Are Bengal Cats Prone to Certain Behavior Issues?

CatChannel and CAT FANCY cat behaviorist Marilyn Krieger, CCBC, explains why Bengals have the same cat behavior concerns as other cat breeds.

By Marilyn Krieger, CCBC

Printer Friendly
Q: I want to adopt/rescue a Bengal Cat, mainly because of their fabulous look. I am hesitating and am confused because of information I recently read on the internet. At least one internet source states that all Bengals have litterbox issues and that they bite all of the time; other sources say Bengal Cats are loving and sweet cats with no behavior problems.

In my research about Bengal Cats, I saw that in addition to your being a cat behaviorist, you are one of the coordinators for Bengal Cat Rescue. Can you set the record straight?

A: The popularity of the Bengal Cat breed has increased dramatically in the last few years, probably owing to the Bengal Cat’s beautiful and wild look, its ancestry and its vivacious personalities. The Bengal Cat breed was developed originally by crossing a domestic cat with a wild cat. The majority of pet Bengals are at least four generations away from the Asian Leopard Cat, their wild ancestor. Unfortunately, due to their ancestry, there is a lot of inaccurate information published about them.

Bengal Cats are no more prone to behavior problems then other cat breeds or moggies. They have no more or fewer litterbox issues than any other cat breed, nor are they more or less aggressive then other cats. The same triggers that cause other purebred cats and non-breed cats to have behavior problems can trigger a Bengal Cat to have challenges.

Even though Bengal Cats do not have more behavior challenges then other cats, they are not the cat for everyone. Like all breeds of cats, they have special characteristics that may or may not fit into your lifestyle. Before adopting cats, do your homework.

Don’t base the decision to adopt a Bengal solely on its stunning looks. Bengals are very active and extremely intelligent. Many enjoy playing in water and they need high places to hang out. As a breed, Bengals are affectionate, but usually aren’t lap cats, although there are exceptions. They love to be with their people and they enjoy playing. Bengals are attention seekers. They will go to great lengths to encourage their favorite people to interact with them. Bengal Cats do not do well left all alone for hours every day without a companion to keep them company. Like all cats, they do need lots of environmental stimulation. One can never have too many toys or tall places when living with Bengal Cats.

If you do decide that a Bengal is the cat for you, check out the Bengal Rescue Network to find a rescue coordinator near you. There are many wonderful Bengal Cats of all ages up for adoption throughout the United States and Canada.
Printer Friendly

 Give us your opinion on
Are Bengal Cats Prone to Certain Behavior Issues?

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments

Kirsten    International

9/2/2015 5:14:05 PM

I have a 5yr old rehomed Bengal (F4). He was an inside cat previously & was a bit nutty when we got him with unsociable urinary habits bordering on obsessive. He is now a relaxed, happy daytime outdoor cat who enjoys roaming our leafy backyard, (he shows little interest in hunting anything other than geckos BTW as he's just a little bit scared of birds). He definitely exhibits some characteristics not seen in our regular moggies & I thinks his body language confuses them - they think sometimes he is aggressive when he is just wanting to play (Sheesh, even I can tell the difference).

Messaline    International

8/2/2015 9:47:20 PM

BENGAL CATS need responsible ownership. This must start by breeders being honest about these oversized beautiful cats and explaining the challenges owners may be faced with. Allowing Bengals to roam free can wreak havoc in neighbourhoods and should in my opinion not be permitted. Domestic cats are not able to protect themselves against this larger species and there have been huge disputes arising from this. Additionally as the cats mature, so does their behaviour evolve. Can make great pets but you MUST be mindful of this and take seriously when neighbours arrive distressed at your door reporting sustained and repeated attacks on their animals.

katy    duluth, MN

3/27/2015 5:58:53 PM

Ive taught my male bengal to huff at his attack target, he is affectionate very needy for attention meows stand up for a fight unless he knows i am angry for he knows what fighting with other cat

karen johnson    duluth, MN

3/27/2015 5:50:58 PM

My bengal gets bored easily,needs my regular attention, is my protector from the other cat and meows alot,i think its boredom.anybody think that being vocal is just regular behaviour. Anyways i need to find a home for him someone that has time and energy to play with him

View Current Comments

Top Products