10 fascinating facts about Bengal cats
From their wild origins to their glittery fur, these facts about Bengal cats will have you falling in love with this high energy breed
If you’re looking for some interesting facts about Bengal cats, you’ve come to the right place. The Bengal cat has quickly become one of the world’s most beloved breeds and it’s not hard to see why. With their striking good looks and outstanding athletic ability, the curious, charming, and up-for-anything Bengal makes for a truly wonderful companion.
Never happier than when they’re being kept entertained with the best cat toys, the Bengal is well known for getting into everything and being amused by the simplest of things - so if you’re after a docile lap cat, this intelligent and busy little kitty is definitely not for you!
The Bengal adores human company and is delightfully friendly, but that’s not the only reason to consider welcoming this sleek and slick little feline into your family. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite facts about the Bengal cat - and we have a feeling they’ll make you love this breed as much as we do.
1. They have wild origins
If you’ve ever wanted to own a miniature leopard, then the Bengal might just be the breed for you. With an appearance that would see them looking right at home in the jungle, the Bengal came about by crossing small, wild Asian leopards with domestic cats in the early 1900s.
These Asian leopard cats were also known as Felis Bengalensis, which is how the Bengal got its name, and their beautiful iconic markings were also passed down to the modern day Bengal whose striking coat and sleek body have seen them become increasingly popular amongst pet parents since they were officially recognized as a breed in 1991.
2. They have bucket loads of energy
Make no mistake about it - the Bengal is one high energy breed, so if you’re planning on welcoming one into your family, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of the best interactive cat toys on hand to keep this spirited and active feline happy when you’re too busy to play.
Bengals are naturally very alert - a trait required by their leopard ancestors to survive in the wild. Because they love to play with their humans and be frequently on the move, these athletic cats require lots of space to run and exercise freely.
3. Bengals are highly trainable
One of the most intelligent cat breeds, the Bengal has an abundance of curiosity and is known for being an exceptional learner. Incredibly easy to train, Bengals love to learn new tricks and training them is a wonderful way to help channel their inquisitive nature and intelligence into a productive activity.
4. They love water
While most cats aren’t overly fond of the wet stuff there are several cat breeds that like water and the Bengal is definitely one of them. Most Bengal cats love playing in water and some will even join their owners in the shower! It’s likely that this natural affinity for water is something that’s been passed down to them from their wild leopard ancestors who also happen to be very fond of getting wet.
If you own a Bengal, or are considering getting one, it’s worth investing in one of the best pet water fountains as this breed is drawn to moving water. Giving them a water fountain provides another object inside the home that engages their natural instincts and can direct their curiosity.
5. Two is better than one
Bengals are highly social and absolutely adore company. Thriving on consistent interaction, if you’re out and about a lot, it’s well worth considering getting a second fur baby who can be your Bengal’s playmate and companion - another Bengal or a similarly active breed would be the best fit.
6. They adore climbing
Astute climbers and powerful jumpers, you’ll want to ensure you have plenty of vertical space if you plan on having a Bengal in your home. Bengals, even more so than other cats, seek high spaces as their ancestor, the Asian leopard cat, is a tree-dwelling animal. Expect to find your Bengal frequently wandering along the countertop, lounging on top of the refrigerator, or exploring your bookshelves.
Because you’ll likely be sharing your furniture and appliances with the Bengal, it’s worth creating comfy spaces on top of these items for them to stretch out on. Consider placing a blanket on top of the fridge or tucking one into a space on your bookshelf so they can make themselves at home and investing in one of the best cat scratching posts is also well worth the money.
7. Bengals make wonderful traveling companions
Many Bengal owners say that their fur friend has a personality more like a dog than a cat, with a natural love of the outdoors and a fondness for camping, hiking, and water-based adventures. They usually do very well in a harness and on a leash and because they love exploring and being around people, they tend to be very flexible and adaptable when exposed to new environments.
8. They have glittery fur
It’s true! Put them in the right light and the coat of some Bengals will take on the most stunning glittery sheen that makes them look like they’ve been sprinkled with gold dust. This is the result of a recessive gene, which means in order for a Bengal cat’s fur to take on this glitter-like appearance, it must receive two copies of the glitter gene - one from each of its parents.
9. Bengals love to talk
If you’re looking for a chatty companion who will love nothing more than spending their day conversing with you, then look no further than the bubbly Bengal. Known to be vocal, Bengal cats are highly communicative and tend to be amongst the most talkative members of the kitty kingdom. It’s worth noting that their social nature means they’ll often follow their humans around the house, meowing frequently as a way of including themselves in what you’re doing - so if you’re after a quiet feline friend, the Bengal definitely isn’t for you.
10. They do best with an experienced owner
Because of their need for high levels of engagement and stimulation, Bengals do best with experienced owners who can give them the attention and enrichment they need to thrive both mentally and physically. Without this, they can become prone to getting into mischief and engaging in destructive behaviors, so while they are super affectionate and loyal, you’ll want to make sure you can provide a Bengal with everything they need to stay happy and healthy before welcoming one into your home.
Keen to find new ways to keep your fur friend entertained? Check out our guides on how to play with a cat and our favorite games for cats for plenty of inspiration and ideas.
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past three years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with a very mischievous Cocker Spaniel and a super sassy cat, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.