Did you know all house cats descend from the African Wild Cat? All, that is, except the Bengal. The Bengal cat is the only domestic cat with both African Wild Cat and Leopard cat in its genes.
You could say it’s one of a kind.
Leopard cats were domesticated at one time, wayyyy back in ancient history. Read about domestic cats for the full evolution story, but to sum it up the Bengal carries a unique set of DNA data and has unique coat markings to show for it.
Now, let’s find out more about this feline beauty:
Bengal cat physical appearance
Bengals are the only domestic cats with rosette markings. This makes them look a lot like a mini leopard. Rosettes are smaller spots around a larger center spot that combine to look like a rose – a bouquet of spots, if you will.
Bengals are larger than average house cats and long and slender in build (pretty swish, if you ask us). Here are some other key Bengal cat facts:
|Life span||9–15 years|
|Size||Medium to large|
|Height||33 cm to 40 cm|
|Colours||Brown spotted, seal lynx point (snow), sepia, silver, mink spotted tabby|
Bengals are smart!
Bengal cats are super smart. They can learn complex tricks like closing doors, standing on their hind legs, or rolling a ball – to name a few.
They’re not exactly the dogs of the cat world; that’s the Maine Coon cat’s department. Let’s just say they’re mavericks in their own right!
Bengals are highly sociable and can get along with other pets, provided they’re given a proper introduction. On that, read the steps to introducing your kitten and cat or introducing a puppy to a cat.
Bengals can become deeply attached to one person and love spending quality time together. A great way to do this is training your cat to walk on a leash.
They’re also energetic and inquisitive, which is why a good feeding and playtime schedule helps them stay focused and happy. Their natural hobbies include exploring, chasing, and climbing – read new kitten need-to-knows to get equipped.
Watch this video of Moogly the Bengal cat doing some cool tricks then tell us you don’t want one…
Bengal cat health
Like many purebred cats, Bengals are prone to certain health issues. This doesn’t mean they’ll get them, and your Bengal could be healthy as a lark their whole life. But knowing about them does mean you can discuss preventative measures, like lifestyle and nutrition, with your vet. Prevention is always better than cure.
Conditions Bengals can be prone to include:
- Heart conditions. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a thickening of the heart muscle. This makes it harder to pump blood.
- Vision loss. Bengal progressive retinal atrophy (PRA-b) is a genetic disease that causes degeneration of the retina. This leads to vision loss and blindness.
- Metabolic disorders. Erythrocyte pyruvate kinase deficiency (PK deficiency) is an inherited metabolic disorder. It can cause several symptoms including anaemia, shortness of breath and fatigue.
Pet insurance is one of the best gifts to give your cat, whether it’s a swish Bengal or not.
Our online cat insurance is affordable and easy to use and helps cover costs for pet health care. That goes for standard costs like vet visits through to unknown and unexpected costs like hospitalisation and surgery. That way you can focus on your cat’s quality care and not the cost.