Learn about Bengal Cats nutrition, temperament, health and coloration.
Vitamins and Supplements: With any diet it is important to add in micro and macro nutrients typical food doesn't contain. We recommend feeding a supplement like NuVet Plus Feline (or comparable product). We have been feeding NuVet Plus to our cats and have been very happy with the results. It comes in a a powder form that tastes good and is easy to sprinkle on their food. The only catch is that you cannot find it in stores. It must be ordered directly from the supplier.
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As intriguing as the beauty of a Bengal cat is, the temperament is even better! In general Bengal cats are outgoing, active, playful, and social. They can be trained to walk on a leash, use the toilet, or do tricks.
I often have people ask me if Bengals are safe to have around children – since they have some wild cat in them. While every cat has its own individual personality most Bengals do wonderfully with children. The natural curiosity and active nature of the Bengal cat tends to work very well with the enthusiasm of a child. I have two young children in the home and find that the cats not only enjoy playing with the kids but are extremely tolerant and gentle. I have never had one of my cats strike at the kids or bite them even when provoked. I do recommend that you ask the breeder to help you choose a kitten with a temperament best suited to an active household if you have small children – sometimes personality should take precedence over pretty markings.
The early generation Bengals (F1, F2, F3, and F4) have more Asian Leopard Cat in them and don’t always do as well with the chaos of a home that includes children. For this reason I recommend that a SBT Bengal (F5 and later) is purchased in a home with young children.
Most Bengals enjoy other pets just as much as they enjoy other cats. They will bond with dogs, pigs, birds, or whatever other small animal you have in the home as long as you introduce them when young. I would not recommend introducing a Bengal to rodents, lizards or small birds since they will probably end up as lunch. Bengals have a lot of prey drive and will almost certainly want to hunt your tiny pets if they are not put away securely.
If you like mellow, laid back cats don’t get a Bengal! These gorgeous felines look beautiful on the arm of a couch, but they rarely stay there for long. Bengals like to run, jump, pounce, and race. They are extremely athletic and hard muscled. When playing with my cats they will often jump as high as my head to reach the toy I am dangling. They will jump on the table, counters, bed, or any other surface if you let them. They love to crawl into small spaces or hide under blankets waiting to pounce on the first thing that moves. As an owner it is your responsibility to teach them what is allowed in your house. Bengals do require some basic training in order to be a good citizen in your home.
There are two basic patterns in the Bengal cat breed: Spotted and Marbled. Sometimes people will refer to a cat that is in between the two as a Sparble.
Spotted: The spotted pattern is the traditional (and dominant) color of the Bengal. The variety in spotting is enormous - form tiny numerous spots to huge random spots. All can be beautiful and all are acceptable. Vertical spotting is discouraged and a horizontal flow resembling the Asian leopard Cat pattern is the goal of most breeders.
Marbled: Marbled Bengals have swirls in a horizontal flow that create the look of an ocelot or clouded leopard. A round bulls-eye patter is discouraged since it resembles a domestic tabby as opposed to a wild cat. In general marbled Bengals have a silkier, smoother coat. Marbles are recessive.
Bengals come in a variety of colors, some accepted by TICA and some not.
Brown: Brown is the normal, traditional color for a Bengal. It is dominant and therefore the most common color. Brown is such a drab, ordinary name that simply does not describe the beauty of the color. Browns can be tan, red, golden, mahogany, charcoal, or any shade in between.
Snow: The snow color is recessive and come in 3 varieties (listed below). The snow coloration is due to a color point restriction gene. Snows are ivory or cream based with contrasting markings ranging from light tan to deep brownish black. Categorizing which color a snow is can sometimes be difficult since they do not always follow the rules, but DNA test can confirm coloration.
Seal Lynx: These cats are born white or with faint markings. They take about three years for their color to fully come in. They have blue eyes at maturity. Mature coat is generally cream with tan markings.
Seal Mink: Minks are born with light markings that darken over a three year period. They have aqua or light green eyes as adults. Mature coat is generally ivory/cream with dark tan – deep brown markings.
Seal Sepia: This is usually the deepest snow color. These kittens are born with dark markings and generally have green eyes at maturity. Mature coat is generally cream/ivory with dark brown to black markings.
Silver: Silver is caused by an inhibitor gene that limits the production of the yellow color in the coat. So, these cats are browns without the brown so to speak. Sometimes the inhibitor gene does not work fully and you will have silver with 'tarnish' (brownish tones around the face, ears, or sometimes back). Silvers have a bluish grey background that can be quite striking with jet black markings.
Melanistic and Blue: These colors are not accepted Bengal colors at this time. Melanistic is a solid black Bengal (in reality it does have spots but they are not visible). Blue Bengals have a bluish body with gray markings. Both can be stunning.
Charcoals: Charcoal Bengals can be brown, silver or snow, but have a smoky overlay over the back and head. They generally have a ‘mask’ around the eyes and ‘cape’ down the back. While Charcoal is not recognized as a separate color at this time it is believed to have its own gene association. It can be quite a stunning color that is starting to be specifically selected for by some breeders.
Rosettes: Rosetting refers to the markings on top of the base coat; if they are two toned they are considered rosettes. Personal preference dictates whether solid markings or rosettes markings are sought after. Marbles or spotted cats can be rosetted.
Glitter: Glitter is a trait that Bengals may or may not possess. A glittered cat has a hair shaft with little air pockets along it that catch light and make it look like it has been sprinkled with gold or silver dust. Glitter is not only beautiful but is also seems to aid allergy sufferers and renders the cat's hair less likely to carry dander or stick to clothing. Bengals may be unglittered, lightly glittered, or heavily glittered depending on the individual. Glitter is believed to be a cumulative gene.
A good website with a variety of Bengal colors and patterns is: Kingsmark Bengals