What do Bengal Cats Look Like? : Wild, Sleek and Shiny!

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Welcome, Crazy Cat People!

The Bengal Cat is becoming more popular by the year and being a recently domesticated breed they maintain their wild looks and have an air of mysticism around them but what exactly do Bengal cats look like?

I used my knowledge of this popular cat breed to answer your question!

The Bengal Cat looks like a mini jungle cat with a short and silky coat. The coat can be spotted like a cheetah or marbled with distinctive stripes and can be black, brown, silver, charcoal or even blue in color. They have a large sleek and muscular appearance with a small round head and small ears.

Later in this post, I answer all your questions about the subject. I even look at why you maybe shouldn’t get a Bengal cat to help you decide if this breed is right for you!

So let’s get into this and find out more about this energetic, intelligent breed!

***This is a long blog post so you may wish to use the table of contents to skip to where you want to get to. Just to let you know the Red links are products I recommend and the blue links will take you to other useful blog posts (Don’t worry the links open in another window so you won’t lose this post!)

How Can You Tell If you Have a Bengal Cat?

The Bengal cat is only recently domesticated they are a mix between a domestic cat and an Asian snow leopard.

According to Wikipedia, a lady called Jean Mill of California is given credit for the Bengal cat breed in 1975.

There had been hybrid mixes back in the 1880s but it wasn’t until Jean perfected the mix that the Bengal cat as we know them came to be!

So with them being only recently domesticated, they maintain a lot of their wild looks and have many similarities to the Asian snow leopard.

So how exactly can you tell if you have a Bengal Cat?

  • They have silky short coats
  • The coat can be spotted like a Cheetah
  • The coat can be marbled with wiggly Stripes
  • They are mainly black or brown in color
  • They can also be silver, charcoal or even blue
  • There are black Bengal cats (Melanistic)
  • They have a white stomach like their wild cousins
  • Glittery appearance to their coat
  • Small ears
  • Smallish round head
  • Large eyes
  • Large, sleek muscular appearance

These are all the traits that you can look for to decide if your cat is a Bengal.

The glittery appearance is an individual trait of this breed that is from their wild ancestors. The glittery look is best spotted while your cat is in the sunshine.

A Bengals coat will also feel really soft and smooth to the touch and mainly black or brown in colour unless they are Melanistic or black. See another of my blog post that goes into detail about the stunningly beautiful black Bengal breed.

What Makes Bengal Cats So Special?

Now we know what the Bengal cat looks like it’s time to examine what makes them so special and unique. Like many other breeds, Bengals do have their own little quirky personality traits which is something you should take into account when deciding if this pet is right for you.

It’s worth noting that these are just generalisations and each cat will be slightly different and your Bengal may fall out outside of these typical stereotypes.

”The most frequent behaviors were climbing 89.5%, vocalizing 88.7%, playing with water 79.7%, and hunting 78.9%. These were, however, rarely considered problematic by the owners.”


1) Bengals are very energetic!

This is one personality trait that is common in all Bengals, they have so much energy and drive.

You will see them running around from room to room like crazy little tigers, pouncing, jumping and playing with other pets.

It’s important with a Bengal to provide them with plenty of places where they can exercise and to play interactive games with them on multiple occasions throughout the day.

This is where an Exercise wheel comes in perfect and if you have a Bengal it’s a good investment to make.

Check out the Cat exercise wheel by clicking here!

2) Bengals are obsessed with water!

One trait of nearly all Bengals is that they love water and this is another trait that makes them special!

In my experience of sharing my life with my cats a lot of breeds are fearful of water. They hate it splashed on them and as soon as the tap runs they run a mile!

Well, not the Bengal cat!

They can often be seen drinking from the tap and splashing around in bath water or water from the kitchen sink.

It is believed that this obsession with water comes from their ancestry, the Asian snow leopard who loved swimming and sticking their paws in water sources.

If you don’t yet own a water fountain for your cat then with a Bengal it may be a good idea, it will also encourage them to drink more which can help prevent many health problems associated with dehydration in cats.

This is the water fountain I use for my cats and would recommend this!

3) They can be very vocal

Another trait that makes this breed special is that they tend to be vocal and the noise they make is very distinctive and described as chirping and cooing!

They may not be as consistently vocal as let’s say the Siamese cat who may meow all day for no reason but they are certainly not one of the quietest breeds.

Bengals will meow when they want something and it’s normally when they want you to play!

4) They are a very intelligent breed

Intelligence is one of their strong personality traits, they are known to have good memories, they are exceptional hunters and learning tricks is an absolute breeze for Bengals.

Teaching them tricks will keep them stimulated and also will help build and strengthen the bond you have with your pet.

To read more about just how clever Bengals are check out another of my blog posts which goes into more detail about their levels of intelligence!

5) Bengal cats are a friendly breed

There is a common misconception about Bengals being mean and I think this comes down to their wild origins but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yes, you may get some Bengals who may be mean and unfriendly but again this could be for a variety of factors such as poor socialisation as a kitten.

In general, though they are friendly in a poll that I did 57% of owners said their Bengals were friendly, 21.5% said they were distant and aloof and only 21.5% said they were aggressive at times.

I may be playful but please don’t mistake it for aggression because I love you!

When I say aggressive I don’t mean full on biting and scratching but often play aggression is mistaken for them being mean.

To read more check out this blog post ”Are Bengal cats friendly: The proof and research’

6) They love other pets!

One thing I must say about Bengal cats is they get along well with other pets. However, they are territorial animals as are most cats.

So it is important when introducing your Bengal to another animal that it is done correctly and slowly.

In fact, in another poll 42% of Bengal owners had a dog, 51% had another cat while only 7% had a Bengal living alone!

This should show you just how sociable this breed is!


To read more about Bengals and what companions get along with them then check out one of my other blog posts by clicking here!

7) Bengal cats need to be in High Places

Your Bengal cat will need to be able to jump up onto high surfaces to observe its territory from above.

They are not floor cats in any way so making use of vertical space in your home is essential!

You can do this without spending too much money by allowing access to the top of kitchen cupboards and wardrobes or by re-arranging furniture so cats can get access to the top of desks or bookshelves.

What I would recommend though is creating a cat superhighway with wall mounted cat shelves and various exit points!

Check out the one I recommend by clicking here! It’s a 5 piece wall mounted set on Amazon that is perfect for active Bengals!

How many types of Bengal Cats are there?

According to the International Cat Association, there are 6 different Bengal cat colors divided into standard and non-standard. The brown, snow (Snow Sepia, Snow Mink and Snow Lynx) and silver are standard and non-standard are blue, charcoal and melanistic (Black) with two patterns, spotted or marbled.

To learn more about the various colors of the Bengal cat and their patterns take a look at Bengalcats.co

What is the rarest Bengal Cat Color?

The rarest Bengal cat color is blue. To fit into this color category, both parents must carry the recessive blue gene, which is not a common feline trait and so it’s hard for breeders to come by. The black Bengal is also another rare breed and both parents must carry the non-Agouti gene.

How do I spot a blue Bengal?

Unfortunately, they are that rare that I was unable to find a suitable picture for you guys.

The background color of a blue Bengal tends to be either a light grey or a powder blue color. They still have the classic spots or marbles associated with this breed but the colours of their marking can range from being dark blue to metal grey.

Why you Shouldn’t get a Bengal Cat?

We have looked at the reasons why Bengal cats are special, we now know what Bengal cats look like but one thing we need to consider is why you shouldn’t get a Bengal cat!

Like any other breed or pet for that matter, it’s worth considering if the Bengal cat is the right breed for you.

So do your homework, there are lots of videos on youtube about Bengal cats and I have several different articles on my website too which may help you decide.

So here are some of the reasons you may not want to share your life with them.

”The most frequent behaviors often classified as problematic by the owners were destructive behaviors (33.2%) followed by pica (16.4%), aggression toward animals (16%)”


1) They require attention otherwise they get naughty!

Bengal cats are full of energy and full of life!

I NEED to play otherwise that sofa is all mine!

They can be left alone but it is generally not recommended.

They would ideally suit a house with other pets and/or children or an owner who works from home and can play with them frequently.

This comes down to their intelligence levels and their instinctual behaviour.

It is advisable to play with your Bengal cat multiple times a day with interactive toys to burn off some of that incessant play energy if you don’t do this then they can start getting naughty and the last thing you want is a scratched sofa!

2) Bengal cats NEED a super clean litter box!

Make sure the litterbox is clean, I’m not sure why but a lot of owners say that their Bengal cat is super fussy with their litter tray.

If it’s not clean then you may come home to a poopie or two on your carpet and as cat owners, there is nothing worse.

So if you are not prepared to make sure the box is cleaned after every poop then this breed may not be for you!

These two points are the only ones I can think of when it comes to why you shouldn’t get a Bengal cat.

The key point to remember is that they will require more play and will do better with a companion to keep them entertained while you are not around.

As long as you can meet their needs they can make great pets.

How big do Bengal Cats get?

Bengal cats are a medium to large breed of cat. They can vary from 13 to 16 inches in height and 8 to 15 (3.63 and 6.80 kg) pounds in weight. The male Bengal cat tends to be bigger and more muscular than the female by about 2 pounds.

There are lots of factors to consider when looking at how big your Bengal cat will get. One of those factors is their origin and lineage.

Bengals are hybrid cats and as we have already stated they are a mix between an Asian snow leopard and a domestic breed.

If the domestic breed is a larger cat then so will your Bengal.

The Bengal may look slender but they can grow to be a somewhat large breed of cat.

We also need to consider that the Bengal cat is very active so rarely will they become overweight unless they are restricted to a few toys and not enough places to jump but generally if your environment isn’t sufficient for your cat’s needs they will let you know about it.

Can Bengal Cats Have Stripes?

The Bengal cat may have wiggly stripes but is more commonly known for its spots and rosettes. They can appear similar to a tabby cat, but a tabby tends to have predominantly stripes rather than the classic Bengal markings and colors.

Can Bengal Cats Have White paws?

Most Bengal cats do not have white paws. The only Bengal who will have white paws is the Snow Lynx Bengal cat as they are crossed with a domestic breed who is entirely white in color such as a Siamese or Burmese.

Conclusion: What do Bengal cats look like?

I hope this post has given you an understanding of what the Bengal looks like and how to spot this stunningly beautiful breed.

I urge you to make sure that the Bengal fits in with what you and your household are looking for.

Every year far too many cats are abandoned and let’s make sure we keep that number down by picking the breed that is right for you.

On my blog, I write about many other breeds so do your homework and you can live a happy life with your family and your pets.

Related posts on the Bengal cat

Do Bengal Cats need a lot of attention?

How to Discipline the Bengal cat in the correct way?

Male or female Bengal cat, which ones are right for you?

11 cute ways that Bengal cats show they love you

Will Bengal cats sleep in bed with you?

Are Bengal cats good for first-time owners?

Do Bengal cats get Jealous?

Are Bengal cats indoor or outdoor cats?

As always, take care of yourself and your little fur babies!

Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)


Mark loves Cats, he is the Daddy to two little cats who you will see throughout his blog. He has a passion for Cat care and enjoys everything cat-related. You could call him the crazy cat man.

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