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Welcome, Crazy Cat People!
The Bengal cat may look wild and leopard-like in appearance but are Bengal cats friendly?
I have used my knowledge of this super cute but active breed to answer your questions!
As a general rule, Bengal cats are a very friendly, affable pet to have around as long as they are socialized correctly from a young age. Due to their territorial nature, wild looks and the fact they originate from the Asian leopard, some people think they are not a friendly breed, but this is a myth.
Bengal cats are just as friendly as any other breed and that is why they can be good for first-time owners, that’s not to say that they don’t need training because they will need to know right from wrong like any other pet. In the rest of this post, I answer your related questions around the topic.
So let’s discover a little more about this wonderful breed’s personality including if they like to cuddle and if they are a sociable breed of cat.
Hopefully, if you are considering sharing your life with a Bengal this post should give you an insight into the Bengals personality to help you decide if they are the right breed for you!
Keep reading to find out more!
Are Bengal Cats affectionate with humans? – A detailed look
Bengal cats are a lot of the time just as affectionate as other breeds. The thing with Bengal cats is they are not traditional lap cats such as the ragdoll or siamese.
They want your love and affection just as much but they show this to their owners in different, more subtle ways.
They are a very active breed with so much energy that simply sitting on your lap all day will not be enough to stimulate them and keep them happy.
Another post worth bookmarking for a future read is ”Do Bengal require a lot of attention?” – I go into much more detail about the importance of playing with your Bengal in this post!
I think there is a general belief that any cat who appears ”wild” is not going to be friendly and some think that the Bengal cat will be aggressive because of this reason.
Bengal cats are a recently domesticated breed and they originate from the Asian snow leopard, they were crossbred with a domestic cat in the 1970s by a zookeeper called Bill Engler, the Bengals that we see today are typically 4th generation cats from their undomesticated ancestors.
So they are very much domesticated but they probably do keep some of the snow leopards traits such as being super territorial and exceptionally good hunters.
Your Bengal cat will be just as affectionate as any other cat but we must remember that although breeds do have certain traits which distinguish them. Cats are like people in a lot of ways and how friendly your Bengal cat is will very much depend on their upbringing and socialisation at a young age.
If you teach them to interact kindly and shower them with love when they are young then your Bengal will grow from being a little playful kitten to an affectionate adult!
They are that affectionate that 74% of people said their Bengal cats sleep in bed with their owners.
What did actual Bengal owners have to say about their pet’s temperament?
I am a member of a popular Bengal cat group on Facebook and I wanted to find out a little more and the best way to do this is to do a poll.
I asked Bengal owners to say which category their pet fell into –
A) My Bengal Cat is Super affectionate and friendly
B) My Bengal Cat can be aggressive
C) My Bengal Cat tends to be aloof/distant and does their own thing most of the time.
At the time of writing this article, I did only get 14 replies from the group so it’s not a big poll by any stretch but I have placed the results in the table below.
|Affectionate/Friendly||Can be Aggressive||Aloof/Distant|
As you can see the majority of Bengal cats are Affectionate and friendly towards their owners. I do wonder if the owners that said their cat can be aggressive were maybe mistaking their territorial and active nature for aggression?
It can sometimes be hard to distinguish play aggression from actual aggression with a breed as active and energetic as a Bengal.
If you do need to discipline your Bengal just make sure you do this in the correct way and you can learn more about that on one of my other posts, just click the link to have a read!
Here is a quote from one person in the group that described their Bengal Cat –
”Mine must be Bipolar because he’s A B & C”Annoymous
The thing with cats, in general, is that they don’t make it overtly obvious when they are showing you affection or portraying their friendly nature.
Take the dog for example they will lick you, cuddle you and you can tell just how much they are in love with their owners but a cat will be a bit more discreet with their affection towards you and with a Bengal because they are generally not a lap cat it can be even harder to tell when they are being friendly and showing their love to you!
Some signs to look out for that your cat is being affectionate towards you are –
- Slow blinking while looking at you
- Following you around the home
- Headbutting you
- Rubbing their cheeks on you to leave a scent and mark you as their own
I made a super cute post called ”11 ways to tell if your Bengal cat loves you” Bookmark this one for a future read.
Are Bengal Cats Sociable?
As a general rule, Bengal cats are sociable pets but they can be very territorial so it’s very important that they are socialised and trained how to interact from a very young age. If they are not well socialised then they could show aggressive tendencies and may do what it takes to protect their domain.
In a perfect world, you would get two Bengal cats from a young age and let them grow up together and get used to each other’s company.
That’s not to say that you absolutely cannot introduce another cat to your Bengal when they become an adult but it is going to be a lot more challenging.
Some breeds are just more territorial than others and the Bengal is one of the most territorial and they need their own space at times too. However, because they are so active and because they love playtime and need regular stimulation if you are going to be out of the home all day long then a companion is a good idea and your Bengal should eventually learn to be friendly towards the other cat.
If you do choose a different breed to be a companion to your Bengal I would stick with an active breed such as the Siamese rather than a more laid back cat like the ragamuffin or ragdoll.
Remember birds of a feather flock together and that rings true for all species including the cat!
To read more about if a companion is right for your Bengal Cat then read one of my other blog posts which goes into depth about finding a mate for your Bengal cat – You can read it by clicking here! and another usual article I made that is worth bookmarking to read later is ”Male vs Female Bengal cats!”
Do Bengal Cats like to cuddle?
Bengal cats are generally not lap cats and most of the time will not want cuddles all day like some more docile breeds. The Bengal cat is very energetic and often prefers to play however they do like cuddles but it tends to be on their own terms and once they have finished their daily play sessions.
Bengal cats have the most amazing personalities but if you are looking for a cat who will just sit around all day long on your lap and want constant cuddles then this breed may not be for you.
Most Bengal owners agree that they are not a docile breed and will come for a cuddle but it is on their terms. With some cats, such as the ragdoll and ragamuffin breeds you can just go and pick them up and they will be content to do nothing apart from letting you shower them with cuddles, love and affection.
Bengal cats are a friendly breed but if you want to show them love you are probably best to get out the toys and play with them and once you have worn them out with their play session they may just come over for some cuddle time.
If you read my other blog articles you know that I am not one to just regurgitate information that is already freely available online so again I asked a group of Bengal owners if their Bengal was a friendly, cuddly cat and the answer are below!
35 people responded to my poll.
|My Bengal is very cuddly||My Bengal doesn’t like cuddles|
So as you can see the majority of Bengals do like cuddles but there was still the recurring theme that it was on their terms only.
Are Bengal Cats Loyal?
As a general rule, Bengal cats are very loyal compared to some other breeds and it’s quite common for them to become attached and dedicated to one person within a household. They are generally friendly cats but can be territorial and protective over their owner.
They are a very loyal breed and this isn’t to say that they won’t be friendly towards other members of the household because they probably will especially if the person engages in active playtime with them.
They do tend to get attached to one person through and this can be for several reasons. Maybe they like the way you look, maybe they love you because you are the one that provides all their essential needs or maybe they just like your scent more than anyone else.
One thing is certain the Bengal is generally loyal to the core!
Key takeaways: Are Bengal Cats friendly?
- Bengal cats are friendly and affable as long as they are socialised from a young age and all their essential needs are met.
- They are not generally lap cats
- Their territorial nature and their need for interactive play could be mistaken as aggression
- 66% of owners said their Bengals liked cuddles
- Most owners said that Bengal cats like to cuddle on their own terms
- They do require more play and attention that some other breeds
As always take care of yourself and your little fur babies!
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)