Spotlight on...The Bengal Cat

Matchmaker, Matchmaker 

The Bengal Cat

Size:  Large, 8-15 lbs

Grooming needs:  Minimal

Exercise:  Moderate to High

Environment:  Indoors

Temperament:  Athletic, Smart & Affectionate

Life Expectancy:  12-15 years 

Interesting fact: Bengals come from breeding domestic cats with the small, wild Asian Leopard Cat (ALC).  When an ALC is bred to a domestic Bengal cat the kittens are called F-1, or filial generation 1.  A typical pet Bengal is F4 and beyond. 

Appearance: Large, lean and muscular, the Bengal has slightly longer back legs than front, giving it a wild look.  It also has a small head in proportion to the body.  The coat is soft like a pelt and has spotted or marbled coat patterns.  The markings on either side are not identical. Color names for the Bengal include Brown Spotted Tabby, Brown Marble Tabby, Seal Lynx Point, Seal Mink and Seal Sepia Spotted Tabby, Silver Spotted Tabby and Blue Spotted Tabby — phew, that’s a lot of colors, each of them gorgeous! 

Personality: Bengals are somewhat unique among domestic cats.  They often love to drink and play in running water, and will even join you in the shower.  They tend to be very vocal and have a loud meow that is hard to ignore.  Bengals are often clicker trainable and like hunting for their food (try a food dispensing toy!).  They often love playing fetch, climbing to high places, and getting outside for nature walks with a harness, leash and dedicated pet parent.  They are loyal companions who may bond strongly to one person. 

Best Match: A Bengal is not ideal not for a first time pet owner, but those who’ve had a Bengal often become breed enthusiasts.  The Bengal needs someone who is home enough to provide the mental and physical exercise they require.  If you’re looking for a mellow lap cat this is not your match.  On the other hand, if you want a very interactive, loving and entertaining relationship with your cat, Bengals fit the bill!  I loved having a Bengal foster cat, but sometimes her loud “maiow” was a bit much for me.  The kitty, Bagheera, could jump right on your shoulder from the floor and she indeed did love to check in on me in the shower. 

Featured Adoptable: “Her name is Golden Girl; we call her "Goldie."  She is an F1 Bengal, 7-8 years old, and is in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Goldie is very shy — it takes her a little time to get used to people.  She doesn't interact with other cats — she tolerates, sniffs, and from time to time hisses at them, but has never been aggressive.  Goldie does not do well with dogs.  She loves to eat canned food.  Goldie is bonded with her person, who she lets hold her in her arms and pet her.  Goldie purrs whenever her human mom touches her; she is very loving.  Goldie needs a new home because her people are in the military and are being sent to Hawaii, where Bengals are not allowed.  They are heartbroken to have to find a new home for her.”  To learn more about Goldie, contact California Bengal Cat Rescue through

Megan Mahan lives in Eugene with her boyfriend, Jacob, their adopted yellow Lab Maddie, many saltwater fish, and two miniature Silver Appleyard ducks, Louie and Olive.