Bengal cat.
Bengal cat.

Bengal Cat

The Bengal cat is a designer breed of domestic cat that was created by crossing domestic cats with the Asian leopard cat.

Bengal cats.

Bengal cats, Canadian Pet Expo.

Just like a savannah cat, the Bengal cat was created as a new kind of exotic pet that is not quite so exotic — after all it is really just a domestic cat with some wild genes and a wild big cat look.

Bengal cats do tend to be curious and and crave human interaction. They will also explore anything and everything in their environment and Bengal cats have been known to try to take apart various objects and furniture.

Bengal cats sold as pets or companion animals are usually at least fourth generation Bengal cats, not the first generations after creating a foundation stock by crossing domestic cats with the Asian leopard cat. In other words they are at least four generations removed from the wild side of their ancestors.

The typical Bengal cat coat has spots resembling those of a leopard.

Bengal kittens.

Bengal kittens, Canadian Pet Expo.

Bengal cats tend to be docile towards humans, but they may fight for dominance with other cats in the same home. As Bengal cats, especially the males, tend to grow large for a cat, it is important that they should only be kept together with other cats that can stand up for themselves when it comes to rough housing.

They like to spend time up high, as a wild cat would in the trees, and even rest high up. So they will most likely climb furniture, doors, whatever they can get their claws into. But they also like to sleep catlike on something soft, like a normal house cat would.

Bengal cat.

Even though they are considered to be a just a breed of domestic cat, in some jurisdictions there might be more restrictions on Bengal cat ownership than one would expect for a normal house cat.

It is debated if Bengal cats are truly hypoallergenic, but some people otherwise allergic to cats can tolerate a Bengal cat, so if you are allergic to cats but still want one, a Bengal might be an option.

Bengal cats tend to be somewhat expensive, spayed/neutered kittens offered for sale for several thousand dollars seem to be the norm. I can only guess that breeding individuals are even more expensive.

So it is definitely cheaper to just get a normal house cat. But if you can afford it, a Bengal cat can make a great exotic looking pet.

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Last updated: September 14, 2016

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