Bengal cats are hybrids of domestic cats and Asian leopard cats. Ownership of generations F1 through F4 may be restricted in your state as exotic cats. If your Bengal cat is five generations removed from wild ancestors (designated F5), there are probably no restrictions on ownership.
The first time you see a Bengal cat roaming through your house, you might think a jungle cat has broken in. That’s because this spectacular breed sports a spotted or marbled coat that looks a lot like a wild leopard or ocelot. But the Bengal is anything but wild, and has a loving, affectionate personality. While Bengals were developed by breeding domestic felines to an Asian leopard cat, their wild natures have long been abandoned.
Bengal cats, a fairly new hybrid of the Asian Leopard Cat and domestic cat breeds, are average to large-sized cats. A Bengal cat’s size when full grown can vary depending on which cats were originally part of their family line. While they may appear larger than they are because of their musculature, they don’t get much bigger than other domestic cats.
Appearance Of A Bengal Cats
Bengal cats are a lithe and agile breed and generally weigh between 8–15 pounds. They’re prized for their dense, short coats that are boldly patterned in different shades of brown, silver, and snow. Their fur is super soft to the touch, feeling a bit like bunny hair. The most common eye colors found in Bengal cats are brown, yellow, orange, and green.
Temperament Of A Bengal Cats
Despite how wild a Bengal looks on the outside, he’s soft and sweet on the inside. These affectionate cats are gregarious, although they might christen a particular family member as their favorite. Bengals do great with children, other cats, and with family dogs. The key, however, is early socialization and exposure to household members at a young age. If you try to introduce a new pet to older Bengals already set in their ways, you might have a challenge on your hands.
When Does A Bengal Cat Stop Growing?
Bengal cats are quite different from other breeds of domestic cats. They are much larger overall than your standard tabby. When they reach maturity, they tend to have long, muscular bodies with sleek profiles. These cats usually stop growing when they reach 18 months to 2 years of age. However, some Bengal cats can continue to grow for an additional year, but that is very rare. By 2 years, a Bengal cat will weigh around 15 pounds and can grow up to 15 inches in height.
Within 2 years, your Bengal cat will grow rather quickly. But no need to worry. Just because they look like a leopard doesn’t mean they’ll reach that size!
How Much Do Bengal Cats Weigh?
As with many breeds of cat, the male of the species generally heavier than the female. Female Bengal cats typically weigh between 7 and 10lbs which is similar to your average domestic cat.
Male Bengal cats will weigh more like 10 to 15 lbs if they are within the healthy range. Those tipping the scales at 18lbs or more could be considered to overweight, so if this is the case with your Bengal then you should have a discussion with your veterinarian. In reality, the size of your Bengal once fully grown will come down to three things: genetics, diet and level of activity.
How Big Are Bengal Cats Full Grown?
A fully grown Bengal cat will stand between 13-16 inches in height, weighing between 8-15 pounds. However, males are generally a little heavier. The average male Bengal will weigh between 10-15 pounds, whereas females are more likely to weigh 8-12 pounds, on average. At the same time, while rare, it has been known for these cats to weigh up to 22 pounds.
When Do Bengal Cats Reach Sexual Maturity?
As with all breeds of cat, kittens can reach sexual maturity as early as 4 months of age. Therefore, it is important if you own more than one cat, to have them neutered around this time, particularly if you have purchased kittens who are siblings. You do not want to risk finding yourself with a new litter of kittens, especially ones from a limited gene pool who will likely be born with significant health issues.
When Do Female Bengals Go Into Heat?
As early as four months of age, a female Bengal cat will go into heat every 2-3 weeks for a period of 4-7 days. Your cat may show the following signs that she is in heat:
- Mating calls – she may become quite vocal, sometimes calling out all through the night
- Displays of affection – even if your cat is not one for showing affection, she may suddenly start to nuzzle and rub her up against you.
- Excessive grooming – your cat may begin licking her genital area more frequently than usual
- Wanting to escape – your cat’s natural instinct at this time will likely be to get out of the house to find a mate. She may beg you to let her go outside or even make attempts to escape from the house.
- Marking territory – your cat may start displaying behaviours such as spraying urine (yes, even the females do this). She may also become aggressive towards other cats in the house and start to scratch up the furniture. Keeping claws cut to a reasonable length is sensible if this is the case.
- Raising her bottom into the air – in invitation for any males who may be in the area
Factors Affecting The Size Of Bengals
Some factors affect Bengal cat size, and one of them is the method of cross-breeding carried out. When a Bengal cat is not of the purest breed, it may not reach the maximum weight and height expected of the purebred one. Proper feeding is also important for Bengal cats to remain healthy and active. If they are not getting the right amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals from their diet, they might not reach their ideal size.
Is A Bengal Cat Right For You?
Bengal cats are some of the most fun cats to have around. They can make great companions as they love lots of attention. However, they may not be the best choice for a cuddly lap cat. The Bengal cat is the best option for sporty individuals or those who like to be outdoors. If you are thinking about getting a Bengal cat as a pet, make sure you have enough space for it at home. And since it doesn’t like to be left alone for long hours at a time, ensure your schedule matches up with their needs.