Bengal cats are certainly among the most striking feline companions you can own, though their appeal is much more than skin deep. As this breed gains popularity, it’s essential to make sure you do your research before deciding to adopt a gorgeous new Bengal. To help, we’ve put together a helpful list of the pros and cons of owning a Bengal cat. Knowing the positives and the challenges can make Bengal cat ownership much better for you in the future.
Like all cat breeds, there are pros and cons to Bengal ownership. These cats, like any breed, aren’t for everyone. However, if you know what to expect from your Bengal, they can be an incredible and loving addition to your home. Below are 11 pros and cons of owning a Bengal cat.
Bengal Cats Are Highly Affectionate
One of the biggest pros of owning a Bengal cat is that they are highly affectionate and bond tightly with their owners. They also bond closely with other animals in your household. Many Bengal owners describe them as little love-bugs, and we indeed describe our Bengals this way!
Bengal cats might not always be big cuddlers, they vary as much in how they show their affection as any cat breed, but they’ll find ways to let you know how much they appreciate you.
Don’t be surprised to find your Bengal lovingly curled up at your feet when you wake up in the morning, or always finding their way to the cushion next to yours on the couch.
Even the most distant Bengals tend to like following their owners around the house. They might try to play it off, but when your Bengal always seems to be in the same room, you should know that they love you.
Bengals Can Get Lonely
There is a downside to their affectionate nature. Bengal cats can get very lonely if they are left to their own devices for very long. They don’t like being by themselves, and if you’re away for a long time, even other cats might not be enough to keep them company.
Bengal cats tend to act out like small children when they are lonely, doing whatever they can to get some attention.
These cats might not be the right breed if you work long hours throughout the week.
You should also plan on having a cat-sitter come and spend some time with them if you’re going to be gone for long vacations.
Bengal Cats Are Inquisitive and Intelligent
Bengal cats are exceedingly curious creatures. They’re incredibly smart, which means that they are more likely to want to know and understand everything going on around them.
Their intelligence and close bonding natures also makes them relatively easy to train. You’ll teach them a few handfuls or tricks pretty easily, and they’ll always be happy to perform.
You may also need to get these cats a few more challenging puzzle toys to play with since their inquisitive minds can get them in trouble if they aren’t well occupied. However, it makes it a lot easier to teach them not to do certain things, since your Bengal will likely know why they’re being scolded.
They Love to Scratch and Make Mischief
This is a side-effect of their intelligence and a relatively strong desire to scratch. Bengal cats love getting into mischief, mostly because they don’t realize that they’re doing it. They think that they are exploring the undiscovered space on top of your shelves or investigating to ensure there are no evil mice behind your couch.
However, when that urge gets combined with the desire to scratch, your beloved Bengal may cause severe damage to your furniture and carpeting.
Remember that it’s not their fault, it’s just in their nature. You can avoid this problem by providing them lots of stimulating toys and scratching pads to focus that energy.
Bengals Love Going On Walks
Speaking of energy, Bengal cats love to go on walks, just like dogs! You’ll have to train them to harness from a relatively young age, adult cats don’t tend to adjust to new things very well, but with a little training and encouragement, your Bengal will look forward to going on a walk just as much as you do.
Just remember that their smaller frames mean you should go on shorter walks than you would a Golden Retriever or Labrador.
They Get Bored Easily
Another symptom of their high energy is that Bengal cats can get bored relatively easily. Just like when Bengals are lonely, they tend to act out when they’re bored. Except, this time, it’s not because they are looking for attention, they’re looking for entertainment.
Keeping plenty of toys around is one way to help your Bengal stay entertained, but they’ll appreciate some playtime with you even more. Make sure you give your Bengal some high-stimulation attention now and again, and they’ll be much happier.
They Get Along Well with Other Pets
Many people worry about bringing a new animal into their home if they already have other pets. It’s a reasonable worry since so many cats and dogs react poorly when they have a new friend in the house.
The good news is that Bengals tend to do very well with other pets and help ease the transition by trying to make friends.
Bengal Cats Have Litterbox Trouble
One common complaint among Bengal owners is that this breed seems to have more trouble than many when it comes to using the litterbox.
There is some good news, though. With most Bengals, the problem isn’t that they don’t know where the litterbox is or what it’s for. They generally have other reasons for not wanting to use their litterboxes.
Here are some of the most common:
- The litterbox isn’t clean enough
- They are trying to mark new territory
- They are trying to establish their territory, separate from your other cats
- They are anxious
- They are bored
- They are depressed/lonely
It can be hard to tell what the problem is at first glance, but by watching your cat closely for a few days, you can usually narrow down the problem. If you still aren’t sure after paying attention to them for a couple of days, consider taking them to the vet. UTI or kidney problems can both cause cats to start avoiding their litterbox.
Even if your feline friend is in perfect health, your vet may have some suggestions for correcting their litterbox behavior.
They Are Great Family Cats
Bengal cats also do well with children. You should always closely monitor the first few interactions with any child since unexpected reactions can happen for both your child and your Bengal. But they are generally very even-tempered and patient.
You may even see a tight bond forming between your children and your Bengal since Bengal cats tend to bond with the people and animals around them.
They’re Very Even-Tempered
Bengal cats are considered rather even-tempered for a cat. They’ll put up with a lot before they feel the need to bite or claw (though some Bengals can nibble as a sign of affection rather than anger)
While Bengals can be moody and prone to loneliness, boredom, or depression, anger isn’t one of the emotions they’re likely to display.
If your cat does seem a little prickly, you should take them to a vet to ensure there isn’t some underlying health issue causing pain or discomfort.
Bengal Cats Are Entertaining
The last benefit of Bengals is that they are incredibly entertaining and active cats to own. Their constant antics demands for attention, and curious behavior is sure to keep you amused. Bengals are one of the most interactive and attention-seeking breeds of cats, so you can be sure that they know you’re watching.
They have a secret though, Bengal cats love an audience.
This quick list of the pros and cons of Bengal ownership is by no means complete. It’s a good idea to talk with a breeder, vet, or another Bengal owner about their experiences with owning Bengal cats. From our experience with these incredible felines, there are many more pros than cons associated with Bengal ownership.