Welcome to our monthly blog page, for cat enthusiasts to learn and discover more about the Bengal breed!
What are the 3 main differences between a Bengal cat and a domestic cat?
People often ask, why do we love the Bengal breed? And the simple answer is, Bengals are not your typical domestic cat. Their striking appearance, energic behaviour and magnificent intelligence makes them such a fascinating breed. Let me explain further…
A Bengals APPEARANCE
The most noticeable distinction between a Bengal cat and typical domestic cat is its appearance. Although Bengals are not the largest cat breed, they are close with most males reaching approx. 8kg, although females are slightly more petite, they are still typically larger than a usually domestic cat. A Bengal cat does not reach their full growth development until 2 years old. They have a strong muscular body structure with longer hind legs, much like their Asian leopard ancestors, which provides them with a powerful but graceful stride. Their coat resembles a wild leopard, with rosettes on a silky pelt. Most Bengals shimmer in the sunlight due to the ‘glitter’ in their fur.
A Bengals BEHAVIOUR
Bengals are the most inquisitive and curious of cat breeds. Their high energy and athletic nature requires lots of physical exercise to maintain a happy Bengal. They have an increased need for daily exercise and metal simulation. Have you heard of the ‘Zoomies’? This is the nickname given to a Bengals crazy hour of the day, where they love to burn off their energy, to race and jump. Bengals love to climb and explore high spaces; they require tall climbing trees and window perches to satisfy their urge for height. Bengals have unique personalities and tend to show their emotions very clearly. A Bengal loves to chat and certainly let you know when they want something. They are extremely loyal to their families, wait to greet you when you arrive home and make the perfect fur friend.
A Bengals INTELLIGENCE
A Bengal is regarded as one of the smartest cat breeds! They have dog like traits due to their high intelligence. You can train a Bengal to come on command, clicker train, walk on a leash, use the toilet, and play fetch! Their high intelligence means they require mental simulation, they thrive on puzzles and challenging toys. Their excellent hunting skills and curiosity of surroundings is all due to their high intelligence. Having an intelligent pet is defiantly fun!
What does a life of a Bengal breeder look like?
Bengals are a remarkable breed! The creation of the Bengal cat breed was founded by Jean Mills in America. Jean had a vision of crossing a wild Asian leopard cat with a domestic cat, to create this new hybrid. Bengals have a striking beauty resembling a wild Asian leopard, their fur is like silk, covered in glitter and are a larger cat breed. Our boys range from 7-8.6kg!
We were fascinated by this new stunning cat creation and quickly knew we wanted to help develop the Bengal breed. Dreamstone Bengals was established in 2004.
We pride ourselves on importing the best bloodlines from around the globe to create our exceptional kittens. Our kittens are raised in a family home, where we have three age-appropriate rooms, each room specifically designed and adapted to cater for the growing needs of our kittens. RHR cat trees are an important element to our kitten rooms, making sure the kittens have opportunity to climb, play and burn off their Bengal energy. Bengals need to be mentally stimulated and require lots of interactive stimuli to keep them happy. It is very important Bengal kittens are well socialised from an early age due to their wild ancestor’s nocturnal instincts.
Life being a Bengal Breeder is extremely hard work as it means being dedicated to early mornings and late nights, 365 days a year. With breeding brings anxiety and anticipation waiting for the babies to arrive safely. We also have to focus on the mothers wellbeing as well as the kittens, to make sure mum is happy, content and feeding. There are lots of difficulties that can be experienced after the birthing process, for example, kittens are weighed daily to make sure they are thriving and properly feeding to get the nutrition they need to grow healthy, if not we will intervene. Sometimes this requires hand feeding a kitten/s every 2 hours throughout day and night.
Although breeding is a stressful job, it is balanced with the joy of raising kittens from birth to 13 weeks old, when they are ready to leave us. Watching them reach milestones such as starting to be weaned, watching the slow-motion play fighting around 4-5 weeks old, to their little personalities developing and confidence building. We capture their growth and development weekly on videos and photographs, which are shared with families so they have the pleasure of watching their new kitten grow until home time.
Bengals are known for their striking beauty and breathtaking, wild aesthetics, magnificent character, and high intelligence. A typical Bengal has a mischievous personality, that is intrigued by everything! They are not your typical lap cat because of their high energy levels but they certainly love a cuddle when they are ready to relax. Families do ask us, ‘How did you create a lap cat?’ as Dreamstone babies have the balance of a fun personality and loving nature because of the playtime and love received from our three children.
Bengals make the perfect fur friends with most other animals. Our Bengal cats and kittens adore playtime with our cocker spaniel and two Rhodesian ridgebacks. This helps kittens build confidence around dogs, and is particularly important for kittens joining a family with a dog. Bengals are certainly the ‘Boss’ of the dogs!
Bengals are very trainable; and have dog like traits, such as playing fetch and walking on a leash. Some of our kittens have even been trained to use the toilet! They just haven’t learnt to flush yet! We start leash training from 10 weeks old. This gives families the opportunity to continue the training and take their kittens on adventures, to explore beaches, woodlands and much more. Some of our kittens/cats even go on holiday with their families!
What character traits does a bengal have?
- Active: Bengal cats are generally very active and playful. They love exercise and are often involved in a variety of activities.
- Intelligent: These cats are smart creatures who quickly pick up new things and enjoy challenges.
- Curious: Bengals are curious cats who enjoy exploring their surroundings. Bengals are constantly on the lookout for discoveries.
- Social: Many Bengal cats bond strongly with their human family members and enjoy being be involved in daily activities.
- Energetic: No dull moments with a Bengal cat in the home. Their energy level remains they need lots of attention, playtime and mental stimulation.
- Communicative: Bengal cats can be very vocal and make different sounds to communicate with their owners.
We get to meet wonderful families and some of our Dreamstone kittens are privileged to join high profile families, jet setting across the globe on private planes to their new homes. The latest high profile family includes Jos Verstappen. Jos and family now have three Dreamstone babies.
Beware though, Bengals are addictive! We have many families that start with one Bengal baby and now have 3!
Here at Dreamstone we have our own retirement village, which includes two retired stud boys and two retired queens. Most of our retired studs and queens go to live with their offspring, which is always beautiful for a mum to stay with their baby forever but unfortunately, we are aware some of our cats will struggle to adapt to new environments and new people, so they have a family life with us. We offer all
our cats a lifelong commitment of a home with us!
Tory – Dreamstone Bengals