Spend a moment searching for Bengal cat videos online, and you’ll quickly find clips of these beauties jumping into the air with what seems like no effort! Bengal cats, with their lovely markings and playful personalities, have boundless energy and can easily leap to the highest places in your home before you know it.
So just how high can Bengal cats jump? The athleticism that Bengal cats have inherited from their wild ancestors allows them to jump anywhere from 3 to 6 times their body length. This height will decline as the cat ages, but in their prime, a healthy Bengal’s strong leg and back muscles allow them to jump long distances.
Though all cat breeds have some jumping ability, Bengal cats are extraordinary in their ability. Let’s take a look at why these obscure beauties can spring so high.
How Bengals Cats Developed Their Jumping Skills
Bengal cats were never formally mentioned until the release of a book called “Our Cats and All About Them” in 1889. The book, written by the president of the National Cat Club, states on page 55, “There is a rich-colored brown tabby hybrid to be seen at the Zoological Society in Regent’s Park, between the wild cat of Bengal and a tabby she-cat. It is handsome but very wild.” The “wild cat of Bengal” that Weir mentions as part of the breeding combination as the leopard cat, found in various parts of Asia.
Bengal cats are much like domestic cats in their overall size. Keep in mind that they are usually more slender and have longer legs. These long legs give them the ability to jump and pounce, gifting them with terrific hunting prowess. Inbreeding between the leopard cat and domestic cat, the Bengal inherited the jumping gift as well. Though they don’t have to hunt, Bengals still have the urge to jump to mystifying levels.
Modern Bengals Cats And Physical Traits
Bengal cats are sought out as pets for their affectionate personalities, supreme intelligence, and gorgeous rosette markings. But some owners are surprised to discover that their Bengal buddy can vault almost to the ceiling! Bengals have been known to jump as high as 8 feet into the air.
Their sleek bodies, strong back legs, and agile spine and back muscles inherited from their Asian cat ancestors give them this ability. (In comparison, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest jumping human also reached 8 feet.) Age can affect the exact height a Bengal can reach when jumping.
For example, kittens may have the desire to jump but haven’t quite developed the coordination, so they may not be able to land on high surfaces. Likewise, as Bengal cat ages and bones and muscles lose their capacity, their jumping abilities will be affected. Motivation also plays an interesting role in the Bengal’s ability to jump. Infused with the instincts of their wild ancestors, Bengals will jump for food or prey. Some videos also show Bengals jumping for toys tied to the ceiling.
Can Bengal Cats Get Injured From Jumping?
With their confidence that they can leap tall buildings in a single bound, Bengals can sometimes overshoot and suffer injuries. That’s true of any cat who is physically active and looking to play. Veterinarians should always be consulted when you notice abnormal symptoms or suspect your Bengal has hurt themselves. One common condition in Bengal cats is called patellar luxation, in which the kneecap slips out of its joint.
This can cause the cat to hop or suddenly not use one of its legs. An X-ray and surgery could be to get your Bengal back in business. A badly-timed jump can also lead to an injury in this brave spotted feline. Landing in the wrong place or hitting their head can cause severe problems in the cat.
Some symptoms to look for in a cat that has been injured from jumping include:
- Crying meow
- Your cat appearing lethargic
- Bruises or scratches on the leg
- Damaged claws
How Can I Help My Bengal Jump Safely?
Known as one of the most active cat breeds, Bengals desperately need to play and exercise their athletic abilities.
Jumping is part of this as are running, pouncing, and pretending to stalk prey. Some Bengal cats even like to go for walks!
Make time for play. As a Bengal owner, you must make time to play with your cat. String or fishing pole toys that they can jump and swat at, laser pointers they can chase and leap for, and clean, safe, high surfaces they can climb to will help your Bengal get the exercise it needs. It can be time-consuming, but a lot of fun!
Feed a balanced diet. It’s also important that you feed your Bengal a balanced diet to support its strength and muscle development. Wet food is very high in protein, which supports your active Bengal’s muscles, ligaments, and bones. It also helps keep your cat hydrated after those intense jumping and leaping play sessions!
Keep play areas safe. Make sure the areas where your Bengal plays are free of clutter they can slip and injure themselves on, things they can knock over, and heavy items they could hit.
Owning a Bengal And Managing Jumping
Owning a Bengal cat is not for everyone. Your cat is likely to get very bored and borderline unmanageable if it is not properly entertained.
Since the cat can jump to just about anywhere, they can be a big nuisance if they aren’t getting the attention and activity they need. Bengal cat owners should be committed to playing with and entertaining their cats often.
Does all of the jumping mean that Bengals are aggressive?
Bengals are known as “play aggressive,” meaning that they play rough but love gently. A Bengal cat is a terrific companion and is known to be very adoring and vocal.
If the Bengal is “play aggressive,” does that mean it doesn’t get along with other animals?
The Bengal cat is typically an excellent companion for other animals! Bengals tend to get along well with other cats and even other species. It can be beneficial for them to have another animal of similar age to play with.
Can I take my Bengal cat outdoors so it can jump and play?
While the outdoors provides more opportunities for the Bengal to jump and burn off its intense amounts of energy, the risks outweigh the benefits. Outdoor cats pose a threat to neighborhood wildlife, as they may kill birds, chipmunks, and squirrels. Your Bengal may face predators outside as well and get sick from various plants and other items it may come into contact with or eat.
There’s also the danger that the cat could get run over or stolen. Bengals are attracted to water, but may not know how to swim, so if they come in contact with a pool or large body of water, they may drown.
In short, if you must take your Bengal outside, it’s best to go out with them in a fenced yard, watch them while they play or play with them, and limit the time.
Letting them roam the neighborhood is dangerous, especially with the breed’s ongoing curiosity and energy.
Bengal cats’ ability to catapult through the air is extremely entertaining and fascinating. They have inherited amazing strength and agility from their ancestors, and as such, they have many wild tendencies. To maintain a successful environment for your Bengal cat, keep high places safe, give the cat plenty of exercise, and watch for injuries from excessive leaping. Meanwhile, your Bengal cat will love to impress you with its jumping talents