The Bengal is a medium to large cat with a long muscular body that is marked with one of two distinct patterns, spotted or marbled. Bengals love to climb and leap – with an amazing ability to cover large distances in a single bound, and athletic enough not to lose their balance when alighting – even if it happens to be your shoulder.
The Bengal cat is often described as energetic with a natural love of heights and climbing. They are highly intelligent animals who enjoy the company of both people and other pets – perfect for pet owners who enjoy interaction with their animals. They are not the right pet for people with busy lifestyles who are never home.
Bengals are inquisitive animals who will leap out from their hiding place, often catching you by surprise, if you appear to be doing something interesting or get up to answer the door.
Bengals ignore the stereotypical rules of what it means to be a cat and are neither haughty nor indifferent – but will instead take up a most active and dynamic role within your family.
Did You Know?
Some examples of the species are born with a “glitter gene”, which gives the Bengal’s coat a hue as if it has been lightly sprinkled with gold dust. Needless to say, these animals are highly prized among the Bengal loving community.
The Bengal breed originally came about due to a breeding program which involved crossing Leopard cats with domestic animals as part of a study on Feline Leukemia. Due to this heritage the Bengal was originally labeled as Leopardette.
Caring for Your Bengal Cat
Because of their high intelligence and inquisitive nature it’s important that the Bengal has a lot of company, be it human, feline, or even canine. Bengal cats will happily make friends, play, and interact with whoever is sharing the household with them.
Bengals like their privacy and prefer a litter box with a lid. Make sure you clean it regularly and fastidiously, as an unclean litter box will quickly fall out of favour and no longer be used.
You may have to spend time adjusting the diet of your Bengal as many have sensitive stomachs – especially where gluten is concerned. Use quality cat food with a high meat content rather than cat food containing grains.
If you have a Bengal cat in your life, please share your experiences in the comments below.
Image: Shaun Dunphy via Flickr