Because Bengals do have a feral lineage they are far too often misunderstood and for some often there’s fear. But Bengals are not a wild animal that’s super difficult to handle, in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is why it’s important that people learn as much about them as they can so that they realize that they’re one of the most unique domestic cats around. In this article we’ll cover the following:
Bengal cats are the only successful outcome of breeding a wild cat with a domestic one. There are some signs there might have been some attempts prior to an amateur breeder Jean Sudgen in the 1970’s. She was one of the first to receive a group of cats that had been originally bred to use for genetic testing by Dr. Willard Centerwall. He had been testing some Asian Leopards for their partial immunity against feline leukemia and it was he who first began breeding domestic cats with the wild breed.
Instead of destroy these beautiful cats after he was done with his study, he looked for the right homes for his Bengal cats. Jean Sudgen chose only the ones that seemed to show more domestic temperaments and just the right spot patterns. Jean Sudgen had her own experience with studying genetics in the 1940’s and this was the perfect opportunity for her. Dr. Centerwall was excited about her wanting to breed hybrids and backed her 100%. However, a lot of breeders at that time were very against breeding wild cats with domestics and some still are totally against it. In fact, the Cat Fanciers Association to this day refuses to allow people to register their Bengals because of their wild heritage. But other cat associations have been allowing them to be registered since the 1980’s and that includes the International Cat Association.
The sad thing about the breeding for Jean was that the male offspring turned out to be sterile, but lucky for her, the females weren’t. So she started trying to find a good male cat that she could cross with her female hybrids. Just when it looked like she wasn’t going to find the right male, her patience finally paid off in 1982. She received a call from the curator of the New Delhi Zoo far off in India. He told her there was a leopard like feral cat that was living in the rhino exhibit and the zoo. Even though this cat was feral, he did end up being the perfect mate for her females. After that, er breeding program was on it’s way.
By the time breeding got to the fourth generation they were only breeding Bengals with other Bengals and this is where the breed became considered pure. Through this process over the years, the elusiveness, omnivorous hunter and other wild traits have been bred out of the Bengal so that they are now a very house and people friendly cat companion. The fourth generation and beyond have exceeded all expectations when it comes to being affectionate, friendly and gentle.
Bengal cats love the company of humans. But, this does not mean they are lap cats, because they’re not. If you’re looking for a lap cat you’ll want to get one that’s a lot lazier and very happy doing nothing much. But just because Bengals don’t like laying for hours in your lap doesn’t mean that they aren’t affectionate. That couldn’t be further from the truth. They love to receive lots of attention and love to return the favor. But they prefer to do it in an active fashion and not passive like a lot of other domestic cats.
Bengals are cats that love to be active all the time and want to be stimulated. This could be one reason why they might be suitable for every person looking for a cat. It requires a lot of time on your part to keep them happy and not let them get bored. They want your attention but most of the time in the form of playing with them, because the more stimulation that you give them the happier they are going to be.
Because they love to play and explore they love it when their pet parents give them places where they can climb and spots where they can hide. This is why it’s a good idea to have a good cat tree with one or two different levels with at least one enclosure that they can sneak into. This will provide them with a play area that will satisfy their need to climb, jump, scratch and even hide if they feel like it.
Since Bengals love lots of play time, stimulation and activity often they’re the ideal pet for a family that’s lively and has children, other pets, especially dogs that are full of energy. Bengals do extremely well in environments that are lively and energetic with tons of activity going on. This is why you’ll notice that your Bengal will follow you all over the house, especially if you’ve been gone all day. They want to be involved and know what you’re doing so they can see if they can do it right along with you.
Here’s a video showing a Bengal playing with the family dog:
Bengals are extremely intelligent and that can’t be noted enough. With this intelligence comes a lot of curiosity and if you’re not prepared for a cat that wants to figure everything out, you may not be ready for a Bengal. But, if you are one who wants a cat that will not only love you but entertain you for hours, you’re going to be extremely happy with having a Bengal as part of your family.
Bengal cats are very loyal and even though they may not want to lay around with you on a lazy afternoon, they truly love their pet parents. Their owners are extremely important to them and they will show their love to their owners in many different ways. Bengals always tend to want to be by the side of their owners and they never want to be left out of anything they might be doing. One thing is for sure they know how to vocally express their love by a variety of cute meows and chirps.
Don’t misunderstand the fact they’re not lap cats, when they are in the mood they will cuddle. They love to rub against their pet parents and snuggle up with them. Sometimes they’ll take time out to get up on the sofa or a comfortable chair and even in bed, just so they can share their love with their owners. So, even if they aren’t like a lot of other cats, there will be very special moments of affection and love that will be shown and warm a person’s heart.
One of the key things that Bengals love to do is watch their pet parents do everything and then try to copy what they’re doing. It’s quite common to see them learning how to open up the doors in the house, windows, cabinet doors, drawers and more. It’s that intelligence and curiosity of the Bengal that encourages them to do these things.
They absolutely love to play with water. They like playing in their water dishes, jump in tubs with water and especially like to have their own little wading pools with toys in them so they can delight themselves with just the pure enjoyment of playful moments. Because of their love of water and no fear attitude, they often are intrigued by toilets and how the water flows down the toilet bowl, this is why you might want to make sure that you try to remember to keep the toilet lid closed all the time if you don’t want a watery mess in your bathroom all the time.
Because of their curiosity about the world around them, their intelligence and super activity levels, they love to be taken on nice walks on a leash. They are easily trained to a harness and leash and once they are used to those two items, you’ll have a cat that wants to go for walks as much as a dog.
They love to play, play, play. This is why it’s so important to have a variety of toys that they can choose from to satisfy their intelligence and they need to be stimulated. They really prefer to have toys that offer them a challenge or ones that amuse them. This is why it’s important to make sure that the toys you offer them are ones that are interactive in some way as well as ones that make them think or figure out how to get a treat out of it. They need this because otherwise they tend to get bored and you really don’t want a bored Bengal cat on your hands.
Check out the video showing two Bengal kittens playing on their cat tree, they’re so cute:
Bengal cats love to make noise, so be prepared for that. This is their best way to communicate their needs, wants and desires. They have a variety of meows, howls, chirps and purrs that allow them to communicate with their owners and others in the home. If a lot of meowing is something that drives you nuts, then the Bengal probably isn’t the cat for you.
So, did this article help you get a better picture of the personality of Bengal cats? Please let us know what you think about it by leaving your own comment below.