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Are Bengals Dangerous? The Misconception of the Bengal Cat

Are Bengals Dangerous? The Misconception of the Bengal Cat

by Keira Marie Nguyen
(Gardner, MA, USA)

Mystre Dillinger meets Lady Kianna

Are Bengals Dangerous? Are they safe with children? The Bengal cat originated from hybrid crossings - The Asian Leopard Cat bred to domestics, so the question of safety is sure to come up from time to time.

Some might be quick to make judgment based on the Bengal cat's wild looks, amazing aura, and wild heritage. The truth of the matter is that is what initially pulls us onto the Bengal wagon.

Several years ago, just like any other family that takes a peek at the Bengal cat, our family was taken by the striking looks of the breed. Bengals have an awesome resemblance to a Asian Leopard Cat - later we found that there was a lot more about the Bengal cat that would "take" us!

We had the chance to go from one cattery to another and speak with several different breeders. We read up on the breed, got involved in several online groups, and we found that Bengal cats were more than just a fascinating cat to look at! They are highly intelligent, loving, and playful cats with the antics of a child. There was so much to learn about the breed.

We discovered that our youngest daughter, who suffered from asthma (having been hospitalized at 2 weeks of age), had no problems with the Bengal in regards to her allergies or asthma. The Bengal was the "purrfect" cat for us. We knew there were no guarantees. No breeder would be expected to make any regarding how you might react as far as allergies or asthma go.

All of our family, having an incredible love for all types of cats, found that the Bengal Cat provided the perfect combination of low allergens, low grooming, and high quality entertainment!

Our fears, regarding their safety with our children, were quickly relieved as we saw firsthand that Bengals were obviously safe. So, we purchased our first Bengal, Dillinger. We taught our children to respect our Bengal kitten, just as we would any other breed or pet. We found Bengals to be incredibly loving and tender. We ended up looking for another Bengal boy because we couldn't just have one! We were honored to announce that Julie Calderon of "Callista Bengals" was going to "Bless Us" with our newest addition Callista Strike Force. He was coming from, in my opinion, the Top Quality Breeder when it comes to socialization and ethics of the "Dream Cat". Striker was our very first Foundation Bengal, whose Father, "Elias Of Callista", is an actual Asian Leopard Cat and his Mother a Silver SBT Bengal.

Many people had told us stories about the problems of owning a Foundation Cat, especially and F1. I must admit, we weren't quite sure we could handle it, but after seeing "Callista Strike Force", aka Striker for the very first time, I fell madly in love and knew he was the dream cat of a lifetime. Still with some concerns I spoke at great length with Breeder Julie Calderon and my fears subsided.

Many wanting the most exotic looking cat, yet with a loving and sweet temperament, have looked far and wide for the right match of breeder and Bengal, this I find being the key.

Julie at "Callista Bengals" makes it a point that when Breeding Foundation Cats or SBT'S, to ensure the sweetest most loving temperaments bred into her lines. She only breeds for quality and uses the most loving females with her Leopard Cat.

This she says is to ensure that her Foundation Cats will have the most potential to be family cats with the exotic look of the ALC, that everyone so desires.

She believes, that people have this common misconception when purchasing a Bengal or Foundation Cat. That is why it is so important not only to breed for the exotic/flashy looks but most importantly for temperament to ensure the betterment of the breed.

The socialization of her kittens is an inspiration to me! Our foundation boy is not only the sweetest most loving Bengal Kitten we could ever dream of being owned by but he has become a large part of "The Dillinger Gang Therapy Group" which visits Nursing Homes and local Elementary Schools in our area and teaches others about the Bengal Cat, ALC, and Foundation Cats as well as our work in Rescue, and about how these cats touch our everyday lives. They can help us in so very many ways. This yet again proving that Bengals have so much love to give and have proven over time to be anything but dangerous, as their feline counterparts found in different regions all over the world, from deep in the jungle, high in the trees, to the African Safari.

The kids spend a great deal of time playing with, eating with, and sleeping with their Bengals. Dillinger and Striker. They follow me through the house every day during my daily work routine, which now includes a game made up of making the bed, and playing peek-a-boo from under the covers. I find myself telling my youngest daughter, Dillinger and Striker, to come out from under the covers so I can make the bed. I eventually give up, or we all end up in a HUGE pillow fight with everyone including the cats tumbling about (pouncing) and sometimes falling to the floor in laughter! Something uncanny about Bengals is they will find anything and they can and turn it instantly into a game! Who needs TV when there are Bengals in the house?

Sometimes we'll take one of the cats for a ride in the car with us, and we might get a strange look from a neighbor, or two. When the children have visitors, occasionally a parent has concerns about the safety of the cat, because Dillinger and especially Striker do look so wild, and will question us regarding their children's safety, due to the common misconception that many people have about the Bengal Cat. I guess we've just taken their wonderful temperaments for granted! Our Bengals approach every child that comes into our home just to have the most heart-warming conversations, and hopefully play a game of fetch. How could anyone doubt they'd be safe with their children?

We've seen the media articles saying the Bengal Cats and Foundation Cats are too wild for showing in a certain Cat Associations, but the Bengal breed is recognized in many registries. They show wonderfully and are 100% "pussycat". We've enjoyed showing, and our Therapy work with our Bengal Therapy Gang! I truly believe the proof is in the "puddy"!

Bengals have so much love to give! It speaks for itself every night when Dillinger climbs under the covers for a bedtime story, or our Foundation Boy, Striker actually swims in the tub with the girls making bath time fun time for everyone, something that used to be a "hard sell" for the girls" when they didn't want to or would rather watch TV, there are so many ways the Bengal Cat has become a "model citizen" in our home for our daughters. Yes, it may be hard to believe, they have actually taught us a few tricks and something about love and kindness to others in ways you couldn't imagine:-) How can this ever be misconceived as a cat that could be in anyway dangerous??

Our Dillinger gets along wonderfully with our 6 month old American Eskimo puppy and for an F1 that people think is such a danger Striker will run away from our Kianna and then growl as a playful way of talking to her then turn tail and tag Kianna with his paw, to jesture to her like a child's game of "You're it!" and off they go in the back in the other direction this is his way of getting used to the new baby of the house.

It just goes to prove as someone was once quoted in saying and I so agree Bengals are like potato chips you can't have just one! I also can promise that once you've jumped on the Bengal bandwagon and found the perfect combination of Breeder and GreatBengal/Foundation Cat that we have been so blessed in finding, in our Breeder, Julie Calderon of "Callista Bengals". Adding a Foundation Cat will bring you double the fun!!!!!

We LOVE Bengals, they are AWESOME!

Keira Marie Nguyen

Are Bengals Dangerous? The Misconception Of The Bengal Cat to Bengal cat for sale

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Are Bengals Dangerous? The Misconception of the Bengal Cat

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Mar 22, 2010 Are Benga;'s Dangerous F1 question...
by: Keira Marie Nguyen

Hi Kathy,

I have also done a writeup on this site iof you go to the main Bengal Page and look directly under this submission for "Callista Strike Force" it tells all about the first experiences with my Firts Generation Bengal which is a hybrid 60% leopard cat, 40% bengal. It will give you some insite into what the beginning of being owned by an F1 is like. I was blessed with mine through Julie Clderon of Callista Bengal's. However I personally like her but also would suggest you check out some other Breeder's of F1's such as Jill orman from legacie Bengals and speaking to them about your feeling's let me know what you think of the writeup and if you have any other questions. I have been very busy here and always am with a household full of furbabies and Human children so I haven't had a chance to write about our Therapy Experiences yet. This is something I plan to do hopefully in the next week so you should watch out for that as well because my F1 makes a wonderful Therapy Cat and we have the pictures to proove it. Also we will be submitting something totally new after April 7, 2010 when we take Striker and our 8th generation bengal to The Gardner Middleschool to do 4 sets of classes of 6th graders contining about 90 kids and present a Therapy cat and Asian leopard cat Presentation to all 4 classes with both bengal's hopefully we will have pictures to submit as well:-) This is a new experience for us we have never worked with this age group before so stay tuned for that as well!
Keira & The Foreverland Cattery
The Hone Of The Dillinger Gang Therapy Cat Group!

Mar 20, 2010 my expierience with the Bengals
by: kathy

The only problem I had with my bengals were the ones that I purchased that had not been socialized. One was wild and eventually escaped. One had to be kept caged or she abondened her kittens. My kittens were all totally socialized and tame. I finally got one back Lia. My first Bengal kitten. The same thing can be said of the SAvannah breed. WE read how tame and loving they were and the first one we got was like having a wild tiger in the house. We could not handle her and she had to be caged when we werent there and at night. She became cage aggresive which really presented a problem. Well the breeder took her back and now we have her full sister from a different litter who is the joy of my life right now. She has never exhibited any aggressive behavior and is a little sweetie. Her name is Aurora. She is the exact oppisite of Kachina. Just take care when purchasing any hybrid animal. They can change when they become sexually mature.

Mar 19, 2010 Some questions
by: Jackie

Hi Kiera,
What an interesting bit about the Bengal! 3Years ago , after my beloved Maine Coon Georgie died of an inherited illness, we were thinking about having(or: being owned by) a Bengal. We did a bit of research, looked at a lot of breeders websites and as we did not get all the important info necessary, we decided to 'play safe' and decided on the Burmese. We never regretted that decission and as a bonus we were offered to have with our choice Burmese also his brother. So we ended up with 2 wonderful boys and to us the most human-orientated cats. Maybe more about them at a later time.
With them we now also have a bi-coloured Oriental and a wonderful trio it is!!
Anyway, I still would like to learn more about the Bengal. What exactly means a F1, foundation and 8th generation? In terms of character, and looks?
What would be the right combination with the already residents in our household? Or am I asking for trouble with my territorial Burmese boys and the full-of-himself Oriental? I am not looking for 'status' cats, but I just love the Siamese/oriental type of cat.The right-in-your-face, talkative kind of cat. Please, carry on with educating me more about the gorgeous Bengal.
Thanks, Jackie.

Mar 19, 2010 Are Bengals Dangerous Thank you..
by: Keira Marie Nguyen


I consider it a privalage to be owned by two fabulous bengal cats! Even though one is First Generation and the other is 8th generation they have so very many similarities:-) I can't tell you how many of our guests with children have fallen in love with the Bengal breed, after meeting Striker and Dillinger.
I believe as I have read some of the excerpts written on Breeding and Hybrids that it takes not only a very special person to breed these special cats but as well someone with total dedication to be owned by one. Each like humans are so very different from each other! But the real honor and pleasure is in working with these wonderful cats and training them in Therapy Work to be around the elderly in Nursing Homes or young children who are giddy with delight at the sight of a small leopard/like looking cat with such sweet temperment. This is something that with research and time anyone loving the Bengal breed can find the right bengal to be owned by. Thank you for giving me the chance to share this with other's in a new venue it's always great to have different experiences and share what we know. I hope this helps and i'm always available to chat at: Foreverland Cattery, if anyone has questions about this fantstic breed:-)

Mar 19, 2010 Thank you
by: Michael

Thank you Keira for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience. Perhaps some people do have misconceptions about the Bengal cat on account of it being a wild cat hybrid but the good work of Julie and yourself shows how it is done. Nice post.

Mar 18, 2010 Are Bengal's Dangerous?
by: Keira Marie Nguyen

Thank you Michael for including this writeup I worked on about a year ago when Striker was still considered a kitten! I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it?
Also this is something I hope will change the common misconception that Bengals aren't good with children. It's how you work with your bengal and who you choose to adopt from that makes a difference:-) It's a life changing experience that you will have to share forever. there is nothing like being owned by a bengal. I hope I can help other's who have questions about it..

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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