Are Bengal cats big?

This is a focused, single question which must result in a response along the same lines. Your typical F5 Bengal cat, which is the default standard Bengal cat in people’s homes will be the same size as an average domestic cat. The breed standards for this breed should guide us as to what the cat associations want out of this cat in terms of size. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) say that the “Bengal is a medium to large cat with a sleek, muscular build. Boning is substantial.”

Bengal cat
Bengal cat. Image by MikeB from image in the public domain.
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So, the number one cat association, perhaps in the world, wants the Bengal cat to be a bit larger than average and this demand will be achieved through artificial selection or selective breeding by their affiliated breeders.

However, it should be noted that the Bengal cat is a wildcat hybrid and therefore a first filial Bengal cat is going to be half leopard cat and half domestic cat. The size of an F1-F5 Bengal cat is going to be dependent to a certain extent on the size of the leopard cat in the lineage.

Leopard cats on my research are either similar in size to a domestic cat or even smaller. It depends upon the sex as well of course. Male Bengal cats going to be bigger than female Bengal cats normally. And the same goes for the wild ancestor of the Bengal cat.

Some female leopard cats are really quite small at around 5 pounds. One researcher weighed eight female leopard cats from the Malaysian peninsula and their average weight was under 2 pounds, which is tiny. The biggest male leopard cat from my research weighed 7.1 kg which is about 16 pounds, the size of a large domestic cat.

The reason why I am focusing on the leopard cat is because it does to a certain extent dictate the size of the Bengal cat and we can see that the leopard cat is, on average, a similar size to a normal domestic cat but there is a spread of sizes between females and males and between individuals.

My conclusion, therefore, is that Bengal cats are not normally, necessarily or naturally big. However, a first filial Bengal cat will probably be bigger than average if a male and through selective breeding a breeder of Bengal cats, in following the breed standard, will endeavour to create cats which are larger than average being medium-to-large in size.

Below are some more articles on Bengal cats.

20 facts about the Bengal Cat

Bengal Cat Behavior

What is Bengal cat glitter?

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