Why this breed?
Anyone who considers owning a cat, must love cats for what they are, and not purchase what they consider a status symbol. Bengals are unusual, being so close to their wild ancestry, they are majestic cats and when visitors come to your house they will always comment on your cat’s appearance. More often than not they can found serenely surveying their kingdom from some high spot in your house. Bengals are not sedate cats that like to lounge around all day being pampered, they are “play” aggressive, and have their own distinctive personality, and are more likely to show dominant, assertive aggression to their owners than any other breed of cat.
Bengals are house cats and should not be allowed out for their own safety. Bengals can also be very protective of their food, so this should be curtailed immediately with proper training.
Bengals have also overtaken the Persian cat in the popularity stakes in the UK, mainly because they live longer than the Persian, although in the US, the Persian is still very popular.
Because the Bengal is still not widely accepted as a domesticated cat, there are some countries that will not allow its entry – Hawaii, for example, completely prohibits the import of Bengals, whether for a short stay or to live permanently.
Deciding on a kitten or an older cat has the same considerations no matter what breed of cat. Do you have the time and the patience for a kitten, do you work full-time, will the kitten be left alone? All cats generally live to about 15 years so it is a long-term commitment as with most pets, but with an indoor cat there is even more of a commitment. Bengals, as with all indoor cats, will need to be kept entertained, but Bengals in particular like high places to climb to and survey the scene below them.
With an indoor cat a litter tray is essential, although not such an essential if you train your Bengal to use the toilet… Yes, they can be trained with patience and ingenuity, and the litter tray can be kept in a corner just for emergencies. However, you may not be able to get them to flush!
You will need to provide a scratching post if you don’t want your furniture to be used as such, some cats prefer to scratch on carpet so a square of carpet, placing this upside down with the hessian backing upside is a good alternative. The outer layer of a cat’s claws naturally flakes off and scratching helps this happen as well as scent marking their territory from glands between their pads. Bengal kittens will climb your curtains if allowed to do so, and they will use your best mat or bedspread as a scratching mat, if you don’t have a specific place for them to scratch, but you will also need to encourage them to use the designated scratching place.