Wild thing, I think I love you. The Bengal
Is your cat highly intelligent? Able to learn new tricks quickly? Is it a gorgeous, intelligent troublemaker that devours cat puzzle toys and a true destroyer of household things! In the dead of night, does your cat steal the duvet, jump in the shower with you, flush open toilets, turn lights on, turn them off again and weigh close to 7kg? Well it sounds like you definitely do have a Bengal.
Because of its feral lineage, the Bengal is often seen as difficult to train and keep indoors as a pet. However, the Bengal is best kept indoors, due to dangers they present to other animals and keeping them indoors also keeps them safe. This jungle cat beauty has tons and tons and tons of energy! So, if you’re looking for a lap cat, the Bengal is probably not the cat for you. This wild thing is probably a good choice if you have a boisterous and playful dog that can keep entertainment levels high or, if you’re brave, you could get two Bengals.
The Bengal stands out among cats for its lush, dense, and remarkably soft coat. The distinctive leopard-like spots on the Bengal house cat can be random, aligned horizontally with rosettes that form a half circle, or in a marbled pattern. The preferred colors are black or brown spotted, and black or brown marbled, but breeders have also engineered Bengals that are snow spotted (white), and snow marbled. Bengals often possess a trait called glittering, which makes the coat appear to have been dusted with gold or pearl making them even more gorgeous! The back legs are slightly longer than the front legs, making the hind end a bit higher than the shoulders, and emphasizing the Bengal's wild-cat appearance. The Bengal's muscular, athletic build is one of its most defining features; it is never delicate. Their feral heritage makes them exceptional fishers and hunters.
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Home environment - As with most cats, they can be sociable when introduced to an environment that is peaceful, stimulating and where they feel safe. The Bengal can be fiercely territorial and not receptive to changes. The only way to curb them from this particular tendency is to raise them from kittenhood very carefully with small animals constantly in their presence. This being said it's still advised only to train them with the strictest precautions as accidents are always capable of happening. They are animals after all. Owners of small animals and children should not leave them alone with a Bengal without supervision.
Entertaining – A good butler knows how to entertain! To keep your Bengal entertained and to help them stay fit and active, provide various play stations at different heights around your home and don’t forget plenty of treats. Cats love playtime with their owners which helps them to socialize well and thwarts boredom and troublesome behaviors. Like demolishing your house!
Hair – The Bengal has gorgeous silky hair which allows for easy care. Shedding is to be expected as with any cat however, combing or brushing can be done maybe twice a week to reduce furniture coverage.
Teeth – The use of small finger toothbrushes for weekly clean can help keep your cat’s teeth and gums healthy and may prevent periodontal disease. Or chew stick treats that clean teeth. Careful with your fingers, cats have impressive jaw strength and can give quite a finger crushing bite! Annual checks at the vets will also pick up on anything that might need professional attention.
Nails – Now, be careful with this one. Cat’s nails are live so there is the potential to cause pain especially if the nail is dark and you cannot see clearly to differentiate live areas from ‘safe’ areas to clip. Probably best to schedule a visit to your vets or local shelter where there will be someone trained to carry out this procedure. I clipped my cat Tiny’s nail tips while she sat in the sink about once a fortnight. She would only allow me to clip her front ones and would happily bite her back paw nails at her leisure.
Clean – You can use a soft cloth and wipe the eye area. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so that you don’t spread any infection. Gently wipe out ears, warm water is fine. Never poke or use cotton buds (Q-tips) inside the ears.
Litter Box – Keep the trays meticulously clean and have more than one (if possible). Remember to keep trays away from food areas.
Roam or not to roam – It’s a good idea to keep your lovely inside, because as we know, cats do roam. Apart from confrontation with other cats or dogs or traffic dangers, such a beauty might be stolen. However, if you’re going to allow roaming, please ensure your Bengal is on a leash, and microchipped.
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