The Bengal cats are hybrid felines from Asian Leopard cats and any breed of normal domestic cats. These cats are medium to large-sized kittens. They have a lean but robust body with longer hind legs than their front legs that make them look like wild cats.
You can initially say that Bengal cats are bigger than normal cats, but let’s dive first into Bengal cats’ remarkable characteristics and reasons why they are bigger than normal cats.
A brief history of Bengal cats
Knowing the Bengal cat’s history will help you understand the Bengal breed better.
The research of Dr. Willard Centerwall gave birth to the Bengal cat breed. He started breeding domestic cats with Asian Leopard cats. He found out that Bengal cats are immune to cat’s leukemia. He aims to apply this research to those people with a weak immune system.
But Centerwall got sick before he achieved his goal for the research. He entrusted the hybrid kittens to Jean Sudgen Mill, an experienced exotic cat breeder. She then pursued cross-breeding the cats and named the hybrid felines as leopardettes and was later changed to Bengal. “Bengal” name is to honor the scientific name of the Asian Leopard cats, Prionailurus bengalensis.
What is the size of a Bengal cat?
Bengal cats are in the medium to the large category of feline sizes. Their height ranges from 13 to 16 inches tall with an average length of 17-22 inches (not including their long-tail).
These cats weigh an average of 8 to 15 pounds, but the sizes vary between male and female Bengals. Usually, males are larger and weigh around 8 to 15 pounds, while female Bengals typically weigh between 8-12 pounds. And on some occasions, exceptionally massive male Bengals can weigh up to 20 to 22 pounds.
Factors affecting the size and weight of Bengal cats
The Bengal cat’s ancestry is one of the major factors for being considered a medium to large-sized cats. As we’ve mentioned above, the Bengal cat results from breeding Asian Leopard cats with other domestic cat breeds.
Bengal felines inherited their massive and long body from their Asian Leopard Cat ancestors. The Asian Leopard cats weigh an average of 10-15 pounds or heavier. They stand with an average shoulder height of 16 inches and have a normal length that reaches 26 inches, including the tail, but some exceptionally large ALC’s extend up to 36 inches in length.
However, not only the Asian Leopard Cats influenced the final size of Bengals. Remember, Bengals are from breeding ALCs with domestic cats. So whatever the breed of the domestic cat that’s been used in breeding Bengals also contributes to the Bengal cats’ size.
Here’s the list of domestic cats breeds mixed with Asian Leopard cats to breed Bengals. The list includes their corresponding final average weight.
- Egyptian Mau– Weight ranges from 7 to 11 pounds.
- British Shorthair– Typical weight between 11 to 18 pounds.
- Bombay– Average of 6 to 11 pounds
- Ocicat– Relatively large with an average weight of 6 to 15 pounds.
- Abyssinian– Average weight ranges from 6 to 10 pounds.
With this list, you can tell that a Bengal cat with an Asian Leopard Cat and British Shorthair parents can be bigger with an average weight of 11 to 18 pounds than a Bengal with an ALC and Bombay lineage that only ranges from 6 to 11 pounds. And generally, the average size of these Bengals doesn’t go far from 8 to 15 pounds.
Bengal cat’s period of maturity
The Bengal cats mature with almost the same rate as other domestic cats. They’ll pass the stage of being a kitten when they reach 1 year old. And they’ll continue growing in the next half or another year until they reach their maturity. But experts say that there are some instances where Bengals keep growing up until their third year and stops when they reach their full-grown stage.
What other traits make Bengal different from normal cats?
One of the most distinctive features of Bengal cats is their glittering, spotted coat. They got the wild-looking spots of their Asian Leopard cat’s ancestor. Their head is triangular in shape and relatively small with their long and muscular body, making them look like a wild cat. Their eyes and ears are round-shaped and are slightly larger and more round compared to normal domestic cats.
Common questions about Bengal cats
How long do Bengal cats live for?
The normal Bengal cats have an average life expectancy of 12-18 years. Some breeders share that their Bengal is still doing great at the age of 17, while some are gone early at 10. However, your Bengal may reach and exceed 18 years with proper health care and nutrition, and also with an active and stress-free environment.
Are Bengal cats more aggressive?
If your Bengal bites or scratches you while playing, that does not mean that they are aggressive. Bengal cats are exceptionally affectionate and friendly cats who love to play and interact with their owners. They may look aggressive sometimes because they tend to be territorial. If someone forcefully invades their territory, then they may react aggressively too.
Do Bengal cats attach to one person?
Bengal cats are remarkably affectionate to their family members, and they can be attached and show loyalty to one person. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are aloof with other people or animals. In fact, Bengal cats are friendly felines, and they get along well with visitors and other cats. They can also be good friends with other house pets, including dogs.
With all things considered, we can generally say that Bengal cats are bigger than normal cats. However, Bengal cats’ sizes may vary depending on what domestic cat breed was mixed with the Asian Leopard Cat. But whatever domestic cat breed was used, their average size is between 10-15 pounds, which is higher than the average 8-10 pounds size of normal cats.