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Bengal Cat

Published on 1 Feb 2021

Bengal Cat cleaning his paws

Descended from Asian Leopard Cats, Prionailurus bengalensis, the Bengal is a wild looking cat, who has an energetic and affectionate heart. 

The Bengal breed originated in the USA, when cat fancier Jean Mill crossed an Asian Leopard Cat (which at that time were sold in pet stores) with a domestic cat. The resultant hybrids were bred to eventually form the Bengal cat we know today. Most recognised cat associations require that the Bengal is at least four generations removed from any of the wild ancestors, so the Bengal cat is rather removed from his wild roots. 

They are a muscular, large cat weighing up to 6kgs. The coat colours are typically brown and spotted, seal lynx point, sepia, silver, and mink spotted tabby. They have a life expectancy of around 10 to 17 years.

Bengal Cat Breed Facts & Characteristics

Origin

USA, 1970’s 

Size 

20 to 30cms,  3 to 6kgs

Weight range

3 to 6kgs

Colours

Brown Spotted, Seal Lynx Point (snow), sepia, silver, and mink spotted Tabby 

Life expectancy

10 to 17 years

Coat

Short, minimal brushing required

Temperament 

Active, playful, affectionate 

Exercise requirements

High 

Best suited for 

Singles, couples, families 

Apartment friendly

Yes 

Personality 

Bengals are active cats who tend to like water. They enjoy human company and are generally a prominent member of the household. 

Bengals typically love playtime which helps keep them fit and healthy. Be sure to provide your Bengal with plenty of cat trees and toys to play with.

Grooming 

With a short sometimes rough coat, they don’t need a lot of grooming, but gentle, regular brushing helps to remove shedding fur as well as helps you to bond with your cat. 

You may not notice your cat scratching like you would with a dog, but the cat flea "Ctenocephalides felis" is the most common flea found on both dogs and cats. So, make sure your kitty is on flea and tick control all year round to prevent these nasty parasites. 

Feeding

When choosing a food for your Bengal, select a premium food appropriate to your cat's age and life stage. As Bengal’s can have urinary tract problems, consider foods that include urinary tract protection. Ensure that you follow the recommended feeding guides on the food appropriate to your pet's size to help avoid obesity and ensure your fur baby gets appropriate nutrition. 

Bengal Cat ready for hunt

Common Health Concerns 

According to PetSure data from 2019, the five most common reasons for a Bengal cat to visit the vet (excluding for routine visits like vaccinations) are as follows:

Feline Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an inherited disease in Bengal cats. In hypertrophic cardiomyopathy the heart muscle becomes abnormally thickened, impairing heart function. 

Traumatic accidents are also common in this breed. It may be possible to help your Bengal cat avoid outdoor accidents by keeping them indoors or in a suitable cat friendly enclosure. 

Most common pet insurance claims for this breed, (PetSure data, 2019) 

RankConditionAverage cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)
Highest cost for single treatment
(highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)
1Traumatic accident/fracture$400$5,300
2Gastrointestinal tract conditions$352$4,083
3Respiratory tract condition
(including feline asthma)
$429$2,930
4Urinary tract disease$323$1,832
5Cancer $499$3,671

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

 

Bengal Cat getting chin scratched.jpg

Most popular Bengal names

According to PetSure data from 2019, the post popular names for Bengal cats were:

  1. Loki
  2. Cleo
  3. Hunter
  4. Koko
  5. Luna
  6. Mia
  7. Milo
  8. Nala
  9. Pepper
  10. Willow

Most popular female names

  1. Cleo
  2. Koko
  3. Luna
  4. Mia
  5. Nala
  6. Willow
  7. Amber
  8. Asha
  9. Chloe
  10. Georgie

Most popular male names

  1. Loki
  2. Hunter
  3. Pepper
  4. Alfie
  5. Arlo
  6. Dexter
  7. Bob
  8. Chester
  9. Dexter
  10. Flynn

Bengal Cat FAQs

How much does a Bengal cat cost?

Bengal cats are unnatural and specially bred which means the price to purchase a Bengal cat especially from a popular breeder can be anywhere between $1500 to $3000. Location, the level of breeder's care and the Bengal cat's traits can affect the price of purchase.

Why you shouldn't get a Bengal cat?

Due to their special hybrid breeding, Bengal cats have wild genes which can lead to several health and behavioral issues including chronic diarrhea and improper urination around the house. They also have high energy levels and need to be stimulated frequently.

Do Bengals like to be held?

Bengal cats do not like being restrained and picking them up or cuddling with them will often result in their resistance. They do not like to be held, however, they are playful and thrive in an energetic environment.

Will Bengal cats sleep with you?

Bengal cats are very observant and intelligent in nature, they prefer keeping away from snuggling on beds with their families and generally, also sleep less than the average cat, spending around 15 hours resting. They are affectionate creatures but their wild genes keep them alert at all times.

Are Bengal cats high maintenance?

Bengal cats are very demanding animals and constantly need to be stimulated with time and attention from their families. They are affectionate but resist cuddles and snuggles as it makes them feel restrained.

Did you know?

The ancestor of the Bengal, the Asian Leopard cat is noted on the US Endangered Species list. In China, Myanmar and Thailand they are hunted for fur as well as for sale as pets.

Where can I get a Bengal? 

Your local animal shelter or rescue organisation is the best place to look for a cat as shelters generally have many cats looking for loving homes. It may also be possible to find a Bengal cat through a breed specific rescue organisation. 

References

  1. Cat Fanciers Association, The Bengal, accessed on 26/10/20
  2. VetStreet, Bengal, accessed on 26/10/20
  3. Wikipedia, Bengal Cat, accessed on 26/10/20
  4. Wikipedia, Leopard Cat, accessed on 26/10/20

Terms, conditions, waiting periods, limits and exclusions apply. Petinsurance.com.au is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436, is arranged and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183 (PetSure) and is promoted and distributed by PetSure’s Authorised Representatives (AR) Pet Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 38 607 160 930, AR 1234944 and Pet Culture Pty Ltd ABN 69 644 613 098, AR 001284860. Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure this product meets your needs before purchasing. PDS and Target Market Determination available at http://www.petinsurance.com.au/forms-faqs-2 .

Kylie Mitchell

Kylie Mitchell

Veterinarian

Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie Mitchell's Pets

  • MeekaMeeka
  • Bei BeiBei Bei
  • NoahNoah

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