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Tabby Vs. Bengal: Are They Too Similar To Tell Apart?

Tabby Vs. Bengal: Are They Too Similar To Tell Apart?

Due to the similarity between their markings, many people mistake traditional Bengals with tabby cats. But how much do they differ? Which one is a better choice for you (and your family)? Tabby vs. Bengal: which one should you get?

Before we get into more details, it’s important to mention that tabby isn’t a separate breed. It’s just a coat pattern that many different breeds can have.

Now that we have cleared that up, we want to point out that people often confuse these two cats for obvious reasons. For first-time owners (or literally anyone who’s not a cat pro), these two felines look too similar. Their coat has almost identical markings and it’s hard to tell them apart.

Still, once you get to know them better, you’ll be able to point out the things that set them apart. And that’s why we’re here.

Whether you’re looking to adopt any of these cats or if you’re not really sure which one you already have at home, you can use this article as a guide to figuring out the difference between these two adorable felines.

Let’s start right away!

The main characteristics of a tabby cat

Tabby Vs. Bengal: Are They Too Similar To Tell Apart?

Your tabby cat can belong to several different breeds but we’ll go and guess that you want to find out more about that domestic tabby that’s always roaming somewhere around the neighborhood. These felines usually don’t belong to any specific breed since it’s tough to figure out their origin.

Now, let’s see what are some main characteristics and how you can recognize them easily.

Appearance of your domestic tabby

Tabby cats are usually smaller and rounder than Bengals. They usually weigh around 10 pounds and are 9 to 10 inches tall. Another thing to know is that their coat can be both shorter and longer, depending on their ancestry and they can come in way more colors than your Bengal cat.

Brown, cream, gray, and orange cats can all have tabby patterns all over their bodies. Their markings can take different shapes such as classic striped pattern, spotted pattern, mackerel pattern, ticked pattern, and patched pattern.

One important thing about tabby cats is that they have the “M” marking on their forehead. This is unique for all tabby cats, despite their origin.

The personality of a tabby kitty

Tabby cats are usually affectionate and friendly. They don’t mind people and from time to time, you’ll catch them sitting in your lap, asking for a cuddle.

These felines are intelligent and energetic so don’t be surprised if you catch your tabby cat running around your home like it’s her playground. They need to get rid of that accumulated energy, especially if they spend a lot of time inside the house.

If you have a garden, it would be best to cat-proof it and allow your feline to spend some time in it. This way, she’ll use all the excess energy without tearing your home apart.

We’re talking about a playful kind of feline who will need some kind of entertainment. Even the most simple toys like a feather wand will keep her occupied and provide her with the physical stimulation she needs.

Don’t think that you’ll get away with not providing your tabby with enough exercise. Even though she doesn’t belong to any particular breed, she still needs an outlet to let go of all that energy.

Grooming needs of a tabby feline

Even though all cats are pretty good at grooming themselves and keeping their fur in great shape, sometimes, they need your help. The same is true with your tabby cat.

Her fur isn’t hard to maintain but brushing her once a week should ensure she doesn’t form any mats. When it comes to bathing, it doesn’t need to become your regular practice unless you notice dirt on your kitty’s fur or if she smells funky.

This can happen if she has access to the garden as she’ll probably roll around in the dirt and touch different dirty things. So, if you notice that her coat isn’t in the best shape, you can give her a bath to ensure she stays clean and fresh.

You should also trim her nails 2 to 3 times a week, depending on how fast they grow. This way, you’ll prevent them from getting too sharp and you’ll also protect yourself and your furniture from scratches.

Every once in a while, check out the state of her ears and clean them as needed. You don’t want your cat to develop some kind of ear infection and we all know that felines are prone to these issues.

The main characteristics of a Bengal cat

Tabby Vs. Bengal: Are They Too Similar To Tell Apart?

Bengal cat is an actual breed that can be bought from a reputable breeder. Their price usually depends on their coat pattern but you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 all the way up to $5,000 if you’re looking for a black Bengal for example.

Now, technically speaking, Bengal cats have a tabby coat but the thing is that their fur doesn’t have any white markings. So even though Bengals can be tabbies, not all tabbies are Bengals.

We know that this may sound confusing but let’s get into more details so you can learn what this breed looks like.

Appearance of a Bengal kitty

Bengal cats have a lean and muscular body and they look like real athletic felines. They usually weigh around 8 to 15 pounds and they’re 13 to 16 inches tall.

Their coat is always short and dense which is the first way you can tell them apart from tabbies. Bengals can’t have long coats so if your kitty has fur like that then she probably doesn’t belong to this breed.

Your wild-looking Bengals also come in different colors such as silver, brown, black, snow, red, cinnamon, smoke, blue, or torbie. Their coat pattern can vary so don’t be surprised to see spots, rosettes, or even a marbled pattern all over their fur. Also, bear in mind that its distribution will be random so each side can have a different look.

Pay attention to their coat if you’re still struggling to see the difference between tabbies and Bengals. If it looks like leopard’s markings then you’re dealing with a Bengal kitty.

The personality of a Bengal cat

Even though they’re wild-looking cats who came into the world as a cross between an Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat, they’re surprisingly sweet and affectionate. However, this comes with a price since Bengals demand constant attention, no matter how tired you are.

These cats don’t take no for an answer and they will make sure you know that. How, you may ask. Well, they’re simply going to meow for as long as they need to get you to do something they want you to.

So, this is one vocal breed who doesn’t care about the fact that you live in a building or that you share a home with other people. She is going to get things her way, no matter how much meowing it takes.

This is also an active breed that’ll need a lot of activity to stay in good shape. Bengals love to climb up vertical spaces and if you don’t provide them with cat shelves or a cat tree, they will start climbing onto your furniture.

Since they’re intelligent cats, they will also need some kind of mental stimulation. So, different puzzle games can do the trick of keeping them happy and providing them with the necessary exercise.

Grooming your wild-looking Bengal

As you already know, Bengal cats have short fur so you won’t need to brush your feline as much as some other cats, such as Maine Coon. Once a week should be enough to keep her coat in great shape. This will also prevent them from forming and ingesting hairballs which can lead to some serious consequences.

Like tabby cats, Bengals need to take a bath only when they’re dirty from playing outside. In the meantime, they’re capable of keeping their fur nice and tidy.

Trim her nails and check her ears regularly and you should have one happy and healthy kitty sharing a home with you.

Tabby vs. Bengal: Which one to get?

Tabby Vs. Bengal: Are They Too Similar To Tell Apart?

Now, if you’re reading this article because you’re trying to figure out which feline is the right choice for you and your lifestyle, hopefully, you have enough information to make a decision.

It’s important to clarify what you expect from your cat. Are you looking for a cuddle monster or an athletic kitty? A tabby cat will occasionally agree to some cuddles but don’t expect to get that from a Bengal cat.

Also, do you mind living with a chatty Cathy or do you prefer a more quiet pet? A Bengal cat won’t care about the time of the day and she will keep on meowing as much as she wants. Tabby cats, on the other hand, aren’t as vocal and will provide you with more peace after a hard day at work.

However, both of these will need to waste their energy somewhere so get ready to do a lot of running and chasing around as you’re trying to save your favorite vase from breaking into a million pieces.

Maybe you can make a list of all the pros and cons and that way, see which cat will be a better fit for your household. Good luck!