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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Bengal Cat

The Bengal is a sleek, muscular cat with a wild appearance, enhanced by the bold marbling and spotting on their thick, luxurious coat. Despite their striking appearance, physically there is nothing extreme about their build or structure, as this is a well-balanced cat without any exaggerated features, smallish ears, wedge shaped head, neat paws and athletic outline. 

The need-to-know
  • Benefits from an experienced owner
  • Needs high-level of enrichment including simulated hunting games and interactive play
  • Highly active and inquisitive cat
  • Independent but friendly
  • Slightly talkative cat
  • Lean and elegant cat
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Needs extensive outdoor space
  • Not ideal for family homes
  • Can be regularly left for a few hours
  • Needs a calm environment
Generally healthy breed

The Bengal cat breed is generally robust, however they can be prone to: 
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy¹ which is a disease where the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick which means the heart cannot beat effectively. 
- Progressive retinal atrophy which is an inherited disorder where part of the eye degenerates and wastes away which can result in blindness.
- Feline infectious peritonitis² which is an abnormal immune response to a viral infection. 
- Flat chested kitten syndrome which is a condition where the chest does not develop properly which can result in breathing difficulties. 
- Patellar luxation³ which is where the knee-caps slip temporarlily or permanently out of place. 
- Hip dysplasia³ which is where the hip joint does not develop normally. 
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency which is a disease that causes anaemia (death of red blood cells).  
- Peripheral neuropathy³ which is a disease affecting the nervous system.

Testing available:
- DNA testing for pyruvate kinase deficiency and progressive retinal atrophy  which tests whether or not a cat has the potential to be affected by these conditions.

¹M. Longeri et al, 'Myosin-Binding Protein C DNA Variants in Domestic Cats (A31P, A74T, R820W) and their Association with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy', 2013, Journal of Internal Veterinary Medicine
²L. D. Pesteanu-Somogyi, 'Prevalence of feline infectious peritonitis in specific cat breeds', Feb 2006, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
³A. M. Martinez-Caja et al, 'Behavior and health issues in Bengal cats as perceived by their owners: A descriptive study', 2021, Journal of Veterinary Behavior 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10 - 16 years
Weight:  3.6 - 7.7kg
Colours:  Bengal cats come in come with a spotted marble coat in brown, silver and snow. 

Ratings

Family-friendly: 1/5
Playfulness: 5/5
Intelligence: 5/5
Tendency to Vocalise:  2/5
Likes Other Pets: 5/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 2/5
Bengal is playing at home

Personality

Bengals make fabulous pets for experienced cat owners who love an active, curious and dog-like cat - and can keep them entertained with toys, games and plenty of environmental enrichment. No matter their appeal, if you are after a cat who lies around looking decorative and stays out of the way, the Bengal is not for you! They are into everything, highly amused by simple things such as a dripping tap or flowing water (watch them for knocking your water glass over to see the water spill!), they adore human company and will play for hours if you are willing - and even if you aren’t! This is not really a lap cat; they are simply too busy with stuff and things to want to settle on your lap for long. Although not typically a noisy cat, the Bengal is capable of a loud and strident cry when things are not going their way or they feel they are lacking attention

Woman is stroking Bengal cat, who is lying on the windowsill

History and Origins

Country of Origin: USA

The Bengal is a relatively modern cat, developed in the 1990s in the USA by crossing the Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis; a small, strikingly marked wild cat from South West Asia) with the domestic tabby cats and other short haired breeds such as the Abyssinian, Burmese, and Egyptian Mau. The original objective was to produce a pet cat with a sweet nature and resembling miniature leopard, as an alternative to dissuade people from keeping wild cats as pets. Prospective owners of Bengal kittens should note the ‘F number’, which indicates how many generations the kittens are away from the first cross. Be aware that a F1 (first cross between the wild cat and the domestic cat) requires a Dangerous Wild Animal Licence in the UK, however F2 onwards does not. 

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