Bengal cats are striking, beautiful and alluring animals. Interest in Bengal cats seems to be climbing steadily all the time.
But are Bengal cats good for first time owners?
We have seen some argue online that first time cat owners should avoid Bengal cats, so in this article we decided to dissect that question.
Let’s take a look at whether or not Bengal cats are good for first time cat owners:
Our opinion is that there is no reason why you can’t have a good “ownership experience” as a first time Bengal cat owner.
However, we also see where this notion comes from, and why so many are opposed to first time cat owners bringing Bengals into their homes.
Primarily, it comes from the fact that Bengal cats have a slightly more wild nature due to their Asian Leopard Cart lineage (read our guide to the history of Bengal cats here for more information).
This lineage can sometimes make Bengal cats a bit of a handful to deal with, and there are definitely reports of owners who have struggled with their Bengals (in fact, one cat rescue centre in the UK famously decided they would stop accepting any new Bengals due to the fact that so many owners were looking to re-home them).
Some of the more common problems and issues that Bengal owners report (which may lead to you reconsidering whether or not first time ownership is a good idea) are:
- Excessive vocalisation – Bengals can be talkative, noisy cats. If you want your first cat ownership experience to be a “quieter” one, then you might want to consider looking elsewhere. Read our guide here on why Bengals can be so talkative for more information. Feedback we have received (and research we have done) indicates this tendency to excessive vocalisation as being one of the most challenging aspects of Bengal cat ownership for many.
- Risk of aggressive behavior – One of the more concerning problems that some Bengal owners report is a greater preponderance towards aggressive behaviour, probably due to the “wild” nature of Bengals. This can generally be prevented with good socialisation from a young age and correct training and discipline, but is definitely something to bear in mind.
- Attention seeking behavior – Bengal cats are also known to be very attention seeking cats (as a rule). If your idea of a good first-time cat ownership experience is having an easy going cat that is more “ornamental” than anything else, then you might want to look elsewhere. You will need to be ready and prepared for a potentially needy cat.
- High energy – Bengals are very energetic cats, especially when younger. You might want to consider whether a highly energetic cat is the right choice for you and your family if you are a first time cat owner. This can sometimes result in undesirable consequences, such as the destruction of furniture – make sure you lock up your Ming Dynasty vase collection.
Considering these points, are Bengal cats good for first time owners?
In our opinion, Bengal cats can still be good for first time cat owners. However, you need to go into the process with your eyes open and aware of the potential pitfalls.
If you read those points above and recoiled in horror, then maybe Bengal cat ownership isn’t right for you.
However, if you see them all as “manageable risks”, then you are probably going to be more than okay.
The most important thing is to prepare properly for all of the challenges and frustrations that can come with Bengal ownership. Most people see the stunning markings of these “miniature tigers” and fall in love without thinking about the true nature of ownership.
As long as you are willing to deal with the challenges over the long term, then you are going to be fine. But do not treat a Bengal cat as a necessarily easy proposition … you’ll need to be willing to “work at it”. A cat is a long-term commitment, and one you need to be well prepared for.