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How large does a mighty Bengal cat get? Bengal cats are a highly sought-after exotic-looking feline. These cats are quite memorable because they look like miniature tigers. The exquisite Bengal carries an elegant yet wildcat-like air. They also have an incredibly unique history, making them alluring pets. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about this exotic kitty. People also often have many questions, including how big a Bengal cat will get and how hard they are to care for.
Bengals are genuine hybrid animals. They are a mix of two different feline species, the Wild Asian Leopard cat and a domestic housecat. The first Bengal cats in the United States were created by a pediatric doctor and leukemia researcher named Dr. Willard Centerwall in the 1970s. He bred these kittens in a lab at Loma Linda University to study possible immunity to feline leukemia. Once his research was done, he gave the kittens to a breeder in California, who went on to create what we know as today’s domestic Bengal. They are also referred to as pet or toy leopards. These hybrid kitties can be quite a handful and are not a smart choice for first-time owners. They require dedicated, experienced, purr parents who can handle a cat as exquisite as this. A lot goes into raising one of these toy leopards, and prospective owners will have many questions.
Even among the same breed, all cats are individuals and will grow to the specific size and weight that is perfect for them. There are, however, some typical milestones and growth guidelines that owners can look out for. This quick guide will cover the Bengal cat’s growth from kitten to adulthood. We offer a quick breakdown of month-to-month growth expectations for the first year. We will also discuss what to expect from an adult cat and answer some frequently asked questions about the Bengal cat size. Jump in and learn more about these fantastic felines in this Bengal cat size chart and growth guide.
Bengal Cat Average Size: What To Expect
Prospective Bengal cat owners want to know what to expect when bringing home a new kitten. Though this breed is considered an adult when they reach a year old, they do not stop growing until they are closer to two years old. In rare cases, some can even grow beyond, up until they reach three years old. Though they are not the largest breed out there, some pet leopards can get close to 20 pounds. These cats have a broad range, between 8 and 20 pounds fully grown. Males will be slightly larger than females.
Remember, those earlier generations of Bengal cats are closer to true hybrids and have wilder animal-like instincts. These cats are not suitable to be kept as pets. Generation F1 through F4 Are not suitable for domestic pets. Generation F5 and beyond are the cats that are better suited to be household pets. In many cases, the more hybrid generations are under strict regulation.
The cats that are closer to the hybrids will be more giant, more wild-like in appearance, and have a more feral-like nature. They will likely not be approachable and will not be friendly. It is improbable that one would encounter one of these cats being kept as a pet. If you have had the privilege of meeting a pet leopard cat in person, they were likely generation F5, F6, or beyond.
Expect your Bengal cat to develop along the same general timeline as any other breed, though they can take longer to mature and will grow past their first birthday. Several distinct factors, including genetics, care, nutrition, and exercise, will affect a cat’s size. Every cat will develop to a size that is right for them, so although size charts and growth guidelines like this one are helpful tools, they are not exact measures or precise predictions of how large any specific cat will grow.
Like other breeds, these cats will start out relatively small and gain weight rapidly around four or five weeks of age. These cats are also known for being extremely intelligent, so as they start to mature physically, they will also begin to make mental gains. This breed can quickly outsmart their owners, something any potential purr parent should be well aware of.
How Big Do Bengal Cats Get?
Bengal kitties are more known for their exquisite and exotic appearance than for having exceptionally generous sizes. They can weigh anywhere from 8 to 20 pounds on average when fully grown. 20 pounds is more on the larger end of things. Males will be larger than females, between 12 and 16 pounds. These felines generally weigh between 12 and 15 pounds. They will measure between 16 and 22 inches long on average, a measurement that does not include their tails.
On average, they stand between 13 and 16 inches tall at the shoulder. Keep in mind that these are simply averages. Some kitties will be longer and taller. These cats also grow until they reach about two years old, so even when they hit their first birthday, they will not yet have reached their full growth potential. These cats hang on to a kitten-like playful attitude well beyond their first year.
Another important thing to note about this breed is that along with somewhat longer bodies, these kitties’ tails are also a little longer than the average cat’s tail. These kiddo’s tails can measure between 10 and 14 inches long. The average cat’s tail measures between 9 and 11 inches long.
Average Bengal Cat Size
|15 – 20 pounds
|8 – 16 pounds
|13 – 18 inches
|13 – 16 inches
|16 – 22 inches
|16 – 22 inches
|10 – 14 inches
|10 – 14 inches
Kitten Growth Timeline
Below we will walk you through typical growth milestones and expectations for each month of a Bengal kitten’s first year. Remember that this information is to be used as a guideline, not an exact measurement or prediction of your cat’s size. They will have sudden increases in weight and size, followed by periods where they do not seem to grow much. If you are concerned about your kitten’s growth rate, it is essential to contact your veterinarian.
0 – 2 Weeks
As newborn kittens, Bengals are incredibly tiny. They weigh just a few ounces at birth. Kittens are born completely blind and deaf, whose ears and eyes are still sealed shut. They will not do much at this stage except nuzzle next to mom and drink milk.
Around four weeks of age, eyes, and ears will open, and kittens start to notice the world around them. They will continue to rely solely on their mother for their nutrition. At this stage, kittens will eat only mom’s milk and nurse as much as they want. By the end of the first month, kittens have discovered that they have feet and will start to take some reasonably shaky first steps. They will continue to weigh under one pound.
Between one and two months of age, you will start to see more noticeable weight gain. When your pet leopard reaches 8 weeks of age, he will weigh between 2 and 4 pounds. Baby teeth will have started to grow. Kittens will have more control of their limbs and want to investigate the world around them. They will still stick close to mom. You can start introducing some kitten food between one and two months. Weaning has begun, so kitties need to learn to like kitten chow. You can soak it in water or add water to wet food as kittens make the transition from mom’s milk to solid food. You should set up a litter box and encourage your kitten to use it.
Kittens are much sturdier by three months. They should be eating kitten food easily now and should be fully weaned. Kittens can go to their forever homes now and should have a first visit to the veterinarian to start on kitten vaccinations. Both males and females will weigh between 4 and 5 pounds at this time. Over the next few months, you will see more significant growth, and your kitten must receive top-quality nutrition. They will expend a lot of energy growing, so feed them several small meals daily to keep them replenished and not overwork their immature digestive systems.
4-month-old kittens are very sturdy and curious. Baby teeth have started falling out, and those sturdier adult teeth are growing. You may want to provide extra scratching posts and teething toys, as your kitten may experience some discomfort. Weight gain should continue and even increase. At this time, kittens weigh between 5 and 7 pounds. One thing to point out is that most veterinarians will recommend spaying or neutering your Bengal kitten between four and six months old. This may seem early for some, but for this breed, it helps prevent sexually fueled behaviors that can start even as young as four months old.
At five months old, your Bengal kitten is a ball of energy. These kitties are extremely intelligent. The little guys will get into everything. Make sure you have kitten-proof your home and close off even the tiniest opening if you do not want a kitty sneaking in somewhere. They are clever, agile, and can easily find their way into and out of things. Pet leopards will continue to put on weight every month. Right now, they will weigh between 7 and 9 pounds. Females can weigh as little as 4 or 5 pounds, while males may be closer to 8 or 9.
A Bengal kitten can weigh between 6 and 12 pounds by six months. Males are larger and will weigh about 10 to 12 pounds. Females are a little smaller, weighing between 8 and 10. Remember, there is a broad range of sizes for this hybrid breed. As adults, they can weigh anywhere between 8 and 20 pounds. If you have not yet discussed the spay and neuter procedure with your veterinarian, it is time to do so. You do not want to wait too long with this breed.
Your seven-month-old purr baby may get confused for an adult kitty. They are larger than many domestic breeds, though females are smaller. Males are larger and will weigh between 12 and 14 pounds. Females are a little smaller, weighing around 8 and 10. Kittens will be very playful, active, and intelligent. This breed will need a lot of physical play and mental stimulation. They are incredibly smart and can get bored very quickly. A clever, bored feline becomes very destructive very quickly. Even though your kitten grows more significant and may act more adult-like, he should still be on kitten-formulated food. If you have not been cleaning your kitten’s teeth, and clipping his nails, make sure to start doing so now. Work these into your regular grooming sessions.
Your 8-month-old kitten is well established in his ways. He will be closer to his adult size now, though still quite playful and energetic. You may need to set and reinforce firm boundaries. Highly intelligent felines like this breed often try to test their limits. Though your kitty may look and act like an adult, he is still very much a kitten. Bengals of this age weigh between 8 and 13 pounds. Females are usually around 10 and 11 pounds, and males weigh 14 to 15 pounds.
A 9-month-old Bengal will be a sizable, very athletic, significant presence in your home. They are likely at least as large, if not larger, than most other felines in the house, especially if your kitty is male. Males will be about 15 pounds, females around 12. They continue to put on moderate amounts of weight, but growth will not be as noticeable now. Your kitten should still be on kitten-formulated food. It is not quite yet time to switch him to an adult chow.
By ten months, your Bengal is a generous size. It is time to think about the transition to adult food. Start by adding just a little at a time to your kitten chow. Pet leopards of this age weigh about 15 pounds, and females are around 13 to 14, while males can be 15 to 16 pounds or more.
Around 11 months, you will start to notice your purr baby settling down. While he will still have a lot of playful kitten energy, he may begin to behave more like an adult kitty. Bengals are known to be playful throughout their adult lives, so they still want plenty of interactive time with you. Males will weigh about 16 to 17 pounds. Some may weigh a little more, some a little less. Females will likely be somewhat smaller at this point, around 14 or 15 pounds.
It is time to break out the party hats and celebrate. Your Bengal baby is one year old. Though he is considered an adult now, he still has a lot of growing up to do. Remember that this breed will continue to mature and fill out physically for the next one to two years. Males can weigh 18 to 20 pounds. However, some may be smaller, around 16 pounds. Females are smaller and can weigh anywhere from 8 to 16 pounds. You can make the switch if your kitty is not eating adult food yet. Make sure to do this gradually to avoid any stomach upset.
What Happens Next?
By the end of his first year, your kitty will be an independent, large-bodied, strong, quite exquisite-looking feline. Over the next two years, his body will slowly continue to fill out with weight. There will not be any significant shifts in growth, though. The size of your kitty is currently close to his total adult growth. Mentally he will continue to mature, learning increasingly about the world around him. You will notice that your exuberantly playful kitten has morphed into an agreeable feline companion.
Adult Bengal Cats
Your Bengal is considered an adult and no longer a kitten at one year old. Usually, around 18 months to two years, these kitties will have reached full physical and mental maturity. Keep in mind that this is an estimated range. Some may reach their full size around 10 months old, while others may take longer until they are around 18 months old. This depends on their sex, genetic history, health, nutrition, and lifestyle.
Adult Bengals are high-need felines. These kitties like to have a lot of attention. They can suffer from separation anxiety if left home alone for too long. Because they are so intelligent, they need a constantly changing variety of mental and physical stimulation, like toys, to keep them going. They can become quite destructive if bored, lonely, or left out.
Adult Bengals need adult-formulated food. They should also have regular visits to the vet. Most felines go to the vet, on average, twice a year. Your purr baby may need to go more often, depending on their individual needs. It is essential to develop a trusting relationship with your veterinarian. The two of you are a team dedicated to keeping your pet healthy and happy for as long as possible. Preventative care is critical, where owners and veterinarians can talk about behavior and health issues and identify and treat health conditions before they become serious.
Bengal Cat Growth Chart
|0 – 2 Weeks
|Under 10 ounces
|Under 10 ounces
|Under 1 pound
|Under 1 pound
|2 – 4 pounds
|2 – 4 pounds
|4 – 5 pounds
|4 – 5 pounds
|5 – 7 pounds
|5 – 6 pounds
|8 – 9 pounds
|6 -7 pounds
|10 – 12 pounds
|7 – 8 pounds
|12 – 14 pounds
|9 – 10 pounds
|14 -15 pounds
|10 -11 pounds
|15 – 16 pounds
|11 – 12 pounds
|15 – 16 pounds
|13 – 14 pounds
|16 -17 pounds
|14 -15 pounds
|18 – 20 pounds
|14 -16 pounds
|18 Months – 2 Years
|18 – 20 pounds
|14 -16 pounds
Factors To Consider
The Bengal is known to be a medium to a generous-sized feline. However, it is crucial to keep in mind as this information is a guideline and not intended to be substituted as advice or consultation with a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. It is relatively rare that a Bengal would grow to 20 pounds. How large each kitty will grow depends on several distinct factors. These include genetics, health, nutrition, activity level, and care.
Genetics is an incredibly significant factor in determining a cat’s physical size and appearance. Bengal cats range from medium to large size. This is a breed that tends to reach 12 to 15 or so pounds on average. Some can get larger, while others will be smaller. This will all depend on the unique blend of genetics they inherit from both parents. It will also depend on the specific breed of each of their parents. Mixed-breed felines tend to be larger than their purebred counterparts.
Overall health is another principal factor that impacts a cat’s size. Health is directly connected to nutrition. Felines who are overweight are at higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and other complications from feline obesity. Obesity also impacts their lifespan. It is extremely easy to overfeed a cat, especially a growing kitten. Breeds like the Bengal, which are known to get a little larger, also love to eat, and it can be pretty easy for owners to overfeed them. Though this breed is not pre-dispositioned to any health conditions that impact their size, their overall health does affect development. Felines who are unhealthy or suffering from an underlying disease may not be as active, grow as quickly, or grow as large.
The quality of a cat’s nutrition and how much they get to eat directly impact how large they will get. Kitties that do not have proper nutrition or are not getting enough to eat may not grow as large. Stunted growth is a big concern, especially with cats that have been abandoned or adopted from shelters. Conversely, felines who are fed too much food, food that is not high enough in the right kinds of protein or fats, may reach their full size too quickly, leading to the development of other issues like weak bones and overworked joints.
Felines should always be fed food that is age appropriate. Avoid foods that use many fillers, artificial colors, flavors, or chemical additives. Be careful about feeding felines human foods. Look for pet foods that use high-quality animal proteins, and list those as the first ingredient in the food. If you are concerned that your cat’s nutrition is affecting his growth and development, or you have other concerns about your pet not reaching his full size, it is best to discuss this with your veterinarian. You can work closely with them and a pet nutritionist to ensure your kitty gets everything he needs from his food.
Activity Level & Care
Though cats must sleep several hours daily, they must have regular physical activity to stay healthy. Breeds like Bengals with high prey drives and high intelligence levels especially need interactive, physical play that allows them to exert excess energy. They need more than one short play session with owners. Owners should expect to play with their cats regularly throughout the day. You can also provide things like cat exercise wheels, steps built into the wall, and hanging beds to give them places to climb and perch safely.
A cat’s environment and home living situation also impact how large they can grow. Kitties who feel comfortable and safe and have all their needs met will grow to their full physical potential. Kitties who are dealing with stress, fighting for food, or dealing with underlying diseases may not grow as large due to these environmental conditions. Always try to provide your cat with a calm and clean environment. Keep the litter box clean and fresh. Yes, this means you will need to clean it every day. You can also use air purifiers to keep things fresh and clean, especially around the litter box area.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big are Bengal cats?
Bengals can reach from 8 to 20 pounds when fully grown. Some big boys may even get up to about 22 pounds. Most will reach anywhere from 12 to 16 pounds. Males are usually larger than females. They often stand between 13 and 16 inches, sometimes even 18 inches tall. Some have grown to be a little larger, and some will be smaller, based on breed and genetics.
Do Bengal cats get bigger than normal cats?
Yes, some can get larger than the average house cat. That being said, plenty of Bengals reach 8 to 12 pounds, the average size of a domestic house cat. How large any specific kitty will get depends on breed, parent’s sizes, care, and lifestyle.
Are Bengals indoor cats?
Yes, these are indoor pets. Though they have highly active natural hunting instincts and love to explore outside, Bengals should only be kept as indoor cats if possible. Because of their high prey drive, they can threaten natural neighborhood wildlife and be disruptive when left alone outdoors. Because they are so bright, love to climb, and are good at hunting and escaping, if you take one of these kitties outside, it is best to do so on a leash. Alternatively, owners can set up a cat patio, an enclosed outdoor space where kitties can roam freely without any risk of escape.
Are Bengals smaller than normal cats?
No, the opposite is true. Bengals are usually a little larger than domestic kitties. They are built somewhat differently, with very muscular bodies. Their large, pointed ears, long tails, and long muscular hind legs give them a unique look. These kitties also have large paws, which provides them with the appearance of being larger. A Bengal cat head is a broad, wedge shape with high cheekbones. They are often described as having heads that appear smaller or too small in proportion to their bodies.
The Bengal cat is an incredibly unique breed. These kitties are one of the few genuine hybrid animals to exist. Anyone lucky enough to own one is in for a treat. These felines can be a handful but are unforgettable. Bengals look slightly different from regular house cats and tend to be larger. Males are usually bigger than females. On average, kitties of this breed will weigh between 8 and 20 or so pounds.
Remember that the Bengal cat is a handful and has an extremely high need for attention. Because of their hybrid roots, there are several rules and regulations in place regarding this breed, so check into those in your area before bringing one home. Hopefully, our breakdown of kitten growth milestones and Bengal cat size chart has helped you better understand how big this breed actually gets.