Is it okay for a Bengal cat to live in an apartment?

Can Bengal cats live in apartments? No, in my opinion. I mean they can and do. But it is just not right as far as I am concerned. Why? Because they are wildcat hybrids. They are more active than the typical domestic cat. They are more demanding than the true domestic cats. There is not a huge difference at F5 (fifth filial) but there is a difference which makes them less suited to apartment dwelling.

This is full-time indoor living in a very confined space. At root this is too far from the ideal for an active and sharp cat. There are not many cat owners who are able to provide a Bengal cat in an apartment with sufficient stimulation to make their lives acceptable. Even if the caregiver is retired and around all the time.

Five F1 Bengal kittens

Five F1 Bengal kittens. The image is copyright protect and by Helmi Flick who says “These are five F1 (means one generation removed from the wild ancestor – in this case, the Asian Leopard cat) Bengal kittens, all 11 weeks old, from Stacy Hansen’s TexasStar cattery.”

Okay, you can take your apartment dwelling Bengal cat outside on a lead but how many people train their cat to walk on a lead? You could take your Bengal cat outside to the common parts of the condo complex (block of flats) and let them race around and burn off their pent-up emotions. That would solve the cat’s emotional problems but the risk to the cat’s health is far too high.

There is a real danger that the cat would run off, out of control, and be harmed on a road or disappear. The potential for injury is high. Well, it’s too high, put it that way.

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
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Perhaps the main point to make is that there are better alternatives. Some purebred and non-purebred cats are much more suited to apartment living. The Persian comes to mind or the Ragdoll. They are more laid back and passive. Although I don’t think people should buy Persians as they are inherently unhealthy.

I think if you live in an apartment you have to concede that some cat breeds are unsuited, and you are better off accepting it. If you go ahead and buy a Bengal and shoehorn them into an apartment for full-time indoor living, you might start suffering from guilt when they clearly tell you that they want to go out.

They try and escape or vocalise their unhappiness. And Bengal cats have a tendency to be more aggressive. Careful selective breeding has minimised this character trait, but it comes from the leopard cat – the wild cat ancestor of this cat breed. When they become stressed because they are unable to express their instinctive motivations, they may become aggressive.

The Asiatic leopard cat is known by zookeepers to be particularly independent minded as a small wild cat species. There is an argument that the Bengal cat should not have been created at all because of this. There are other more mild-mannered small wild cat species which could have served as the wild originator of a new cat breed.

RELATED: Bengal cat behaviour.

Ben Simpson-Vernon, a veterinarian in England, went viral recently with two TikTok videos when he selected the cats and dogs he would not own. One of them is the Bengal. He believes that the Bengal is too aggressive.

He said: “So they’re still quite wild in terms of their behaviour and temperament”. The news media reports say that he claims that at the vets they have earned a reputation for being ‘ quite aggressive’.

The vets should know. Admittedly, vet clinic are stressful places for cats and dogs which may bring out the worst in their character but nonetheless I sense that he is correct.

I used to live in a flat with quite large gardens. My neighbour, living on the top floor, had an F3 Bengal cat called Daniel. He worked and Daniel was alone for large parts of the day. He still lives there. I don’t know what happened to his cat.

Daniel an F3 Bengal cat enjoying the outside after living inside an apartment

Daniel an F3 Bengal cat enjoying the outside after living inside an apartment. Image: MikeB

He would allow him outside off the lead in the gardens from time to time. It looked entirely impractical to me as he lost Daniel from time to time as he raced around the unfenced gardens with a road nearby.

It just could not work. I don’t know how it panned out because I moved home but the risk of Daniel being hit by traffic was unreasonably high.

People love the Bengal for their glamorous, sometimes stunning coat, which is difficult for some to resist when considering buying a purebred cat even if they live in an apartment.

But resist they must both for their peace of mind and that of their cat companion.

Different opinion? Think I am being too negative and unreasonable? Tell me in a comment please.

Below are some more pages on the Bengal cat.

Difference between random bred tabby cat and Bengal cat in appearance

Is a Bengal cat a tabby cat?

Yes, all Bengal cats are tabby cats. I'll explain. 'Bengal cats' are a cat breed. 'Tabby cats' are domestic, stray ...
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Bengal cat

Are Bengal cats big?

This is a focused, single question which must result in a response along the same lines. Your typical F5 Bengal ...
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Bengal cat chases off an intruding black bear in Vancouver, Canada

Bengal cat chases away black bear (video)

NEWS AND COMMENT-BRITISH COLOMBIA, CANADA: The cat's owner was flabbergasted. He couldn't believe it. Brothers Gavin and Cameron Sturrock watched ...
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'Bengal nose'

Bengal Nose

Bengal Nose - a comparison between a good nose and an affected nose - photo copyright Helmi Flick This page ...
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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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