So, you’ve brought home a Bengal? Congratulations! Bengals have absolutely beautiful markings and having one of these little feline athletes at home is quite the treat. While some consider them small, as a breed Bengals actually fall into the ‘medium to large’ category for cats, and so it’s good to have an idea of what to expect as they grow.
To that effect, we’ve compiled a chart for you that will give you a pretty good approximation of what you can expect, and we’re also going to include a lot of useful tips that can help you with your new family member, such as factors that can affect growth, Bengal calorie, and care considerations, and even some diet tips.
Let’s talk about your Bengal’s weight by age so that you’ll have the facts that you need to make sure your Bengal is growing up happy and healthy!
Setting Expectations – Growth rates don’t come in a ‘one size fits all
Before we get started, we want to make sure that you know that these weights are definitely not ‘graven in stone. What we’re providing you with today is a compilation of averages that can give you a general idea of what to expect.
Bengals tend to weigh in at around 10 to 15 pounds for males who are one year old, while females tend to be between 8 and 13 pounds. This is because Bengal females, like many other breeds of cats, tend to be anywhere from 2 – 4 pounds lighter than males.
As this is a more muscular and generally active breed, the difference is going to be closer to the 2-pound mark, but there are certainly exceptions to the rule – each cat is unique, after all, and just like with humans when it comes to approximating weight and size, sometimes you’ve gotta rely on averages.
With that out of the way, it’s time to go to the hard data that we’ve compiled for you with the averages to get you started.
Growth projections for your Bengal Kitty
Provided that your Bengal cat was neutered as a kitten, these figures should be a pretty close estimate of what you can expect. If they are not neutered, the top weight will still apply, and they typically stop growing at about the 18-month mark.
Now, before we give you the chart, we should mention that if your kitten is about to turn or is fairly close to 16 weeks of age if you weigh them and double that weight, it gives you a fairly good estimate of their 1-year adult weight.
Now, as promised, here is an at-a-glance growth approximation for this breed:
|Bengal Growth rate – 3 months to 3 years||Male Bengal Cat||Female Bengal Cat|
|3 months||4 to 5 pounds/1.81 – 2.26kg||3-4 pounds/1.36 – 1.81 kg|
|6 months||6-12 pounds/2.72 – 5.44kg||4-10 pounds/1.81 – 3.62kg|
|9 months||8-15 pounds/3.62 – 6.8kg||6-13 pounds/2.72 – 5.9kg|
|1 year||10 – 15 pounds/3.62 – 6.8kg||8-13 pounds/3.62 – 5.9kg|
|3 years||12-15 pounds/5.44 – 6.8kg||10-13 pounds/3.62 – 5.9kg|
Variables that can affect your Bengal’s weight
There are a lot of things that can have an impact on your cat’s weight, and while nutrition is one of the biggest factors, we’ll elaborate on that a little more in the next section. Calorie-counting aside, the first factor is typically going to be the cat’s parents.
If you purchased your Bengal from a breeder, then you may have met them already, but if you haven’t them you might ask the breeder about their weights and sizes. This helps you to get a more complete picture of what to expect down the line, though DNA can be tricky so it’s not 100% guaranteed.
Speaking of DNA, it’s important to remember that Bengals are hybrids and those distinctive markings do come at a price – specifically, wild DNA. This means that if you raise a Bengal and a standard housecat together, there’s no guarantee that your Bengal will outgrow them.
While they tend to be medium-to-large, sometimes you get a small Bengal and that’s just how the dice fell. Other factors that affect their growth will be things like spaying/neutering at a young age and of course parasites, such as worms.
The last you can keep at bay with regular deworming visits at the vet, which for kittens is every 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks, and after 8 weeks you should bring in every 3 months, just to be on the safe side.
Counting your cat’s calories for proper nutrition
When it comes to their diets, Bengals are fairly close to your average housecat as far as their caloric needs. Now, keep in mind that we say CLOSE, as it’s apparent just looking at your Bengal that these fine felines have the musculature of little jungle kitties and the energy that come with it.
As such, while a standard housecat needs around 20 calories per pound of body weight per day, or 45 calories per kilo of weight, your Bengal is a lot more active in most cases and should be eating 25 to 30 calories per pound/.45 kilo of body weight.
As far as treats, a good rule that you should follow is the ‘10% rule’. This is easy to remember and a good way to help to ensure that you can spoil your Bengal without the risk of obesity, which can cause serious issues in any cat and that even includes your mini jungle-cat.
The treats that you give them should only be 10% of their daily recommended calories. This sounds easy, but you’ll want to check some of their favorites to get a better idea of the dangers. For instance, some Bengals love eggs, but each egg is around 78 calories. It pays to know their favorite treats well.
Care considerations for the Bengal breed
Aside from making sure that they are getting optimal calories, you want to make sure that your Bengal is getting enough exercise. As these are a stunning breed, many of us are terrified of letting them outside for fear that someone is going to scoop them up.
That’s okay – Bengals can be perfectly happy indoors – but you need to make the environment as much like a ‘fun kitty gym’ as you can. As Bengals love high places, a good start is a kitty tower. This gives your Bengal a high perch when they are stalking the dog or a favorite toy and helps keep them off your shelves.
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Other than these, standard toys work well, such as balls that they can chase, or even better a little interactive play, such as with a pocket keychain laser. This lets you spend a little playtime with your furry best friend and we’ll give you a little protip – cats LOVE when you keep a schedule.
If you set up playtime for every day when you get home from work or during the same ‘timeslot’ in the mornings when you’ve got a few minutes to kill, your cat will remember this and look forward to sharing that part of the day with you. It’s fun and good for everyone, so consider scheduling a little quality time.
Bonus tips about your Bengal’s diet
One of the perks of the Bengal hybrid breed is that their energy levels and all that extra muscle make obesity unlikely, though from time to time if they are always indoors your Bengal can get a little bored and sometimes start to pack on a few extra pounds.
Don’t panic – you can offset this by rotating in new toys and if your vet is recommending a diet, there are some easy ways to enforce this. One good option is an automatic pet feeder. These will distribute a preset, pre-calorie-counted serving of kitty food at the time that you select, and your cat will learn the schedule.
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This means that they will be less likely to ‘beg’, but rather make a beeline for the kitchen when they know the feeder is about to open. If you have more than one pet, there are also automatic feeders that come with a collar transponder, so that the bowl stays closed until that cat comes close to it.
If you’re a little worried that your cat is bored, a final tip is to consider their sleeping habits. Bengals average about 12 – 14 hours of sleep a day (evening sleep included). If your cat is sleeping more than usual, try adding more toys to give them something to do and this can stop the problem before it starts.
Some final words on Bengals and their growth rates
Today we’ve provided you with a little breed-specific information in regards to your Bengal cat and what to expect as your little one grows up. As you can see, their growth rate is fairly close to a standard housecat, though there are definitely some differences which we hope that we’ve illuminated a little today.
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Just remember that they need a few more calories each day than a standard housecat and that some Bengals will definitely be much bigger or smaller – as those wild genes can really do some interesting tricks from time to time.
Beyond this, check with the breeder if you purchased your kitty from one to see their parents and this should be the last piece of the puzzle for getting a fairly accurate idea of how big your Bengal will be. After that, however, it’s all up to Nature, so only time will truly tell!