Bengal cats: A failure to understand

Bengal cats

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats
This is a frustrating story and a sad one. It is about a complete failure by both the cats’ owner and the media to understand the Bengal cat. I am very surprised actually because the Bengal cat has been around since the 1970s.

It is a wild cat hybrid so there is some wild cat in the Bengal but 5th generation cats are considered totally like domestic cats and the cats in this story look like fifth generation cats. Nearly all Bengal cats are fifth generation or similar.

Sandra Benitez, in Shamokin, USA, adopted two Bengal cats from another woman who lived fairly close by. The cats are called Whiskers and Jessie. One of the cats bit her husband whereupon she declared to the world that they were dangerous. She said she did not know they were dangerous and some sort of wild cat when she adopted them! Wrong because they are not “some sort of wild cat”.

Stacey Balliet, a vet technician at Sunbury Animal Hospital, says they are “technically wild animals”. This is also incorrect. She made matters worse. First generation Bengal cats present legal problems in some states because they are half wild cat (the leopard cat) but these cats are not first generation. You can tell by their appearance.

Because Whiskers and Jessie bit Sandra’s husband she put them in the basement – charming. A stupid thing to do. And cruel too. They escaped and are now roaming around the neighborhood while the media say the residents are terrified of some sort of wild cats on the loose. The media say they are “now on the prowl”….Media rubbish. They are frightened domestic cats looking for their original home or a decent home.

All that can happen now is for some idiot cop to shoot them.

The reason why one of the cats bit the man is because they were in a strange place and frightened. The man probably approached them without sensible caution. The problem was not about cats but people. Any cat would be the same or potentially the same. The fact they are Bengal cats is irrelevant.

A bit of cool thought and common sense would have straightened the whole thing out in a jiffy. This really is about a drastic failure by a cat owner to understand cats and the breed of cat she casually adopted.

The old adage applies as usual. It is always about education, education, education. People who take on a cat should understand them and particularly wild cat hybrids. The F5 (fifth generation) is almost no different to your standard moggie domestic cat in behavior.

A little bit of patience, care and gentleness would have prevented the man being scratched or bitten. Sandra Benitez was completely the wrong person to take care of these cats and the media are equally foolish in hyping up the whole sorry story.

Original story: Bengal cats on the loose

6 thoughts on “Bengal cats: A failure to understand”

  1. All cat owners should realize that their cats are actually miniature “Big Cats” by instinct and hence should be handled and treated with caution, irrespective of the breed.My Traditional Persian cats are very fierce in temperament and would quickly attack a gecko lizard, fly or moth that occasionally strays into my house.Once i got severely cut on my hand trying to separate a cat-fight at home, a accidental injury which was totally unintentional by my tomcat Matata.The human cat owner is to be blamed if the cat overreacts to a situation or has a sudden change in temperament. This is my personal experience as a cat owner of two different breed of cats since 1995..

  2. This story just goes to show that some people are completely out of their depth when it comes to managing or understanding any kind animal. The worst cases of animal aggression were at WCF Shows in Germany where I saw what I think was an American Curl and a Ragdoll really tear up the judges hands and did the same to their “owners”when they tried to return them to their cages. . It’s nothing to do with a Bengal’s wild ancestors. Any domestic cat is only one step away from it’s wild ancestors and can be a tough customer under the right(or wrong) circumstances.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with Harvey’s comment. There seems to be a lot of people who lack basic of understanding about cat behaviour, despite keeping them as pets. From the few episodes I’ve seen of “My Cat From Hell” I think the show should be renamed “My ignorant owner is making my life as a cat hell”. Mind you, with ignorant vet techs like the one quoted from Sunbury Animal Hospital, it’s no wonder much of the public are uneducated about cats if they rely on animal professionals like Ms. Benitez for informed opinions or advice.

      I sincerely hope that these 2 Bengals are found by someone who knows about cats and will offer them the decent home they so deserve.

      • So do I – lets hope they find a nice home by themselves. It’s horrible to think about them outside wandering around scared and homeless. Especially with freaked out residents around. Perhaps the original owner can catch them and bring them home again.

        The people who adopted these cats sound like total idiots. Of course I would say that, but it’s usually the case so I’m assuming it is here.


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