breed is highly intelligent. They are also hungry for attention.

Because of these characteristics, these are among the easiest cats to train.

We’ve already mentioned that Bengals can play fetch. This is one example of a simple trick to teach Bengals.

Another example of an easy trick you can teach your Bengal is how to turn on and off light switches.

9. Bengals Love…

Stealing

If you’re having a hard time finding your car keys, your Bengal just might be the culprit.

Some Bengals can be little thieves.

These cute crooks tend to do whatever they please with whichever objects throughout your home grab their interest.

This means, don’t leave important items laying out as fair game. Instead, keep your Bengal out of your things by offering him/her plenty of cat-friendly toys.

The Leash

Bengals love the leash. Unlike most adult cats, who will likely leave you with several scratches if you try to put a leash on them, Bengals are much easier to leas-train.

This even holds true with Bengal adults–who says an old cat can’t learn new tricks?

It’s recommended that Bengals mostly remain an indoor pet, due to their tendency and ability to hunt birds.

However, you can allow your Bengal to explore the outdoors safely if you train your feline friend to walk on a leash.

Talking

The Bengal breed is very vocal. These talkative kitties can also be remarkably loud when they want something.

A Bengal will surely let you know when it’s time for dinner or he/she wants to play.

With that being said, however, Bengal meows can also be adorable, expressive, and fun to hear.

10. Beautiful Bengal Physical Features

Bengal Cat Noises

Size

One of the Bengal cat facts you should surely be aware of before buying a Bengal is their size.

While Bengal babies, like any other kitties, will be small at first, these guys can get quite large.

Male Bengals weigh between 10 to 15 lbs on average. Females will weigh in around 8 to 12 lbs, usually.

Of course, don’t be surprised if you get some even bigger than that, or find a few who are smaller too. So, don’t be concerned if your Bengal is outside of those averages.

Head, Ears & Eyes

Other interesting Bengal cat facts include these physical features of this beautiful breed, which include the following:

  • Head: The head of the Bengal should be quite small in comparison to the body.
  • Ears: Bengals will have small ears too. This is reminiscent of their wild cat ancestry.
  • The ears should also have a “thumbprint.” This refers to a patch where the fur is very short, in the shape of a thumb.
  • Eyes: Bengals typically have large oval eyes that are green, gold/yellow, or aqua/blue.

While these Bengal cat facts may be new to you, we want to hear your own unique Bengal cat facts if you have a kitty of this breed! Tell us about different characteristics of your Bengal.

Is your Bengal a perfect example of all the Bengal cat facts described above, or is he/she different in various ways? Comment below!

Laurent Jaccard

As a Bengal cat owner of fifteen years, Laurent writes about his favorite cat breed to share his passion with other owners and enthusiasts. Laurent is a webmaster and graphic designer by profession, photographer and animal lover by heart.

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13 Comments

  1. Hello I have a Bengal cat that I got from a rescue in Maine she was found outdoors by her self. She was then adopted and brought back three months later the family obviously not knowing that the breed has special and unique needs.

    My cat is extremely playful yet extremely fearful. She hides all the time, will not come out at all if anybody else is in the house she will come out for me and let me play with her but she will not let me touch her .

    She is extremely intelligent curious is all get out and will cry for my attention but I find it extremely sad that I cannot get her to let me pet her she will let me touch her occasionally if I trick her with a cat toy there is some fear that she may have rolling skin disease or I don’t know the official name for him she cries an awful lot but more like communicating with me .

    She has a big appetite. They believe that she may have been bred with a dwarf cat or that she comes from a dwarf line because she’s not a very big cat at all not even by a cat standards let alone a bangle. I’m concerned for her as I want her to be happy and maybe she is happy and I just don’t know it and I’m being selfish because I think she should want to be patted ?

    I would love to hear from anyone who has any expertise on a bangle that was a stray and then found to be timid and fearful and what are some of things I can do to help her bond with human beings and allow her to be more confident. Please respond with any suggestions thank you

  2. I got my Bella ( female snow bengal) only a week ago. We have had before BSH which we have lost to sudden illness. I’ve always admired Bengals and I decided to get more active cat, but boy oh boy! She is two years old only and suddenly I found myself rearranging my house. She loves stealing. Pencils, pens, car keys and I ‘m late for work! Climbing everywhere. Demanding belly rubs when I ‘m trying to cook. I’m so fascinated by her although still learning her behaviour and habits. She ticks all characteristics of Bengal, not to mention getting into shower with me!

  3. I do love my 2 year old Bengal but he doesn’t love me. Very standoffish, does not head butt, can’t be picked up nor does he get close at all. Once in a while he’ll let me pet him but not for long. Can’t clip his nails but he uses the scratching pole and chews his nails. Bought him from a reputable breeder and paid a small fortune for him. I do try to engage him in play, not interested for long. Does not like any toys but I do try to make him think for his treats. Any advise?

    1. You know Ginnie, “Love” is a human word and it shows differently for every animal. Some people feel like my Bengal is not affectionate (in their standards), because he doesn’t like to be picked up and if you approach too close, he will leave. He has his own ways. He also never purrs. But, he has been sleeping between my legs almost every single night for the past 10 years, follows me everywhere and shows a bit of affection on his terms, when he wants it, like a real cat. I don’t really like to use the word Love, I prefer the word Trust. It’s something you have to develop with every animal, it can take longer for some but when it’s there, it’s beautiful, priceless and you can see it in their eyes and body language that they know you have their back. Bengal are especially very loyal. Usually the more you ignore a cat, the more they’ll come to you. Also, I feel like cats are good at detecting bad vibes in a person. If you are relaxed and distant they will show more interest than if you are stressed or overwhelming (even if it doesn’t show).

    2. When you say he doesn’t like any toys. Are you sure you’ve tried enough, the right way, with the right toys? I have three cats at home. My Bengal loves playing when I make him chase toys with feathers. The other two love chasing lasers but not the Bengal. They love hunting, so you have to tease them, play with the feather toy by mimicking a bird flying, not too fast, not too slow. Let him grab the prey once in a while. Sometimes I hide and sometimes he is the one hiding. They really love to ambush you (the toy). It has to be challenging. If you are not having fun with it , they also won’t. Playing like that twice a day for 10 or 15 minutes really help to create a bond too.

    3. lol. im sure he loves you just as much as you love that little ****er.. They are very smart cats so he is probably just trying to protect you by hiding his feelings.. hehe great cats none the less. They are beautiful and well bread.

  4. I have had 5 bengals over the last 20 years and each one is unique in personality and characteristics. All love water and playing fetch, fantastic companion to dogs and children as well.
    Love them so much their vocal chatters but not so much the insatiable hunting skills lol.

  5. My Bengal Kito is almost 12 years old. He came to live with me about 6 years ago. He had belonged to my Parents. Kito refuses to use a litter box! We have had hundreds of tests at the Vet. I have tried every size litter box and every litter known out there. I finally trained him to stay in my fenced in back yard and use a cat door. He also requires me to walk him on a leash particularly at night as he quickly gets bored with the backyard. I still keep a litter box and occasionally once every 6 months he likes to humor me and use it. I DO NOT BELIEVE IN DECLAWING and have luckily never had my furniture destroyed and I’ve had 4 cats in my adult life. I’ve always done the same trick to keep them from clawing regardless if they were kittens, or older cats when I got them and have had great success.

  6. While our Bella does like to run , jump and play, she is a cuddle bug. She likes to be held. Bella will walk next to me then put her arms up my legs until I pick her up and hold her. She sleeps curled up next to me. She also has to be in my lap or above my head on my chair as I work.

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