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Do Bengal cats like water, or is it a myth we have to bust?

If you have ever shared a home with a cat, you know how terrified of water they usually are. Felines are not even keen on drinking the liquid, let alone bathing or swimming in it.

While you can teach a kitty to withstand an occasional bath (provided you started training them early), the process will likely demand wearing protective gear. Yes, full tactical body armour would be the best solution, and no, it's not an exaggeration.

What about the fearless tiny leopards? Do Bengal cats like water, and if so, why are they different from the rest of the clowder? Untamed explains all you need to know about the relationship these gorgeous felines have with water.

Bengal cats in water—are your eyes fooling you?

Bengal cats famously love water, so it's nothing out of the ordinary if you have caught your kitty splashing around in a puddle or attempting to jump in your shower. Miniature leopards love to go for a swim whenever they get a chance. They are not afraid of water and usually run towards the tap when you wash the dishes.

Still, every cat is unique, so there are no guarantees that every Bengal will be into it.

Why do Bengals like water?

I’m not getting out of here until you fix me a nice bath.

Source: lshman000

There are two primary reasons Bengals are not afraid of water and enjoy playing in it:

  1. Their ancestry
  2. Their unique temperament

Bengal cat ancestry

Bengal cats' fascination most likely stems from their Asian Leopard cat ancestors. These wild cats enjoy swimming and dipping their paws in water. They also swish their paws to clear away any debris in the water before they drink.

Bengal cat's temperament

The moment you bring a Bengal kitten home, you will realise how inquisitive and adventurous they are. These kitties know no fear and are extremely intelligent. You might often catch them trying to figure out how things work and how to reach impossible places. Tiny leopards tend to investigate everything closely.

Bengals are prone to mischief but also incredibly fun and easy to train, so they will enjoy learning new tricks, games, and some discipline.

Am I imagining it, or is the tap running?

Source: Nika Benedictova

If you already have experience with felines, you may notice that Bengals enjoy doing stuff that most other cats would probably ignore (possibly because they lack the wits to figure out how).

The unusual behaviour may include:

  • Following you around and trying to get involved in whatever you are doing
  • Attempting to open cabinets, drawers, and doors (and succeeding)
  • Stealing and hiding various items
  • Putting food in their water bowl and playing with it
  • Playing with the toilet (not an ideal plaything, but who are we to judge?)
  • Turning the faucet on themselves because they saw you do it, and now they know how

You will never get bored watching your feline companion show off their intelligence, and they will never cease to amaze you. Bengals love to have fun, and they will always find ways to entertain themselves. As a cat parent, you should ensure they do it safely.

Bengal cats playing in the water safely

Although Bengals enjoy swimming and bathing, you should limit their playtime in the water. Instead of bathing, their fur needs to be regularly brushed so the skin’s pH values remain optimal. Bathing or letting them get soaked too often may remove the natural oil from their skin, affecting their coat health.

If you have adopted a kitten or a grown Bengal and are not sure how they will respond to water despite the stories, introduce them to it slowly. Don't throw them in a pool because this experience may traumatise them.

Let me show you some photos from my holiday. This is me jumping into the muddy puddle created by last night’s downpour.

Source: Jeannette1980

The safest way is to fill your tub with some water and see if your kitty shows any interest. You can make it deeper gradually. Alternatively, start by letting them play with a gentle stream from the tap and see how it goes. If your Bengal seems like they would enjoy swimming, and you decide to let them do it in the pool or tub, never leave them unsupervised. Even if your kitty is an avid swimmer, accidents happen, so you should keep them safe.

The last point to keep in mind is the water temperature. Keep it lukewarm because hot or cold water may hurt your kitty's skin.

Bengals like playing with water—how about drinking it?

While most felines aren't big drinkers, Bengal cats seem to like drinking water. That’s good news because hydration is critical for your feline’s health and positively affects your kitty's physical and mental well-being.

Drinking enough water helps cure infections, promotes healing, and supports healthy skin and coat. 

What if your Bengal doesn't drink enough water?

Dehydration is a severe problem that can be fatal if not addressed on time.

Since Bengals are a highly active breed, they need a lot of water to stay healthy. Lack of hydration can lead to severe health problems, such as:

Signs of dehydration include:

  • Low skin elasticity
  • Slobbering
  • Strange urination patterns
  • Shuddering
  • Dry or viscous gums
  • Intensified heart rate
  • Wheezing
  • Weakness
  • Reduced appetite
  • A weaker pulse

If you notice your Bengal doesn't drink enough water, you have two options:

  1. Get a water fountain
  2. Change the food

How can a water fountain help?

Is that contraption that looks like a tap for me? I love it!

Source: Irina_kukuts

A water fountain intrigues cats and provides fresh water.

Stale water from the bowl is a fertile ground for fungi and bacteria, which can be hazardous to your feline's health. Constant access to fresh water will incentivise your Bengal to drink more.

How can a diet change help?

If you have been feeding your Bengal dry meals, changing the type of food will help. Regular consumption of carefully portioned wet cat food provides significantly more moisture than kibble, as shown in the table below:

Cat food type

Moisture percentage

Wet food

Over 70%

Dry food

About 10%

Wet food is beneficial for your Bengal's health in many ways. High-quality jellies and gravies usually contain a lot more animal protein than kibble and fewer filler ingredients, such as:

The best diet for your Bengal should:

  1. Be full of animal protein exclusively
  2. Contain suitable amounts of animal fat
  3. Be hydrating

Animal protein in cat food

Plenty of meat and fish provides your Bengal with all the nutrients they need to be healthy.

Image (c) Untamed

Meat and fish should be the number one ingredients in cat food because animal protein keeps your Bengal healthy and maintains their energy levels. Meat is also the best source of essential amino acids—such as taurine and arginine—as well as vitamins and minerals felines need for:

  • Good digestion
  • Proper heart function
  • Strong immune system
  • Normal vision
  • Strong muscles, bones, and teeth
  • Healthy skin and coat
  • Adequate pregnancy and foetal development

Check out the table below to see the best sources of animal protein for your feline friend:

Regular meals

Occasional treats or taste enhancers

Animal fat in cat food

Animal fat is necessary because it contains healthy fatty acids that:

  • Promote healing
  • Hydrate the skin
  • Support cell integrity
  • Regulate inflammatory response

Fat is also a natural taste enhancer, and felines relish its aroma and texture. That is important because the healthiest food is useless if your kitty doesn't want to eat it.

Why is Untamed an excellent option for your water-loving Bengal?

Untamed is the best you can do for your Bengal.

Image (c) Untamed

The best diet for your feline is the one mimicking their natural feeding patterns. In nature, cats hunt small animals, such as birds, mice, slugs, lizards, and large insects. Domesticated kitties need high-quality meat and fish to stay healthy and hydrated.

Untamed meals are:

  1. Full of exclusively animal protein—Untamed tins contain twice as much protein as most other products on the market
  2. Made with human-grade ingredients—We only use top-quality whole meat and fish because your Bengal deserves the best
  3. Low in carbs—We don't use grains, vegetable protein, sugar, or any other iffy ingredient

We also collaborate with vets to ensure that our wet food is free from all known allergens and suitable for felines in all life stages:

Untamed is also environmentally conscious, and we are dedicated to minimising our carbon footprint. That’s why we:

  • Work with sustainable, cruelty-free, and dolphin-safe suppliers
  • Make sure our packaging is fully recyclable
  • Keep our operations carbon-footprint neutral

Try Untamed now to keep your Bengal hydrated and strong!

How to order Untamed

You can order Untamed meals for your Bengal online in three simple steps:

  1. Complete our online quiz
  2. Create a tailor-made meal plan for your kitty
  3. Place your order

When your Bengal decides on their favourite dishes, you can continue receiving fresh supplies of ready-to-serve delicacies every month.

Here is what you can expect once you start feeding your Bengal Untamed wet food:

  1. After a week—Your kitty's litter box will be tidier, and they will have no issues with digestion
  2. After two months—Your Bengal will be in a great mood, their fur will be shiny and soft, and they will become leaner
  3. Within four months—Your feline friend’s eating habits will be normalised. They will shed less and have fewer annoying hairballs
  4. Life-long—You can expect almost no gastrointestinal problems. Weight control will never give you any headaches, and vet visits should be reduced to regular check-ups