Bengal cats or "kucing Bengal" are among the most popular cat breeds worldwide. Bengal cats are a hybrid breed of Asian leopard cats, Felis bengalensis, and domestic felines.
Its lineage from Asian leopard cats contributes to its slender body, "leopard patterned coat," and also wild appearance.
Kucing Bengals love water (just like Asian leopard cats!) and know how to swim. So you might even find them joining you for a swim in a smaller tub or at the beach.
Moreover, Bengal cats do not typically meow. have your typical meow. Instead, they make raspy noises that could sometimes sound more like a dog bark.
We'll explore some of the most common characteristics and traits of Bengal cats and everything related to the cost, care, and maintenance of Bengal cats.
Physical traits of Bengal cats
Bengal cats can be characterized by small and round heads, large eyes, and striking facial marking. They commonly come in spotted or marbled coat patterns with black, grey, or brown outlines.
Despite their wild cat-like appearance, you'd be surprised by how friendly and domesticated these cats are.
The typical lifespan of Bengals cats is 12 to 16 years. Apart from that, Bengal cats weigh an average of 3.6 to 6.8 kg, with up to 46 cm in height. Their hind legs are longer than their front legs, giving them the ability to pounce or stride powerfully.
As such, Bengal cats are somewhat athletic, and you'd often see them actively running, climbing, jumping, or romping.
Characteristics of Bengal cats
The natural traits of Bengal cats include being playful, energetic, and curious. When kept indoors, it's essential to prepare cat-friendly activities such as interactive games, cat toys, or puzzles for Bengal cats.
This will make sure they feel engaged and don't get into destructive behaviours (i.e., scratching the walls or knocking down the vase) out of boredom.
As Bengal cats are naturally affectionate and sociable, they can quickly get along with families, children, and even dogs!
However, do keep in mind that Bengal cats have a high prey drive from smaller animals. So they're not suitable to be kept together with smaller pets such as fishes, rabbits, hamsters, or guinea pigs.
This hybrid feline is quite intelligent and vocal too. That being so, you will often find Bengal cats meowing at humans to express themselves. They also have quick learning skills, making it effortless to form memory patterns and adapt themselves to new environments.
This makes it easier to train Bengal cats and teach them new tricks.
Are Bengal cats illegal in Malaysia?
No, Bengal cats are legal pets in Malaysia. This is because there are no restricted or banned cat breeds mentioned in the Laws of Malaysia. That being so, you can import Bengal cats so far you abide by the required legal protocols.
Are Bengal cats high maintenance?
Yes and no. In terms of grooming, Bengal cats are fairly easy to maintain. This is because Bengal cats only shed small amounts of fur. Their coat is also short and doesn't demand too much grooming.
Nevertheless, it would be best to still brush, groom, and bathe them regularly (about 1 to 2 times a month).
However, the kucing Bengal is very playful and energetic and hence requires a lot of attention. Unlike housecats, Bengal cats have a longer "social battery" and demand a large amount of stimulation from their environment.
Additionally, some say that Bengals don't have a well-adapted gastrointestinal system. Their hybrid genetic make-up, by nature, is more adapted towards wild food, such as raw meat that’s high in protein.
This means that they might not tolerate certain processed cat foods containing additives and preservatives. Therefore, finding a suitable dietary regimen for a kucing Bengal could be a struggle for some owners, too.
How much does a Bengal cat cost?
Bengal cats tend to be on the higher end of costs than other cat breeds. Generally, Bengal kittens cost anywhere from RM 900 to RM 1500. In some cases, female Bengals are more expensive than males.
Bengal cats are expensive because it's challenging to "create" pure breeds. As Bengals do not originate locally, their parents have to be sourced elsewhere. This entire process is lengthy, and as a result, catteries require a lot of money to operate.
Here are some catteries and adoption shelters where Bengal cats are available for sale in Malaysia. Do note this is not an exhaustive list and you should always do your own research before buying or adopting from them.
- Nusantra Bengals
Nusantra Bengals cattery offers a variety of Bengals for sale, including charcoal Bengal and silver Bengal. Their breeds originate from pure bloodline selections worldwide. They regularly post photos of available Bengal cats and customers can message them directly for any purchasing matters.
Contact: 013-280 3574
- Kittunkatz Bengals, Kelantan
With over 26,000 followers on Instagram, Kittunkatz Bengal is one of Malaysia's most trusted and famous catteries. Their customers are guaranteed healthy Bengal kittens without congenital disabilities. Furthermore, they have the facility to ship Bengal kitten marble worldwide.
Contact: 09-774 4610
- Sultan Bengal, Kuala Lumpur
The Sultan Bengal Cattery offers purebred pedigree Bengals. Their Bengal cat price covers neutering costs (only done when the kitten is four months old and above), vaccinations, and transportation to your home. Their website is regularly updated with the latest information on their cattery and a brief biodata of kucing Bengals that are up for sale.
Contact: 016-998 4998
- SPCA, Selangor
SPCA, established in 1958, is a fantastic animal welfare organization. If you cannot afford the high price of kucing Bengal, adoption is the next best option. You can opt to check out this shelter, and if lucky, you'll get to adopt a Bengal cat. Or you might even find another cat breed that's just as adorable to bring back home.
Contact: 03-4256 5312
Common health concerns for Bengal cats
Though Bengal cats are mostly a healthy breed, it's essential to acknowledge that they're susceptible to some health concerns throughout the course of their lives. Here are the most common health conditions amongst Bengal cats you should keep an eye on:
- Distal neuropathy: a progressive nervous system disorder secondary to poorly controlled diabetes mellitus (Type 1 Diabetes).
- Degenerative eye disease: progressive degeneration of the retina or photoreceptors within the eye resulting in compromised vision
- Hip dysplasia: misaligned or loose hip joints causing limping and pain
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: a disease where the heart muscle thickens abnormally, resulting in reduced efficiency of the heart
Bringing your Bengal cat for regular check-ups or follow-ups at the veterinarian's office is essential to spot any health concerns in the early stages. Take the first step in ensuring the well-being of your cat by investing in pet insurance.
Bengal cats are an interesting company to have around your house. Much of their characteristics are attributable to their wild ancestors. Though Bengal cats can live indoors, they must have access to the outdoors too.
Like any pets, Bengal cats require regular treatment and follow-ups at the veterinarian's office. That being so, take the first step in ensuring the well-being of your cat by investing in pet insurance.