If you have kids, you may put a lot more thought into what type of pet you are willing to bring into your home. You want to be sure that your kids and your new pet are going to get along with one another and of course not harm each other. This is especially true with hybrid cats, such as Bengals.
Bengal cats are good with kids. While they are technically hybrids, they are considered to be a domestic cat breed and therefore have a lot of the same temperaments of a typical house cat. These beautiful cats are known to get along with virtually everyone, including kids and other pets.
While they are known to be very patient and great with children, it is still important to have slow introductions when bringing your new Bengal home. Below, we talk about the best ways to do this in more detail.
Are Bengal Cats Domestic?
Bengal cats are considered to be a hybrid breed. They were originally created by crossing a wild Asian leopard cat with a domestic cat. However, modern Bengals are considered to be fully domesticated as they are no longer bred with their wild relatives and are instead bred Bengal to Bengal.
With that said, Bengals are still very unique in their own ways and have personality differences and similarities with other domestic cats. Their exotic looks are sought after by many and still give them that wild look, despite being a domestic cat. They are also considered to be more energetic than other house cats.
While far removed from their Asian leopard cat relatives, they do still possess some of their natural instincts and can be quite rambunctious. This includes having a high prey drive, leading them to chase anything small that moves, from dust bunnies to toes or fingers. However, knowing this behavior will help you and your family learn to coexist with your Bengal and to handle their high energy.
Despite having high energy and high prey drive, Bengal cats still enjoy other house cat activities – including lots of nap time. They will snuggle up wherever there is a bit of sun or a nice warm lap, making them a great companion. Bengals also enjoy frequent petting and brushing sessions just like most house cats.
What Is The Temperament Of A Bengal Cat?
Bengal cats have a huge personality and can be a very rewarding pet as a part of your family, but there are still some challenges for those who have never owned cats. Most cats can be quite the nuisance at times, having the ability to climb, jump, and knock over different objects around the house. However, Bengals can be even more of a nuisance if not provided with the right environment.
Bengals are very intelligent, and when they get bored they may very well decide to see exactly what it is they can get away with before you lose your mind! They are mischievous cats that have figured out how to open drawers and doors to see what’s inside, especially if it smells like their food or treats. This type of behavior usually stems from you not spending enough time with them.
Social And Loyal
This particular breed is very social as well as loyal and requires a lot of attention from their human companions. Many owners will actually end up with two Bengals just to ensure their first one has a friend to occupy them when they themselves can’t. Those with very busy schedules should definitely consider this option.
Bored Bengals can get into all sorts of things, but it can also cause them some anxiety and even depression. Being neglected by you sends them the message that something is wrong. They will do anything to get your attention even if it is something they know you don’t like, such as jumping on the dinning room table.
Keeping Them Healthy
With that said, these cats are extremely personable and love to spend time with their family and will follow them around the house. They love a good game of chase with wand toys, balls, mouse toys, and similar forms of entertainment. Playing with your Bengal regularly will ensure that their energy levels remain manageable, but will also get them plenty of exercise.
These beautiful cats are built stocky and muscular and keeping them active maintains that body structure keeping them fit and healthy. Exercise also prevents them from developing other conditions including obesity, which comes with a variety of other issues including arthritis and joint pain.
Bengals are also known to get along with other pets including other breeds of cats as well as dogs. Just keep in mind, like with any other pet introductions, they should always be closely monitored and done slowly. You don’t want to force an introduction or friendship between two pets or even members of the family as it can go wrong, preventing further progress.
Overall, most Bengal pet owners will tell you that their Bengal is the sweetest and most loyal pet they have ever had. They are known for their pleasant disposition and ability to both be active and independent as well as a great companion to share a corner of the couch or bed with.
Are Bengal Cats Good With Kids?
Bengals are good with kids, but it is also important to remember that Bengals can still be triggered the same way other domestic cats can. This means that if you have young children who are not used to animals, you will want to teach them proper animal handling and general cat behavior.
The last thing you want is for your toddler to pull on your Bengal’s tail and have them retaliate with their claws out. In this case it is very hard to accept that your Bengal is not at fault, and is merely acting instinctively to being hurt by your child. Your toddler and your Bengal are both clueless to one another’s special needs without some guidance from you.
Every Cat Is Unique
Each Bengal cat is going to be different. Some may be much more tolerant and have a natural paternal instinct towards your young children, while others may not be so understanding, especially if they were in the house first. Just like humans, pets can sometimes be jealous of a new human or other animal.
There are some easy steps that you can take to ensure that your Bengal and your children can get along. The first would be to take introductions slowly, just like when you introduce new pets to one another. Young children usually take their cues from their parents, and if they see you being gentle with your Bengal they usually will be too.
If your children are three years old or younger, it is also always best to be present when they are interacting with your Bengal. This will prevent any unwanted accidents and you will be able to observe their behavior with your Bengal and vice versa.
When it comes to Bengals, they are generally going to be easygoing and welcoming to your children, especially if they are older and have learned how to interact with pets. Some Bengals will be more patient and can take a few tail tugs, a rough cuddle, or being clumsily picked up.
With other, less tolerant Bengals, you may have to use a corrector such as a spray bottle to let them know their behavior is unacceptable. While it generally isn’t their fault, you still want them to know that it is unacceptable to hurt your child. However, that also means disciplining your child when they act inappropriately.
Older children definitely pose less of a learning curve when introducing your Bengal to their new home and are generally very accepting. Most kids and Bengals get along just fine and form close bonds, often having their Bengal cuddled up in bed or enjoying some play time together.
Overall, Bengals are great with kids and you shouldn’t worry about bringing one home if you have them. With that said, it is definitely easier when you have older kids, but that shouldn’t discourage you from bringing one home if your children are three or younger. It actually may be a great opportunity for you to teach your kids from early on how to interact with animals.
Bengals are generally good with kids. They are playful, energetic cats, and while they were originally a hybrid breed, they are now considered domesticated. This means they have an overall fairly relaxed temperament, meaning they get on well with kids and other pets.