Cats – why I love Bengals too

10 August, 2006


I am sitting here tap-tap-tapping away and my Bengal neuter girl, Maya, is sitting on my lap, purring away, sensuously flexing her throat so that I can scratch at those erogenous cat zones, and flexing her claws in ecstasy when I run my hand firmly down her muscular body.

I’ve just read what I’ve written and it reads like porn, cat porn, in this case.

But there’s something sexy and sensuous about a Bengal cat and I’m besotted. It could be her musculature, or her rippling haunches that sway as she walks, or her sleek brown-spotted velvet pelt, or just the way she loves it when I stroke her – she lives very much in the present, and is a total sybarite when it comes to cat pleasures of the flesh.

Maya2 She is the ultimate athlete. I play with her in the garden with a Da Bird cat toy (a wand with a feather attachment) and she spends more time in the air on the ground, throwing backward flips and sometimes double flips in a way that makes me catch my breath in case she lands on her head. If you want a cat who’s tough, game for anything and thick-skinned, then a Bengal is for you.Maya3

Maya is also highly-intelligent, and I hate to admit it, probably more intelligent than my Maine Coons.

I sometimes get the impression that she despises my Maine Coon girl for being so unassuming and gentle. Bengals don’t do unassuming. Humility isn’t in their genes. What Maya wants, she gets, whether by screaming at the top of her voice, or by bully tactics.

Maya4 I suspect what Maya wants is to be the only cat in the household. A good number of Bengals end up being rehomed because they are so territorial and don’t do well in multi-cat households.

Indeed, until just before the birth of the kittens, Maya gave my Maine Coon queen grief. She would tree Ananda, she would pounce on her, she would corner her and the fur would fly. The bullying got so bad I consulted Vicky Hall, cat behaviourist. The verdict was that Bengals, along with Siamese and Burmese are the top three offenders where being aggressive and defensive of their territory are concerned. I was on the verge of rehoming Maya.

Happily, the bullying stopped shortly before the birth of the kittens, so maybe my Maine Coon girl was giving off smells that drove the Bengal to psychotic behaviour.

I don’t think they’ll ever be friends, my Bengal and Maine Coon, but to date apart from one or two pounces, Maya pretends that the Maine Coon doesn’t really exist. That’s good enough for me. I think she’s feeling displaced by the kittens, so I try to spend time with her, just her and me.

(with thanks to Denise Laurent www.thepaintedcat.co.uk for these wonderful photos of Maya, taken in my garden last year.  Photos copyright Denise Laurent www.thepaintedcat.co.uk)


One comment

  1. I am typing away with 3 bengals curled up on top of me snoring away. Bengals can live in multicat households, but it takes a lot of time and patience as well as knowing your cat and being able to understand when they are stressed, when trying to create a safe loving, multicat household. Some cats may never integrate into a multicat household, bengals are not unique in this way, and can live with other cats provided they have enough space.

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