Boisterous Bengal Behavior: Is This Breed Right For You?

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Since the acceptance of the Bengal into The International Cat Association show ring scene in 1986, it has been love at first site for cat lovers who encounter them in cat magazines, cat shows and veterinary hospital waiting rooms. These charmers are eye-catching with their luxurious coats of leopard spots and rosettes, and their popularity has soared. Unfortunately, prospective owners are not always prepared for the Bengal personality, and for some, their behavioral traits may prove to be too challenging. Before you answer the call of the wild, understand the cat that lies beneath the gorgeous looks.

Wild Roots

The Bengal's unique personality traits, coat pattern, and coloring can be attributed to his wild genes. A Bengal cat is a hybrid breed that was created by crossing a domestic cat with an Asian leopard cat. When considering a Bengal kitten to add to your family, learn the following labels that a breeder uses to identify the litter:

  • F-1 means that one of the litter's parents is an Asian leopard cat.
  • F-2 means that one of the litter's grandparents is the closest Asian leopard cat in the breeding line.
  • F-3 means that the closest Asian leopard cat in the breeding line is a great-grandparent of the litter.
  • F-4 means that the litter is four generations away from the Asian leopard cat ancestor.

For the most social and affectionate feline family member, consider a Bengal that is labeled as F-4 or higher. The higher the number is, the more outgoing and domesticated the Bengal cat will be.

Aerobatic Feats

No matter how high or narrow it is, no surface is off-limits to a Bengal. These graceful cats appear to come equipped with jet propulsion and remarkable soaring capabilities. Expect your Bengal to suddenly take flight over your head to access the top of his favorite bookcase. Overhead aerial stunts are his specialty. This is not a cat who will be content with spending all of his time at low altitude, and only the ceiling is the limit as far as he is concerned. If you ever have trouble locating your Bengal kitty, be sure to look upward as you search. You cannot keep him grounded, but you can keep him happy by providing tall cat tree furniture to climb, romp, and nap on.

Water Worship

Just like his wild ancestor, the Bengal loves water. He is drawn to it and will not hesitate to splash and play. This does not mean that you should take him into the swimming pool with you, but you should probably think twice about keeping a fish tank. You should also expect his active participation when you brush your teeth, wash dishes in the kitchen sink or relax in the tub. Many owners have sensed a pair of eyes spying on them while they showered and become startled when they looked up. It is common practice for a Bengal to combine his jumping skill and love of water to take up an observation post on top of the shower door frame. Consider providing your Bengal with a circulating water fountain cat bowl to nurture his aquatic curiosity while encouraging him to drink more water for better health.

High Energy

Bengals seem to be perpetually recharged and ready to zip and zoom around the room. They are very active, and they are also inquisitive and highly intelligent. This combination can spell trouble if your Bengal does not receive plenty of mental stimulation and opportunities to expend his excess energy. If your Bengal is home alone all day, expect him to become bored and get into mischief. You may come home to find that he discovered the bag of flour on the top shelf of the cupboard and decided that decorating the kitchen with it would be fun. When you are home, try to tire out your Bengal with play sessions. Bengals love to fetch toys. They also love the thrill of a chase, and they play to win. You can play a lengthy game of tag that may declare you the loser, but you will both get some exercise and he will be happy to get the attention.

Robbers In Spots

Secure your jewelry if you don't want your Bengal to borrow it and never return it. Shiny objects fascinate Bengals, and any morals against stealing seem to escape them. They will pilfer shiny, sparkly things and hide them with the rest of their stolen stash that you may not discover until you rearrange the household furniture or conduct that thorough spring-cleaning spree.

Interactive and Talkative

Expect your Bengal to stick his nose and paws into all of your household activities. If you engage in in any new hobby or housekeeping task, your Bengal will not hesitate to join in your endeavor. Privacy will become a rare luxury since most Bengals thrive on the company of their owners and shadow them throughout the house. Many Bengals are exceptionally vocal and will chat up a blue streak. Some Bengals even talk with their mouths full, making vocalizations while they dine. 

There is never a dull moment with a Bengal in your home. You may come home from work to find every closet door open just because he knew that he could do it. You may sometimes feel overruled by your cat when he pushes the boundaries that you attempt to establish. At the end of the day, as long as you can accept his boisterous behavior, your Bengal will prove to be a delightful, entertaining and outgoing companion. Work with a company like Lamb's Gap Animal Hospital to find the right kind of pet for you.