The exotic-looking Bengal with its tiger-like spotted coat is one of the most exclusive cat breeds in the UK and beyond. Bengals stand out from all other domestic breeds, and this intelligent, energetic feline is undoubtedly not your average house cat. Here are ten interesting facts about the Bengals that you probably didn’t know.
They are descendants of the Asian Leopard.
There is a reason why Bengals look more wild than other breeds as they have ancient wild roots. Bengals are a result of domestic cats bred with Asian Leopards, which accounts for their wild-like looks and tendencies.
However, unlike fully wild cats, this hybrid has been thoroughly domesticated, meaning they are no more dangerous than your standard moggie. To be considered a domestic Bengal, they must be at least four generations (F4) or more away from the Asian leopard cat. This is because the F4 has a much softer and gentler character than the first generation (F1).
They love water.
It’s a well-known fact that most cats are not fond of water. Not only do they hate getting wet, but many cats aren’t big drinkers either. However, this is not the case with Bengals, as they adore both drinking water and playing in it. In fact, many have a quirky way of drinking water where they will dip their paws in the bowl then lick them rather than lapping it up with their tongue.
A Bengal will not get fearful at the sight of water; instead, they will dive under a running tap or follow you in the shower. What’s more, they don’t show fear of large bodies of water, and many have been known to swim in pools.
You can teach them commands and tricks.
A strange but super cool fact about Bengals is that you can teach them basic commands that you would teach a dog. For example, a Bengal can successfully learn to sit, stay, and more without much effort. This is because they are so much more intelligent than other cat breeds and have an excellent memory. You can also teach Bengals to perform tricks and play games like fetch.
They can pick up on your mood.
Another result of a Bengal’s intelligence is that they can sense their owners’ emotions. For example, many Bengal owners report their cats adjusting their behaviour when someone in the house is angry or sad. Therefore, they pick up on your tone and gestures when you’re speaking to them, much more than you would realise. And if you’re feeling sick or sad, your Bengal will likely come to cheer you up.
They can jump super high.
All cats are known for their impressive jumping abilities, but Bengals are the pros of this particular skill. They can leap up to three times their height, which is always a shock to first time Bengal owners! These instincts come from their wild leopard genes.
They have glittery fur.
A Bengal’s coat looks incredibly stunning under the sunlight, where you will see their fur appears to be glittery. How is this so? A specific gene is passed down to them, known as the “glitter gene,” which is responsible for this shimmering effect. The glitter tone is usually golden but can sometimes be copper or platinum.
However, not all Bengals are lucky enough to have glittery fur. Moreover, it can affect the tips of the hairs only, which is known as Mica (gold-tipped), or the whole shaft, known as Satin (hollow-air). The latter reflects light throughout the coat and gives it an ultra-silky texture, too.
They are massive attention seekers.
Any Bengal owner will tell you that Bengals are not a low maintenance breed, and they need a lot of attention. They are so intelligent and energetic that they require frequent stimulants and playtime and are far from a lazy kitty. However, leaving your Bengal in a room alone with lots of toys and cat trees will not work as they need regular human interaction for their development and wellbeing.
A Bengals need for attention is the reason why they are not ideal for everyone. If an owner doesn’t have enough time for their Bengal, they may develop behavioural problems from insufficient emotional support.
They follow their owners everywhere.
Bengals will follow their owners around the house with a dog-like devotion to get the attention they need. There are no exceptions, so if you’re considering getting a Bengal, be prepared to share your most private toilet and shower moments with your furry companion! If you try to shut your Bengal out of the room to get some alone time, don’t be surprised if they begin a chorus of meows, which brings us to number nine.
Bengals are one of the loudest cat breeds
Bengals are not afraid to demand your attention and will do so with a range of different-toned meows and sounds. Sometimes they are simply chatting with you, but if they have a loud, consistent and whining meow, this could be them telling you that they are not getting the level of attention they need.
They will hide things around the house
Bengals have a tendency to play with small objects they find around the home and will often take them and hide them in a different place. You may think this makes them little thieves, but they are simply trying to rearrange the home for you!
While this can be a funny quirk, it’s best to keep vital things like your keys and bank card safely hidden away in a cat-proof place. Plus, as Bengals love to shred up papers, be careful not to leave any important documents around!
Bengals are a wonderful cat breed and make loyal, devoted companions. Still, they are much higher maintenance than some other breeds. Therefore, Bengals are best suited to experienced cat owners who know how to meet the needs of this gentle, mini tiger.