MYTH VS. REALITY
Myth: Bengals have wild blood and
don't make good pets.
Bengal breeders often hear this comment
from misguided animal rights organizations, and even non-Bengal cat breeders. Rumors
fly that Bengal have vicious tendencies, urinate all over the house, and
destroy furniture and belongings. We even read a fake report of "escaped
Bengal cats stalking little old ladies on the street." These are overstatements
or outright lies, designed to discredit reputable breeders of wonderful cats.
In truth, Bengals are no more likely to bite,
scratch, urinate, or claw furniture than other cat breed. However,
they are more active, intelligent and emotive than other breeds- they're not going
to hide in a corner all day- and this can throw people off.
Like all cats, Bengals need playtime, love, and a sturdy cat tree to climb
on. They have energy and they like to be the center of attention rather
than sleep all day under the bed.
Owning a Bengal is a wonderful,
rewarding experience. It’s rare to meet a cat as intense, expressive,
loving, and fun as a Bengal.
Myth: Bengals have health problems
because of their wild ancestors.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Hypertrophic
Cardiomyopathy (HCM), Allergies, and weak immune systems - we’ve heard them
all! But these can be found in all breeds of cats if you look hard enough.
Here are some things to consider about Bengal health:
(a) Bengals are usually best fed a
grain-free diet. (More about this later.) You'll usually find
that a cheap or inappropriate diet is at
the root of a reported digestive problem.
(b) While Bengals are statistically a
prone to develop HCM than the average cat, they are not the most
likely breed to do so. Furthermore, HCM has nothing to do with their
Asian Leopard Cat ancestry. The fact is, certain breeds have certain
health concerns, and the vast majority of individuals within the breed are
(c) Bengals are purebred cats.
Acquiring a Bengal from an irresponsible breeder or from an unsanitary
cattery can lead to more illness or genetic faults. Unfortunately,
there are bad Bengal breeders out there- and they're not always easy to
identify. A good breeder won't pressure you into buying a kitten
"before someone else does." A good breeder will welcome your visits,
not be evasive or make excuses. A good breeder will allow you to meet
the parents and observe them with the kittens. A good breeder takes
time to answer questions before and after you purchase a kitten.
For more information on Bengal health,
check out this page.
Myth: Hybrid breeds negatively
affect the protection of endangered wild cats.
Asian Leopard Cats, Servals, Geoffrey’s
Cats, and Caracals are all at risk in the wild. In their native Asian and
African countries, they face threats from poachers, farmers, and
deforestation. While many big cat rescue groups insist that the best place
for wild cats is in the wild, the truth is their natural habitat is where
they are most at risk.
Hybrid cat breeders provide a safe
environment for wild cats. Moreover, responsible breeders often act as
educators and advocates regarding the status of wild cats.
here for more information about Asian Leopard Cats, Servals, and other
small (and big) cats.
Myth: Bengal breeding has created
a huge market for fur traders.
One of the most absurd myths circulating
is that Bengals are bred so that they can be sold to fur traders for their
wild-looking pelts. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE! We've even seen
obviously fake photos of fur jackets that were supposedly made from Bengal
This rumor probably got started due
to a misunderstanding. Early in the development of the Bengal cat, a
pioneering breeder said that she wanted to decrease the demand for wild cat
pelts in the fur trade. But she didn't intend to sell
Bengal pelts! She hoped that by creating beautiful spotted pets, people
would reconsider buying spotted fur coats.
No responsible Bengal breeder would
ever sell their cats into the fur trade. We have never heard
even a hint of truth to this vicious rumor. All Bengal
owners, breeders, and cat lovers everywhere would vehemently object. Any
such practice would be considered disgusting and unethical. Furthermore,
reputable breeders carefully screen potential buyers to rule out
irresponsible owners. We and other breeders are in this business because we
Myth: Domestic cats are often
killed by wild cats during the breeding process.
Very, very rarely. We've heard of this happening,
but never to anyone we know. But there are also rare instances of
normal tomcats injuring or killing a female. It's tragic and it
is often due to an unsafe
breeding environment, and perhaps to very bad luck. All cats, wild or otherwise, should be supervised
during the breeding process- it is part of being aware of our cats.
Furthermore, most modern Bengal cats are a few generations removed from
their Asian Leopard Cat ancestry, so there are very few ALC-to-Domestic
matings these days.
So what are the facts about
* They make
wonderful, loving companions that can be, at times, demanding.
* They are robust,
healthy, and respond to interaction, play, and high quality food.
* They are smart and
they will let you know this.
* They are unique