Worst cat breed as a pet…. Bengal
- The reason the Bengal breed (or any hybrid cat) makes the worst pet is…
Before I tell you, it’s important to know my professional background and Bengal experience. (credibility)
I’ve been an animal behaviourist/trainer since 1981, starting in the US Military training police dogs, then moving to Hollywood to teach animal actors, training different domestic and exotic animals. Then moving to Malibu, where I opened my own dog training business, also managed at a pet hotel offering boarding, training, grooming, and doggie daycare.
I currently have two cats with Guinness world records, one cat (Didga) is the most talented cat in the world. I provide an extensive library of cat training and behaviour fixing tutorials on my Patreon page (a few on YouTube)
I’m a Bengal owner. (Boomer is an F7) What I’ve experienced with the breed and shared with my large social media following have been experienced (confirmed) by many Bengal owners (online, below in the comments, and or people I meet out in public.) I’m just the messenger; this article will end up helping the breed, not hurting. I’m sharing information you can’t find elsewhere, and information that wasn’t available to me during my extensive research some 4+ years ago.
I understand there are exceptions to every rule. Please, If you have a Bengal that is nothing like I’m reporting, OR, everything I’m reporting, let us ALL know about your Bengal (and their temperament) in the comments below. I welcome all viewpoints and experiences. The bottom line, when adopting “ANY” new cat/dog into the family, it’s important to do as much research as possible. If you’re not fully committed to your pet, they get ignored, abandoned in the streets, or brought to shelters. All this could have been avoided if people did the research first.
- They’re part WILD! Not the same temperament as a purely domesticated cat. and they wouldn’t be happy stuck in your house. I compare the breed to a husky dog, high maintenance, requiring a ton of space, a lot more of your time (caring for), and more direct interaction (Lot’s of training, exercise, supervision in and outdoor) Not for one month, or one year, but for years and years, like would be required (or should be) with a dog.
- Pure breed cats are overrated, especially hybrid cats; they’re rarely as advertised (what you expected) Bengals are WAY too much cat for those who consider themselves a cat person, even too much for a “dog person”. Also, why “buy” a cat when there are so many amazing cats/kittens in shelters, that’s where I got Didga, Bindi, and Jeb. Did you know: To produce a hybrid “domesticated” cat, they do “selective breeding.” This means a lot of cats/kittens are killed litter after litter after litter until… they reach “breed standards”: Appearance, temperament, and or health. (very sad)
- Bengals have a very loud meow. More than just “talkers,”; they are known to pace around your home a few times+ a day, (because they’re part wild animals) doing this very loud meowing ritual, Your neighbours will probably be concerned about your cat. A client of mine who lives on a farm tells me every time they leave the house, their Bengal screams the whole time their gone, sometimes for hours, and they know this because a few neighbours on adjacent farms can hear the cat. They’re also known to be escape artists. Boomer checks for a way out, scanning the construction, sometimes pawing at the front doorknob. The owners of a cat enclosure company told me, if a Bengal owner calls them to install an enclosure, they say to the person, “Sorry we can’t help you, In our experience Bengals eventually find a way to escape from their enclosures.” Boomer has escaped but because I’m home most of the time, I found him quickly and I’m able to stop him from getting any ideas.
- “Looks” are the most common reason people get these cats, and turns out to be the worst reason to get ANY animal. Or a cat you grew up with, or a friend has one, etc. What’s more important is the animals needs, temperament and compatibility with your CURRENT lifestyle and living conditions. (“looks” are only a bonus.) I wish everyone would “look” at it from the animal’s perspective. (hypothetically), asking the animal what they think about potentially being cramped up 24/7 in your house/apartment, alone most of the day, maybe only having a few walks around the block per week? all so you can look at them all day?? If they could speak, Siberian huskies, hybrid cats, birds, or any animal in cages (aquariums) would say, “We are NOT compatible, please DON’T BUY ME.” A true “animal lover” puts the animals needs before their own, and for 99% of you, not getting a hybrid cat, makes you more of an animal lover. Note: this doesn’t include rescuing a Bengal from a shelter, obviously this is a good thing, there is a need for this service as so many are given-up to rescue centers because a lot of people got one because of the way they look. Surprise!
- They hate being picked up, cuddled, or carry around. Bengals are NOT considered “lap-cats.” the reason is, they’re part wild (did I mention that?) I had one lady tell me her Bengal (finally after several years) became affectionate and a lap cat with her, but still doesn’t like being picked up by her, and will run away from other family members that try to pat/pick him up. For the first year of Boomer’s life, every time someone patted him, or if I picked him up, I gave him food to make it all a positive experience. A whole year of this and it didn’t seem to help much, he still hates being picked up, I mean hates it. So even with the most dedicated training, you can’t change a leopards spots.
- Not a good match with small children (under 7) People hate when I say this, (and most of the time don’t listen anyway). but I’m thinking of the pet, they’re the ones who end up not getting the attention they deserve, and Bengals require WAY more of your time than your average cat. In general, cats are less tolerant of young children and more likely to avoid them at all costs once something unfavourable happens. FYI – It’s a myth that small kids should grow up with a pet, I didn’t have any relations with a dog or cat growing up, and look how good I am with animals. (just saying) it’s okay to wait until your kids have a better grasp of the responsibilities when caring for an animal. (even then, the parents end up doing most of the work.)
- They may not get along with your current cat(s), especially cats older than 2-3 or those who arent super social with other cats. (unless maybe it’s another Bengal) Note: When I first got young Boomer, Didga and Boomer got along BRILLIANTLY! Then after a year and a half, it started to go downhill. Boomer at some point must have hurt Didga; since then, Boomer stalks her, bullies her, takes advantage of her weakness, pouncing on her back, bitting her on the neck, lots of screaming. No punctures marks, but the hair comes out. I usually have to intervene by pulling Boomer off. Didga hates him now. I bring this up because, I’m a professional trainer, I’m home most of the time, I try to keep Boomer stimulated, I apply training techniques in textbook fashion, and I’m still not able to manage the situation 100%. I felt sorry for Didga not having a playmate anymore. Yes, I know, the scenario could of happen with another cat, but the difference is because Bengals have more wild instincts, they don’t respond to behaviour modification techniques like regular cats. Again, they’re part WILD. To rectify my situation, I had two options, find Boomer a home OR find a younger cat that will be more tolerant of his temperament. and give Didga a much needed break. I GOT LUCKY! after a few years on and off fostering about 10 kittens total, I finally found the right cat, well, two cats that are the perfect match. I’m a family of four and things are WAY better than before. Bindi and Jeb are giving Didga a much needed break. Q: Why take a chance on ruining the normal life of your existing cat, by adding a high maintenance energetic overbearing cat? (Bengal or not).
- Can’t let them roam outside (unsupervised.) OR ANY CAT. There are too many dangers outside that cats face, killed by poison, people, cars, dogs (or other animals) and tortured. They can get lost, stolen, injured, catching diseases fighting other cats, or just the fact they’re forced to defend/fight other aggressive cats. They kill innocent local wildlife “for sport”. It’s a sport because they didn’t kill to survive, 99% of the time they don’t eat the animal. Bengals aren’t the only cats that kill animals I know, but the hunting instincts, power, and heights these cats can jump, make them killing machines (30-40% more successful killing animals than other domestic cats, plus they can take down larger animals). FYI – Boomer and Didga have NEVER killed any animals outside. After applying a training technique, Didga learned in 2 weeks not to chase/lunge at birds, I tried to teach the same to Boomer, and after a few years of this, I still don’t trust him around birds, especially off-leash. Hence why you see, in many of my pics and videos, Boomer is still on a lead, and Didga is not. (Can’t change a Leopard spots).
- They’re not as trainable as advertised. (I fell for it.) I wasn’t looking for a lap cat, I was looking for a cat that would be adventurous, one I can take lots of places, teach a lot of things to, I was looking for a challenge, I figured if I can train police dogs, I can surely handle a Bengal cat. It wasn’t “looks” that attracted me to the breed, it was their supposed “trainability’. Let me explain. As a dog trainer, many so-called “trainers” were training border collies, gaining notoriety as “trainers,” and I thought, that’s cheating! Just because you can teach a Border collie tons of tricks, doesn’t make you a dog trainer. So as a cat trainer, I did my research to look for the “border collie” of the cat world. My research lead me to the Bengal breed as being one of the most “teachable” cat breeds. Fast forward a year, and the research, I believe, is very misleading, and I think whoever labeled Bengals this way, are NOT animal behaviourists or trainers. Didga or Bindi are WAY more trainable, Bindi being WAY more dog like than Boomer. What I didn’t for-see is how “wild” natured I would come to see the Bengal, which started to weight on me, as I don’t agree with wild animals in captivity, (plus I was indirectly promoting the breed which made me sad as most of the people wouldn’t be right for the breed.) Once you get past that initial “smarts” of the Bengal, and there are a few things they pick up faster than other cats, you still have a part wild animal. Wild animals have a very independent nature. For trainability, this is not compatible. “You can’t change leopard spots.” I often compare them to Huskies, absolutely beautiful, but not as trainable. Note: I’m aware that there are exceptions out there, I’m sure the “wild traits” / trainability differ within each Bengal.
I feel very sorry for these most of these “hybrid” cats unhappily imprisoned in a home environment. Very-very-very few people can provide the space and stimulation these cats require to truly be happy.
Those very few people have super large living area, and hike (travel) with their cats at least a couple of times per week. or they rescue a Bengal and a loving home is better than living in a small cage/kennel run, just be prepared for their wild animal instinct.
IF you found this post useful and informative, or you’d like to add your Bengal cat experience? please let us know below,
(If I think of anything new, I’ll update this blog)
Robert, Didga, Boomer, Bindi, and Jeb
119 thoughts on “Worst cat breed as a pet…. Bengal”
I was curious about the Bengal being taken out for exercise. Are they different that way.? I thought most cats prefer their same home life rather then taken different places.
Love your comments Robert. They are practical and you offer sound advice. I love comment 7 outlining the dangers of cats roaming free and the comments about the realities of Bengals. Owning one I guess is more akin to owning a high-energy small dog and the responsibilities are great. On another note, I wish you made more cat trick tutorials – (I know you said you’d stop because of lack of time but maybe one a year??) . For example, I’d like to teach Bruno the “free fallling” trick you did with Didga and the “rollover” trick. I have checked other cat teaching tutorials on the internet and yours are much better – second to none. Cheers from Canada, Sophie 🙂
Hello from the northeast USA! I didn’t know Bengals required quite so much exercise. They are definitely too active for me. I’m so glad you adopt rescued animals. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.
I have a Bengal and a Savannah I agree with what u say I spent 2 years researching this breed and I was not disappointed but I am a dog person and that’s part of the reason I got them.
Where I disagree is the young children my cats love them and I feel they can be great family pet if you teach the children how to care for them properly.
I always tell people how hard it is to look after them it’s takes an incredible amount of my time and money to care for them properly but me personally wouldn’t have it any other way and they give me lots of fun in the process, used your video’s for the harness training as it was the best way by a mile to do it only took me about 2 weeks to get them ready.
Keep spreading the word more of a dog person’s animal than a cat.
Thanks so much for your input. Sounds like you’re doing a great job raising your kids too 🙂
Hi, thanks for the message
Hello, thanks so much. I’m thinking about making more tutorials, just thinking about it, but I’ll need to start a Patreon page if I do.
All the best, Robert, Didga and Boomer
Hi, thank for the comment. it’s somewhat true, if they don’t ever experience the outside world, they don’t miss it as much. Although instinct will tug at them for a long-long time. But I want/need my cats to experience different places because of the filming I do, and sometimes we get called on set. Even if I didn’t do filming I’d still wAnt my cat to get out and see the world.
As a Bengal owner myself, I found every point to be very true for myself. As I wrote on the Catmantoo Facebook page people see my kitty and love her color, softness and personality. Then they express the desire to maybe get a Bengal for themselves. I always encourage them to do their research on the breed first. Bengals are not conducive to a too much laid-back lifestyle!
Thank you, Robert, for educating people about Bengals. Boomer is so beautiful. He and Didga (gorgeous, too) are quite the characters!
Looking forward to Catmanthree! 🙂
Hi Lisa,Thanks for following
and the kind words. It seems like all of us Bengal owners let others know what it’s “really” like to have one. All the best
I have a 2 year old Silver Bengal who you can find on Instagram as @phoenixthebengal . I did a small amount of research and my only surprise has been not wanting to be carried unless in a box or basket and no lap time.
Previously were owned by a Lilac Burmese who lived for 18 years 100% indoors. I would have to say that at the same age the enegery levels, running and naughty behaviours were matched.
While he is completely his own cat he also interacts with myself, husband and daughter all differently. It is so interesting to see the different relationships he has with us all. For example he treats me much like another cat, walks up and bites me to play or brings a toy to play with. He doesn’t do this with anyone else.
I would not say he is like a dog as he is not affectionate like a dog. We haven’t done leash training as he is 100% indoors.
It is my opinion that leash training brings a curiosity for the outdoors and leads to escaping where an indoor cat learns where their boundaries are. I am curious to know what you think about that.
All my bengals have been very food motivated! My latest Bengal is very picky though and doesn’t care for most food or treats, but none of them have been able to resist freeze dried chicken treats. Agree with them not liking to be held or learning to stay off the counters! Have to take him with me everywhere like a dog though or he starts to get bored at home and then starts getting into trouble!
Hi, thanks for the comment. Good to hear from other Bengal people
Good to know, and good to hear from other Bengal people to confirm my opinion. A curiosity to the outside world is always there, it’s instinctive. So whether it creates more curiosity, I don’t care, I think the benefits experiencing the outside world (on a leash), outweighs keeping them strictly inside. First Boomer has learned when he goes out, once the leash in on, then he’ll walk out the open door. He get’s experience walking around the neighbourhood and knows how to get home if he gets out, going places with me makes him tired so when he gets home he sleeps more, he still plays and bugs Didga at times but nothing like I think he would be if he was pent up all day inside, animals redirect pent up energy/anxiety towards people or other animals. Boomer loves going places and being part of the action, I couldn’t imagine not having him enjoy those things. The best part is he sleeps all night long. He’s still young but as he ages, he won’t have as much desire to go out because he’s been there, done that sort of thing, he’ll prefer to stay home, but boy did he go places. Didga has been that way for the last few years, I can let her roam around the backyard supervised and she comes when I call her. Boomer will be able to do this in a year or two. I’ll love seeing him explore off leash when I have more control of his bird obsession (I hope to control). thanks again.
Good list, much of it disagrees with my experience with my F7 female, but one thing is for sure. She is far more aggressive than most cats with the other cats of the house. She coexisted just fine with my big male Siamese, who outweighs her handily, but when I met my wife we combined cat families.
She now has two much less aggressive, and much less wary cats that she picks on constantly, and while I’ve given them plenty of room to get out and play in the back yard (overhanging fence) the whole lot of them is now very territorial as a result of her over aggression.
But, she is truly affectionate, and very loving to the humans of the household, and she’s been a lap cat since day 1.
Hi, I have four cats and a dog. Three cats were stray kittens, the fourth I dreamt about him and he arrived. My dog had been abbandoned. She was already three years old said the vet. They go along well together. I brought Cirilla the dog to train because she is half pitbull. She has a high temperament but only with other dogs with people is always belly up asking for kuddles. I discovered a great thing during our training together. The one who was trained was me! I learnt to look with the eyes of a dog and be the “alpha wolf”. I am more cattish in many ways. The thing I like about you ‘if I can espress my opinion freely, is the respect for these two cats. The risk was to create two ‘circus’ freaks.
Thank you for the time you dedicate to me
Robert this information on Bengals was very thorough and complete. Besides being excellent at what you do with Didga and Boomer, you’re very passionate and articulate and you have a big following of fans like me. The videos are fantastic. Thank you for sharing them and I’ll be looking forward to your next rescue kitty!!
hi, we were given a Bengal 15years ago who was exactly like you describe and we loved him so much we felt we could only replace him with another Bengal. our new kitty is one now and so unlike what weve known about Bengals. He is an anxious cat who loves my lap, is easily dominated by our other animals, hes not overly energetic and needs lots of support to handle changes around the house. We still adore him but we wonder if we ended up with the runt of the litter sometimes.
Hi Robert, I have to agree with all you’ve said about your Boomer. I have a rescue cat, *apparently* part Bengal, who had been sent to the RSPCA for being too difficult. Even the foster carer had problems with her, and she was nearly 1year old before the RSPCA put her up for adoption. I hadn’t done enough research, and was initially blown away by how little like any other cat I’d had she was/is. In saying that, after 2 years she’s finally settled in here so she owns us now. Kira’s really only my cat, but will tolerate my husband or son patting her occasionally. I was told not to have another cat or dog with this one, but when my mum died I took in her old Sheltie Sasha. Turns out my kitty was quite happy to rub up against her and spend time with her. Sadly she wasn’t with us long, but at least I was able to see Kira interact with another animal. These days Kira is happy to sleep all night, and only be attention-seeking in the daylight hours, but if she doesn’t get the attention she craves, she can be very destructive, so I can understand why some people get disillusioned with their Bengal. Keep up the good work, I enjoy your adventures with Didga and Boomer!
Thanks for your comment. You’re welcome, I will. Robert
Hi Megan, Thanks for your comment
Hi cheryl, Thanks for your comment. thanks for following us. R, D & B
Hi Piera, Thanks for your story. I am aware of that and I might have gotten carried a way a little, but just know I hope in the long run many cats benefit from my teachings. R, D & B
Hi Mittar, thanks for adding your story of your Bengal. People need to see all sides
Thank you, Robert. Interesting info on Bengals. I, myself, would never think of a pure breed. Shelter pets only! If you do foster, please, appreciated if you don’t let us fans get seriously involved. When you let Leonardo go, I found it painful because he had bonded with Didga & Boomer. Plus, I will always wonder how he is. Maybe a Barn cat??
I love your Kitties, love your videos. You are a wonderful Cat Man.
Langley, South Whidbey Island
Wa State, US
I have to say my 2 are pretty typically Bengal. One unfortunately had a heart issue and died at age 6. Yuki is now16 and still freezes if you pick her up. She is never going to be cuddly except on her terms IE cold in bed cuddling hot on her own bed. But insists on being near you = happy Bengal. Use to love playing soccer and fetching sticks but with a bit of arthritis tends to looks at the paper ball and then you as if saying you pick it up! But there are times you’d think she is a big kitten love story to run like a lunatic. If it wasn’t for the issues with jumping she’d still be on the bench.
I stopped watching your site months ago, after seeing Boomer lunge at Didga and appeared to bite her neck or shoulder area ! I was too afraid of seeing him do worse harm to dear Didga , so I stopped watching. Your Article was honest and I wouldn’t get a bengal because every one I met who had one ended up taking it to a shelter; the only reason they got theirs was always looks, Tiny kitten society (Shelly Roche) rescued a female snow bengal who was used as a kitten mill in a back yard breeding enterprise and they didn’t get vet care for any of the things afflicting including a uterine infection!! And gave birth to the only kittens she got to keep: She slept with them clasped to her chest . After spaying and neutering, A woman adopted the whole family of 3 !! There are many beautiful loving cats at rescues everywhere, so adopt don’t shop ! Thanks for giving people the pros and cons of bengal ownership !
Great article. I love Bengals but they are far beyond my cat skills. I think you’ve done a great job sharing your insights.
That was very helpful thank you. I have always wanted a bengal but this blog really helped me to understand the work involved so i think i will hold back until later on in life. At the moment i have a Bombay that i got fron the shelter. He is beautiful. I would love to read more blogs on vreeds and healthy cat ownership behaviors from you as it is very helpful.
Love your videos.
This info for Bengals is brilliant, you’re so right with all these points.
My Bengal loves the Maclaw Wheel to run on but it wasn’t enough so I have been letting him outside for the last few months & he loves it, we’re lucky to live in the country side and he’s learned NO BIRDS!
Looking forward to meeting the new cat once you’ve chosen her.
I so enjoy your videos and pictures of Didga and Boomer. I’ll be on the lookout for the third cat early next year!
I so respect your putting forth the cautionary list about temperament. It’s so important. The demand for supervision and attention reminds me of a kitty I had.
Sadly, most people think cats are like a piece of furniture (to be mostly ignored) or are only good for being barn “mousers.”
I LOVE your Instagram posts and follow as SoulfulSadie. I’ll keep on following. Please keep on posting and educating folks about how amazing kitties are!
In sincere appreciation,
P.S. I know you’re the expert, and you probably tried this already, but just in case, I thought I’d mention this . . . Also, other readers may find it helpful with cats who might not be as steadfastly willful as Bengals . . . To keep a cat off of kitchen counters, have you tried keeping sheets of aluminum foil on all the countertops when the cat is new to the home? They don’t like the noise and/or feel. Eventually, the cat’s interest goes to other things. I think the kitty I wrote about, above, also got a lot of her curiosity satisfied by being able to see what was going on, when I was working on the kitchen counters, by being on my shoulder! (She wasn’t spoiled or a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. LOL)
Hello, very nice story, what a character your cat was. Thanks for following. I’m looking forward to the day Boomer falls asleep in my lap, that may be a while. all the best
Hello, thanks for the comment, and glad your cat understood No Birds
I think you read that wrong, They play together a lot, Didga lunges (in play ) at Boomer and bites the same way. Do they take things a little far sometimes? yes, but that’s normal, human kids/siblings do the same… play until one takes it too far. You don’t have to worry about Didga, I’m WAY ahead of you, I’m the professional, plus her daddy, I do all the worrying when needed. btw – if/when Boomer does go too far, I would NEVER film it or share that on my site. That’s not my style.
This is a great post! I have two bengals and they’re exactly like you describe the breed here – except they’re both definitely lap-cats! I’ve been a dog person all my life but when I heard about this breed, I had to get one, and it was definitely the best decision of my life.
When my dog passed away, I thought that life gets “easier” now as I could go and spend night elsewhere straight after work if I want to without having to go home and take the dog out – well, my cats require even more attention and I just can’t stand leaving them alone! They’re so social and active. And the best thing in my life <3
I am looking for a cat I an leash train and take on the road camping ECT. You Bengals look great but I am glad you got the information out that it just not that easy. Is there any other breed you would suggest or does it just take a lot of training and luck?
My Bengal, Ansel, is a 15 year old F3 with BST markings and gold glitter. He’s a beautiful cat that was taken from a home with 2 other Bengals and 9 other cats. They had tried everything to “domesticate” him after letting him try being an outside cat almost got him killed when he took on a dog pack. Yeah. Everything, including declaw him. They insisted on him being an only pet, which is a very good thing because he hates every other animal with a passion.
He’s not a lot of work now, but for most of the time we’ve had him (10 years) he’s traveled with us and went out on adventures on his leash. He’s talkative, whiny, demanding, adores attention from every adult in the house and damned if he isn’t a lap/chest/shoulder cat. Hard to do when you need to be on a computer from home in order to work. He chitters at birds and squirrels out the window, and at me when I sneeze and startle him. He’s the biggest part of my heart and my baby boy.
I will say, I could line the entire kitchen floor with aluminum foil and it wouldn’t bother Ansel at all. He’d figure out how to ball it up and play with it. He looks at me in the mirror if I’m behind him, instead of turning around. He waits for me to get settled in the recliner and then climbs up and curls up between my legs, on my legs or God forbid, on my chest. Every day if he can. So no two are exactly alike.
I would agree with most of the do’s/don’t’s but most people don’t do this kind of research before buying an exotic animal. So if you do the research and decide you have the time and energy for a Bengal, please visit the rescue sites first before going to a breeder for a kitten. There are so many abandoned bengals in need of a home.
Hi Cyndi, Thanks so much for sharing your Bengal experience with us. I too am looking forward to when Boomer will be more of a lap cat, but it could be several years from now.
Confidence & high food drive is what you look for in a cat/kitten. The shelter is perfect place to go to evaluate lots of cats/kittens until you find (they find) the right one to take home. then watch my tutorials to learn how to teach your cat. let us know how it goes, send pics
Jonna, thanks a bunch for sharing your Bengal experience. I agree, they can be more work than a dog at times.
I fell in love with the breed back in the late ’80’s, but it wasn’t until ’99 that I brought Faji home. He was nine weeks old at the time and came into a household with three female moggies, all rescues. From the first he was a snuggler, though, and his sisters adopted him readily. I called them “Hairy Spotter and the Moggles”, but that didn’t give them a complex. Faj took to the harness readily, and it was uncanny the way he’d walk up to a tree and then just change gears and walk up the tree, as if gravity didn’t exist. Once when a squirrel was mocking him from a dogwood tree, Faji went up quickly while the squirrel was in mid-tirade and said “Hiya” to it. Squirrel’s eyes got as huge as they could and he hopped quickly to an adjoining tree. I also found that Faj had an innate gentleness with kids, as though he understood they were like kittens. I have to agree that Bengals aren’t for everyone, though. You may have to choose between knick-knacks and a Bengal, ’cause they may make it a joyful life mission to destroy things that are so vulnerable to gravity. For me, that was no problem, because there is no inanimate object as beautiful or loving as a critter. Faj was my soul-mate for 15 1/2 wonderful years, and a better companion I’ve never been blessed with. Just be willing, if you choose a Bengal, to give up on the concept of “normal”, be ready to laugh in the face of destruction (because they often wreak havoc with such irrepressible glee), prepare to laugh also at their comic timing and marvel at their ability to understand all manner of things you might not expect from a cat (like vacuum cleaners and gadgets of all kinds), and most of all, bask in the incredible love they offer.
My Bengal Peanut has never clawed anything but the scratching post and stays off the counters. She is about 2 years old and was given to me when she was around one, she was close to feral at first and I had to insist that she allow me to pick her up. It took time but I can now hold her up like a judge at a cat show with no fuss whatsoever.
She is definitely not a lap cat but will cuddle up just within reach of my fingertips. She rarely comes when called but will play fetch enthusiastically until exhaustion with the right mouse.
And I’ve never seen a cat who loves catnip more. She gets SO stoned – LOL
SO glad she’s in my life
My SBT Bengal (Jeanette aka Jeanettasaurus Wrecks) is as you describe. Very vocal/talkative. A menace with fur. Bull in a China shop. Complete LOVE pig. High energy and high maintenance. Likes sitting/riding on our head. Plays well with our Savannah F7 breed cat. However, MUST be kept completely separate from our 2 older Siamese (thinks beating them up is a sport). Practices catch & release mousing. Catches them in the garage and releases them in the house. Strictly indoor cat (outdoor pets in my neighborhood are called “snacks ” for the local wildlife). We love her!!!
Hydroponic catnip? LOL thanks for sharing
LOL! well put, thanks for sharing your Bengal story
Jeanettasaurus wrecks LOL LOL LOL!!!! thanks for sharing your Bengal story
I rehomed my Bengal for many of the reasons you mentioned, that his breeder did not tell me. Very sweet cat, loved my dogs, trained to behaviors cats normally won’t do. But besides all you said he was destructive beyond belief. He removed the carpeting from a spare bedroom, by pulling it up from underneath the baseboards. He ate the seat off my exercycle. He could open any closet door and haul out what was in it, then shred those things. He went to an experienced friend who had worked with large wild cats and was retired with other cats too. He never let up even in a more stimulating environment with 24/7 attention. Thankfully new owner didn’t mind.
WOW! thanks for sharing your Bengal story
I am getting a Bengal kitten in a few weeks. I have been helping take car of them and getting to know them. I want to this cat to go everwhere with. Is it hard for them to be around different homes and pets. I want to teach her to ride in a basket on my bike. Do you have any good books I can read to learn more. I want a happy buddy..tks
What does F7 and F6 mean, please?
BTW, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments.
We have 2 Bengal/Cross female cats that we adopted from kittens. The eldest is 7 years & youngest 4 years. Our eldest is not a lap cat at all and she only loves her mommy. She can be aggressive at times so I have to warn visitors not to try and stroke her. She learned to walk on a leash from young, but as we live in an apartment I could not keep her indoors for very long, she will claw her way out or as you mentioned in your article they are master escape artists. Our youngest are the complete opposite of the Bengal norm, she is a real lap-cat that loves to snuggle. They have high energy levels and chase each other around the house and yes they sometimes knock things over. We have adjusted our living space for them 🙂 They also fight sometimes, but no biting luckily, just the odd hair flying. I have fallen in love with this breed as there is never a dull moment with them around.
Enjoyed the article thanks kindly. I love Boomer (and Didga) and its super exciting that there there will be a 3rd addition to Catmantoo/three !!! Yay 🙂 Boomer seems very well behaved and such a sweetie to meet 🙂 You have done a wonderful job training both pussy cats ….. can’t wait to see what the next one will bring. BTW This blog , looks great too, thanks plenty again 🙂 xxxx
I always loved the Bengal breed. I really love your two cats Boomer and Digda
Very interesting and informative information,thanks Robert for you amazing care and love of training,,truely a pleasure watching you three pop up daily <3
i enjoyed the article and it does describe my Bengals well. My older male Bengal is more highly anxious and disappears when people come over. The younger female has no fear, but she has no boundaries either. the female has caught dragonflies out of the air – no bird would be safe if she roamed free. the male has slowed down now at 8 years, but the female at 4 years has not slowed at all. just for the record, both are fixed and both are rescues.I will adopt another Bengal, probably a rescue because many people do not do enough research better buying one.
thank you for your post and advice
We adopted a 7 year old Bengal twelve months ago and I must say it has been a huge learning curve. She’s like no other cat I’ve ever met before. For a long while, we were wondering if we had made the right decision. She was biting and I ended up at the hospital one night after she attacked my leg (in all fairness, a neighbour’s cat had been harrassing her through a window and at 4am she thought my leg was another cat) and it felt like we were living with a tiger. But we persevered and I’m so glad we did. The biting has stopped and she is the most affectionate cat I’ve ever had. I’ve used the tactic of showing her love instead of rousing on her (if she happened to get out of the yard I would praise her for coming inside instead of rousing on her for being out) and I’m always telling her how beautiful she is (both inside and out). If she does escape, she’s very good at showing us how she did it so we can fix it immediately haha. One time, we watched her as she climbed up a ladder and scaled the cat proofing at the top of the fence. They’re very smart. She loves cuddles, albeit on her terms but I couldn’t hold her at all before. She loves to sit on my lap to the point where I need time out! I can now take her out for supervised walks. She loves to sit and sleep on me and she’s now the first face I see in the morning. She’s slowly warming to my partner. I love her to bits and couldn’t imagine life without her now. It has been an interesting road but I believe with that when they’re treated right, they will love you for life.
Thank you so much for this detailed information about Bengals. I love their coats but never knew how much work is involved for the Bengals and yourself to be happy with each other. I now have Ocicats, who are the loves of my live! So from Coco and Chanel! (Who live happily in Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Hello Coco and Chanel, You’re welcome. Thanks for your comments and for following us on Facebook and/or Instagram or YouTube
Thanks for sharing such thorough and good information with us! I have long considered getting a Bengal, but I know the breed requires a lot more than other cat breeds, so I’m still reading and learning about the breed. Something I’ve worried about is the temperatures where i live. I live pretty far up north in Norway where it can become pretty cold in the winter, and even in the summer as well. Temperatures can reach as low as 14° F in winter, and stays between 41° F and 68° F in the summer. Is it possible to walk a Bengal on a leash in winters as cold as we have here, or is it more responsible having an indoor Bengal? Thanks again for sharing your experiences with us!
My bengal loves going outside into the backyard on a harness, but is petrified of the front yard/anywhere else. He is very anxious and scared around people and loud noises. It’s not ideal, but he does have a great time in the back. Do you think the breeder didn’t socialize him enough? Or maybe it’s just his disposition? Also, what do you use to prevent fleas? That’s one thing that’s making us hesitant to take him out more.
At 2 yrs old, he is definitely a very active cat. And if he is not being stimulated enough, he will make it known! Wouldn’t recommend a bengal to anyone who cannot invest the time – they would end up driving you mad with the meowing and destroying the house. It really only takes a couple hours a day of direct attention, which may be too much for some people. Another thing I noticed is that my bengal just wants to be around you and lie next to me after a play session. He actually sleeps on my lap (only mine and my father’s) at night when it gets colder. Overall it’s very rewarding to own a bengal, he makes me laugh everyday.
Hi and thanks for sharing your experience with my followers. Just follow protocol and use food to help build his confidence. Don’t be concerned with what might our might not have been done. Focus on your cats strength, it sounds like that’s what you’re doing. Thanks for following
I don’t really know, Asian Leopards are mostly in hot humid conditions? Boomer likes cooler temps but snow? VERY ACTIVE BREED, I take him out EVERYDAY sometimes twice a day.
AWESOME! thanks for sharing your story. Thanks so much for adopting an older cat, not many do that.
Thanks for sharing your story. So glad to hear they were rescues. They are very lucky to have you.
You’re welcome. Lot’s more to come. Thanks for following
We love our followers
Thanks a bunch, and thanks so much for following Didga and Boomer. Lot’s more to come
Thanks for sharing your story on your Bengals. Sounds like never a dull moment and you wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for following
Filial or Foundation
but the easiest way to remember is “From” or generations “From” F7 is 7 generations from the wild cat.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and experience with Bengals. it helped me to make my decision.
Hi! Enjoyed hearing your experience and tips on the mighy Bengal! I am a Bengal owner and agree with your advice! Think I can add some information on the older Bengal. Rani (male) is 14 years young!! He certainly has not slowed down and shows no signs of doing so anytime soon. If he was allowed he would be at my side all day and night. He never sleeps during the day and then not until he is put in his room with the door shut so we can get some sleep. He will do whatever he can to get attention. Rani has made a lovely companion cat to my autistic son and he fully understands that my son is special and treats him that way. He allows my son to rough-house him and if he chooses to tell anyone off it is usually the dog! Rani is very sensitive to emotions and women’s issues (not sure if this is a male Bengal thing) and can get a little aggressive at certain times of the month! I know, a little bit too much information, but maybe a warning to potential owners!! I couldn’t imagine life without him but it would certainly be quite without him!!
Hi there, thanks for sharing your Bengal story with us. So you’re telling me I have to wait another 12 years before Boomer “calms down?” LOL kidding. Thanks for following Robert, Didga and Boomer
Very interesting read! I have two senior cats 15 & 16 yrs young myself and the 15 yr old sounds just like the description of the temperament of the Bengal but he doesn’t have the markings of one. The vets always told me he was just a high maintenance cat & that I had to create a simulating environment for him… I wonder if he has some Bengal in him? Or maybe it’s just him temperament. Like you, I always have to keep an eye on him he’s always into things and up to no good!!! Attacks the other cat for no reason sometimes… needs activities and playtime.
Thank for your feed, very entertaining for a fellow cat owner/lover
I have an 8 yes old SBT male Bengal that I’ve had since he was a kitten. He definitely talks a lot whether running around after a ball making zooming noises or protesting loudly because he was scolded. We got him hoping he would distract our older suspected Bengal mix that we adopted from picking on our munchkin. Instead the two would gang up on our munchkin, and now he gangs up on our suspected bengal mix in exactly the way you described. I am more convinced that our suspected Bengal mix is actually a Bengal mix because our Bengal really connected with him and imitated him when he was a kitten. He plays fetch with the tenacity of a dog. I’m lucky that he doesn’t jump on the counter, but he does jump on my back while I’m cooking dinner. We had to get a new trashcan with a lid because he kept jumping in the trash, and we had to learn real quick that the toilet needs to stay closed at all times or else he’ll jump in that too. He’s not big on going outside, but he does insist on helping me with EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. But if he thinks you’re crying, he’ll come over and check on you. We think only a kitten will be able to keep up with him because he’s 8 years young and hasn’t slowed down yet
Will I have a Bengal for 1-year-old, while every time I take him outside he is very scared. He seems not very enjoy walking outside but wants to just stay in home.
As I type, my Bengal Inigo just went zooming by. I initially got Inigo as a companion for my siamese rescue Iggy when I moved with him to a new home that separated him from his cat friend. Iggy was about 3, and shy, but better with animals than people. Inigo annoyed Iggy at times, but he adopted him right away with grooming, playing, and cuddling. Now Inigo is 2 and Iggy is 5, and they still chase each other through the apartment and play and groom and cuddle. However, Inigo definitely does the bully thing like Boomer does to Didga where he jumps on Iggy’s back and bite his neck, usually clumps of fur come out but no wounds I can discover if it happened when I wasn’t at home. I think the difference here though is that Iggy is a forgiving boy, and he always wants to play and love on Inigo regardless of the bullying.
One other comment I do have for my experience with a Bengal though is food sensitivities. Through trial and long suffering we have found out Inigo is allergic to all poultry and also rabbit, which was evidenced by bloody diarrhea. Multiple vet visits and several courses of probiotics later, along with a shift to a fish protein diet has rectified this, but it’s been 3 months of poopy hell, and I have a friend who also experienced this in one of her Bengals. I call it a downfall of a “designer cat,” and tell myself it’s back to adopting next time i get a cat, but i feel part of me will always be attracted to the energy of the Bengal breed. They’re good on cat allergies, too.
Very interesting. I have always been a “dog person”- Rottweilers. When my last one passed away i decided to get a cat given my long working hours. Decided on a Bengal. Needless to say my Rottweilers were easy compared to “Venus” my Bengal. Gave up locking her inside as she hated it. She is a very free spirit with lots of energy and basically does what she wants to do. Everyone in the neighborhood knows her as she likes to go visiting and goes into their homes. Quite funny really. She is definitely not an affectionate cat and is a big talker. She is 14 months old so started to be a little calmer. She is not afraid of anything and very inquisitive. Not sure if it is just my Bengal but she is a very fussy eater and does not each that much. Thanks for the overview on Bengals, your comments are pretty spot on!
Hi Robert, loved your article and information on Bengals…
I have two rescued cats, Syko who was adopted as a kitten and Angel who came into our lives as an 18 month old.
I would never get a Bengal after reading your article, so I will have to simply admire them from afar… but really appreciate your honesty and candid comments.
Love your tutorials, and am seriously considering becoming a Patron to assist you with your work and aims for educating folk more about cat-care and education.
Keep up the great work, and I look forward to seeing more of you, Didga and Boomer and the rest of your Cat-Clan in the future!
Cheers from sunny Adelaide 😉
Hi Robert! Thank you very much for the post. I just adopted a Bengal kitten a few weeks back and this is my first cat (also my first pet). I’m from India. Coco’s very young and also very energetic. I can see him directing his pent up energy towards me a lot of times when I get late from office.
I have been looking at a lot of YouTube videos and reading about how to make this the best experience for both of us. However I’m having a few problems that I think can be helped by someone here.
1. He’s 5-6 months old and he did not get a chance to play with his siblings and no one trained him. He still likes to bite a lot. Hands and legs. (lately he’s started scratching my back also). I have tried some methods of making him stop this- like when he bites, stopping the play session, put him in an empty room for 5 min, or clapping or pushing my hand towards him. But sadly none of it seems to work. What would be your advice on this?
2. I see that you have mentioned Bengals love to walk outside. I’ve tried to put on a leash on Coco but he doesn’t like it. He fights extra hard to not get into it. How should I tackle that?
Any answer here would be extremely helpful. 🙂 Thanks in advance!
Hello, thanks for sharing and yes it sounds very much like what we go through. I think iggy is more tolerant (being a boy) than Didga, I hope things stay manageable for you. I’ve been very lucky on the food sensitivity, he seems to be fine, but have heard that from other Bengal people. Glad to hear you love them but back (next time) to a more normal kind of cat, which is exactly how I feel. your comment very much helps, thanks for following
Hello, Nothing wrong with that, unless you wanted a more confident cat to travel with? Getting this breed definitely doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a confident cat. regardless of the breed/mix some cats are scaredy cats, at least your cat can stay safe indoors, then all you have to do is provide some fun things for him to do. thanks for the comment
Hi and thanks for the comment (poor munchkin)
Hi Natalie, Thanks a bunch, looking forward to seeing you on Patreon. Yay!!! #adoptdontshop
Thank You so very much for all the wonderful information! We have owned many cats over the last 50 years and have made good choices and some not so good choices in many instances. It’s great following you here on IG!
I have a Bengal her name is Ela and she’s amazing!!! I couldn’t imagine life without her, she is now 14 years old. I’d adopt another anyday, I’ll take Boomer
Dear Robert, my name is Juan David, I am from Colombia, following you for almost two years. I really love your work, D&B are amazing, and my favourite is Bindi, she reminds me one of my cats called Micaela (Tortie point siamese). I really hope to visit Austalia in any moment to assist to one of your shows, sounds crazy but it would be great.
Thank you very much for sharing your amazing knowledge of cats. I loved to learn more about the Bengals. Your videos are great, always astonishing!!
Marion from Brazil
We have a Bengal named Oscar. He’s an F5 and was pretty vicious as a younger boy. He was typical Bengal but he is an outdoor cat. Loved to hunt and bring back gifts. He’ getting old now and showing signs of memory loss . They are definitely not for the faint hearted, but he will sit on me and have cuddles on his terms. He used to tear up the post, play fetch with anything shiny and hide things. He is definitely different.
Awwww, she sounds so sweet. Thanks so much for the story and for following so closely. Thanks again, I’ll keep the posts coming. Robert and the cats
So nice to read about other Bengals. I adopted mine
5 years ago when he was 8 months. He was too much to handle with her other cats. She did not even know he was a Bengal. We went through “getting used to” phase He saved my other cat’s life who was severely depressed from the loss of my other cat. George is now 6. Everyone loves him and he loves everyone. Even the vet says he is a good cat. I feel blessed to have found him.
I want to say that while I was reading yout text I found myself thinking how much similarity bengal cat have with siamese (thai) cat! As a owner of one beautifull siamese cat named Mitzie, I must admitt that there is so much compatibility with these two breeds. She is also very playfull, she wants to climb, talks loud…I have learned her many tricks. She is very patient with my 9 months old grandchild, even if baby picks a bunt of her fur. But, I am always carefully overlook her.
Best regards for you, Didga and Boomer and your new fosters siblings!
Lila from Belgrade, Serbia
I had the good luck to pick from a mixed breed litter. The mother was pure Bengal, the father unknown (she jumped the fence) Out of excitement and passion, I took 2! Best thing I have EVER done. All my life I have taken in cats albeit one at a time. These two brothers took the work out of raising kittens. Their comfort together and mutual curiosity led them to teach each other how to run my house. I have always man-handled my cats and they are therefore not squeamish (except when a stranger comes to the door) Men especially, cause them to growl and alert me before they disappear where only I know how to find them. One is “high” and one is “low”. Abu thinks nothing of leaping to my shoulders or those of my friends and family. Rajah immediately rolls, waiting to be rubbed and log rolled across the floor. Rajah also fetches relentlessly. I found that foam practice golf balls are the perfect size and easy to hold. Somewhere there are a dozen hiding in my home. Great breed, even though diluted likely by a tabby. I find them very easy to work with and have around. Better than dogs, less demanding and more affectionate.
Hello I thoroughly enjoyed your videos and your insight on bengals. I have had multiple big cats years and have African servals now. very very smart cats Bengals and savannas you are correct not for the average person but if you enjoy a challenge and commit to lifelong they are wonderful intelligent and mischievous thank you for sharing.
Thanks so much for this post. I ADORE Bengals. I have my third one right now is f7. But my first was an F4. We didn’t realize what that meant. And she was the COOLEST kitty. Ok all of them have been the Coolest. Her name was Bagheira. She was so smart would unplug our tv when she neede attention and touch our touch lamp in the middle of the night with her nose to turn on the light and wake us to play with her. She hated being alone always was a lap kitty and always talked a ton to us. She sensed when I got pregnant and screamed at me for 9 months. Then I had my son. She was a TOTALL sweet protector. Loved her to pieces. When I got pregnant with my twins she really got upset and screamed and freaked out so much we had to rehire her. She was making me completely sick from her screams. I had sensitivity to sound. I have regretted it for ever she was Amazing. I miss her chatters. So when the kids were older we got another one my son picked out. He was an F7 and so so sweet. Loved to chase bubbles in the tub was leash trained chatted with us. Everyone adored him. And then after two short years he had a heart attack. We didn’t realize he was born with a hole in his heart and we lived that kitty to the fullest. Now we have Tatuai. She is Amazing also BUT VERY DIFFERENT than our first two. She is very quiet and tolerant She is my daughters emotional support kitty. She goes everywhere with us. I been trying to get her to speak more. I was looking for the chatty companion. But she had chosen my daughter as her human and sleeps often in the day til she is home from school then plays a ton. She is Amazing. Very different temperament. Still loves water and leash trained. Etc. Bengals are Amazing.
love your work, a valuable insight. Just wondering if you have any experience with Turkish Van, I adopted one from the local pound. Without a doubt Monte was the most remarkable cat I have had, very adventurous, very affectionate no fear of dogs and very relaxed with car travel. He was very sociable with strangers and other cats and could open most doors in my house. He also loved water and would come in the shower walk around my feet and chase the water down the plug hole.
Unfortunately his sense of adventure was his downfall as tragically he got hit by a car .
Thank you for your insights. I adopted my Bengal at 6 yrs old from the rspca.
He looked so inquisitive on the website but his markings were deliberately hidden in the photograph, for obvious reasons.
I was interviewed twice before I got him , and had 2 home visits .
He is very high maintenance, but also an absolute joy.
He gets bored, he needs direct communication and will pester me till he has it . However, he does take himself off when I’m annoying him back .
When I get home from work he throws himself on the floor and writhes around . He doesn’t stop till he’s done.
He’s very affectionate, but also can turn and bite very hard . He doesn’t do it maliciously and will stop but can draw blood because his claws are so large. He’s on his third industrial sized scratch pole
I’ve found some things very confusing about him though. He does hunt and kill but won’t kill for sport. He’s not keen on killing birds.
His sense of smell is incredible, he doesn’t like alcohol, burning , chemicals etc and will yowl very loudly and glare.
He’s fond of the farm dogs and wants to play , they’re scared of him
He won’t steal food like other cats have done. He waits r
Until it’s given or his own dinner . I can safely leave a plate uncovered and unattended.
He shouts very loudly to announce his arrival . Seriously, really loudly. I love it and find it amusing but constantly worry the neighbors will get funny about it.
He’s weird about cleanliness. If a dish is not clean every feed , he won’t go near it . Maybe the smell thing?
He kneads against soft fabrics If I’m wearing them , whilst perching on my shoulder hip etc then drools loads and sort of hypnotises himself for long minutes at a time then shakes it off and goes away to sleep . Quite confusing.
He mimics sounds and tones right back to me and is always very interested in everything that’s happening.
He’s definitely high maintenance and I don’t like leaving him , he hates a cattery and loses his voice if he ever has to go in . Which makes me so nervous
I got a Female Bengal from a Breeder 2 years ago. I was very influenced by a Cat I follow on Instagram called “Mango Brown” I did research the Breed. I got Bailee because my Siberian had lost his best friend Igor, a Siberian who was very ill with Leukemia. We also lost a lover of a cat, and there was much sadness in our household. I really wanted a Male cat, as, in the past I have found them much more friendly than females who tend to be Devas! Bailee does fit the description, energetic, but do not pick me up under any circumstances!! I have toyed with the idea of taking her out on a lead and harness, but as she is like speedy Gongalez when ever a door is open, my vet has suggested that once she gets the feel for the “Wide Blue Yonder” I will lose her as soon as a door is open. We have Raccoons,coyotes, around and woods and I am afraid of losing her. The two cats have bonded really well. But if someone wants a Couch Potato Lap Cat who is a lover, then get a Male Persian. Be prepared for the constant grooming, and never wear black or any other dark colour. I loved my Persians.
Hello and thank you for this! I am a new Bengal owner and a first time cat mom. I found you in instagram and I am eager to learn as much as I can from you!
I’ve been a dog person my whole life (loved cats but too many family members with allergies meant we never owned them growing up). I’m an experienced northern breed/husky owner and I for one appreciate your mention of Siberian huskies and their special needs. About 6 months ago I said goodbye to my 13 year old sibe who was my whole world. His loss was a bit more devastating than I could have imagined. Anyways, we have a feisty mini dachshund as well, and he was feeling very lonely. I decided to take some time before I get another husky and long story short we ended up with a Bengal. Having no other cats to compare him too, I will say he isn’t what I anticipated but in a good way! We love him to pieces and he fits into our ultra adventurous life so well. But he is definitely more challenging to train than I thought. I feel like most of what you read on the internet indicates that bengals will be almost just like owning a dog. They are not. He reminds me of my huskies so much! He is wild, defiant, independent yet so care free and good natured lol. Looking forward to learning from you- we have a long road ahead! Our instagram page is trout.and.angus 🙂
I love your videos and blog. You are amazing and have an insight I value.
I adopted 2 previously (life-long) feral cats from the RSPCA when they were a year old (sisters). Definitely part Bengal. After much work, sister A enjoys a pat from me (on her terms). sister D “tolerates” me touching her, but I don’t think will ever enjoy human contact. Neither enjoys interactive play with me particularly; they much, much more enjoy “mechanical” cat toys and playing with each other.
Sister A is super smart and is able to solve any cat puzzle in record time. My gut feeling is that she would enjoy cat agility training (more than learning “passive” tricks like “sit” or “high five”) because there is more challenge and energy involved.
Do you think it is possible and appropriate to try to start agility training with sister A? I don’t want to stress her, but I also worry that she needs more challenges than day to day “playing” provides.
Do you have any thoughts about whether DIY agility training is a good idea for sister, A or it would drive her/me crazy?
Hello Robert! Thank you for your information! And btw I just love Didga, she is so special ❤️ We adopted 2 kittens from the shelter. Was told they are Tabbies but they seem too wild for tabbies. I am convinced they have Bengal in them. Maybe a mixture of Tabby and Bengal. They are very energetic, love water – always jumping in the tub, always talking meowing, they carry their toys like a retriever, definitely don’t like being picked up, and they seem very smart. They are siblings bro and sis. The male is very long and his coat feels different from cat fur. They like to bite alot. So we love them but they definitely are different then any tabby we’ve had! Is it possible to have Bengal qualities if it’s a tabby?
Thank you ,thank u thank u so many if my questions an concerns were answered I do realize alot of your teachings because I rescue wild abounded animals an rehab n release.i so want a bengal.i did have a lynx that I raised an couldn’t be released due to idiot’s trying to breed them I kept bear for 13 years ab muss him so much.i would have lived for him to be free but he couldn’t. He was my life though alot of work n attention but that was ok.i do want a Bengal an I gotta say boomer an I would have made a perfect fit lol love ur writings I know we could be friends thank u again
Hi Robert, Boomer & Didga, I have just finished reading most of your comments and responses and they are beautiful. It is lovely to read so many caring and responsible cat owners are living in this world. I am a fan of , and have been following, Catmantoo for many years now. I felt compelled to include my experience with my most beautiful Bengals. Caesar and Cleopatra. . We live in a shop with a 15 metre rear yard with a garage at the rear so I have been able to fully enclose the entire property. I did research Bengals before purchasing and this was 15 years ago. I have built many climbing areas for my cats, planted trees and then placed netting across as a roof to enclose. I built in platforms for them to climb on top of the garage so they can view across the neighbourhood and again enclosed in cat netting. I built an enclosure that sits on our roof (as we have a flat roof) with further high rise platforms in side that enable further climbing and viewing. We have toys that hang from the ceiling that can be draped to the side, for aesthetics, also to rotate the toys around so they are not playing the same old toys all the time (becomes boring for them)
Though definitely not lap cats , and have this strained look on their face when picked up, they do enjoy engagement and will follow you around the garden or even indoors. They do like being where you are. Often I find Caesar waiting for either of us to come home on the back verandah and won’t come inside until we are both inside. Caesar has accidentally escaped outside twice only to find him howling to get back into the property. He loves his territory and hates being away from it. This tragically includes going to the vet. For he turns into the Antichrist at the vet. Quite embarrassing. Hissing, growling, etc
Sorry this is becoming long winded. I will make this a 2 part entry as we lost our beautiful Cleopatra to cancer 3 years ago and I introduced a ‘cat rescue cat’ for company for Caesar as at 15 years old is still quite active.
Part 2 Caesar the Bengal. As I previously stated we purchased Caesar and Cleopatra brother and sister bengals in 2006. We lost Cleopatra to cancer 3 years, though cats cannot be replaced , i have always had two cats as they clean and exercise each other whilst we are not around. Caesar has always been an active cat and thus after we lost Cleo he consistently went looking for her and thus had nobody to interact with. My wife and I had always said if and when we get another cat it would be a ‘cat rescue cat’ as there are just too many out there that need homes. So we now have Henry Lee. 3 year old tabby. Confident male cat. As Caesar can be quite dominant I wanted to get a fairly confident male that would be a good match for Caesar. Though any cat pairing always runs the risk of non compatibility I think we were lucky in our selection and I took time off work for assimilation. I placed Henry Lee in a separate room to begin with as he was very small kitten and Caesar is nearly 7kg. Caesar naturally hissed and carried on a bit for the first couple days. I had nails clipped on both cats beforehand. I supervised every interaction for the first 7 days then slowly stepped back and only interacting if play got too ‘roughhouse’. Within 12 months Caesar had the cleanest ears through constant cleaning by Henry Lee. Now 3 years on they are the best of friends and our 15 year old Bengal sleeps a bit longer through many running games in the morning and evening. It has been interesting to observe as Henry Lee has now become the dominant cat in the household. Caesar still loads his own and will not be walked over he allows HL to eat first.
I agree with a lot of your many contributors to this forum. Bengals are not for everybody but with commitment and caring they are a magnificent cat to live with.
Thank you for reading my story
Hi Robert, I find your report very interesting. I have a female cat called Rose. She is a feral cat who was abandoned by her mother. I got when she was about 4 days old and hand reared her with a bottle. She weighed 3 oz and still thinks I’m her mother. I have always had cats but never one like this. She had no marks, was fluffy grey with very small rounded ears and a wedged very short tail. I thought she was deformed. But by 12 weeks she had developed very distinct stripes and spots, her ears were larger than normal and her tail was upright and extra long. Her pink paws are now black and so are her lips, inside her mouth and around her beautiful green eyes. Somebody told me that any cat that has spots has some bangle in them. She is a grey tabby and I put her behaviour down to the fact that she was feral and had no litter to learn from. She is very spoilt and the boss of the house. We have 2 dogs. At 12 weeks I thought she was going to cause me to have a nervous breakdown, jumping from window sill to table to lounge and chair especially if I tried to keep her inside. I don’t believe in keeping cats inside but kept her in the laundry at night when she was young for her own safety. She would wake me at the crack of dawn by scratching litter everywhere and then jumping loudly into the laundry tub. By the way I haven’t had a full nights sleep in 13 years, in out every 2 hours. We tried a cat door but she was bringing in mice, blue tongue lizzards, small snakes and gutting birds in the hallway. So we built her a set of steps at the bedroom window and I inspect her before entry. Sometimes she has 2 baby birds in her mouth. She sleeps on branches in large trees and runs along the ridge of neighbours 2 storey houses. Recently she climbed next doors drain pipe to a 2nd story window where they had their new kitten locked in. Like you said every piece of leather in the house has been damaged. She doesn’t understand that biting hurts as she never had a litter and definitely can’t be trusted with children. When she was young she would spring up and attack me and once I smacked her so she went straight for my throat. Lucky I was retired and gave all the attention she needed because she has turned out be the most special cat I have ever had. We have a very strong bond and love and respect each
I have a beautiful F5 Bengal ex breeding queen. She is my 3rd Bengal and she is a proper lap cat, and if she can’t get a lap a shoulder will do and even occasionally my head much to my annoyance. She doesn’t like being picked up, although if i do pick her up she will sit on my shoulder quite happily. A previous bengal I had would also behave this way, but another one would happily lauch himself at you to be picked up and cuddled. I guess you just dont know what you are going to get. All three bengals i have owned have been completely different.
Nova will come outside with me and potter about in the garden, but one of the male bengals i owned was so territorial he went for the neighbor’s collie. I just thing you do not know for sure what you will get.
Hi Robert, i told a friend that before i die i think i must have a bengal and she sent me your article ‘is the bengal cat right for me’. 13 years ago i got a female tabby who was abandoned by her ferral mother on a farm. She was 4 days old 3oz of fluff with flat rounded ears and a very short wedge tail. I literally drip fed her as she wouldn’t suck. From the beginning i knew she was different, i just though an old fashion shape with a hump on the back of her neck. I’ve always had cats but not like this one, i put it down to ferral, no litter and spoilt. When you describe Boomer its as if you are talking about Rose. I’m 68, retired and she almost caused me to have a nervous break down. 13 years later she has stopped attacking me, my arms are no longer bruised and cut and i have never had such a close bond with any cat. She thinks I’m her mother! She has to be on my right shoulder and the top of my arm is scabby from where she neads me while having long cuddles, she also kisses me on the cheek and is delighted when i tell thats she’s a clever cat and that not many cats know how to kiss their mother! I know she is not a pure bred but maybe someone’s bengal has jumped the fence somewhere. I would never get another cat while she is alive but after reading your article i don’t think i need one because i think I’ve already had one! Besides nobody could ever take her place!
Great story, thanks for sharing. Glad she stopped attacking you, most people would have given the cat away after the first attack so … I’m sure she’s happy you stuck with her. such a special bond. Aggression can be with any cat, especially a feral cat. Boomer doesn’t have a mean bone in his body towards me, he’s very slowly getting more affectionate, as I’ve heard they get as they age. That’s the whole point of my article, you don’t need a pure breed cat, you just need a cat you can connect with.
Thanks for sharing your Bengal experiences
Sounds like a Bengal paradise you have there. Most people would have so much space. Boomer also turns into a crazy hissing cat once at the vet. I tell Boomer that I don’t even know him, one vet I used was afraid of him and I don’t blame him. Thanks for sharing your experience
You’re welcome, thank for leaving a comment
Hi Margaret, thanks for sharing your experience. Bengals are part domesticated, so yes, they can have similar qualities as other cats and visa-versa
Thanks for sharing your experiences. You never know until you try, make sure you watch my tutorials on YouTube and Patreon if you want to learn the proper way to teach a cat.
Hi Jone, Thanks for the comment. glad you see the way I see it, that’s why I compare the Bengal to a husky and why I wrote the article, to expose as much about the breed from a behaviorist perspective, info you don’t find during the research of the breed. it’s like they don’t want people to know everything. all the best. Robert
I’ve had at least 6 Bengals in the last 20 years (F-4 and 5’s) and while not all of them have been affectionate lap cats, all have acted more like domestic than wild. Actually, with the exception of one, my dearly departed Big Guy, none were unusually vocal unless in heat. But Big Guy could wake the dead and concerned and irritated neighbors called the police twice to make sure the cat was not in distress.
They are active but I live in a 2000 sq foot house and that seems plenty of room for them to play.
I think they make wonderful pets are are quite intelligent so on most points I’d have to disagree with your assessment of the breed.
Hi Robert and thank you for a great post! Very informative indeed, I do not own any Bengal, but I have two cats from the same litter and their father is a wild cat. They are different and I can totally relate to what you mentioned. They are no lap-cat at all, hard to train, they climb, jump extremely high, walk around at night yawling…. My next mission is to cat-proof fence the yard. They are only a year old and testing their boundaries, I have to be very strict but gentle and never get angry or shout. Sometimes, it’s tough! I will refer to your site often and I’ll check out the tutorials on Pantreon too. This being said, I love my kitties and the sacrifice is worth it, they teach me a lot (;
Checked out toyr website after seeing your video on youtube.
My boyfriend and I own two cats.
One is a Bengal /Savannah mix
And the other one is a F5 Savannah cat.
Roxy the Bengal mix is very vicious towards the “wilder Breed”
Savannah named Lulu.
Roxy was our first cat. We were looking for a social, beautiful,
Smart, atletic build cat who loves water as of all the adds abd sellers
Give you this information. After months of thinking and reading about
the bread we went on 2.5 hour drive and bought the mix with family tree, vvaccinated etc. All good. Only me as a dog person had a very difficult time connecting with her, drove me crazy. Nothing seems to be as we habe read on the internet. She is amazingly in love and kind towards me and the boyfriend. Jealous about the Savanah and chases her when i give her attention. They have al the space to run around, balcony as outside territory. I tried to put her on a leash as i had read on the internet this type of kind would be fond of water and walks. None of those work. She destroys the leash when i take it off, she hates water. I play with black and th of them at least 5 times a day. Try to challenge them inventing new games, new toys. But they seem so easily bored. The young one is not a year yet so she is still good to go untill 3 fullgrown :D. But how can i understand my Bengal better? The regular mowing is so frustrating at times. Because i can’t get her needs. Food play outside brush petting. Bought new stuff. Extra toys ervery week. Snacks every day Really out of options here. She can fetch a toy is she reallly wants. And she can sit and knows the words no, af (Dutch for get down).
Can i get some tips on how to understand her better and get her to play more 1 on 1 or together with the Savannah lulu?
Thanks for reading my long message.
Greetings from the Hague
You’re spot on with your assessment of Bengals. We adopted a rescue assuming he was a regular tabby. The rescue group only showed pics of him sleeping and I assumed he was the perfect lap kitty for us. Boy, was I wrong! He’s obviously a Bengal mix and now runs the house. We take shifts taking him out for walks on a leash. We spend at least 3 hours a day outside….every day. If he doesn’t have enough stimulation, he becomes destructive. We tip toe around the house when he’s sleeping because we don’t want to wake him. The minute he wakes he’s HOWLING to go outside. He’s affectionate on his terms. Definitely a challenge. We love him but I can’t imagine many people who are able to take as much time as we do with a cat. We don’t stay away from home for too long because we don’t want him tearing up the house. Even though he’s affectionate towards us we feel sad because no matter how much outside time, and other games, toys etc. we do for his mental stimulation, he’s still like a pent up wild animal and is not truly happy.
Thanks for your reply, I really need to make a youtube video version of my article to alert others before buying a hybrid cat. Good on ya for rescuing.
Comments are closed.