Update on Bengal Cats

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By Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM

R.I.P. 1966-2014

Wonder what happened to the Bengal cats I adopted? (See original article here). Well, I was planning to adopt both of them out to different homes since they had a history of perhaps stressing each other out enough of to cause urine marking in the house. I did adopt Oliver out to the perfect couple. He loves living his new home because his new humans love to play with him and pet him.

I had also planned to adopt Dante out. With one Jack Russell to keep me fully occupied, frequent client animals to work with in my home (some of whom may not be great with cats), and a small house, I definitely did not want a cat. However, it turns out that not only does Dante have an interesting personality, he’s also very photogenic. As a result, I had my office, his bathroom (where he was originally stationed when Oliver was living with us) and the hallway painted to complement his colors. Here are the first photos of him. As you can see, the color recommendations by my friend Renvelyn Grey (interior designer) were the right choice.

One thing about Bengals is that they are known for vocalizing a lot. And Dante definitely meows in a very irritating way. But the good part about this is that it makes for some great photos. Someday, when I have time to train him, I will train him to be quiet to get what he wants and to save his irritating meow for specified times. I’ll be sure to videotape it too. So stay tuned.


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6 responses to “Update on Bengal Cats

  1. Please do share information about how you are training your bengal not to vocalize so much. Mine cries about the smallest things in a way that makes her sound like she is being tortured.

    Also, inappropriate urination (not spraying, but full urination on household items) would be a great topic. Not sure if that is specific to bengals but it is certainly an issue for me and mine.

  2. Though this article has been around for quite some time, I’m just now seeing it. I decided to comment for any other future readers who might be thinking about getting a Bengal.

    I have a Bengal mix, now 3 years old. She was given to us (following the loss of our 12-year-old Maine Coon cat to liver failure) as a 4-week kitten because her mama had rejected her (we didn’t know then that she was a bengal!!). After a few months, I was at my wit’s end with this cat!!! I’ve had cats and dogs all my life and have been involved in rescue for both for many years. She has been a holy terror, to say the least!! We also have a 10-year-old Maine Coon cat mix who is sweet and shy. The bengal has been unbelievably aggressive towards her (attacking her in the litter box, or when she’s asleep, or if she’s just walking by. She has also been extremely aggressive towards us, not hesitating to rip into us at the slightest opportunity.

    Fortunately, we were able to locate a behaviourist (in the U.K.; we are in USA) who specializes in bengals and the situation improved drastically after following her advice. We have found, though, that we can’t let up for a minute or the bengal will be right back to her old tricks. But, at least we can live with her now and I honestly wasn’t sure that was going to be possible for those early months. The one time I can count on her being sweet is when she hops into my lap and begins to suckle my T-shirt (she goes for the armpit! LOL!!). She does that only with me, and not with my husband or my Mom (who is 92 and lives with us), so I guess she sees me as her Mama, at least to a small degree! The only other time I’ve had a cat suckle was another one who was taken away from her Mama at about 3-4 weeks, so I let her suckle to her heart’s content. If she’s comforted by it, then why should I deny her?

    On vocalization — my Bengal rarely speaks at all. When she does, it’s still the same tiny, rusty, squeak she had as a kitten and I hear it only when I’m about to feed her. It seems to be her way of saying “Hurry it up there, will you?!!”

    I have dealt with feral cats before, but the Bengal has a wildness to it that is not at all like a feral cat. In my opinion, it’s something that is on a “kill all others before they can kill you” level, whereas a feral cat is inherently a domesticated creature that has been forced to fend for itself. Dealing with feral is totally different from dealing with wild!! You can work with a bengal until it is a socially acceptable housemate, but you had better be ready to put a LOT of time and energy into it and stay on top of the situation every minute. In my case, I’m home all day (disabled) and so I have the time (though, often, not the energy) to deal with her. She’s our wild child. She’s extremely muscular, full of energy, extremely smart, devious, lightening-fast, and yet an angel when she’s asleep!! I’m the kind of owner who, having made a commitment to an animal, will see it through come what may. She’s the only animal I’ve ever had that I doubted my ability to tame. I would certainly have a few choice words for whoever the idiot was who came up with the idea of crossing a DSH with a wild Asian Leopard Cat. It was not a kindness to the resulting animals. Breeding should be done ONLY to improve a given breed (regardless of species) …. never, ever on the basis of “Gee, wonder what we’d get if we crossed X and Y to get Z?”

    Just my 2 cents worth!! 🙂

    1. Your story sounds word for word like mine, with the exception of my husband and I arguing about the newbie holy terror. Can you please tell me who you contacted? Or perhaps what was the magic words you used

    1. Earlier this year we transferred out website to a new hosting/design service and unfortunately a lot of the links, pictures, and videos did not translate properly. We are doing out best to re-establish those links, but it is unfortunately a very slow process. We invite you to continue coming back to the site as we are always adding new content and hopefully soon we will have fixed all of the broken links. Thank you for pointing this out to us.

  3. I’m at this site due to our wits end status with our 8 year old Bengal. We inherited her from my father, when he passed away 6 years ago. She is all that Carolyn B says, a holy terror but sweet. I don’t recommend ever getting one of these animals. Not my choice but we are her care givers and love this kitty. She is harness trained and I take her for walks daily in our vast yard. I have to keep her from capturing lizards (which make her very ill), or birds but sometimes I’m just not quick enough. She’s a formidable predator. THough never aggressive towards us. She loves people and as other bengal owners know, is more dog like in many ways.
    Our problem with her is her toilet behavior. SHe has three boxes, well tended (2x/day) and changed out completely every 10 days, but she continues to surprise us with a BM’s outside the box, in the garage but sometimes in our house. She knows she has done something wrong immediately and “cries”or moans. The vet has checked her out numerous times, blood test etc. I feed her only raw food (venison is the best) or canned Kiwi pure protein. She gets CBD treats to calm her. I use feliway to try to calm her, she has catnip in the yard… She has attention. We are at our wits end. Any ideas folks??

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