How To Tell If Your Cat Is A Bengal Mix – 3 Ways To Tell

How To Tell If Your Cat Is A Bengal Mix – 3 Ways To Tell

Do you know how to tell if your cat is a Bengal mix, especially if there is no pedigree “paper trail” to follow?

You may have a cat that you think is a Bengal – or part Bengal – and not be too sure of how to determine what type of breed your cat is.

In this guide, we look at how you can tell if your cat is a Bengal mix, or possibly even a pure Bengal.

This breed was largely created by breeding several different domesticated cats to each other and with the Asian Leopard Cat (read our guide here to the history of the Bengal cat).

As such, some of the features of the Bengal Cat may be shared with the cats that make up their pedigree, so if you cat has a bit of Ocicat in them, they might be spotted.

In this article, we are going to look at how you can tell if your cat is part Bengal mix.

Look At Coat Colors and Markings

Bengal cats come in a variety of colors, including silver, brown, black, cinnamon, blue, and torbie. They also tend to have markings that make them look like their wild cousins, including spots or rosettes. They generally also have a marbled pattern to their coat. Bengal cats tend to have spotted bellies, but many domesticated cats like tabbies also have spotted bellies. One distinguishing characteristic is that Bengal Cats have almost no white on their body, just potentially small markings on their belly, chin, or whisker pad area.

This cat is clearly a full-sized Bengal!

When you pet a Bengal Cat, you’ll notice that its fur is incredibly soft, a trait often referred to as pelted. In addition, each of the individual hairs is “ticked,” which means that there are multiple bands of colors on each hair.

Many Bengal Cats also have a popular glittering appearance cased by the tip of the hair strand having less pigment, so when light shines through, it sparkles.

Different domesticated cat breeds can show some of these coat qualities, such as Ocicats and Egyptian Maus. It’s no wonder these were some of the breeds used to create the Bengal Cat.

Coat colour and marketing is definitely one of the best ways to tell if your cat is a Bengal cat mix.

Study Body Structure and Size To Determine If Your Cat Is Part Bengal

Wondering how to tell if your cat is a Bengal mix? Another strategy is to look at the body structure and size of your cat.

Another feature of Bengal Cats is that they tend to be lean but very muscular cats. You won’t commonly find them overweight. Their body is structured a bit differently than other cats, with their hind limbs higher than their front limbs, which gives them an impressive stride. Some other cats may have this same feature, but it is one that the Bengal Cat gets from the Asian Leopard Cat.

The Bengal Cat’s body is typically long, with a long tail that they can use for balancing while they climb all over your house. While they have a long body, their head is generally small, and they hold it out as they move, similar to the way a leopard moves. If you are looking at their head, they often have ears that are more rounded than a normal domestic cat’s ears, and their eyes tend to be more of a rounded shape than a normal cat’s generally almond shaped eyes.

One of the reasons Bengal Cats are hard to differentiate from other domesticated cats is that they share features with domesticated cats, such as tabby cat. These kitties both have a rather distinct “M” shape on their foreheads. In addition, they have an area on their ears where the fur is short and shaped sort of like a thumb.

Consider The Personality Of Your Cat

If you’re wondering how to tell if your cat is a Bengal mix, then another tip is to look at your cat’s personality. There can be many clues here!

Bengal Cats are known for being a little bit mischievous. They tend to be vocal and talk a lot, with a wide range of noises than a traditional domesticated shorthair cat. Indeed, their noises range from yowling cries to screams. They may even grunt. Especially when they are little, they can also make chirping sounds.

Part Bengal or full Bengal? You decide!

Asian Leopard Cats tend to be impressive jumpers and climb high up in the trees. You will find that Bengal Cats have some of the same tendencies.

They will often climb as high as they are able to within a room and perch there, in places ranging from the top of a cabinet to the top of a door frame. They tend to be big fans of not just heights, but vertical spaces.

Bengal Cats tend to have high energy levels. They need to burn off energy every day and do not do well confined to small areas. Because of this, they don’t often make good apartment cats. Bengal Cats tend t be clever animals and need to have engaging activities with their humans.

For instance, some do quite well walking on a leash and harness outside. You have to be careful with Bengal Cats because many of them may learn to open doors and even windows when they get bored.

Bengal Cats tend to love water, a trait that they seem to have inherited from the Asian Leopard Cat (read our guide here to the history of the Bengal cat for more information on the origins of the Bengal). Depending on the cat, they enjoy more than just batting at water, they like getting in it and swimming, as well. Some may even use water as their own litter box area, so a Bengal is the perfect cat to train to use the toilet.

Of course, many other cats may meet these same distinctive traits. You will find that many young cats are active and can find themselves getting into trouble. Stereotypically, many cats don’t appreciate water, but you can find some that aren’t Bengal Cats that enjoy a little splash.

In Summary – How To Tell If Your Cat Is A Bengal Mix

It can be hard to determine if your cat is a Bengal mix or not because Bengal Cats share so many features with other cats. Instead of wondering what they are, embrace your kitty’s distinctive personality and appearance and let their behavior shine on through.

This video also contains some handy insights on determining if your cat is part Bengal:

10 thoughts on “How To Tell If Your Cat Is A Bengal Mix – 3 Ways To Tell”

  1. Three years ago I adopted a Bengal year-old female whose owner had to take a job outside the country and couldn’t take her with him. At the same time I adopted a rescue cat, also female, the same age. These two have gotten to be besties. They romp and play in our 1700 square foot apartment in New York City. Our Bengal is really “my” Bengal. She is bonded to her foster-sister, but also to me. She has trained me: to feed her — she stretches up as I sit at my kitchen table (our huge kitchen is really our living room; I work there) reading or typing at the computer, and pats my back. If I don’t pay her heed, she begins putting her claws into the back of my sweater or my slacks. (I’ve spent a lot of money getting Bengal-inflicted sweater-holes mended). And then I feed her. She gets me to play with her, always around 11 PM, the same way. And we have a play routine. I swish and drag a tape measure around, and she goes after it. She chases it (and me) and then I chase her. At some point my rescue kitty enters the show and my Bengal begins romping with her. Incidentally: my little rescue cat, a tough little street kitty, is the dominant one of the two!!! Go figure.

  2. PS My Bengal, Bella, is almost silent. Sometimes she utters a few little endearing squeaks but that’s it. She is fascinated by the shower, especially when I’m in it, and she’s taken to sitting in it — but only when there’s no water. It is absolute hell to clip her claws. Usually we have a groomer come to the house to clip her claws but I’m writing this in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic and sooner or later my husband and I will have to do it ourselves. Not looking forward to that. Even though I have been able to clip the claws of every cat who has been in my life, and that would make 11 total.

  3. After reading this article, I am convinced my 9 month old cat sibling rescues are bengal mixes. The German couple we adopted them from didn’t speak much English and we didn’t speak any German so we communicated through smiles, hand gestures and a bit of whatever their young daughter could translate for us, which wasn’t much. Mordecai and Amortentia are mostly brown. He has gold stripes and she has gold swirls but only on her hind legs. They both have spotted stomachs. His hair feels like other cats fur, hers is silky smooth like my Maine Coon. I wish I could say they glitter like Edward Cullen but I havent noticed that. Maybe when their older….Sheeeeee still makes chirping noises when she carries her ‘hunted’ treasures around the house or if she sees a fly or bird. And like my Maine Coon (Monty), they both like the water.

  4. There is a stray cat who’s been hanging around by mine .he keeps coming in the house with my 2 house cats an is very vocal & friendly . At first thought e was just a tabby now am not so sure .he looks like he s wearing eye liner also jumps high for a normal tabby

  5. A big male stray comes over every other day or so. He comes inside , walks around while my little calico follows him all over. Then he wants back out. I want to adopt him, maybe he is a bengal mix? he is dark gray with black stripes and spots. he is gorgeous. and calm, not wild at all.

  6. I think my 8 month old orange tabby might be a bengal mix. He’s content to just lay around and snuggle for a little bit, but when he wants to play you better engage!! If he doesn’t have anything to do, he will jump on your feet and start biting them. He attacks and chews on my area rug, blinds, clothing, couch, toys….pretty much anything he can get his paws on. He is very demanding when it comes to food and will get super grumpy if you do not take his hints that he’s hungry seriously. He will wander around the house meowing loudly if no one is giving him attention. His coat is also super soft and fine. Which says something considering he was born a stray in my aunt’s pasture. He loves to jump and is at home sitting on your shoulders while you’re trying to eat, watch TV, cook, clean, whatever. He’s a beautiful cat, but man he is a handful sometimes!!

  7. My cat regularly kills squirrels, raccoons, possums and large rats (which he eats completely). My only
    concern is the risk of disease transmission since he comes in the house, but is happier (and spends most
    of his time) outdoors. In any event, there’s no possible way to keep him inside since he runs out
    any time a door is opened.

    There’s no question this cat is a Bengal/Tabby hybrid. I’ve had numerous tabby cats who may
    kill the occasional bird/mouse/lizard, but not large pests such as these. There’s no mistaking
    this breed of cat. They have a relatively small head, very long tail, svelte build- somewhat like a
    miniature cheetah but with the odd, distinctive markings.

    This is a terrific pest control breed if you have this sort of problem around your property. Dogs,
    of course, will destroy large pests around your property, but they have a limited range in terms
    of climbing and obviously aren’t free to roam outside the fenced confines of your property.

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