Thinking about buying a Bengal kitten or possibly a kitten? Whether you are buying a Bengal Kitten, Bengal Cat, or are already a Bengal cat owner or enthusiast here are 15 Bengal Cat facts written by someone who should know all about Bengal cats, me. I’m Dukey a two year old Bengal cat and these are my Bengal Cat Facts!
1. We Have Wild Ancestry
While the Bengal cat breed is a cross between the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) and domestic cats, most Bengal Kittens for sale are fully domesticated cats who have little wild blood. “Stud Book Tradition” or SBT cats are at least five generations away from their wild ancestors. While we Bengals have the wild look, we have the temperament of an active and loving tabby cat.
2. We Bengals Can Get Along With Dogs And Other Pets
Bengal cats can, and do, like dogs and other pets. As a one year old Bengal I used to have my own pet goldfish. I loved watching him and even batting at him occasionally but I never once tried to eat him. I knew he was my pet fish. When he died of natural causes, I was sad. I love a good dog. I think it’s fun to outsmart him and I might even be caught taking a catnap with one upon occasion. Don’t get me wrong, I am always the boss of the family pets but I’m a friendly, curious, and playful boss, who might clean your ears if needed. The one pet we might not be such a good roommate to is… a bird. Unless of course you are inviting them for dinner.
3. Many Bengal Cats Love Water
It’s not uncommon to see a Bengal cat who loves water. I think it’s so funny to hop in the nice warm bath tub before my human mom does. As soon as I hear water running, I’m off and running too! Even if you have a Bengal who doesn’t want to get in the bath with you, he will probably want to sit on the edge of the tub like a feline lifeguard during your bubble bath. I’m not all that fond of the shower – too much shampoo! God gave humans a tongue so I am not sure why they use that soap stuff? But some of my Bengal cousins love the shower. I like to drink water out of the running faucet in the kitchen sink. My sister Cheddar is curious about the water but she doesn’t love it like I do. If we had a pool, I might take a swim! Not every Bengal cat loves water but many do.
4. It’s Mine! It’s All Mine!
Do you remember old Looney Tunes cartoons featuring Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, where they would find a treasure while tunneling to Pismo Beach? Daffy would shout “It’s mine! It’s all mine!” Bengal cats feel that way too. When my mom wants to find her reading glasses, she checks under the bed. That’s because Cheddar the Bengal cat likes them and takes them. Everything is prey, everything belongs to us. If it sparkles, crinkles, smells like our humans, tastes good or not, or we just want it – were in! Between the two of us, Cheddar and I have taken many things not limited to checks, food wrappers, keys, stuffed toys, glasses, gloves, underwear, and even once, a piece of leftover lasagne. I like to hide things in the box on my cat tree while Cheddar like to shove things in between the mattress and the headboard of our human’s bed. We like to find things that we think are treasure and make them ours.
5. We Have Really Fast Paws!
Most cats are good hunters but no other cat can match the speed of our paws! If we are allowed outside we are great mousers and bird hunters. Play with us with a toy for a few minutes and you will see it is difficult to keep up with our fast paws! You are not fast enough to keep the toy away from us. We are agile, athletic and single minded when it comes to hunting prey.
6. The Australian Shepherd Of The Cat World
We Bengals are so smart and trainable, our mom calls us the Australian Shepherd of the Cat world. Cheddar likes to play fetch. I walk on a leash and its easy to leash train Bengals. I will do anything for a bye-bye ride. When my mom grabs her car keys I beg to go. I try to leap into her arms so she will carry me to the car! We know how to sit and come. We will get down off something when mom orders us to. We can open all of the doors in the house except the front door and we are still trying to figure that deadbolt thing out.
7. Go Potty!
We love the potty. We love it when you go potty too. We view it as together time. If I am going to get a bye-bye ride that is longer than it takes to drop the kids off at school, my mom will put me in the potty box and tell me to, “Go potty!” 9 times out of 10 I will obey. I also like to go potty when she goes potty and now we have a litter box in her bathroom. Probably you don’t want to know the backstory on that. Bottom line, pun intended, is when you go potty we want in too. That is actually the reason I first learned to open doors. Surprise! If you want private time in the potty, lock the door but don’t expects us not to cry outside of the door like we were babies if you don’t let us in because we are. Once my mom had to do something called a “clean out” for something called a “colonoscopy.” It was so much fun for both Cheddar and I to accompany her to the potty 16 times in one afternoon. I’m sure both of us both trying to sit on her lap was really helpful and added to her “clean out” experience. You can’t blame us if we assumed she was dying and were a little needy and clingy.
8. Up. Not The Movie “Up”, Just Up
Bengals love to climb up! We need access to tall places, shelves, tops of cabinets, cat trees, tops of doors. We want up and it is ingrained in our DNA to try to find the highest place in the house. We are not typically destructive climbing though. We don’t shred curtains or anything like that. We don’t have to because we can gracefully leap from the floor to the narrow top of an open door in a single bound. Our wild ancestors like to sleep in trees so we just like to be UP!
9. Are You Here to See Me?
Do you know how a lot of cats will run and hide as soon as guests arrive… not us. When the doorbell rings we assume it’s for us. Typically, we are curious and not afraid of people. Some Bengal cats may be shyer than others but in general we love to show off and meet new people. My mom still talks about the time both the plumber and I had plumbers cracks because we were both bent down on the floor butts up in the air fixing the leak under the kitchen sink.
10. Bengals get bored… and need new Toys.
We love toys! We love to play! We love new toys! But, we need toys that stimulate our intelligence and we get bored very easily. Puzzle toys, interactive toys, electronic toys are all great. But you should put them away and rotate them because we figure them out and get bored faster than a two year old at a formal dinner for your elderly aunt who has no children and no sense of humor. A bored Bengal can be a naughty Bengal.
11. Glittering Fur
Some lucky Bengals like Cheddar sparkle in the sunlight. She has a gold patina and inherited the “glitter gene,” which due to translucent hairs in her pelt makes her furry coat shimmer in the sun like she has been sprinkled with glitter. I am a red headed Bengal also known as “rufous.” In the sunlight I look like I am on fire I have such a red pelt. Red Bengals are rare so I feel compelled to confirm my father was not the comedian Carrot Top.
12. Can We Talk?
It’s possible that in addition to the Asian Leopard Cat we also have Oprah, Ellen, Dr Phil or the entire cast, both past and present of The View in our linage. We love to talk. We will carry on whole conversations with you, each other, ourselves, a bird out the window, and our toys. We don’t just meow either. We coo, chirp and make fun, soft funny noises that are adorable. Sound times we sound like an adorable rosetted feline version of R2-D2. When I want the car window rolled down so I can stick my head out while were driving through the Starbucks drive through, I will tell you about it. When I call for my sister Cheddar I have a special meow that starts with a purr and ends with an OW. Cheddar has a soft Ow she only uses when she is talking to mommy. When she doesn’t know where mommy is she has a panic loud meow that is rapid fire until mommy calls her. All cats meow, but Bengals try to converse with you.
13. Bengals Love Buffalo Wild Wings
Bengals love food. Their food, your food, all food. I love, love take out from Buffalo Wild Wings and I get it on my birthday. No bones, just some of the meat from the wings. While most cats don’t like sweet as a flavor, if you break out a cupcake both Cheddar and I will be there giving you our best version of puppy dog eyes. We are polite though. While we will try to go through the bags you brought home from the grocery store, we will not jump on the dinner table during meal times. We do best if you limit the people food and feed us a high quality grain free diet.
14. The Fuzzy Uglies
When picking up your new kitten, many new Bengal owners wonder why their Bengal cat looks more like a baby porcupine than a beautiful spotted or rosetted cat. Inherited from their Asian Leopard Cat lineage, this is a natural part of the pelt development process. From approximately three weeks to 4 months of age, a secondary set of dark fuzzy longer hair grows and then sheds. This natural process, often called the “fuzzy uglies” stage by many breeders is completely normal. Some have theorized that it is a camouflage to protect the Asian Leopard cat’s kittens from predators when they are young in the wild. A Bengal cat’s pelt will be fully developed by the time they reach three years old.
15. Bengals Are Not For The Inexperienced Cat Owner – NOT!
This is a vicious rumor started by folks who are uneducated and write articles about owning a Bengal without ever having owned a bengal. We are perfect for first time cat owners. We are; smart, engaged, loving, gentle, funny, active pets, and members of your family. First time cat owners should always buy a STB, or Stud Book Tradition Bengal which is what responsible breeders would sell a first time cat owner. We are just like owning a tabby cat except, we are smarter, remain kitten-like, playful our whole lives, we want a relationship with you, we are trainable and enjoy dogs and children. We are not difficult to handle, we just aren’t going to sleep 20 hours a day like the average four year old cat. We are amazingly beautiful both outside and inside. My mom really hates people perpetuating the myth that Bengals are for first time owners only and rescues are full of Bengals. Anyone who has been on a waiting list for a rescue for years will tell you that they are no more prone to being surrendered than any other breed. My mom checked our local cat shelter for five years and not a single Bengal was ever surrendered before she bought me from a breeder. We are more difficult, were just more intelligent. It’s true that if you want a cat that will sleep all day and hide when company comes, we might not be the breed for you. But if you are looking for a cat that comes when you call, likes to be with you and can learn tricks and is fun, first time cat owner or not, we might be just what you are looking for.