Bengal cats make excellent pets and are becoming increasingly popular. If you’re new to the breed, you are probably wondering about some of their features and traits, such as what do they look like. The good news is that Bengals come in a range of colors, but they share some common features.
What Makes a Bengal Cat A Bengal?
Bengal cats are a cross between the Asian Leopard Cat, a wild feline, and domesticated cat breeds. The Asian Leopard Cat contributes some of its behavioral tendencies, as well as its coat pattern, to the Bengal cat. These cats enjoy swimming in water and can be quite mischievous.
Several domesticated cat breeds have been used in breeding Bengal cats. These cat breeds include the Egyptian Mau, the Ocicat, and the British Shorthair. Other breeds used include the Abyssinian and Bombay cats. Bengal cats bred today are bred between these breeds and multi-generational Bengal cats, rather than still breeding to Asian Leopard Cats. Any Bengal sold today tends to be multiple generations removed from their wild ancestors, generally a minimum of four generations out.
What Does a Bengal Cat Look Like?
The Bengal cat takes after its wild ancestors with its appearance. The coat is thick and rather luxurious, with a marbled or spotted coat. The major hallmark of most Bengal cats are their rosettes, the round patterns that make their coat like those of their Asian Leopard Cat forbearers. The cats come in a range of shades, with three basic colors, brown, silver, and snow. Of snow patterned cats, there are three variations, which include Seal Lynx, Seal Sepia, and Seal Mink Point. The two accepted pattern types are spotted or marbled.
When you’re looking at a Bengal cat, you’ll see that they have a broad head, with small ears. They tend to have black rimmed eyes that are relatively almond shaped. They also have pronounced whisker pads. At the opposite end of their body, Bengal cats have a thick tail that ends in a black tip.
One of the most unique things about Bengal cats are their glittering coat. Many of the members of this breed have the appearance of a gold or pearl dusting effect that looks like they have been sprinkled with glitter. This comes from one of the males that Jean Mill used when working to establish the breed, a relatively feral male known as Tory who was known for his gold-dusted coat.
How Big Do Bengal Cats Get?
Bengal cats grow to be roughly between 8 and 15 pounds, making them a respectably sized medium cat. Depending on the proportions of breeds that make up their make-up, you may see two Bengal cats at opposite ends of the spectrum. Bengal cats with a great deal of British Shorthair tend to be larger than cats with more Abyssinian in them. Overall these cats are smaller than the Asian Leopard Cat and also tend to be smaller than their other feline cousin, the Savannah cat.
Grooming Your Bengal Cat
The good news is that although Bengal cats seem like they might be high maintenance, they are typically pretty easy to take care of with some general guidelines. Caring for the cat’s short but thick coat requires that you groom then regularly, usually combing through their coat on a weekly basis to help with shedding and allow the skin’s oils to be distributed. While a bath is not often necessary, you may find that your Bengal cat enjoys the opportunity to be in the water.
One of the most important ways to care for your Bengal cat is to protect its oral health. Brush the teeth regularly to help prevent periodontal disease, which can lead to diseases of the heart, kidneys, and other body systems, as well as lead to oral issues such as resorptive lesions. If you can, brushing your Bengal cats teeth every single day for best results.
Every few weeks, as part of regular grooming, you should trim your cat’s nails. You should also check their ears, wiping them out if you see any debris. Your veterinarian can recommend an ear cleaner if necessary, but sometimes all they need is to be wiped out with a cotton ball gently. If you Bengal cat has eye discharge, you can wipe carefully around the eyes with a clean cloth, but if you’re noticing excessive tear drainage, you may want to consult your veterinarian.
Bengal cats are wildly popular due to their cool looks and wild ancestry. In addition, they make great pets for owners who are able to spend time interacting with them. With too little stimulation though, they can find themselves getting into trouble. These cats are pretty easy to care for to maintain the health of the coat and skin.