Everyone wants to have unique pets. They make fantastic Instagram posts, look great in videos, and are fun conversation pieces when friends come over. The beautiful, exotic Siamese cat and the mysterious, multi-patterned Bengal cat may seem like a gorgeous and fascinating pet pair to bring into the home. But wanting to combine these felines in the same household begs the question.
Do Bengal cats get along with Siamese cats? Yes, Bengal cats can get along with Siamese cats. These two beautiful cat breeds share many similar traits, which can often make for a fun and happy friendship. However, their dynamic personalities can make their relationship difficult to predict, so a variety of factors should be considered before pairing the two.
While there is no definitive answer as to whether Siamese and Bengal cats will be good companions, the odds are in their favor. With that, there are things to know and consider that might help to determine the outcome of putting these two fascinating felines together.
Siamese and Bengals: Their exotic histories
A quick journey to popularity is one of the most common traits between Siamese and Bengal cats, although their histories are very different.
Siamese cats were quite popular in Asia potentially as early as the 14th century, when illustrations and mentions appeared in volumes of poetry. In their native Siam (now Thailand), they were known as “Royal Cats.” Eventually, people from around the world wanted a Siamese companion, and even world leaders like Queen Victoria and Rutherford B. Hayes got in on the act.
Stunningly beautiful and unique, Siamese cat colors are identified in their “points,” which are their face, ears, feet/legs, and tails. These points develop in kittenhood and can come in a variety of colors.
But it’s not just their beauty that makes Siamese cats appealing. These animals have delightful personalities and are often compared to dogs for their friendliness and loyalty. They are fiercely intelligent, very vocal, and require a great deal of mental stimulation and exercise.
The Bengal cat has a much shorter genealogy. The earliest mention of the breed is in an 1889 book by the president of the National Cat Club, entitled “Our Cats and All About Them.” This obscure book briefly described a mix between an Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat. It was 36 years before such a breed was mentioned in print again in a Belgian scientific journal. In 1941, a Japanese article also noted an Asian leopard cat and domestic combination that was kept as a pet.
In the 1960s, after taking several genetics courses at the University of California-Davis, Jean Sugden Mill bred an Asian leopard cat with a black California tomcat, which is considered the first deliberate domestic breeding into what would become known as the Bengal. She continued her breeding efforts, and word spread.
By the 1980s, Bengal cats were rising to prominence, recognized for their wide variety of markings, playful temperaments, and love for activities like fetching and playing in the water. People also noticed that they were highly trainable, loving, and communicative when adequately socialized.
Bengals are not without controversy, however. The exotic breeds of the animal are banned in many states and heavily regulated in others. Many states require a permit to own a domestic breed of the Bengal. Generally, cats in the first four generations (F1 to F4) of the hybrid are not permitted or heavily regulated as pets.
Pairing the two as companions
Though these two interesting breeds have very different pasts, their personalities are quite similar. Their shared traits include high intelligence, friendliness, and a fondness for exercise. Both love to be cuddled and petted and tend to have good relationships with all humans, including strangers.
Siamese cats are known for needing a lot of play and stimulation. If they don’t get it, they can develop compulsive behaviors such as biting or can suffer from separation anxiety.
Bengals have an even more intense need for companionship and can be far more demanding and aggressive if they don’t get what they’re looking for. They tend to enjoy very involved activities like climbing and going for walks.
Many factors can contribute to their pairing as household pets. Female and male cats often have different temperaments, and the compatibility of a Siamese and a Bengal might have to do with this. Females can be more aloof and require less exercise, while males may be more likely to look for companionship and play. But again, this is not a guarantee.
Just like people, Bengal and Siamese cats have dynamic personalities, and it can be challenging to know in advance whether or not this will make them friends or enemies.
Things to consider before pairing a Siamese and Bengal cat
Certain steps are possible to help the two breeds get along. These include:
Both a Siamese and a Bengal cat will need exercise. There is a good chance that their shared love of activity will come in handy, and the two will play with each other. Generally, it is a good idea to get the two cats together at a young age and as close to the same time as possible so that they can grow up learning to rely on each other for play.
Need for affection
Siamese and Bengal cats both demand attention from their owners. There must be adequate access to attention in the home. A home with a Siamese and Bengal cat pairing will need to have people around often. Owners will need to set aside a lot of time to give significant attention to each cat through petting, cuddling, and holding.
Because both breeds are so opinionated, they have the potential to get competitive in their quests for affection. This is another reason that a multi-person household, or household with one very dedicated owner, is a necessary situation if both breeds are to live there.
Unlike domestic shorthairs and other common breeds found at shelters, Siamese and especially Bengal cats often come from breeders. If one or both of the pets come from a breeder, make sure that breeder is experienced and can provide clear information, including the following:
● The kitten’s parents’ health:
Breeders should have their cats certified in good health by a veterinarian, so that common conditions are not passed to the kittens.
● The socialization of the kitten: Kittens should be around other kittens in their early stages of life, particularly ages 6 to 16 weeks.
● Vaccinations: The breeder should be able to provide documentation of previous vaccinations the cat has already been given and provide you with information on what else the cat will need.
● De-worming: The breeder should certify that the kitten has been de-wormed.
A reputable breeder should be willing and able to provide as much information as possible. Some breeders are required to be licensed, but not all. This means references are also important. A breeder should also be willing to offer a clear contract outlining the terms of your purchase of the kitten.
Finding a good breeder means that the cats you get are more likely to grow up healthy. This is important because health problems can cause behavior issues, which could contribute to how cats relate to each other.
Taking the leap
There’s no doubt that Siamese and Bengal cats are both beautiful, interesting, and unique. Their many similarities can make them wonderful companions for each other, full of loving and active energy. As an owner, understanding and making room for the time commitment is crucial, as is understanding the quirks of each breed. Finally, making sure these complex felines come from reputable sources is essential.
If precautions are taken to socialize the cats and make time for their needs, Siamese and Bengal cats can get along as an active part of your family.