Bengal cats, unlike most domesticated felines, do like water. Bengals enjoy playing in the water, batting at running water, and some even enjoy a pleasant swim now and then.
Bengals, a type of purebred cat that descends from the Asian Leopard Cat, have behavioral quirks that make them stand out from the regular domestic shorthair. They are very vocal, energetic, and strangely enough, love water!
Read on to discover everything you need to know about Bengal cats and their aquatic adventures.
How Is a Bengal Cat Different From Other Cats?
Bengal cats are purebred, and their line descends from domestic cats that had been bred with Asian Leopard Cats. This is the reason for their wild appearance and unique behavior.
Bengal cats act wild because, in a way, they are wild! Bengals have a coat with rosettes like their wild ancestors that make them stand out from the crowd. They are usually golden with darker rosettes, but other color variations, like charcoal and seal point, have cropped up over the years as well.
Most domestic cats have lost their love of water, but not Bengals. Experienced Bengal owners have discovered that their Bengals are so fascinated with water that their food and water bowls must be kept far apart because the cats seem to love dropping individual food morsels into the water bowl to slap around.
Are Bengal Cats Afraid Of Water?
No! Bengal cats, for the most part, are not afraid of water. Instead, they are drawn to it.
There is a multitude of reasons most normal cats don’t like water. For starters, wet fur is just unpleasant and takes a long time to dry. Wet fur is also much heavier than dry fur, weighing the cat down when they prefer to be light and nimble.
But as most Bengal cat owners know, Bengals are anything but normal, and that includes their reactions to water. Instead of fear or avoidance, Bengal cats love water! Given the opportunity, they will play in it with no regard for how wet they may become.
Can Bengal Cats Swim?
Bengal cats can swim, and are quite good at it! Not all of them want to take a long swim and prefer just exploring the water in smaller doses.
Bengals are endlessly curious, and can often be found pawing and slapping at the water in the bowl or dipping their feet into the bath that their owner is trying to enjoy, but some Bengals draw the line at full-on submersion.
Some Bengals love to swim, whether it be in a backyard pool or a bathtub, while others would prefer to abstain, but all Bengals can swim if push comes to shove. Swimming isn’t difficult for them, but not all of them are fans.
Do Bengal Cats Need to be Bathed?
Bengal cats make enjoy a bath, but you don’t need to bathe your Bengal cat unless they get into something they can’t safely clean off of themselves.
Most cats don’t require regular baths from their humans, since cats, Bengals included, do a wonderful job at grooming and keeping themselves clean. If you Bengal is not one that enjoys baths, forcing unnecessary ones is just going to cause you and your kitty undue stress.
The exception to this rule is when your cat gets something on their fur that is either impossible or dangerous for your cat to groom off themselves. Examples would be adhesives, paints, or bug sprays. If your inquisitive feline has gotten into something unsafe, then you’re going to have to bathe them, whether they like it or not.
Can Bengal Cats Swim in Outdoor Water?
Bengals may want to be outdoor adventurers, but for the sake of their safety and the safety of your local wildlife, Bengals should only have outdoor excursions when chaperoned by their owners.
These felines are notoriously easy to train on a leash and harness, meaning they can be walked almost like a dog as long as their vaccinations are up to date. But what about outdoor lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water?
Although your Bengal may want to take a swim in outdoor bodies of water, between unknown currents, parasites, and predators, it just isn’t safe for Bengals to swim in natural water sources.
You also want to be cautious of letting your Bengal swim in pools since the chemicals commonly found in outdoor residential pools can irritate a Bengal’s sensitive skin and eyes. If you’re making an outdoor swimming area for your Bengal, forgo any harsh chemicals.
How Can I Safely Let My Bengal Play With Water?
There are numerous ways to let your Bengal cat enjoy their favorite water activities in a safe, controllable manner.
A few examples are:
- Bengals love to play with running water. Turn your kitchen faucet on and let your Bengal slap and play in the running water. Just observe them carefully so your sink doesn’t overflow!
- Run a shallow bath, around paw deep, for your Bengal to cavort in. You can even float some ping-pong balls in the water for your cat to bat around.
- If you have an enclosed porch or sunroom, you can fill up a baby pool a few inches and let your Bengal enjoy the sunshine and pool life all at once!
Bengal cats don’t just like water, most of them love it!
Unlike most domestic cats, Bengals are always curious about water and love to explore their boundaries with it. As long as your Bengal can enjoy their watery fun in safety, you can let them play away.