The Bengal: an energetic house tiger

The Bengal: an energetic house tiger

Bengaal in krabpaal Charlotte 180

A Bengal is beautiful, intelligent and active. This breed cat has strong hunting instincts and is particularly temperamental. Do you enjoy spending a lot of time with your cat? Then this cat breed could suit you well!

In this blog:

  • The origins of the Bengal
    The appearance of a Bengal
    The fur of the Bengal
    The nature of the Bengal
    The care of the Bengal
    Diseases and disorders of the Bengal
    How old will the Bengal become?
    Would you like to buy a Bengal?
    Some fun facts about the Bengal
A wild Asian leopard cat laying down on a rock

The origins of the Bengal

This breed was first experimented with in America. So around 1963, a breeder thought it would be nice to cross an Asian Plover cat with an ordinary domestic cat. After all, she wanted to develop a breed that had the ‘looks’ of a wild cat and the character of a tame domestic cat. And they succeeded. At least, a few generations on. The first Bengals were anything but tame – these cats were too temperamental and wild to be kept as pets. That came three generations later. In 1983, the Bengal was given breed-experimental status and in 1991, the breed was officially recognised.

4 different Bengals using Petrebels products
Bengal Zena in a cave of the Charlotte 180 – Two Bengals on our Ragdoll 200 – A Bengal chilling in a Luxury Sleeper XL hangmat

The appearance of the Bengal

Bengals are medium to large. Adult females weigh between 3.5 and 4.5 kilos. Males 4.5 to 7 kilos, but there are exceptions – there are Bengals weighing as much as 10 kilos.

The Bengal’s build is muscular and athletic. This allows them to jump enormously high both horizontally and vertically – a piece of legacy from their wild ancestors. Their legs are longer than those of an ordinary domestic cat and their paws are round and large. The head has many round contours, is wedge-shaped and wide. Their ears are small or medium-sized and their eyes are large and oval. And their tail is beautiful – it is short, thick and has a black rounded tip.

The fur of the Bengal

The coat of this beautiful pedigree cat is short and, because of the patterns, can be traced directly back to the Asian Spotted cat they were crossed with. There are Bengals with a spotted pattern: these are single-coloured or multi-coloured spots aligned horizontally on the body. The belly also has that pattern. On the cheeks and neck, you will see clearly defined stripes.

Bengals with a marbled pattern can be recognised by a coat that resembles that of a cypher cat. It is called blotched. This pattern is also horizontally aligned and has three different shades. With both patterns, different colours are possible: Seal Lynx, Seal Mink, Seal Sepia, Silver, Silver Snow Seal Lynx, Brown/black tabby, Silver Snow Seal Mink and Silver Snow Seal Mink.

Young Bengal cat with yellow green eyes staring at the camera with a head tilt

The character of the Bengal

Bengals are known for their active and restless nature, temperament and energy. So enough exercise space and a safe and protected outdoor enclosure are really necessary if you take a Bengal into your home. Bengals are smart and curious and need to be stimulated to be healthy and happy. Plenty of strong and challenging toys will help with that. A suitable cat tree for a Bengal is definitely needed too – preferably a high and stable scratching post that can take a beating. Because Bengals are strong and like to climb and jump.

If you choose a Bengal, you are choosing a mate for life. They get very attached to their owner. This also means that you need to set aside a lot of time for this breed of cat. They love attention from ‘their people’ and find a fellow cat in the house very cosy.

The care of the Bengal

A Bengal’s coat is short and does not need much grooming – an occasional brushing is enough. And of course, a good cat owner always takes the best care of his pet:

  • a safe home
    a well-protected outdoor enclosure
    love, attention and plenty of time to play
    good food and plenty of fresh water every day
    always clean litter trays
    a nice cat basket and sturdy toys
    a scratching post that suits the character of a Bengal
    protection against ticks, worms and fleas
    regular visits to the vet for check-ups
    vaccinations against feline diseases

Diseases and disorders in the Bengal

Due to its size and breeding programme, the Bengal is unfortunately prone to hereditary diseases, as many as eight different types:

Hip dysplasia (HD) with a lot of hip pain
eye disease (PRA) with a chance of blindness
increased risk of bladder stones (Urolithiasis)
Pyruvate kinase deficiency, which is a disturbed energy metabolism of the red blood cells
Breast cancer
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) (infectious peritonitis)
Neonatal iso-erythrolysis (immune reaction against own red blood cells)
Tritrichomonas foetus (colon inflammation due to parasitic infection)

The last three conditions occur very rarely in the Netherlands and are therefore rare. But for the completeness of this list, we have mentioned them (source: Animal and Law).

How old does a Bengal get?

Bengal cats have the same life expectancy as ordinary domestic cats. They live to be between 12 and 16 years old. Realise this well before you get a cat. A kitten is super cute, but it also gets older and needs care. That will cost you time and money.

Buying a Bengali

Do you like active cats and enjoy spending a lot of time with your cat? Then a Bengal is definitely an asset. But then be prepared to give the cat the attention and care it deserves throughout its life. And keep in mind that care also costs money. Want to buy a Bengal kitten? Never do so from a bread or hobby breeder or from Marktplaats. Always buy a healthy and happy cat from a good cattery or recognised breeder who is a member of a breed association.

Some more fun facts about the Bengal

  • Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Seinfield, and Kirsten Stewart have a Bengal
    You can easily teach Bengals tricks and train them to walk on a leash
    Some Bengals have a special gene and therefore a coat that glitters

Disclaimer: Petrebels does not consist of veterinarians or behavioral experts: all content, information and tips on this blog are intended to inspire and inform you. Does your cat have complaints or problems and do you have doubts about your cat’s health? Then always go to the vet or a behavioral expert.

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Katten slapen gemiddeld 16 uur per dag en doen dat vol overgave: er wordt gerekt, gestrekt en schaamteloos gegaapt. Heerlijk. De Luie Rebel is er wel héél goed in. Die laat rennen en spelen liever aan een ander over en ploft met gemak overal neer voor een overheerlijk dutje. Maar het liefst ligt deze Rebel in een lekker zacht mandje of hangmatje.

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Katten hebben van nature de behoefte om hun nagels te scherpen. Ze markeren daarmee hun territorium en worden er ontspannen en blij van. De Krabbel Rebel weet van geen ophouden als het om krabbelen gaat. Maak van je huis daarom een feestje voor deze Rebel en zet één (of meer) goede krabpalen neer.

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Buitenkatten houden van hun vrijheid en van avontuur. Ze verstoppen zich vaak in struiken en houden de hele buurt in de gaten. Ze kunnen zich uren vermaken met rondvliegende insecten en nemen – als het even meezit – een echte muis voor je mee naar huis. De Outdoor Rebel komt thuis om gezellig met de baasjes te kroelen en rustig te eten. En stelt het op prijs als er een fijn plekje is om uit te rusten voor het volgende avontuur.

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Sommige katten blijven liever binnen. Of het baasje wil dit graag. Indoor Rebels vinden het heerlijk om naar buiten te kijken – naar al het spannends wat zich daar afspeelt. Je maakt deze katten blij door het binnen net zo spannend te maken als buiten. Prikkel hun instincten met speeltjes en krabmeubels waar ze lekker in kunnen klimmen, want dan blijven ze gelukkig en gezond.

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Cats sleep up to 16 hours a day with full commitment: lots of stretching and shameless yawning… Mhmm, delicious. The lazy Rebel masters this trait like no other and prefers to leave the running and playing to someone else. This lazy napper is able to lie down anywhere to take a well-deserved rest, but they prefer a nice and soft hammock or basket.

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Cats naturally have the need to sharpen their nails. This way they mark their territory. It also makes them relaxed and happy. The scratching Rebel will never stop when it comes to this. Transform your house into a “scratching paradise” for this Rebel and supply it with one or several good cat trees.

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Outdoor cats love adventure and freedom. They often hide in bushes to keep an eye on their surroundings. They can entertain themselves for hours with bugs flying around and they might even take home a real mouse for you! The outdoor Rebel will come home to cuddle with its owner and to eat peacefully. This adventurer would appreciate it if there is a nice spot in your house to rest before the next adventure.

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Some cats prefer to stay inside, this can also be a decision made by the owner. Indoor Rebels enjoy watching the outside world – and everything exciting that happens there. You can make these cats happy by making the indoor world just as exciting as the outdoor world. Stimulate their senses with toys and cat furniture in which they can climb. This way they remain healthy and happy.

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Katzen schlafen durchschnittlich 16 Stunden pro Tag und tun dies voller Hingabe. Sie strecken sich, dehnen sich und gähnen unverhohlen. Herrlich! Der faule Rebell ist sehr gut darin. Er überlässt das Toben und Spielen am liebsten jemand anderem und macht stattdessen lieber ein kleines Nickerchen. Am liebsten bevorzugt dieser Schläfer ein weiches Sofa oder ein gepolsterte Liegefläche.

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Katzen haben von Natur aus das Bedürfnis, ihre Nägel zu schärfen. Damit markieren sie zum einen ihr Territorium und verhindern zum anderen, dass die Nägel zu lang werden und einwachsen. Kratzen, wetzen und schärfen macht sie entspannt und glücklich. Der Kratz-Rebell kennt dann auch kein Halten mehr, wenn es ums Wetzen und Kratzen geht. Mach dein Zuhause also zu einer Partyzone für diesen Rebellen und stelle einen (oder mehrere) gute Kratzbäume mit viel Wetzmöglichkeiten auf.

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Freigängerkatzen lieben die Freiheit und das Abenteuer. Oft verstecken sie sich im Gebüsch und behalten die ganze Nachbarschaft im Auge. Sie können sich stundenlang mit fliegenden Insekten vergnügen, streunen herum und bringen im schlimmsten Fall eine Maus als Geschenk mit nach Hause. Der Outdoor-Rebell kommt nur nach Hause, um mit den Besitzern eventuell zu kuscheln und sich sein Fressen servieren zu lassen. Und er schätzt es über alle Maßen, wenn er einen schönen, gemütlichen Platz am liebsten auf einem Kratzbaum zum Ausruhen für das nächste Abenteuer angeboten bekommt.

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Einige Katzen sind reine Indoor-Rebellen. Entweder, weil sie es vorziehen in einem warmen und gefahrlosen Zuhause zu leben oder weil der Besitzer dies so möchte. Indoor-Rebellen lieben es nach draußen zu schauen – und das aufregende Leben draußen aus sicherer Entfernung zu beobachten. Diese Katzen sind glücklich, wenn man drinnen die gleichen Abenteuer simuliert, die sie draußen beobachten können. Stimuliere deren Instinkte mit Spielzeug und Kratzmöbeln, in denen sie herumklettern und toben können, damit sie gesund, agil und glücklich bleiben.

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