Toe beans, coffee beans, feetsies, pawsies: Whatever you call your Bengal’s paws, they can be cute and intriguing. Bengal cat paws are different from dog paws, and they come with their own unique characteristics that can make them an uncommon pet to care for.
Bengals use their paws for virtually everything, from climbing to walking, from gripping to grooming, and even for eating and drinking. They may not have thumbs, but a cat’s paws are their hands and feet, and they need them in order to survive on their own and to have a good life as a pet.
So, let’s dig our paws in and get to the bottom of everything about Bengal paws and why they are so important. In the article below, we will cover what Bengal cats use their paws for, what their paws look like, and what features they have.
What Do Bengal Cats Use Their Paws For?
Bengals use their paws for everyday life activities, but the most obvious use is to assist them in walking from one place to another. While cats can survive with missing paws or legs, ideally having all four makes things easier to get around and live a comfortable life.
Bengals are very light on their feet, and they walk stealthily so as not to be heard.This goes back to their wild instincts, so they don’t alert prey or attract predators. You can observe this by watching your Bengal around the house as they stalk toys, bugs, or dust bunnies. Bengals get into a position like a tiger as they slowly approach their target until ready to strike.
Once your Bengal pounces on their “victim,” they use their paws to grasp or stomp on their prey before they chomp down to carry it off in triumph. Without those paws, this wouldn’t be possible. Even their back paws, with the assistance of their legs, help to launch onto their prey. Paws are a part of the very intricate machine that is your Bengal, assisting them throughout their daily lives.
Marking Territory And Grooming
Bengals will also use their paws to mark territory, leaving their scent being by scratching or rubbing their paws on different structures and surfaces. They have scent glands between their toes that leave oils behind to send a signal to other cats and animals that this is their domain. Even if your Bengal is the only pet in your home, they are naturally compelled to do this.
Another very important use for your Bengal’s paws is during grooming time. They use their paws to spread their natural oils and to remove residue and loose hairs. You will notice that they will lick their paws as well to help assist in this process. A cat without paws is unable to groom themselves efficiently, which is why those without depend heavily on their owner.
It may seem silly to think that your Bengal uses their paws to drink, but they do. Bengals love the water whether, it’s to drink or play in. A lot of the time you can observe them putting their paws into their water bowl or fountain and licking the water off. This is a pretty common practice for many cats, and sometimes this is also for extra grooming.
Ever see a cat climb without paws? Most likely not unless they are very talented. Your Bengal uses their paws and claws regularly to climb up onto their cat trees (and probably your counter when you aren’t looking). Both their front and back paws help them scale heights. The front paws are used for grasping and pulling, while their back paws brace and push upwards.
Much like dogs, Bengals sweat through their paws to keep them cool and to release excess heat. This is very important because they can overheat easily, which can lead to dehydration and even heat stroke. Without their paws, they have no other way to cool down naturally. If you notice a Bengal panting, this is a sign they are over-heating and need immediate attention.
Finally, Bengals bury their waste after they are done their business in their litter box. This is another natural instinct, as cats in the wild also will regularly cover their waste in order not to give away their location. Cats mark their territory often, but other times they want to hide their presence and burying waste is their way of doing so.
Do Bengal Cats Have Big Paws?
Bengals have much larger paws in comparison to most house cats, excluding some other breeds such as Savannahs and Maine Coons. Their larger paws are typically proportionate to their size, which tends to be stocky and muscular in appearance, because larger paws provide better balance.
Typically, their larger paw size is attributed to their wild relatives the Asian Leopard cat. Big paws are good for stalking through the forest and have a larger base for better sensory awareness of the ground beneath them. Larger paws also pick up more vibrations that can alert your Bengal to an approaching friend or foe. This literally keeps them on their toes, to ensure their survival.
Big paws are more efficient for climbing, because they can grip a larger surface area. Large paws can inflict more damage, too, whether it’s a toy or your hand. While Bengals are not often aggressive, they can still get hyper and might play rough. Those big paws can cause damage if your Bengal isn’t properly trained to not attack hands or feet when it’s playful.
In some cases, a Bengals may have smaller paws in comparison to their body size, which may be attributed to how they were bred. Different breeding techniques may result in different traits, including smaller sized paws influenced by domestic cat genes. Most breeders are not breeding specifically for large paws and are more focused on the breed standard requirements.
Do Bengal Cats Have Black Paw Pads?
Black paw pads are one indicator you have a true Bengal. Bengals come in many patterns and colors, which also influence their paw color, but no matter the paw color, a Bengal’s paw pads are always black. This is one of those traits that does not change no matter what the breeding process is.
Keep in mind that there are other cat breeds with black paw pads,so do not rely on paw pad color alone when identifying a Bengal. There are several other characteristics and traits to look out for including shape, size, color, eyes, and pattern. With that said, a Bengal’s paw pads should always be black, and you should be concerned if they are not.
Do Bengal Cats Have Webbed Feet?
Bengals have webbed feet, which is very common among felines both domestic and wild. Their webbed paws help them while swimming through the water. Although they are not as webbed as, say, a duck’s feet, they do still help propel them through the water and stay afloat.
Some Bengals might have more webbing than others, depending on their genes. Many breeders focus on color and pattern when choosing traits to amplify. Because of this, some Bengals might not have much webbing, or none in rare cases. Less webbing doesn’t make them any less Bengal and they will still be able to swim in the water.
If you want to spoil your Bengal and put those webbed feet to the test, you can invest in a small pool or pond for them to swim in. Many owners will have small catios or enclosures for their Bengals, making for a perfect location for a swimming hole. If this isn’t feasible, Bengals are just as happy to splash around in your bathtub.
Bengal cats’ paws are important for their comfort and survival. They use them to eat, drink, play, and groom. Bengal paws are usually larger than those of other domestic cat breeds and they are naturally webbed. The pads on all Bengal cat paws are black, no matter the color or pattern of the fur.