Bengal Cat Temperament
Bengals are such beautiful cats, and you would be forgiven for assuming that they have the same character traits as a normal domesticated cat, while being hypnotized by their gorgeous looks.
Nonetheless, Bengals are not your typical house cat at all — these cats have a full-on, lively personality and love to interact with others.
The Bengal’s unique heritage and breeding have created many equally unique personality traits. Bengals were first bred in the United States and are a relatively new breed of cat. They range in size from medium to large, and they sport strong, athletic bodies under dazzling coats of marbled or spotted fur. They were originally created by crossing the Asian Leopard Cat and domestic breeds such as the Egyptian Mau, Ocicats, and Abyssinians.
This outstanding combination of their out-going characters and sheer beauty have made Bengals a wildly popular breed throughout the world!
Like the oriental cat breeds, Bengals are intelligent, lively, and interactive cats that enable their owners to have a wonderful two-way relationship with them. They don’t tend to be your typical “aloof” cat that ignores its owners, nor are they a quiet or boring breed. They tend to take a dynamic and active role in their family relationships.
An Energetic Cat
Bengals are astounding athletes a good portion of the time. They joyfully run about, climb doors and cupboards, and leap to impressive heights. They will take an interest in your activities, leaping onto your shoulders from amazing distances to help you answer the door or search the kitchen for your next meal.
They bounce around enthusiastically, roll around, perform somersaults, and will even flip a light switch if it strikes their fancy. As kittens, they are even more energetic and rambunctious.
These cats will tremble and twitch their tails when stimulated, even puffing their tails up in an almost raccoon-like manner. They have frequently been compared to the lovable Tigger in the Winnie-The-Pooh books, with their inquisitive, hyper-active, over-the-top, but lovable, heart of gold personalities.
This energy can last well into old age for healthy Bengal cats. They also tend to love to explore the outdoors due to their wild lineage, but in busy areas with nearby high-traffic roads, it’s not always the best idea to have an outdoor cat of any breed. Many Bengal owners keep their cats as indoor cats, and while they do adapt well to this, they need interactive toys to keep them busy and love to have a good platform from which to observe their world.
Great Big Hearts
Despite the Bengal’s love for motion and energy, they can be a peaceful breed as well. Perhaps to their owners’ great relief, they spend the majority of their time at the opposite end of the spectrum, laying and rolling on their backs leisurely, approaching their owners to lovingly nuzzle their faces while purring happily, before curling up into a ball and lulling into a sleep on the sofa next to you. Owners should be aware that the Bengal is not a lap cat and prefers to be kept busy; he will happily nap with you when tired though.
Unlike most house cats, they really do crave affection and love giving it in return, and they love spending countless hours piled on top of you and purring the day away. They may wake their owners in the night to rub their head upon yours, kneading the blankets with their paws before settling down to sleep restfully with you until the morning. They love to lay on their backs and stretch with abandon, and will do so for many minutes at a time.
Bengals tend to form a particularly strong attachment to one person in their home, although they are generally friendly and affectionate with their whole family.
Contrary to the cliché that most cats bitterly abhor water, Bengals are actually known for their love of water-related activities. They have been known to play happily in deep waters, and even tend to enjoy swimming. While not all Bengals love water to the same degree, and your Bengal may not be the greatest fan of taking a swim, they do tend to overall be fond of water. Some Bengals may draw their paw across the surface of their water bowls before drinking, harkening back to the larger wild cats that clear the surfaces of ponds before beginning to lap. Some owners have reported that their Bengals like to splash at mugs and glasses of water that they leave sitting around, sending a light rain around the room!
Bengals don’t tend to be very wary of bath time; in fact, some Bengals will jump into the tub and vocally demand that the tap is turned on! They will then splash about and play in the bath water with great enthusiasm. Your Bengal may even join you in the shower!
It is important to note that Bengal owners should leave their toilet lids down to prevent their cats from bleach poisoning, and to never leave hot water unattended lest the cat scald itself.
Bengals are skilled at getting what they want, when they want it. They will let you know that they want something by emitting a loud yowl, which can range from generally loud to ear piercing volumes. Whether they want to be let outside, fed, the tap turned on, or just to say hello, your Bengal will have a vocal yowl for everything. Fortunately, this sound can be alleviated by simply doing their bidding.
Their purrs are also expressive, full of trills and chirrups. Their vocabulary may also include special chatters when they see something to chase, a frustrated but quick “nyah!” sound when they can’t reach something, and may even have a vocalization that is unique to the moment they are about to be sick.
Bengals are not the noisiest of cats, in that they don’t tend to just make noise to be noisy, but they do have quite a vocal range to communicate certain things when they want to.