The Bengal cat is a relatively new breed of cat from a mixture of domesticated and wild cat, due to this their affectionate side is questioned by those who look to bring one home.
Are Bengal cats very affectionate? Bengal cats are affectionate, but since they are not known to be a lap cat, it might not be evident to the owner or casual viewer how they display their affection. Their slight dog-like ways along with their attentive nature are ways that they show their love for their owner.
While they don't display their affection in a typical cat-like fashion of taking over your lap for hours on end, if they could, paying attention to the subtleness of their behavior will clue you into what they are thinking.
An understanding of their history and what makes them a fun cat to have in the home will lead you to love this naughty fur baby for years to come. Read further to gain understanding and how to make your shy Bengal be the life of the party.
Understanding the subtly of cat attention
For people who are not accustomed to cats, it's hard to tell the difference in affection between a cat and a dog.
Our tendency is to like attention to be evident that way we as human beings don't have to put a lot of thought into the behavior of others. However, a feline is never overtly obvious.
Even ones are very clingy will leave their owners complexed as to why they behave the way that they do. Kitties show their affections and intentions in many different ways.
Think of your socially awkward friend who doesn’t know how to say outright what they are feeling or need.
They do little things to show that they care. Actions are what you need to pay attention to with cats not the obvious. Here are some not so obvious signs that your cat feels safe around you:
- Following you around
- Slow blinking
While it appears that your Bengal is demanding, or rather commanding you to be their servant, they are just trying to gain your attention for affection. They want care from you.
Or the fact that they always end up in the same room that you are. Causally like it was their idea in the first place.
Also painfully kneading your stomach is an action that your kitty used to push milk when feeding while as a kitten. It shows that they are content and feel safe. Eye contact is also a clue. Notice how they will look at you and then slowly blink.
If your kitty is staring at something without blinking, it means what they are looking at is a perceived threat. They don't want to take their eyes off of it in case the danger escalates. That slow blink means that they feel safe and aren’t in danger.
It is obvious when owning a lap cat that they want your attention.
Because they will take every opportunity to sit on your lap, it is less evident with cats that aren't sitting by your side for several hours a day type of beings, but they reveal themselves if you take the time to pay attention.
Also read: 7 great litter boxes for Bengals!
Mischievous is the word
Due to their high intelligence, Bengal cats tend to GET INTO EVERYTHING. Like an eccentric scientist, their need is to try everything and see how exactly it works.
They will find a way to insert themselves into every crevice of your home.
Don't want your Bengal to get into the hot water closet? Better put something substantial in front of it. A door stopper simply won’t work. If they see it pushed aside by accident an ‘Ah ha!’ moment will occur.
This examination will extend to all aspects of the home. They see you flush the toilet; now they want to try it. Opening cabinets in the kitchen? Well, that seems effortless and what are those things in there will be your Bengals next question.
Because of their high intelligence, they like to experiment with the world around them and will learn things from your actions.
They need activity to be happy and will let you know when they are not. Play is absolutely required for this breed of kitty. Since they are smart and learn easily taking walks will get some of that energy out of their system.
Playing fetch is also a doable pass time. The toys need to be noisy, bright and interactive. Ones that crinkle or light up or move around are best for this curious baby. They will gain their attention and make them try to figure out what makes this thing tick.
If their high energy is making you exhausted then pay attention to their periods of high intensity and act accordingly. For my hyper cat, this typically means as soon as I get out of bed in the morning and later in the evening.
Before even letting him have the time to start screaming for attention I commence the throwing of the toys which has him running about all over the place until he is so tuckered out he doesn’t notice a thing going on, until apparently at night.
History plays a key
Since they are a recent domestic cat, a cross between a domestic cat and the Asian Leopard cat, their history represents a part in how they interact with the people around them and their mischievous nature. Typically the Bengals that are bred and sold are 4th generation or beyond cats from their undomesticated ancestors.
Something to keep in mind is that they are not a wild cat; they are still a domesticated breed. Those who are looking for a more untamed animal are not going to find it here as you can read in this article.
The Bengal is silly and active, but that doesn’t translate to owning a miniature tiger.
That being said some of their instincts are closely tied to their ancestors than a feline that has been domesticated for centuries. They tend to be very avid hunters both inside and outside the home.
Any trespassing mouse or fly doesn't stand a chance. For this reason, it is best to keep them indoors because cats can decimate entire populations of bird and other small prey, sometimes leading them to extinction.
They have also been known to revert to their wild ways if they bond more closely with another animal, especially another Bengal cat, then they do with their human companion.
Even their intelligence is an indicator of their history, something that would keep them safe in the wild and assure them of their surroundings.
When acquiring a breed of cat, understand all of their quirks before just bringing a cat into your home because it looks cute. Understand that this cat is not an accessory, but a sentient being that has a mind of their own.
Are they affectionate to everyone?
When asking if animals are affectionate often the next question is are they socially ok to be around other people or even other animals. The answer is yes, tentatively, but you as the owner will have to put some work and forethought into it.
As a lot of cats are, the Bengal tends to be territorial and loyal to their human without regard for other people.
Inherently they are not known as the company cat that will take its place on one of your guest's lap, which is good news to that one friend who is allergic.
However, with effort, timing, and training they can get over their fear of invaders in their home and welcome people like a gracious host.
When first getting your Bengal the best practice is to have people that it doesn't frequently know in the home. That way it will get used to other people coming and going so that your cat won't charge or hiss at an unexpected newcomer.
If you are introverted and view your home as a sanctuary like your feline does then taking your trainable Bengal out on walks where people can admire and provide pets will do the same thing.
It is better when they are young kittens to introduce them to another animal so that they are always accustomed to the idea that they have to share this space with other meowing or barking entity.
It is not advised to have a Bengal cat and smaller animals, though, that is common for cats as a whole since their previous job was to prevent these types of animals from coming into your home.
If you have this ability to introduce them to others at a young age, then that is great. Most people don't plan their lives like that and might adopt an animal while the Bengal is past the kitten stage.
Since this kitty is territorial here are some tips to keep in mind when bringing another animal into the household:
- Male cats will get along with female cats better than other males
- Slowly introduce one another
- Neutering will help male cats get along
- Do not jump into a fight between two cats
- It is safer for all involved to use a spray bottle with water to prevent conflicts
- Don’t push them to get along, let them feel it out for themselves
Acceptance and appreciation of your Bengal kitty will provide a fun and loyal companion for years to come, just don’t push them into being anything but their unique selves.
Do Bengal cats make good pets? Yes, Bengal cats make fantastic pets. They are more suited for people who have the energy and ability to play with them, such as children or playful adults. Due to this high energy, they are not recommended for people who are prone to anxiety or those that enjoy a quiet, tame environment.
Are Bengal cats dangerous? Bengal cats are not more dangerous than any other cat. That being said this breed tends to be very territorial towards their environment and also the people they love. With all animals love, affection and consistent training will limit this behavior.