Bengal Cats – A Little Closer to the Wild

Bengal kitten
Have you ever admired an exotic-looking leopard print cat? Chances are it’s an Asian Bengal breed, started in the 1960’s, and they are quite the characters among felines! The Bengal is a hybrid of the Asian Leopard Cat and the domestic cat. What breeders call “Pet quality” costs from $1000-$2000 dollars, whereas a show quality Bengal can cost between $2000- $4500.

These cats are so highly intelligent, that they have been known to pull up heat vents, open doors, turn on faucets to drink, open cupboards where their food is kept, and figure out how to pull toys apart. Unfortunately, their smart personality can lend itself to becoming destructive if left alone all day while you work outside the home.

They are also extremely vocal and their social personality lends itself to “talking” to pet owners. In the evening, however, BEWARE! They are prone to caterwauling (a loud howl/cry that repeats over and over) especially when there is a full moon!

Additional Personality Qualities:
Extremely Active at Night
Need for Attention is High
Need to Vocalize is High
Very Curious
Enjoy Water
Can become destructive when Bored

As far as appearance, the Bengal’s rosette spots are aligned horizontally rather than in random or tabby configuration. Their fur has a ‘glitter gene’ that gives it an iridescent glow. Three recessive coat variations have been developed: the snow leopard, the marbled (often brown spotted), and the snow marbled (pale-white or cream background). Males can get up to 18 lbs and females are quite a bit smaller, averaging 10 lbs.

Bengal’s love fresh cooked chicken, and according to vets “Cats are carnivores, so they need protein and a common recommendation is a diet that is at least 30% protein.” Plenty of large water dishes should be left out, as this breed likes to dip its paw in and lick it off. They have also been known to enjoy a shower or bath, surprising their owner! If you have a fish tank – cautionary warning – they can figure out how to get the top off and paw at the fish within!

So if you are considering adoption of this breed, there are several things to consider: how often are you away from home, if you have the time to walk this cat or have a screened-in porch for their night-time antics, and if you are looking for a highly-interactive pet.

The Bengal is very affectionate and dangerously smart – yet it is a cat that is not for everyone. If you do not want to pay the big bucks to a breeder, here are several rescue organizations for Bengal cats:


  1. I have The Bengals many years but didn’t know they are prone to caterwauling when there is a full moon! I’ll be watching for them)

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