5 Things You Didn't Know About Bengal Cats

Wild on the Outside, Tame on the Inside

With its beautiful, exotic-looking coat, large ears and green eyes, the Bengal cat looks like a Bengal tiger. A much smaller tiger, that is. But take a closer look and you’ll learn that this attentive, intelligent breed is far more interesting than you might think.

Here are five things you may not have known about Bengal cats.

1. Ancient Wild Roots

The Bengal cat looks exotic and there’s a good reason why.

Back in the 1800s, the Bengal cat came into existence after an Asian leopard cat was bred with a domestic cat.  It wasn’t until Jean Sugden Mill perfected the hybrid breed during the 1980s that the Bengal cat truly became domesticated with a temperament to match.

Click here to read Mill’s interview with the Pet HealthZone.

Bengal cat plays with water

2.  Water-Loving Felines

One common characteristic among Bengal cats: their love for water.

Don’t be surprised if your Bengal cat follows you for a dip in the pool — or the bath. This breed is fond of drinking water straight from the tap, swimming and goofing off with water when given the chance.

3. Teach Me a Trick, Yo!

Another distinct personality trait: Bengal cats love to learn tricks and perform. And perform again and again.

Super smart and eager to please, Bengal cats are keen to quickly learning tricks — like a dog — and repeating them continuously (the breed also happens to be high energy). So, try teaching your Bengal to fetch a ball — one small enough for a cat — and see what else your Bengal can learn from there on out. The breed has been known to learn basic verbal commands as well.

4. Glitter, Glitter on the Cat

Unique to the Bengal’s appearance: a glitter-like sheen that graces its fur coat, which has a smooth silky feel.

Bengals can have either spotted or marbled coat patterns. Spots run along the sides and top of the body and those which consist of two colors are commonly referred to as “rosetted,” like those on a jaguar. Symmetrical stripes run along the remainder of the body—including the legs and tail.

While not all Bengals are born with the glitter gene coat, many are. Look for an iridescent sheen to the cat’s coat that sparkles in the light.  

5. Common Health Concerns for Bengal Cats

Bengal cat on the patio

The most common health conditions for the Bengal cat breed, based on Nationwide pet insurance policyholder claims in 2016 are, in order of pervasiveness: