Updated: May 17, 2019

The Bengal cat is a hybrid breed of cat, a cross between a Domestic cat (Felis catus) and a leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). The leopard cat is a small wild cat native to Asia, which leads many to wonder if the Bengal cat is also wild. Actually, they are one of the most loving, affectionate and friendly companion animals with humans. Bred by famed cat breeder Jean Sugden Mill in 1963 in the USA, this cat breed was created to marry the striking appearance of wild cats with the loving nature of domestic cat breeds.

If you are interested in adopting a Bengal cat or simply want to know a little more about this fascinating breed, AnimalWised is the place to be. With detail all the fundamental information about their characteristics, temperament, health and care of the Bengal cat so you can know if they might be part of your life.

  • America
  • United States
FIFe classification
  • Category IV
Physical characteristics
Average weight
  • 7-11
  • 11-13
  • 13-17
  • 17-22
  • 22-30
Life expectancy
  • 8-10
  • 10-15
  • 15-18
  • 18-20
Type of hair
  1. Characteristics of the Bengal cat
  2. Character
  3. Bengal cat care
  4. Bengal cat health
  5. Fun facts

Characteristics of the Bengal cat

The Bengal cat has a robust and strong build, providing a medium to large size which can depend on the individual. As with many cat breeds, the the male is usually larger than females with the former weighing around 5-8 kg (11-17 lbs) and females around 4-5 kg (8.8-11 lbs). The significant difference in weight between sexes is why they are considered a medium to large sized cat.

They have a broad and rounded head which holds a strong and powerful jaw. The large jaw partly makes them quite wild looking. Their large almond-shaped eyes are greenish yellow. Together with the short, pointed ears, their face has a fierceness which is desirable to breeders. Their body is equally strong, with particularly well-built hind quarters which are higher than the front.

The Bengal cat's fur is short, soft and thick. The Bengal cat is the only domestic cat breed which has rosette markings, the same as some leopards and other wild cat breeds. These markings can be variable and marbling can occur. In terms of color, the Bengal cat's coat is more variable. They can display ivory, cream, yellow, gold or orange with black coloration on the rosettes.


The Bengal cat stands out for its well-known hyperactivity and curiosity. They are an insatiable cat which likes to play and spend time with people who will dedicate attention to them. In general, we speak of a loving and affectionate breed which bonds closely with their human family. They are a cat breed which will relate well to other pets in the house such as cats, dogs or even ferrets. This will, of course, depend on the quality of their socialization. As their are highly intelligent, they will spend hours investigating different areas in the house. They are also known to manipulate objects with their paws, so we will need to be careful with objects left on shelves or counters. They are fun loving and sociable.

As with all cats, we can't guarantee each will have the same character or conform to their breed's general traits. Each Bengal cat is an individual. with a personality marked not only by genetics, but by environmental influences, past experiences and socialization. For this reason, if you adopt a Bengal kitten, you will need to ensure their needs are properly met to avoid behavioral problems in the future.

Bengal cat care

The care a Bengal cat requires for health and well-being is relatively simple. We need to pay special attention to brushing their coat, especially during shedding season. Brushing removes the dirt and dead hairs which can cause obstruction in the form of hairballs when ingested. Using malt paste or even adding a teaspoon of olive oil to their feed every few days can help prevent this from happening. On the other hand, cats should not be bathed unless necessary (e.g. have dangerous substance spilled on them). This is because cats are very hygienic animals which need to self-clean.

To ensure the cat has a place to maintain their claws, but not ruing your furniture in the process, you will need to invest in some scratching posts. You should have more than one placed tactfully around the home. You can even get some which attach to the side of couches to help them use these instead. Even more than most other cat breeds, the Bengal cat needs to have intelligence games to stimulate cognition and prevent boredom.

The Bengal cat's diet will directly influence the quality of their coat and helps to ensure a positive state of health. High quality food which satisfies their nutritional needs is vital. You can supplement dry food with wet food, but be careful not to overfeed them.

Bengal cat health

To ensure the good health of our Bengal cat, we will need to strictly follow their vaccination schedule, even if they do not have outdoor access. Remember that we humans can protect ourselves from the environment through clothes, shoes and other protective clothing. Cats do not usually have the same protection. To a cat, our very clothing can be carriers of viruses and bacteria from the outside world. For similar reasons, it is important for cats to b e dewormed regularly. They may accidentally eat some infested food or pick up parasites from other animals.

Don't forget to visit a vet every 6 to 12 months for a checkup and more often when they are older or more vulnerable. They will give a general review of the Bengal cat's health and look for some specific pathologies which may have gone unnoticed. These may include:

Fun facts

  • Sterilization is recommended to both promote better physical health and avoid the sexual frustration which can lead to behavioral problems.
  • The Bengal cat is a rare cat breed which enjoys water and may even like swimming in the bath if given the option.

Bengal photos

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