Bengal cats are, in many ways, the small domesticated leopard. Besides, they do have leopard in their ancestry. In reflection of this, how big do these cats get? And what does this mean for ownership and care? Here is what you need to know regarding everything growth.
So, how big do Bengal cats get? Bengal cats typically reach between 13-16″ in height and weigh between 8-15 pounds, on average. Males are usually larger than females, carrying slightly more weight. Bengals are considered a medium to a large-sized cat that reaches its full-grown size between the ages of 1.5-2 years old.
It is undoubtedly the spotted coat that makes the Bengal stand out.
They sport leopard-like spots that vary between cats, with brown or black being most common.
Either way, this is a relatively new breed.
They were developed from cross-breeding experiments in the 1960s, where Asian leopard cats and domestic cats were mated to study their genetics.
It turned out to be a very rewarding venture.
And since they became a recognized breed by the TICA (The International Cat Association) in 1983, they have become popular household pets ever since.
Let us now take a closer look at all the different aspects of size regarding the Bengal.
We also look at their size in relation to other breeds and some considerations in terms of ownership.
So, if you are looking at this particular cat, be sure to keep reading.
It’s essential for their care and ownership.
How Big Are Bengal Cats Full Grown?
A fully grown Bengal cat will stand between 13-16 inches in height, weighing between 8-15 pounds. However, males are generally a little heavier. The average male Bengal will weigh between 10-15 pounds, whereas females are more likely to weigh 8-12 pounds, on average.
At the same time, while rare, it has been known for these cats to weigh up to 22 pounds.
And here is why.
It depends on the lineage of the cat.
It depends on the breeds used, and it also depends on the generation.
But more on that later.
Are Bengal Cats Bigger Than Normal Cats?
Bengal cats are not considered to be bigger than the average domesticated cats. However, they are on the larger side of domesticated breeds.
As such, they are not quite as large as a Maine Coone but are quite a lot larger than the Munchkin, for instance.
But, they are striking in appearance and do have a very particular frame and dimensions.
They possess muscular, solid bodies that are longer than they are wide.
They have a very streamlined appearance, with longer hind legs (compared to their front legs).
This gives them a strong yet elegant stride and an athletic appearance. It is no surprise that they are strong and agile.
In many ways, they possess the physical features distinctive to their wildcat heritage but carry the domestic cat’s loving, dependable temperament domestic cat.
Factors That Influence Bengal Cat Full Size
Bengal cats can vary in size. This is primarily due to the different breeds of cats that can be used in mating. But, it can also be due to the state of health and how they are cared for.
Let us now take a closer look at each one.
Nevertheless, the Asian leopard cat will always be used in breeding.
And this is not a large cat, weighing between 10-15 pounds.
From there, 5 different breeds are commonly used to give us the Bengal as we know it.
|Breed||Average Size (Pounds)|
|British Shorthair||11-18 lbs|
|Egyptian Mau||7-11 lbs|
So as you can see, a Bengal that is bred from Abyssinian is likely to be smaller than a British Shorthair.
Nevertheless, when we consider the range of size from the breeds above, it is unlikely that a Bengal will vary much from the 8-15 pound range. And thus, it makes the average.
Outside of just lineage, the other main factor that can impact final size and development is their state of health and any inherited conditions.
A healthy Bengal raised appropriately should have no issues gaining the weight they need.
However, there is always the possibility that they inherit a condition known as PK deficiency (a type of anemia).
This can cause a cat to be lethargic and have a low appetite.
Of course, a cat not consuming enough high-quality nutrition for too long or during key phases of development will not be able to reach its full-size potential.
Equally, other infectious diseases can have an impact on energy balance, too – causing diarrhea and other energy retention issues.
The primary condition to be aware of in this breed here is FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) – this causes a loss of appetite and subsequently weight loss if not detected and treated.
While these conditions will not be inherited in every breed of Bengal, its important to be aware of them.
Particularly before you adopt a cat from a breeder.
This is why it is so essential to purchase a cat from a reputable breeder, who screens their cats for these kinds of conditions and can confirm they are not present within the lineage.
Lastly, how a Bengal is taken care of and raised can impact their size.
These are highly energetic cats, after all.
And through being energetic means that they typically burn through a lot of energy.
Which must be replaced, with adequate nutrition, through the diet.
Failing to do so can result in an underweight cat and one that cannot put on its full-mass potential.
Simultaneously, these athletic cats must consume enough protein to support this activity and the healthy growth and development of muscles.
Of course, overfeeding can become an issue too. Or by feeding the wrong types of foods altogether. This can result in a Bengal larger than they need to be.
This will result in other issues too.
So, keeping this cat at a healthy weight is vital.
How much, what, and when to feed will vary depending on their age and activity.
Checking the manufacturer’s instructions and packaging on foods along with liaising with a vet is strongly advised.
At What Age Are Bengal Cats Fully Grown?
Bengal cats will typically reach their full height and weight between one-and-a-half to two years of age.
The larger cats of the breed tend to take up to two years, sometimes longer, and the smaller cats may reach their physical maturity a little sooner.
Either way, Bengal kittens will go through a very specific course of development and progression.
Here is what this generally looks like:
- Newborn – completely dependable on their mothers. Their eyes are closed; they cannot stand nor keep warm by themselves.
- 1 Week – By the end of week 1 they will begin to open their eyes,
- 2 Weeks – By the end of week 2 a Bengal will start to take its first steps
- 3 Weeks – Will transition over to wet food and start using their litter box
- 4 Weeks – More confident on their feet, keen to play with other kittens, people, and toys.
From weeks 5-10, a Bengal will develop socially and exuberate a lot of energy. This is a crucial time for social development.
By seven weeks, they are fully weaned, 8 weeks, they are around 2 pounds in weight.
At week 9 they are eating solid food, and in week 10, they are ready for adoption.
From there, they will grow slowly and transition over to the care of their family.
And at 5 months old, they will go through sexual maturity.
Bengal Cat Size Considerations For Owners
Bengal cats are medium to large in size, and with an abundance of energy, an owner must consider the realities of owning a larger pet that is equally a handful.
As such, this particular cat needs a lot of interaction.
While this can be an enjoyable part of ownership, it does require owners who are willing and able to engage in play routinely.
Fetch and chase are particularly enjoyed by this breed, so a home with sufficient space to facilitate these kinds of games is ideal.
And failing to keep them busy will come with its consequences.
A bored Bengal can become destructive or act out.
Scratching furniture or even meowing a lot more than normal has been observed in the breed.
So, it’s vital to invest in a range of different toys, ones that can keep them sufficiently mentally stimulated even while you are away.
Puzzle and interactive toys are best here.
But it can be as simple as leaving a ping-pong ball for your cat to play with.
Homemade toys are known to work well too. And you can do this with paper bags or cardboard boxes.
And back to your home; it’s essential that you can provide vertical space.
These cats love to climb and should be able to do so routinely.
If your home does not have bookshelves or heights for them to explore (such as window ledge), you will need to invest in some climbing trees, frames, and taller scratching posts.
This will keep a Bengal occupied, active, and satisfied.
One other potential consideration for the Bengal is keeping them indoors.
There are various reasons why you might want to do this; keeping them safe from injury, diseases from parasites, or from even being stolen.
They are a unique and expensive breed, after all.
Plus, with a high prey drive, you’ll be protecting the local natural wildlife too!
Bengal cats are relatively large, at least in comparison to some other domestic cat breeds.
But when we say large, we are merely referencing their proportions and frame. They possess long torsos and longer back legs – giving them an elongated appearance.
In terms of weight, they are typically very sleek and slender.
They are very athletic – to the point where they can even look underweight.
And this can be exacerbated by inherited health conditions that can adversely contribute to their full-size potential.
So, if you are serious about getting yourself a mini-leopard – it is vital you seek out reputable breeders.
A Bengal will cost you, but this is not really negotiable.
At least if you want a healthy cat that has been bred and raised properly.
And just consider the breeds of cat that Bengals can come from.
One breeder’s Bengal kittens can be quite different from the next.
Are you wondering how big other cat breeds get? Then my following size guide may be of interest:
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.