Tiny leopards or cuddly kitties? Are Bengal cats friendly?
Wild cat looks earned Bengals a bit of a reputation among cat parents, and their appearance both attracts and intimidates. Some say these mini-leopards only pretend to be domesticated while hiding their true wild nature.
If you have a kid or another pet, this bad rap might make you second guess your decision to get a Bengal cat and opt for another, more traditional breed, such as a Burmese, Siamese, or Russian Blue. Even though you should be careful about choosing a feline family member, not everything is in the looks.
Are Bengal cats friendly? What is it like to have them as pets? Are they good pets for inexperienced cat parents? Untamed answers common questions about these adorable and gorgeous kitties.
What are Bengal cats like as pets?
Bengal cats are the most popular breed in the UK, for a good reason. Their beauty is disarming, but their playful character and incredible energy are not less appealing. You can expect your Bengal to be:
- Easy to train
Are Bengal cats affectionate?
Like most other pets, Bengal cats will grow to be affectionate and well-behaved if raised and socialised well. Cat parents who shower their Bengal kittens with love and attention and interact with them kindly will get the same in return.
I know you love me, I love you too.
Source: Kim Davies
Keep in mind that Bengals are not typical lap cats like Ragdolls and Siamese cats. While these breeds tend to cuddle with you incessantly, Bengals show their love more subtly.
You will know your Bengal cat loves you if they:
- Bring you gifts
- Blink slowly while looking at you
- Follow you around
- Headbutt you
- Rub their neck on you (to leave their scent and mark you as theirs)
- Purr when around you
- Knead on you
- Want to play with you
- Ask for attention and interaction
How intelligent are Bengal cats?
Bengal cats are among the most intelligent felines, and they have impressive memory.
There are three aspects by which we can measure intelligence in animals, and Bengal cats score high in all of them:
- Curiosity—Bengals are among the most inquisitive cat breeds. They love exploring their environment and using different items around the house to play
- Learning skills—Curious animals typically learn things quickly, adapt to new circumstances, and survive longer. Bengal cats learn new tricks easily, so you can teach them to sit, high five, and lie down
- Social skills—They communicate with their cat parents more than most other breeds. If they want you to open the door to them, ask for food, or say hi, you will know. Bengals will also happily interact with other animals and objects in their surroundings. Their behaviour is often dog-like, and they will enjoy playing fetch with their parents
How active are Bengal felines?
Bengals are incredibly energetic. They aren't typical lap cats, so lying near you and cuddling all day will not be enough to stimulate and keep them happy.
They are also exceptionally skilled hunters, and if given an opportunity, they will catch mice, birds, frogs, moths, and squirrels. Bengals are highly athletic and love to jump and run freely. Provide your feline companion with enough room to play, and not only will they be super happy, but they will also maintain their ideal weight effortlessly.
How easy to train are Bengal cats?
Given their extraordinary intelligence, exceptional memory, and enthusiasm, Bengal cats are pretty easy to train. Besides all the tricks they will gladly learn, you can help them develop specific behaviour.
Fine, I’ll be good today.
Source: Nika Benedictova
Consistency is critical for optimal results, but don't expect miracles overnight. Training a cat will take some time. Arm yourself with patience, dedicate some time every day to training, and the results will be fantastic.
Bengal cat temperament and other cats
Bengal cats are generally friendly pets, but they tend to be territorial. If you want your Bengal to get along with other cats, you need to work on socialisation from an early age. In case you fail to socialise them, Bengals can grow to be aggressive. They might feel the need to protect their domain and attack other felines.
If you want to raise more than one cat, and one of them is a Bengal, you should ideally get them as kittens and let them grow together. Introducing a new cat to your adult Bengal isn't impossible, but it will take more work.
It is also worth noting that if you spend a lot of time away from home, you should consider getting a company for your Bengal. Although they are a territorial breed and love to have their space, they don't like to be alone for too long. Choosing a cat companion for your mini leopard, such as a Siamese or another active breed, would be the best option.
Other common questions about Bengals
Refer to the table below to find the most common questions and answers about Bengal cats, their personality, and needs:
Are Bengal cats dog-friendly?
Absolutely yes. If a dog likes to play with cats, then they are a great companion for a Bengal
Are Bengal cats kid-friendly?
Bengals are generally good with kids, but it’s best to introduce them to a child while they are kittens
Bengals are generally fantastic pets. They are playful, loveable, fun, loyal, and intelligent. They also require a lot of attention, so consider your schedule before you decide to get this breed
Bengal cats are not more aggressive than any other breed, but they are extremely active and require a lot of attention and stimulation. If bored, they can demonstrate destructive and problematic behaviour
Are Bengal cats appropriate for first-time cat parents?
Due to their high energy, attention-seeking behaviour, and extreme vocalisation, new cat parents need to be ready to devote more time to training and socialising their Bengal kittens
How to provide a good home for your Bengal cat
To keep your Bengal cat happy and friendly, you should pay attention to their three basic necessities:
- Stimulating environment
- Healthy diet
Bengal cats have tremendous amounts of energy, so you need to provide them with space where they can easily burn it.
Don’t worry, mommy. I’m saving my claws for the new scratching post. The sofa is safe. For mrrnow.
Source: Igor Karimov
Besides enough open space where they can run freely, you should also:
- Place perches throughout your home so that your Bengal can climb and jump
- Get a scratching post so that your cat doesn't scratch your furniture
- Install a cat tree so that your Bengal has a fun place to play, climb, jump, and sleep
- Buy interactive toys so that your kitty has something to do while you're away
Bengal cats’ grooming needs are pretty straightforward, given that they shed much less than most other breeds. The ritual consists of:
- Occasional brushing—Since Bengals don't shed that much but groom themselves as much as other cats, frequent brushing won't be necessary
- Occasional bath—Bengal cats like water, so they should enjoy a bath from time to time. Make sure no water gets in their ears
- Ear cleanse—You should gently clean your cat’s ears using a cotton swab and an ear cleaner approved by your vet
- Eye cleaning—To keep their eyes clean, dab the areas around your feline's eyes with a damp cotton ball
- Oral hygiene—Dental health is essential, so inspect your Bengal's teeth and brush them with special toothpaste for cats. If your kitty isn't used to a toothbrush, you can start by cleaning their teeth with your finger
- Nail clipping—Bengals need only the tip of their claws cut, so if you are not comfortable with the nail clipper, take your furry friend to a grooming salon
A good feline diet should consist of at least two servings of high-quality wet food, free of any harmful ingredients. Dry food can be an occasional treat to help remove plaque buildup from their teeth and prevent dental issues.
You should avoid kibble as regular meals because it's highly processed and typically stuffed with carbs and other bulking ingredients. Unlike wet food, which contains 70–80% of moisture, dry food only has about 10%. That is not enough to keep your feline hydrated and can cause health issues, such as urinary infections, bladder stones, and kidney disease. Due to higher caloric value and added sugar, it can also contribute to diabetes and obesity.
Besides additives, artificial colours, and flavours, you should also avoid vegetables and grains. Since cats are carnivores, they cannot break down plant protein or absorb other essential nutrients from plants. In case your cat is constipated, you can give them small amounts of:
If you see any of the following on the ingredients list, skip the product:
Keep your Bengal active and fit with Untamed
Making the perfect meal plan for your Bengal can be demanding. Luckily, Untamed offers high-quality and delicious food to make your cat-parenting experience easier.
Untamed is made with human-grade ingredients to ensure your feline gets the best diet possible.
Are you done taking the photo? Can I eat now?
Image (c) Untamed
Check out the benefits of Untamed meals:
Whole meat and fish
We only use premium quality whole meat and fish, such as:
All the recipes were created in collaboration with vets to ensure your cat’s nutritional needs are met
Gentle steaming process
To ensure all the nutrients are intact, tasty aroma preserved, harmful bacteria destroyed, and meals easy on your kitty’s tummy, we use a gentle steaming preparation technique
Complete our online quiz to select the best meal plan for your Bengal. Tell us about your feline's food preferences and sensitivities, pick between gravy or jelly products, and you will get a personalised menu for your feline friend.
Get Untamed today
It takes only three simple steps to order a starter pack of Untamed products:
- Take the online quiz
- Provide some information about your Bengal
- Select the products and place your order
The goods will be at your doorstep in a day, with no additional shipping fees. All you'll need to do is open a can and serve it to your cat. Untamed meals are ready-made, so there is no additional heating or defrosting.
Once your Bengal finishes their starter pack and picks the dishes they like the best, you can get a fresh batch of Untamed delicacies every month. If you need to postpone delivery or change the menu, you can do it from your account.
Check out the feedback we received from many cat parents who switched their feline companions to Untamed:
The Untamed Effect