Do Bengal cats like to cuddle? You’ve probably asked yourself this question many times if you ever considered getting a Bengal cat. Which is nothing unusual – many people adore them.
Once you lay your eyes on this leopard beauty, it’s hard to stop thinking about her. And even harder not to consider becoming a parent of one.
But you’ve heard somewhere that they’re not very cuddly, which is a bummer because every cat parent dreams about endless cuddles with their fluffball.
It’s not that Bengals dislike cuddle sessions and refuse to ever cuddle with their owners. It’s just that they prefer cuddling on their own terms.
So, the answer to whether Bengal cats like to cuddle is not entirely yes or entirely no.
To understand what I’m trying to say, continue reading. I’m going to give you all the answers you need so you can determine if a Bengal cat is the right cat for you.
What are Bengal cats actually like?
First, we have to see what the Bengals’ personality is really like.
An average Bengal is a muscular cat with a wild appearance and a luxurious, marble-like, and spotted coat. This is a highly active and curious breed, often described as having a dog-like personality.
Bengal cats are extremely energetic. They enjoy playing, and even the simplest things amaze them, such as dripping water. With such a playful nature, Bengals are most suited for experienced cat owners and not those looking for a lazy couch potato.
Due to being the most intelligent cat breed, Bengal cats are extremely easy to train and their ability to learn new tricks is outstanding. Although it’s sometimes hard to keep up with their high energy levels, they are truly entertaining cats to be around. Especially if your energies match.
But, if you’re the type of person who likes to spend their free time relaxing on the couch and binge-watching Netflix, and you’re looking for a cat to join you, a Bengal is unfortunately not for you.
This cat breed requires regular training sessions and playtime, and will not agree to laziness. If their owners don’t play with them regularly, Bengals might find a way to entertain themselves on their own.
That’s why it’s also not recommended to keep smaller animals, like fish, for example, since a Bengal beast might take the game of hunting a little too far.
Generally speaking, though, these cats are very friendly and affectionate, as long as they are properly socialized from an early age.
Bengal cats and their relationship with humans
Many people believe that Bengal cats are not very people-loving. But that’s wrong! This breed can be extremely affectionate towards people, especially their main family members.
Bengals are very loyal and enjoy human company at all times. They can be a little too demanding since they require a lot of training and, therefore a lot of attention. And if they don’t receive it, they usually do something mischievous, like jumping on the table or knocking things down.
But nevertheless, they are an amazing breed to have around.
The interesting thing is that Bengal cats are also great with kids. That might be because they share similar traits – high levels of energy and the desire to explore the world.
The reason why many people think Bengals are not that good with humans is that they don’t show affection as other cats do. They are more subtle when showing love and would not spend their day curled up in their human’s lap.
Bengal cats aren’t famous for their love of cuddling. But they would adore their owners if they agree to be playmates for several hours.
Bengal cats with other animals
When it comes to their relationship with other animals, Bengal cats will easily adapt to them as well.
They can be extremely friendly with other cats, and they particularly enjoy the company of another Bengal. And they can be equally friendly with dogs, no matter the breed or the size.
However, as mentioned above, Bengals might not be on good terms with smaller animals. Households that have pets like hamsters, fish, or birds will probably have trouble keeping their Bengal cat from playing with the smaller fellas (and eventually eating them).
Bengal cats are also known to be highly territorial and rather bossy, so they might end up fighting with animals that share similar traits.
So, do Bengal cats like to cuddle?
After we have established what kind of cat a Bengal actually is, now it’s time to finally answer the long-anticipated question. Do Bengal cats like to cuddle or not?
These feline beauties are usually wrongly accused of being aggressive. And although that can be true in some instances, like when afraid or when protecting themselves, these cats are actual sweethearts.
The reason they have such a bad reputation is their wild-like appearance. People often think that since the Bengals look aggressive, they might as well be aggressive. But looks can be misleading. They are lovely and sweet, and no more hostile than other cat breeds.
But, do Bengal cats like to cuddle?
Well, yes. And no. The thing is, Bengals are not your average cuddly fluffballs. They are definitely on the less cuddly side of the cat coin, and they require affection on their own terms.
They enjoy being the center of everyone’s attention. But that’s more like, “Hey, look at me! Look how high I can jump! Look how fast I can bring you that ball!” kind of attention, rather than, “Hey, pet me and cuddle me for three hours straight while I purr my way into your heart.”
This doesn’t mean that Bengal cats don’t enjoy cuddling at all or that they don’t love their owners enough. It’s just that they prefer other ways of spending time with their humans. In a way, their owners have to earn their cuddles.
If they are satisfied with the amount of activity they’ve received, they will probably look for their owner to cuddle with for some time. And when you think about it, there’s something special about having a cat that will occasionally ask you for cuddles than having a permanent lap resident.
Do Bengals like it when people hold them?
Alongside wondering whether Bengal cats like to cuddle, many also wonder if they like to be held.
As said before, Bengals are an active and curious breed that is always on the move. They are only peaceful and still when they are napping. Otherwise, they are either climbing, jumping, or playing with something.
Therefore, it might be hard for their owner to get a hold of them. And even if they do, they probably won’t enjoy it since they dislike having their movement restricted.
They are not very comfortable when their owner holds them since not moving is their worst nightmare. I’d hazard to say they’d prefer being thrown into the sky over being held in one’s arms!
Do Bengals like to sit on your lap?
We have already insinuated that Bengal cats don’t like sitting on one’s lap. They’re just not regular lap furballs, and that’s it.
Bengals are not very docile and a lap is not their desired destination. Although they might land on their owner’s lap from time to time, this is not a usual occurrence.
Maybe they could be taught as kittens to love sitting in one’s lap, but their playful and energetic nature will never let that become a habit. These curious felines will surely climb up to their owner’s lap, but they will probably not stop there and continue climbing on their shoulders until they finally reach their head.
Will Bengals be willing to sleep next to you?
Believe it or not, Bengal cats actually love to sleep next to their owners. Some Bengal owners reported that their little beasts prefer having their own pillow or blanket and that they especially enjoy soft, faux fur material.
So, it appears that the only time Bengal cats love to cuddle is when they are sleeping right next to you.
However, some don’t like to sleep on the bed because they prefer higher spaces to nap. In that case, some owners install wall cat beds in their bedrooms so that they can be roomies with their little feline buddies.
Either way, they make an excellent sleepover companion. But, as with any other cat, the Bengals’ sleep schedule is somewhat different from humans. They tend to wake up early with their energy as high as ever. So, they usually bother their owners, demanding some playtime at ridiculous hours!
How to make Bengal cats love to cuddle more
Right off the bat, if you’re considering getting a Bengal cat, and you’re thinking, “Pff! Easy peasy! I will force her to love cuddles!” you can abandon that idea right away.
It’s hard to make cats love and enjoy something they naturally don’t. And forcing a Bengal into becoming a lap cuddler is basically mission impossible. Their high energy and hunting drive are too strong to overcome with hugs.
However, there are a few things you can do to make your Bengal love to cuddle more. There’s a way to teach her positive emotions she can associate with cuddling, so she can willingly decide to cuddle with you.
The secret is you have to make sure your Bengal uses up as much of her energy as possible. Be sure to play with her and take her for a walk. Bear in mind this might take a while since she naturally is so full of energy that it’s hard to find the bottom of the well.
You can use teaser wands or play throw-and-catch games with her. You can even get a laser pointer which she’ll be sure to love. This will not only make your cat tired (eventually!) and prepare her for a cuddle session, but it will also strengthen the bond between you two.
After she’s somewhat tired, and you notice she’s slowing down a bit, you can call her to join you on the couch. Or, if she’s permitted to sleep in the same bed as you, use this opportunity for a purrfect bedtime cuddle session.
But whatever you do, don’t force your future Bengal to love cuddles. She will do so under her own terms, you just have to abide by her needs.