Bengal cats are very unique animals. Being a cross between a domestic cat and an Asian Leopard cat, they’re technically a hybrid breed. This means they share some of their traits with their wild ancestors, and this also means that Bengal cats can get quite big.
Bengal cats can get quite big, in terms of their weight, length and height. Full-grown adult Bengal cats usually weigh between 8-15 pounds and will be 16-20 inches long, with a height of 10-16 inches. Factors like their diet, activity levels and genetics will affect how big your Bengal cat gets.
Breeding is definitely a heavily contributing factor to the actual size of the Bengal cat, but there are many other factors that play a role too, including gender, nutrition, and activity level. Keep reading to find out more about how big Bengal cats can actually get!
Bengal cats may be a bit larger than your average domestic shorthair, since it’s a hybrid breed. Every breed of cat is a bit different when it comes to size, but the Bengal isn’t considered one of the largest.
The largest breed of domestic cat is the Maine Coon, which can weigh as much as 25 pounds and get as long as 19-40 inches. Comparatively, the Bengal cat may weigh anywhere from 8-15 pounds and can get as long as 16-20 inches. The Bengal cat’s back legs will typically be longer than its front legs and its tail is usually longer than the average domestic cat.
Male Bengal cats are usually larger than females and can get as heavy as 15 pounds, whereas female Bengals that are on the smaller side may weigh as little as 6-7 pounds once fully grown. However, there are male Bengal cats on record weighing 20-22 pounds.
On average though, you’re probably looking at around 8-15 pounds for a Bengal cat. This will obviously increase if your cat is less active, eats a lot more than most, or just has a genetic makeup that makes it likely to be heavier than others. It’s important to understand when heavy becomes too heavy, and we’ll talk more about that soon.
Bengal cats have six growth stages. If you want to get an idea of how large your Bengal cat is going to get, you may want to record your cat’s weight, height, and length in a journal at each growth stage. Use our Bengal cat size chart below as a guide:
|8 weeks||2-4 pounds||6-8 inches||6-8 inches|
|3 months||4-5 pounds||7-9 inches||8-10 inches|
|6 months||5-8 pounds||8-10 inches||10-12 inches|
|9 months||6-10 pounds||9-11 inches||12-14 inches|
|1 year||7-12 pounds||10-14 inches||14-16 inches|
|2 years||8-15 pounds||10-16 inches||16-20 inches|
Bengal cats typically stop growing when they reach their adult weight, height and length by age two (although some can reach their full size by 18 months), and at that point are expected to weigh anywhere between 8-15 pounds.
Don’t be alarmed if your Bengal isn’t exactly the sizes listed in the chart above by age two. It is perfectly normal to have a Bengal cat that weighs seven pounds, is 10 inches tall, and only 14 inches long. Just as humans come in all different shapes and sizes, Bengal cats do as well!
You’ll know that your Bengal cat has stopped growing when it reaches adulthood. This usually happens by age two, but some Bengals don’t reach maturity until age three. It’s unlikely that your Bengal cat will grow any bigger past that time.
It’s important to take your cat for regular vet visits and keep a record of its growth to be sure that your cat is developing normally and is healthy. Ensuring your Bengal cat has a healthy lifestyle is key to its overall development. However, understanding the different factors that affect Bengal cat growth in particular can allow you to understand what’s best for your Bengal.
There are several factors that can impact a Bengal cat’s growth, with breeding probably the largest factor, considering the fact that the Bengal is a hybrid, and its lineage plays a large role in both the size and temperament of the Bengal cat.
Also keep in mind that spaying or neutering your Bengal cat at an early age may mean that your cat will not grow as large as if you don’t get your cat spayed or neutered. But there are some additional factors that can impact Bengal cat growth, starting with nutrition.
Diet is a major factor contributing to your Bengal cat’s growth, as well as its overall health and well-being. Since Bengals are crossed with a wild cat breed, they require a different type of nutrition in order to ensure healthy growth.
If a Bengal cat ends up being around the average size for its breed (approximately 10 pounds), then it needs between 250-350 calories per day. However, it’s important to factor in the cat’s activity level. Since Bengals tend to be more active than the typical domestic cat, they may need a little extra caloric intake to maintain a healthy weight.
It’s not typical for a Bengal cat to become obese, so it’s important to make sure that your cat is getting the right combination of nutrients, which includes a good amount of protein for its muscular frame, for optimal growth.
Some Bengal cat owners opt for a raw diet, but be particularly careful if you choose to feed your cat raw meat, as raw meat can easily carry bacteria that could be harmful to you or your pet. It’s also an expensive way to feed your cat, so it may just not be right for you as an owner. You definitely do not need to feed your Bengal cat a raw diet for it to remain healthy.
How large a Bengal cat gets is also dependent upon which generation of hybrid cat that it is. Since it’s crossed with the wild Asian Leopard Cat (ALC), the first three generations of Bengals after the original ALC parentage (F1-F3) will likely be larger than an F4 Bengal cat, which is considered the truly domestic Bengal cat.
A few different domestic cat breeds were used in creating the hybrid Bengal, so which cat breed your Bengal cat descends from is also a factor contributing to your Bengal’s size. It’s said that crossbreeding with the Egyptian Mau is what gave the Bengal cat its distinct spotted coat.
See the chart below to get an idea of the sizes of the domestic house cats your Bengal could have been bred with:
|Ocicat||6-15 pounds||9-11 inches||13-16 inches|
|British Shorthair||11-18 pounds||12-14 inches||22-25 inches|
|Egyptian Mau||7-11 pounds||8-10 inches||12-15 inches|
|Abyssinian||6-10 pounds||8-10 inches||12-16 inches|
|Bombay||6-15 pounds||11-14 inches||13-20 inches|
The size that a Bengal cat will reach can also depend upon which classification of Bengal cat you have. F1-F3 rated Bengals are going to be very active, and still have some significant wild traits. F4 and beyond are what are classified as fully domesticated cats.
See the chart below to understand the F (filial) ratings used by breeders to see how Bengal cats may vary in size depending upon their lineage:
|F1 Bengal Cat||1 Asian Leopard Cat Parent + 1 Domestic Cat Parent|
|F2 Bengal Cat||1 F1 Bengal Cat Parent + 1 Domestic Cat Parent|
|F3 Bengal Cat||1 F2 Bengal Cat Parent + 1 Domestic Cat Parent|
|F4 Bengal Cat||1 F3 Bengal Cat Parent + 1 Domestic Cat Parent|
The Bengal cat’s health is mostly affected by its breeding and not so much its size. But like all special breeds, there are certain diseases that Bengal cats are more prone to than others, and so maintaining a healthy weight can help your cat live longer and have a better quality of life overall.
Bengals are also more susceptible to developing heart disease known as Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM is the thickening of the heart muscle, which makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood. It is important to make sure that your cat is at a healthy weight and getting plenty of exercise in order to prevent heart disease from occurring or worsening.
PK-Def & PRA
Other diseases that are more common for the Bengal cat breed are PK-Def (PK Deficiency) and PRA (Bengal Progressive Retinal Atrophy). PK-Def (PK Deficiency) is a genetic condition which can cause anemia and other blood-related issues in your cat. PRA (Bengal Progressive Retinal Atrophy) causes recessive blindness in cats due to the dying off of cells in their eyes that register light.
While keeping your Bengal at a healthy weight won’t prevent these two diseases, it can ensure your Bengal is in the best physical shape to be able to deal with the complications that may occur as a result of them.
Bengal cats have a lot of energy and require a lot of exercise and attention. If you want a cat to snuggle with or that will sleep the day away while you’re at work, a Bengal cat should probably not be at the top of your list of breeds to adopt! Bengal cats are long, lean, and very muscular, so you may consider a smaller, softer breed, like a Ragdoll or Persian if you want a docile lap cat.
However, if you’ve ever dreamed of having a mini tiger of your own to go adventuring with, or if you have plenty of safe space or a big backyard for a cat to climb, jump, explore, and play, a Bengal cat may be right for you.
Plenty Of Space Required
Having enough space to be active (a backyard is ideal for these cats) will be key to keeping your cat’s weight within a safe zone for this breed. Keep in mind that active, large cats can also become destructive if they do not have the proper environment for mental stimulation and exercise.
It is possible to keep your indoor-only Bengal cat at a healthy weight and size so long as they have plenty of toys to play with, a cat tree (or two) to climb, and lots of social interaction with you and/or other pets. Remember, these cats are climbers!
You can also try leash training your Bengal cat and take it for daily walks to keep its weight in check. Start young when your Bengal is still a kitten and begin harness training. It may take several weeks to leash train your cat, so be patient and eventually you’ll have lots of fun strolling together. You may even be able to take your leash-trained Bengal cat on hikes outdoors.
Many Bengal owners comment on how “dog-like” Bengals are in terms of their personality and how intelligent they are. Keeping your cat mentally stimulated is also an important part of Bengal ownership. Use a clicker to teach your cat tricks like “fetch” to keep it within a healthy weight range.
Other fun tricks that you can teach a cat include “find it” – which is like fetch, but doesn’t require your cat to bring the toy back to you – as well as commands like “sit” and “stay.”
If you want to get even fancier, try teaching your Bengal cat to jump up, play an instrument like the piano (yes, really!), or the shell game where they touch the shell that is hiding a treat after you shuffle them. However, remember that they are still cats, and may just not be interested in doing any of this! In which case, be patient, and understand that your cat might just not be in the mood.
Another option is to consider an outdoor enclosure, or “catio,” to provide a safe space for playtime. Make sure you cover all bases with your catio and include options for climbing and scratching, and toys for chasing. An ideal size of catio for a medium-to-large sized Bengal cat is 6’ x 8’ or 8’ x 10’, which will also be big enough for you to climb inside and play with them.
Don’t forget to add water and food dishes for your Bengal, as well as a spare litter box to make this space like a second home for your kitty. You can build the catio around a door or window to your home so that your cat can enter or exit at will.
Bengal cats are also fans of water! You may want to add a water fountain or even a small wading pool to the catio for even more playtime fun. Add water toys to the wading pool and watch your kitty splash around.
While it’s not normal for a Bengal cat to become obese, because of its lean and muscular build, it is possible for your cat to drop weight or to appear underweight. If your cat is over the age of three and has never reached the 7-10 pound range, its development may still be normal and other factors could be at play. For example, you may have a mixed breed on your hands.
To be sure that your cat is within normal range,try weighing your cat at home before you call the vet. Here’s a tip to weigh your cat at home:weigh yourself, then weigh yourself while you’re holding your cat. Subtract the original weight from the second you recorded with your cat in your arms. This is much easier than trying to keep them on the scales!
If your cat seems to have suddenly dropped weight after being a healthy and normal size, it may be time to call your vet. Weight loss may be indicative of an underlying problem like anxiety or even a serious disease or illness.
The normal range of an adult Bengal cat is typically 10-15 pounds with a height of 14-16 inches and a length of 13-20 inches. But it’s also possible for a Bengal cat to weigh as few as 6-7 pounds, or as many as 22 pounds. A Bengal cat’s size is largely dependent on its genetics, diet and activity.