I feel that it is my duty as a responsible breeder to fully prepare every potential home for the realities
of living with a Bengal cat.
Bengals are athletic. This means they can and will get up on your kitchen countertops, tabletops,
furniture ... well, anything, really. It is IMPOSSIBLE to train a Bengal not to get on high places and
counters. Yes, you can train them not to get on the counters while you are in the vicinity, but they will
never stop counter shopping when you are not around. Athletes need fuel and they will attempt to
eat your food before, during and after you are eating it yourself. They can and will steal food from a
baby. If you leave dishes in the sink, they will pre-wash your dishes and if you leave food on the stove
or even bread on the counters they will help themselves. Plants are considered Bengal salad.
Bengals are active. This means they love to run and play and keep themselves busy. Curtains are
especially fun play toys to fight with and hide in. They will jump up on tables (sometimes missing and
dragging your stuff down with them) and they will knock down stuff you have laying about and on
display. Glass makes nice sounds as it hits the floor and paper is an especially fun toy. Newspapers
can be made into surfboards, toilet paper is especially exciting as it "chases" them as they carry the
end throughout the house. If they work especially hard, they can make their own snowstorm with
paper towels. Many Bengals like to play "fetch" with a favorite toy. They will bring you this toy over
and over, again and again for you to throw it for them. It would be best if you LIKE to play fetch,
because you WILL be playing it with them, like it or not.
Leather furniture, antiques and precious objects aren't taken into Bengal consideration when running,
chasing, launching and peeling out. Some are especially fond of water. This may sound cute, but the
reality is if you have water of any kind open and available to them, they WILL play in it. This includes
running water in a sink, tub or shower before, during and after you are trying to use it yourself,
sometimes requiring repeated removals of the cat from this area. This also includes their own and
other pets water bowls. Any open toilet lid is an invitation to "hit the beach" until they are caught at it.
They will dunk their toys into water and bring it to you to throw for them and, when they are done
playing with it, they will leave it where you will be sure to step on it. If you love your THINGS, have
nice, valuable THINGS and don't ever want any of these THINGS scratched, damaged, broken or wet,
then don't ever, ever get a Bengal. They don't care about THINGS.
Bengals are smart. They can and will outsmart you over and over again. Doors, even those that
are opened and closed quickly, can be entered/exited by an enterprising Bengal and at speeds that
will astound you. If you have places you want to keep your Bengal out of, be prepared to
continuously retrieve the cat(s) from that area as that is THE place they will most want to be. They
know items in cupboards can be retrieved by opening the cupboard doors, and blankets placed over
a no scratching zone can and should be removed or worked under to continue scratching at the
favorite place. It is a challenge they will not be able to resist. Squirt guns are not as effective a
deterrent on Bengals as on other cats because they contain WATER, so many of them LIKE it and
see it as a game. If they're doing something bad and aren't getting enough GOOD attention, they will
do the bad thing to get the BAD cat attention. After all, that is better than no attention at all!
Bengals are permanent. Many people don't realize that they require a LIFETIME commitment.
A Bengal will live anywhere from 12 to 20 years and you need to make a commitment to that cat that
you will live as long as they will, provide them with the security of your presence and always, always
ensure that your choice of homes, living partners and job transfers will include bringing a cat along.
Bengals are headstrong. They have definite opinions about what and what not to put up with. This
includes being medicated (unless you make it a positive experience, and even if you do, expect a big
fight on your hands) and being held or petted by someone they don't like. They can and will act out if
they feel it is warranted, can puncture a finger poking a hated pill down and defend themselves
from a child who is tormenting them. On the other hand, if the child is reasonably gentle some
Bengals may well allow themselves to be hugged and drug around the house.
They will make good pets to families with small children IF you teach the children to be gentle,
respectful, and thoughtful. Remember this if you are young and adopting a Bengal and plan to have
children in the next 15-20 years!
Bengals are organic objects. Organic objects can be messy. This includes producing urine and
feces requiring regular litter box cleaning activities. They have toes that can hold litter 20 feet outside
of a litter box before depositing it on your clean floor. Organic objects break down and can require
thousands of dollars of veterinary care to fix. They also produce allergy causing materials from their
bodies. Organic objects need to eat special food requiring extra trips to pet stores to purchase,
special furniture to leap upon and scratch and extra time for love and kind words.
They sometimes eat too quickly and vomit their food (or your plants) up in different places around
your house (but never in an easily cleaned place). Some like to go high to vomit, some like to stay low
and some like to vomit on the steps in your home. Sometimes the vomit has hair in it and when cold
and congealed can be an uncomfortable surprise to step on.
Please consider very carefully if you can live with all the above behaviors for the better part of two
decades! If you think you can live with and laugh about everything I talked about, then you should
make a GREAT Bengal cat owner.