Perhaps no other domesticated cat has so captured our curiosity and fascination than the Bengal cat. Spunky, elegant, intelligent, and loyal these cats possess many sought after characteristics all rolled into a ball of silky, spotted fun. Any pet is a huge responsibility, and Bengal cats are no exception. Understanding the temperament and care requirements of these special creatures will help you determine if they will be a good fit for your family, your home, and your income.
What does a Bengal cat cost?
As an experienced pet owner knows, owning a pet claims a spot in your monthly budget. Since pets are a long-term commitment, you need to consider both the initial and long-term costs.
For Bengal cats, both the initial purchase cost and the monthly expenses for their care will be higher than many other breeds. The price for a purebred Stud Book Tradition (SBT) Bengal kitten in 2020 is $1,500 to $3,000. This price range increases for show quality kittens. SBT is a term used to describe a Bengal that is at least 4 generations removed from an Asian Leopard Cat (ALC). The Bengal cat breed originates from the cross breeding of a domestic cat with an Asian Leopard Cat. From the fourth generation on, Bengals bred with other Bengals produce SBT Bengal kittens.
Bengal cat prices are primarily determined by its traits (generation, age at the sale, and breeding quality) and the Bengal cat breeder (level of care, support to buyer, and health and transition preparation packages for the kittens). The price of a kitten reflects the level of care given by the breeder and demonstrates their dedication to responsible and ethical practices. If you find an affordable Bengal kitten you need to question the practices and legitimacy of the breeder.
The monthly expenses of caring for a Bengal will also range according to their age and quality. Bengals require a high protein diet and a bounty of entertainment. Monthly costs will vary depending on the food brand, types of toys, the age of the cat, and their appetite, among other things.
Are Bengal cats good house pets?
That depends on your house. Bengals demand attention, interaction, and a sociable environment. They are also famously vocal. You need to be ready to integrate their high energy and curious personality into your home and life with an abundance of toys, entertainment, and perhaps a bit of patience and innovation.
Bengal cats settle most harmoniously with multi-member families and experienced pet owners with an active lifestyle. They also coexist remarkably well with other animals, which can increase their playtime and ultimately your downtime. If you live in a cramped apartment with thin walls, collect antique porcelain, or live alone and work long hours, then you will need to make some changes before getting a Bengal.
One highlight for the allergic cat lover is that these cats are hypoallergenic. This is due to their short, pelt-like coats and grooming habits. Likely, being around a Bengal won’t induce the same allergic reaction compared to other cats.
What is the temperament of a Bengal cat?
While the term “wild” is commonly associated with Bengal cats they are not wild in any dangerous sense. Their wild side can be seen in their marbled coat patterns and aspects of their behavior. Bengals are not aggressive by nature, but they may exhibit aggressive behavior if they feel bored, lonely, or overly stressed.
Early Generation (EG) Bengal cats will not have the same predictable temperaments as Stud Book Tradition (SBT) Bengals.
Many Bengal domestic cat owners have compared having a Bengal to owning a dog. Similarly to dogs, these cats enjoy family activities and going for walks outside, as many a day as you can bear.
Bengals adore companionship and develop particularly strong bonds with their owners, one of their most cherished traits. It is in this bond that their emotional intelligence shines. Bengals demonstrate heightened sensitivity not only to their surroundings but also to their owner’s tone and mood.
A Bengal’s temperament is also influenced by factors such as the personalities of the Bengal kitten’s parents, the socialization process utilized by the Bengal cat breeder, and how attentive you are during the home transition process.
While the typical Bengal cat personality is affectionate, not all prefer to be cuddled or held. They are social, albeit independent, cats and due to their active nature, you shouldn’t expect them to laze about on your lap all day.
While certainly as regal, this is not a Persian, fluffed up and docile on the duvet. A day will not pass that you forget you are living with a Bengal.
Are Bengal cats high maintenance?
Bengal cats are higher maintenance than other breeds, but not necessarily high maintenance all around. Bengals do need more time and more money.
If you are a seasoned cat owner, familiar with the ins and outs of quality pet care, owning a Bengal shouldn’t be a significant challenge or adjustment. The perceived level of maintenance will fall in line with how naturally your household and lifestyle align with the needs and personality of a Bengal. Any investment in something unique and valuable will require some elevated level of maintenance.
If you maintain the mindset that your Bengal is a valued addition to your family, rather than decoration or a fun trend, meeting its needs won’t be overly demanding. Take a look at your income, house size, household member preferences, work schedule, level of activity, and your personality to determine if you can happily care for a Bengal cat.
See our Bengal Cat Profile here.
Should Bengal cats be kept indoors?
In short, yes. However, this is a contentious issue as both arrangements offer different risks and rewards. While it might seem unnatural, or even cruel, to keep such a spirited animal indoors it will protect them from injury or theft. If you provide enough entertainment their indoor life will be a fulfilling one.
Of course, Bengals will thrive if given consistent and ample time outdoors to walk, play, and explore while on a harness or monitored in a spacious outdoor cat pen. However, if allowed to roam freely outdoors Bengal cats will face greater threats due to their more curious and bold nature and high monetary value.