Here at Authentic Bengal Cats, our mission is to answer all of your Bengal cat questions. Although most of our article topics come from suggestions that readers have made (you can email us any time on firstname.lastname@example.org to make your own suggestion(s) or ask us any questions) we also trawl the Internet to find questions that other people are asking on forums, blogs etc about Bengals.
One of the more interesting questions we’ve come across recently is “do Bengal cats feel the cold?”
We hadn’t thought of this question before, until we had seen someone ask it on a Bengal cat Facebook group.
The authors of this site live in New Zealand, which never really gets that cold. It hardly ever snows, and temperatures rarely drop below freezing except for a couple of weeks of the year in mid-Winter.
However, if you live in a colder climate (such as many parts of North America or Europe) then you may be wondering if Bengal cats do feel the cold, because you might be concerned that where you live is a bit too chilly for a Bengal to live happily and healthily.
There tends to be this view of Bengals as being exotic animals from tropical climes (read our history of the Bengal cat here for more information on this topic). Therefore, it stands to reason that Bengal cats would hate the cold, right?
The truth is that Bengal cats probably do feel the cold. However, they aren’t really any worse for this than most other breeds of cat.
Some cats (particularly those with longer, denser coats like Norwegian Forest Cats or Maine Coons) are much better adapted to the cold. However, Bengals are on par with other short haired cats when it comes to feeling the cold and being susceptible to it.
The main thing to remember is that while cats are generally able to deal with the cold – at least for short periods of time – they can be at risk of hypothermia and frostbite if the temperature is sufficiently low.
Therefore, when the mercury drops, chances are your Bengal will either prefer to stay inside where it is hopefully nice and warm, or he/she will find some place to hunker down outside (e.g. underneath your house) in order to fight some of the Winter Chill.
To conclude, do Bengal cats feel the cold? Yes, they clearly do. However, they are probably no worse at dealing with the cold than any other comparable (i.e. short haired, not evolved to deal with freezing temperatures) breed of cat.
Your Bengal is able to deal with the cold, but will probably prefer being indoors where it is nice and warm. If your Bengal does venture outside into very cold conditions, then there is always a risk that he/she could contract hypothermia or frost bite. However, this is generally unlikely if your cat is able to come and go as they please (in terms of entering back into your house) or is able to find shelter outside.
If you live in a very cold climate and expect your Bengal to be outside frequently, then you may wish to look into something like a cat coat. However, this probably isn’t necessary (and may actually increase the risk of harm to your Bengal as it could catch on something while your cat is outside, leaving them trapped in the cold).