Bengal cats are one of the more popular exotic breeds of domesticated cats out there. It’s easy to see why Bengal cats are desirable from their beautiful fur to their intelligent and engaging disposition.
Of course, like all cat breeds, Bengal cats aren’t for quite everyone, but there are many reasons why you might want to consider getting a Bengal cat of your own. There’s a lot more to this breed than their looks and impressive name.
As any Bengal owner will tell you, these are only a few of the reasons you might want to own a Bengal. But to learn the others, you’ll have to get one for yourself.
Let’s dig in and see what makes these cats such special companions.
Bengal Cats Have Beautiful Coats
The first thing you notice about any Bengal cat is probably their gorgeous short fur. Bengals have been described as miniature leopards (despite getting their name from Bengal Tigers), thanks to their bright orange coats and attractive black spotting.
Bengal cats come in several different coat patterns, with some having long stripes and spots, some just having spots, and still, others having a rosette pattern in all their spots.
The rosetted Bengals are some of the most desired, and therefore most valuable, but all variations are beautiful.
You can also get a range of different colors on Bengal cats, with silver and black-spotted coats, and even others that are almost entirely black, with darker spots and a slightly lighter smoky gray background.
While some of the color patterns in Bengals are still rare, you’ll have several options if you contact a local Bengal cattery.
Bengal Cats Are Social
One of the chief complaints about many cats is that they can be very solitary animals, and only socialize when they want. Bengal cats are an exception to that rule. These sweet fuzzballs are curious about humans from kittenhood on, assuming they’ve been properly socialized. They are also rather social with other cats.
There’s nothing quite as fun as watching a litter of young Bengal cats plays together in a little pile while mom and another adult Bengal groom themselves nearby.
Even after you’ve taken your Bengal home from their cattery, you can expect Bengal cats to be very social with people and other animals. It might take them a little while to warm up to you and your other pets, but you can rest assured that your cat will develop a special place for everyone they’re around regularly.
Loyal and Affectionate
Despite being social butterflies, Bengal cats are also incredibly loyal creatures. They’ll naturally choose a favorite person and follow that person more closely than others. They form tight bonds with their chosen people but are social enough to expand those bonds if there are other people around they can be close to.
Bengals, like other cats, aren’t universally cuddly. Even if your Bengal cat doesn’t show any interest in curling up in your lap, they will find a way to show you how much they appreciate you. Some Bengals will lay down next to you, while others like to lay at your feet.
Even the shyest and careful Bengal cats will usually follow their favorite people from room to room. They’ll also eagerly look for you when you get home. Not to mention that Bengal cats have an impressive internal clock, and they’ll be the first to realize if you’re running a little late.
Many Bengals will want more attention when you first get home since they like being social all day. It’s a good idea to plan a little extra time to greet your Bengal cat since they’ll reward your affection a thousand times over.
Bengal Cats Are Vocal
You might not understand your Bengal any more than you understand other breeds of cat or even baby babble, but they sure will talk to you.
While this can be a downside for some pet owners, we prefer to think of it as a feature. Communicative and vocal cats will let you know what’s on their mind, and that can make them a lot easier to care for.
Not to mention how fun it can be to talk back when your cat starts meowing. Some Bengals will even meow in return, letting you have a full conversation with your cat. They even look like they’re listening when they do it.
More importantly, most Bengal owners can tell the difference between happy and sad meows, excited and tired calls, and even get some idea of their cat’s mood from the kind of vocalizations they make.
Your Bengal’s meows will eventually tell you when they are tired, hungry, excited, and even if they are depressed and need a little extra human attention.
Bengal Cats Love Exercise
Bengals are also very active and athletic cats. They love climbing on cat furniture (and sometimes other furniture too, to be honest), chasing after laser pointers, playing with toys, and even indulge in the occasional zoomies.
But all cats enjoy exercise to some level, so you might be wondering why we’ve included this trait in the reasons you should get a Bengal. The truth is, Bengals are much more active than other cat breeds on average, and that’s part of why you’ll see them so often. They like to be up and moving, and their loyalty makes following their favorite people a perfect solution.
They Even Like to Walk
Bengals also take their love of exercise to the next level. Like most dogs, Bengal cats often enjoy going on walks.
You will probably have to start this habit early if you want your Bengal to tag along for a stroll. They’ll need some help adjusting to a harness (never attach a leash directly to your cat’s collar), but you can easily train them to harness as soon as they’re big enough for one.
Just put your Bengal in the harness when it’s time to start training. Have some of their favorite food or a treat to reward them once it’s on and leave it on for at least an hour. Repeat until your cat stops reacting to the harness once it’s on. Unfortunately, even Bengals can fight putting a harness on, even if they like it.
Just be careful not to take your Bengal for a walk at the same time every day unless you want a constant reminder when it’s time for a pleasant stroll.
And Play Fetch
Speaking of walking, there’s another dog-like game that many Bengal cats enjoy. Fetch.
Bengals aren’t big enough to play fetch with a traditional tennis ball. But a ball-shaped cat toy, or almost any of your cat’s small toys, are a good option.
You can even get your Bengal cat to bring the toy back and drop it easily, just like a dog.
Some Bengals are even known to play keep-away with their owners, just like some dogs. It’s all a matter of their personality and mood. They’re animated and smart enough to always keep you on your toes, and if their begging for play is an indication, Bengals love this activity as much as you do.
Like walking, you should probably start this game relatively early if you want your Bengal to participate. Once they’re older, they might not realize that you’re trying to introduce a new game. Young Bengals practically don’t need the training to play fetch.
It’s still not a bad idea to have some treats to reward them giving the toys back.
Bengal Cats Are Easier To Manage Than Dogs
Bengal cats are also a little less work-intensive than dogs. If you miss having a dog but don’t have the time and energy to give one, you may want to consider a Bengal cat instead.
That’s because, while Bengals like to go for walks and play fetch, they’re also perfectly capable of amusing themselves. They’ll play their own games (while keeping an eye on you) when they need entertainment.
Bengals are also sensitive to your mood, and many of these special cats will stick particularly close to you if you aren’t feeling well, just like dogs.
Like dogs, Bengal cats need a well-balanced diet to stay healthy, but they like shorter walks, shorter fetch throws, and are just a little lower intensity animal to care for.
Bengal cats are also smaller and deal with small apartments better than most dog breeds. It can even be easier to find housing since many properties are cat-friendly, but not dog friendly.
Owning a Bengal isn’t quite like owning a dog, and no one should pretend that it is. But it can be a good option if you can’t take care of a dog and still want the fellowship and love only a furry companion can provide.
This Breed Is Similar to A Dog Than Other Cats
Speaking of dogs… Bengal cats tend to be very dog friendly as a breed. You need a dog that likes cats, of course, and it helps if you can socialize your Bengal with your dog while still young. But, even full-grown Bengal cats seem to have a better reaction to dogs than many other breeds.
Dogs also tend to like Bengal cats, since they are a little larger than many other cat breeds and behave a bit more like a dog.
They aren’t speaking the same language when it comes to playtime and body language, but Bengals and dogs almost understand each other, and that makes things a lot easier.
You might find your Bengal and your dog paying chase, grooming one another, or even playing keep-away with a favorite toy. They probably won’t play tug together, but many Bengal cats have close friendships with their owner’s dog.
Bengal Cats Are Exotic
This is admittedly a mild benefit for many, but there is something undeniably exotic about Bengal cats. They look a little wilder than other breeds, all clean lines, and long, athletic limbs.
If you’re looking for an animal that adds character to your home as well as companionship and love, Bengal cats are a good option.
They Are Curious and Playful
We’ve mentioned that Bengal cats are energetic and athletic, but they’re highly intelligent too! Bengal cats are prone to getting into all kinds of mischief, but it’s usually more endearing than damaging.
You can expect your Bengal to thoroughly inspect any new furniture you bring home, along with your groceries, hobby supplies, and anything else you see to pay attention to. Not to mention they’ll hunt out any mouse hiding places and have a grand time playing with their favorite toys.
Bengals might get into trouble from time to time, but mostly their ideas of fun are harmless.
Better yet, since your Bengal is almost always going to be nearby, they’re an almost constant source of entertainment as they get up to their games.
Bengal Cats Are Not Afraid Of Water
Bengals also defy one other feline stereotype. Like Bengal tigers, Bengal cats love the water. They’ll play with ice cubes, and even with their water bowls a little.
Even more impressive, Bengal cats enjoy a swim. Most will happily take a dip in a kiddie pool if you give them the opportunity. As your Bengal slips and swims through the water, with an occasionally happy chirp, it’s impossible to think they’re upset.
A bath might slightly less entertain Bengals, but they aren’t very likely to fight you. They object more to being restrained from being washed than to the washing and water themselves.
Giving your Bengal a small pool can be a fantastic way to keep them entertained and to provide them with some fresh enrichment from time to time.
Bengal Cats Are Considered Hypoallergenic
Bengal cats are also considered hypoallergenic. Now, that doesn’t technically mean that you won’t ever react to your Bengal cat. Instead, hypoallergenic cats are less likely to cause a reaction, and any reaction to the cats will usually be milder.
That’s because they have a slightly smaller buildup of the protein that causes allergies, and because they are easy to keep clean and hygienic.
If you have a relatively mild cat allergy, you may not react at all.
Better yet, the longer you own your Bengal, the milder any reactions are likely to be. Eventually, you may not react, even if you do at first.
They Are A Kid-Friendly Cat Breed
Bengals are also a relatively kid-friendly cat, and they can be fantastic family companions.
If you want your Bengal and your cat to really get along, plan on some early socialization as soon as your cat, or your baby, are added to the family. The sooner you get your Bengal used to the idea of a smaller, more unpredictable human, the fewer problems you’re likely to have.
Since Bengals are naturally curious, they’re also much more likely to react to a new baby with curiosity. They’ll want to know more, and in some cases, you’ll have to work harder to keep your Bengal away from the new baby than to get them to like each other.
Bengals are also relatively even-tempered, so those early relationships will probably survive a pulled tail or two.
Just remember that you should always keep a close eye on young children and cats when they are interacting, and your Bengal will probably be fast friends with your children too.
Bengal Cats Are Easy To Train
The last major trait we want to talk about is Bengal cat’s trainability. These cats are relatively food motivated, incredibly smart, and very interested in their owners. That combination means that they are more likely to learn and listen to commands than other cat breeds.
They aren’t quite as trainable as most dogs, so you’ll have to keep their commands to a shortlist of tricks and obedience training. But even that shortlist can help with things like calling for your cat, putting them in a carrier, and performing fun tricks for friends and family.
Even better, your Bengal will probably enjoy the training. Like dogs, Bengal cats tend to see performing tricks as one more game, and they’ll be happier for the added mental stimulation.