bengal cats frequently asked questions
Bengal Cats are hybrids; they are the result of a cross between the Domestic Cat and the Asian Leopard Cat, which is a small wildcat found in Asia. It is a new breed and was recognised by The International Cat Association in 1986.
Bengal Cats are intelligent and inquisitive and have a beautiful wild coat with striking stripes and spots. Bengal Cats are not very far removed from their wildcat ancestry, and therefore are considered to be on the wild side compared to other domestic cat breeds.
Prices vary depending upon the Bengal Cat Standard which includes the shape of the head, ears, eyes, nose, neck, torso, tail, legs, feet, texture, color, pattern and contrast. To learn more about the Bengal Cat Standard please click here to educate yourself on the points allotted to Bengal Cats that are entered in various shows and what the judges look for to determine the winner. Also the price will depend upon whether or not you wish to purchase a pet or a breeder. Some older cats are sold at lower prices and retired breeders are also sold for substantially less than kittens.
If you are purchasing a kitten as a pet, the price will range from $1800-2500.
If you are purchasing a kitten for breeding purposes, the price will range from $2500-4000.
Like most domestic cats, Bengals get along with other animals and children. It is important to introduce your kitten to other animals and children slowly while under supervision. Some cats will be open to new animals their entire lives, while others will need early introduction to accept other animals into their family.
When introducing children to a new cat or kitten it is important to ensure the child knows how to safely and gently handle the kitten. Animals can react aggressively if they are hurt or scared. Children need to understand cat body language and boundaries for a peaceful relationship. Many cats love children and will put up with a lot more rough behaviour from a child than they would an adult.
Every breed of cat meows and ‘talks’ but the Bengal Cat breed specifically loves to communicate everything that they do and could possibly want at that moment. If they are hungry they won’t be shy to let you know and are very vocal about this and will always want to let you know if they see something exciting like a bird outside close to the house or cat toy just out of range!
Bengal cats make a variety of sounds, tones and pitches which will tend to get louder and higher if they are ignored or if they are really desperate for that treat for example!
Not all Bengal cats are talkative mind you but are a general tendency for Bengal cats on average.
Firstly we must point out that not all Bengal cats like water, but in general the Bengal Cat breed does love water, they are an extremely inquisitive breed and find water fascinating, so much so that most times their drinking bowl will have much of its content on the floor, so placing their water somewhere it won’t ‘soak in’ is a good idea.
You can often find a Bengal cat ‘pawing’ at water, especially running water from a tap, for example, they can sit and play with running water for a long time. Bengal Cats also love to swim (again not all but generally), this could very well be a trait they have inherited from the Asian leopard cat.
As an owner of multiple Bengals over the years and breeding Bengals, we always recommend feeding your Bengal cat or kitten with exactly what the breeder was giving before you homed him/her. The reason is that a small kittens stomach can be sensitive and a sudden change of their food can upset their digestive system. Whether the kitten was eating dry or wet food, it’s always important to purchase the same brand.
Any changes you might want to make in terms of brand, dry or wet food, will need to be mixed in with whatever food your kitten was given and gradually over time, you can increase the amounts of the new brand in small increments.
Bengal cats do not need any special type of food, we personally gave our kittens dry food, which we felt helped clean their teeth, with the occasional treat such as boiled chicken or even a wet food pouch. This is, of course, all preference and it’s always best to speak with the Bengal breeder you are homing your kitten or cat from.
Bengal cats are highly intelligent which makes them perfect for training, as long as you put the time and effort involved in achieving what it is you’re wanting them to do. Training them in our personal experience is relatively easy, we recommend using a clicker to mark and feed a tasty treat when your Bengal has completed something you’re trying to train.
Bengal cats shouldn’t really be let out in public and left to roam free as there are far too many dangers, so teaching them to walk with a harness is the perfect solution. At first, just introduce the harness but don’t make a fuss about it, leave it near their bedding so they can familiarize themselves with it and their scent can be absorbed onto the harness.
Once they are comfortable in having this ‘new’ object near them, (this may take a few minutes or even up to a few days depending on the cat), then try attaching it to your Bengal and just allow them to walk around without a lead to get used to it. In our experience the younger the cat is when trained, the easier it is, but it’s certainly not impossible with older cats. Once you attach the harness I find it’s the perfect time to play games with them, the ones I really recommend are the feathers attached to the strings, but please be careful and purchase the strong type as feathers can choke a Bengal so always supervise play times like this.
After your Bengal cat becomes used to walking around with the harness you can then introduce the lead in the same way you did the harness, after they get comfortable with the lead, you can then attach and use the clicker method to entice them forward, with each good movement in the direction you want them to go, click and treat.
Be aware that this may take weeks or even months but is very rewarding when you and your Bengal cat have achieved something new!
The short answer is that Bengal cats have the same average lifespan of all other cats, they do not suffer from any breed specific problems that lead them to have shorter lifespans than any other breed.
Just like all cats (or animals) when they have a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet along with regular exercise they will live very healthy lives. It’s important to make sure you give your Bengal cat the best that you can and allow them to run freely around the house so they may receive plenty of exercise. Make sure to continually take your Bengal cat to there veterinary check-ups so that they can make sure your Bengal cat is healthy and all their vaccinations are up to date.
Of course like we have said throughout this Questions and Answers, there is no strict number anyone can give about any cat breed, however, they can roughly live between 12-16 years, sometimes more and sometimes less.
Bengal cats hardly shed at all in comparison to other domestic cats, so a new owner of a Bengal cat will be happily surprised to find they won’t shed all over the house like many domestic cats do. It’s a real positive about the Bengal breed and one that is most welcome.
Certain circumstances can cause them to shed more (like any other cat), however, possible reasons for this could simply be to do with the weather, or that they feel particularly stressed or anxious. A change of diet could solve it too, it’s always best to go through each step to determine what it might be over time.
You should groom your Bengal cat once weekly, making sure to remove dead hairs and avoid any matting that might occur, although very unlikely due to their short hair. Grooming and brushing like this once a week will also allow your Bengal cats skin to breath underneath, avoiding skin flaking and help distribute their natural oils all over their beautiful coat.