Bengal cats are gorgeous. Seriously, if there were cat pageants, Bengals would be the equivalent of a blue-eyed, blonde-haired girl with a sweet Southern accent. They’re also super friendly, affectionate, and incredibly clever creatures.
Even so, don’t get a Bengal cat.
Yes, I know I just listed a myriad of reasons why Bengals are God’s gift to the feline world, but they’re more of a Pandora’s box than anything else. Yes, they’re beautiful, yes, they’re smart, but are you really going to sacrifice your peace of mind, your freedom, your perfectly decorated home just so you can play host to this angelic little spawn of satan?
I think not.
If you’re in doubt of the true devilishness of Bengal cats, behold; the top 10 reasons not to get a Bengal cat.
1. They’re Hyperactive Chaos Lovers
Bengals are probably the highest energy breed of all cats in existence. Bengals, especially kittens, may even give toddlers jacked up on a cup of pure sugar a run for their money.
They love playing, love attention, and love bugging people until they stop whatever it is they’re doing and devote their energy to them. Even once they mature, their energy doesn’t seem to run out.
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a calm, nonchalant companion, a Bengal may just be your worst nightmare.
2. The Climb On Everything. And I Mean Everything.
Perhaps it is because of the DNA they share with wild Asian Leopard cats, or maybe it is just their innate love for mischief, but Bengal cats absolutely love climbing and are damn good at it too.
If they’re kept indoors, there’s a limit to how much frustration this can cause. They may climb up your curtains or take naps on top of your cupboards, but their behavior shouldn’t be all that annoying.
The real trouble comes once you let them out, or they get out of your home. Once they get a sniff of fresh air, every tree, bush, and wall is fair game, and you may find yourself having to walk through your neighborhood several times a week screaming your kitty’s name while swearing at them under your breath.
You may also find yourself a regular caller to the fire department to come and get your feline deviant out of whatever tree it chose to scale that day. Unless you enjoy the view of a five-man team working on getting one cat back on the ground, this could quickly become old.
3. They Never Listen
Well, cats, in general, aren’t really well-known for their listening abilities, but Bengals appear to have even more selective hearing than others.
Scream, shout, and call out as much as you like; there’s not much chance your Bengal is going to listen or care. Without the right, constantly reinforced training, Bengals will quickly become unmanageable and a nightmare to reason with, no matter the circumstances.
Due to their sky-high feline IQs, endless energy, and love for mischief, Bengals are often called crazy and untrainable.
That’s not to say you can’t teach your Bengal cat to behave; it just means doing so will be equivalent to the effort of getting a teenager to listen to even a single word you say.
4. They’re Vandals
If you decide, despite all warnings, to get a Bengal cat, I suggest you say a long, hard goodbye to your furniture, bedsheets, and pretty much anything that is even slightly destructible.
Since the breed is both intelligent and high-energy, Bengal cats also quickly get bored. Much like kids, when Bengals get bored, they get destructive.
Their razor-sharp claws will make quick work of your couches, table legs, and curtains, leaving behind a sea of chaos nearly impossible to rival.
Bengals are the true vandals of the feline world, and they carry their title proudly, living up to it every opportunity they get.
5. They Pee Everywhere
A quick search of why Bengal cats urinate outside their litter box will paint a rosy picture of them having a urinary tract infection, kidney problems, or stress. Although these health problems can cause accidents, they are in no way the main reason why Bengals use the world as their litter box.
What is the reason for this unthinkable behavior, you may ask? Well, they do it simply because they can.
Whether they’ve made it their life’s mission to mark every inch of your house as their own territory or find delight in the way your face crinkles when you discover yet another yellow puddle, Bengals seem to enjoy going potty all over your home more than any of their other pursuits.
So, if you don’t particularly like Eau de Cat, my suggestion would be not to buy a Bengal. At all.
6. They Are Attention Addicts
Okay, not everything about Bengal cats is horrible. Unlike the majority of their feline counterparts, Bengals absolutely love attention. Cute, right?
They like rubbing themselves against you, playing, and taking up all your time as you go about your day.
The thing is, most people opting to buy a cat as a pet do so because they’re lower maintenance than other animals like dogs. If your main reason for getting a cat was so that both you and your kitty can maintain your independence, steer clear of Bengals.
They will keep your hands full with demanding meows and jumping between you and your computer, all in a valiant effort to feed their attention addiction at your expense.
7. They’re Loud
One meow is cute. Two; adorable. Three meows and a purr? Heart-melting. But one constant string of meows, yowls, purrs, and chirps that goes on for the better part of an hour? I’d take an hour of the worst music known to man on full blast before I deal with that.
Bengals are notoriously loud cats. They seem to believe that their incessant vocalizations rival the poetry of the Greek philosophers, and they make sure to give you ample chance to admire their poems and prose.
The extremely vocal nature of Bengals, combined with their love for attention, can create a duo from hell.
No matter what you’re doing, whether it’s sleeping, working, or trying to enjoy some TV, if your Bengal wants attention, they will make your life so unbearable you have no choice but to stop whatever it is you’re doing and attend to their needs.
8. They Are Jealous
Due to their exceptional intelligence, Bengal cats quickly notice when you’re spending more time with other pets or people than you’re spending with them.
Their jealous nature can be the root of many other problems like fighting, widespread urination to mark their territory, and aggressive behavior towards guests.
Again, most of these issues could be sorted out by zealous training and discipline, but because Bengal cats are the rebels of the cat world, they may not respond well to punishment or disapproval.
Bengal cats are so incredibly territorial and violently inclined that many neighborhoods, like those in the UK, are now so alienated against the breed even the UK parliament has taken note.
Unless you’re willing to put in the effort to train and play with your cat every single day, there’s a good chance your Bengal is going to turn to terrorizing the neighbors for fun.
9. Chronic Diarrhea is Their Trademark
Okay, I’m not one to judge others for their health issues, but I can’t help but find it a little funny when said health issues involve chronic diarrhea.
Due to their wild cat DNA, Bengal cats’ stomachs aren’t fully adapted to the diet of kibble and canned food most domestic cats adore. Standard cat food likely upsets their tummies, causing frequent trips to the littler box and runny stool.
Unless you’re willing to provide your kitty with a raw diet, or a regularly cleaned litter box, you may find owning a Bengal to be exhausting and ever so slightly unsettling to your stomach.
I’m not a big fan of animal feces of any kind, so the continual diarrhea is enough for me to decide to steer clear of Bengals entirely.
10. They’re Whipsmart
Bengals are one of the most intelligent cat breeds around. Usually, this is seen as a desirable trait in any animal, but when accompanied by their high energy levels and penchant for causing trouble, a Bengal’s smarts may be more of a con than a pro.
Heaven forbid your Bengal cat no longer finds its toys interesting. In many cases, the little fiend will turn to flushing toilets and flipping light switches for amusement.
If you’ve by chance left your toilet lid up, Bengals will not hesitate to use it as their personal waterslide.
Not only are these curious kitties naughty enough to play in toilet water, you’ll also have to constantly lock doors to rooms they can’t enter because, you guessed it, they learn how to use a doorhandle surprisingly quickly.
Bengal Cat Owners Who Now Regret It
If you’re still unconvinced of the reasons to avoid getting a Bengal, there’s very little I can do to persuade you. I’ll simply leave you with the opinions and stories of others who were driven to the point where they can say with conviction, “I hate my Bengal cat.”
One Bengal cat owner laments her pet’s ability to communicate in loud, annoying yowls whenever it wants to play. Believe it or not, but many Bengals actually enjoy playing fetch just like dogs do, although they can be way more annoying about getting you to throw their toy than just a quick bark.
Most people who consider getting a Bengal believe little hyperactivity won’t be too bad. Well, how about endless meowing until you participate?
Not only do Bengals love to play, but they also figure out how to solve problems you really, really, didn’t want them to. Like opening cupboards and drawers, tearing holes in their food bags, and getting you to do whatever they want, whenever they want, with a single meow.
Unless you’re looking for a troublemaker who will eventually outsmart you, steer clear.
Another Bengal owner hates the fact that her cat zooms through the house, screeching at the top of its lungs as if it’s a 100% wild cat. Bengals need tons of space, and if you don’t provide it, they will make their unhappiness known by giving into their wild genes and going full-feral.
Not only does full-feral encompass destroying your home for fun, but it also includes ripping open food and treat bags, shredding and scattering paper towels, and forcing you to upgrade the cat-proofing measures in your house more regularly than you could ever be comfortable with.
If you thought laying down the law to your Bengal would be easy, think again. One Bengal owner has had her cat for over four years and says he still tests every rule and boundary she’s ever established. And if she allows something once, it’s automatically seen as acceptable all the time.
Yet another pet owner calls herself a proud human Bengal slave, and for a good reason.
She claims all Bengals are unmanageable by nature, even more so if kept indoors. Not only do they get bored incredibly quickly, but if they ask to play and you ignore them, they will take sweet revenge by caterwauling the entire night and making sure they wake up each and every member of the house.
The final and perhaps most damning account of Bengal behavior comes from the not-so-proud owner of a five-month-old Bengal x American Short-Hair kitten.
If you think only half Bengal can’t be that bad, seeing her kitten at two months old would have convinced you. Fast forward to three months later, and the sweet, gentle kitty has become a menace who attacks her owners, viciously bites and scratches their arms whenever she gets bored or wants to go out, and never misses an opportunity to sprint out of the door as soon as it opens.