When people think of cats, not many breeds come to mind as quickly as the Bengal Cat. Coming from the hybrid mix of the Asian Leopard Cat, Egyptian Mau and the domestic cat, Bengals have a unique appearance like no other.
Depending on their pattern and coat, this means that the average Bengal can fetch anything from SG$1,400 to SG$25,000 (Champion bloodlines) with only the Savannah or Ashera to beat the price tag making them one of the top “designer” type cats in the world. The current world average is somewhere between US$1,500 - US$3,000.
What makes the price so justified? While many believe that the piece of pedigree paper is justification enough, the actual price of breeding the cat is also a big part of the price tag.
Apart from this, the typical traits of a cat will play a part, such as generation, quality, age, temperament, and demand which is usually associated with the coat. With the average requirement for a Bengal to be at least four generations from the Asian Leopard Cat, it is no wonder their coats are truly unique.
Bengal Cats have an athletic appearance with its lean, balanced look. The large triangular-shaped head is supported by a thick neck. Large feet and a thick tail complete the overall feral cat look. Their high cheekbones, dark markings around the eyes and the small ears makes them specifically distinctive. And their coats have a plush feel, unlike any other cat breed.
While adding on toys that would simulate the hunting instinct in them and overall create an environment that would keep the average Bengal free from boredom and happy. If you’re thinking of a cat that will laze on the couch all day long, the Bengal is certainly not that cat!
As a pet, they are known to be highly intelligent and trainable, creating the perfect housecat to have for any type of owner. They are also often known to learn basic tricks like sit and lie down. Bengals are great at observing their owners and adapting to their gestures and expressions.
Their memory is known to be top as well, often remembering things for long periods of times, such as when being stuck in a room all day, they will avoid that room weeks after.
A truly unique trait they have are their love for water! They are often seen dipping their paws and then licking rather than drinking straight from the bowl.
Due to their energetic nature and the breed’s specific historical traits, Bengals need a complete and balanced cat food rich in protein. When it comes to grooming, the Bengal does not shed as much as regular cats so you need not worry about brushing as often as you would another breed.
In terms of health, the Bengal cat has a lot of generational issues that are passed down from years of breeding. It is always wise to bring your cat to regular check-ups to catch the early stages of these issues. However, a regularly planned washing routine for your Bengal would be wise.
Size: 20 - 25cm tall
Weight: Vary from 3 - 6kg
Colour: Bright orange to light brown, with dark spots or a distinctive marbling pattern
Grooming Frequency: Basic care, fairly low maintenance. They don’t shed much and is an efficient self-groomer.
Lifespan: 12-16 years
Health Issues: Cataracts, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, distal neuropathy, entropion and psychogenic alopecia.
DID YOU KNOW...
• Bengals don't really meow, in fact, they make more of barky sound, like that of a dog. Apart from that, they love to play fetching and be on a leash, virtually defying all characteristics of a cat.
• The Bengal Cat’s name comes from the scientific name for the Asian Leopard Cat, Prionailurus bengalensis.
• The first crossbreed was performed by Jean Mill in 1963, but the hybrid wasn’t perfected until the mid-1980s. Today, Bengals are bred only with each other.
• Bengals are the only domestic cat with rosettes that resemble the markings on leopards, jaguars and ocelots.
• The International Cat Association (TICA) accepted the Bengal for championship status in 1991 and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) accepted the breed shortly thereafter.
• It seems that Bengals are immune to feline leukaemia due to their inherited trait from their ancestry Asian Leopard cat. The immunity was remarkable that a number of them were used as a study at the National Institute of Cancer.
• According to Yummypets.com, it seems that back in 1990, a British woman paid US$50,000 for a Bengal cat.