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Do Bengal Cats Like to Cuddle? Vet-Reviewed Breed Preferences Explanation

Written by: Luxifa Le

Last Updated on April 25, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Bengal Cat

Do Bengal Cats Like to Cuddle? Vet-Reviewed Breed Preferences Explanation


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Here at Catster, we take our cat cuddles very seriously, and if you want a cat who will cuddle you all day, we can help you find one! After all, who wants to settle down after a long day at work only to be ignored? Luckily Bengals tend to be pretty cuddly, with a catch: you have to be able to keep up with their high energy throughout the day.

Keeping up with your Bengal’s energy needs is easier said than done. If you aren’t careful about keeping your Bengal occupied, you’ll have a cat bouncing off the walls at all hours of the night.


If you are considering adopting a Bengal, ensure that it is legal to do so where you stay!


How Cuddly Are Bengal Cats Compared to Other Cats?

Anecdotally, some Bengals like to cuddle, but their energetic nature prevents them from sitting still for long. While they need a lot of attention, they are hyper and don’t like to cuddle as long as other affectionate breeds. They would rather play with you than cuddle for hours.

That doesn’t mean they’ll never come after you for a cuddle, but it will be more rewarding since Bengals spend most of their time running, jumping, and climbing. They’re affectionate cats and prefer to be close to their owners all day, but they’re not interested in curling up in your lap as much as hyper-cuddlers like the Ragdoll.

It doesn’t mean your Bengal loves you less than the other cats; they just show their love differently. And of course, it’s always important to keep in mind that cats do have individual personalities; though the breed is relatively energetic and enjoys play, you might find an individual that enjoys your company and cuddles with you frequently.

bengal cat licking each other
Image Credit: Ilona Koeleman, Shutterstock

Do Bengal Cats Get Attached to Their Owners?

Bengal cats may be playful more than cuddly, but they develop a strong bond with their owners. Bengals are very affectionate and become very attached to their families. According to an owner perception study 1, Bengals have a relatively high rate of separation anxiety when compared to other cats. The study also found that many owners felt as if their Bengals displayed signs of jealousy when it concerned their favorite people.

If your Bengal feels ignored, left out, or like you’re giving another person or pet more attention than they get, they might begin to act out for attention. This can be frustrating for cat parents who have to clean up after their Bengal cat’s tantrums. However, the behavior is generally pretty easy to handle by giving your Bengal extra attention before or after a visit from a new person. Plus it helps to keep in mind that the study was based on owner perceptions of their pets – your perceptions might differ from those of the people who were involved in the study!

How to Encourage Your Bengal to Cuddle

You probably won’t be able to turn your Bengal into a lap cat – but it probably wouldn’t help to try. They have high energy, and their prey drives are too high to coincide with a life of lazing around. However, you can train them to perform tricks, and you may be able to encourage them to cuddle with you when they’re ready. There is a catch though – keep in mind that a cuddly cat will need fewer calories than an active one. You might find yourself with an overweight or obese pet if you get them to cuddle without factoring in their dietary change!

  • Getting your Bengal to cuddle with you starts by speaking their language first. They’re more likely to settle down after a spirited play session, but be warned, it could take a while! Bengals have an energy level that mirrors modern-day wild cats, and they can play games much longer than most breeds.
  • You can exercise your pet with a teaser wand or play fetch with a stuffed mouse. Anecdotally, Bengals love it when their owners participate in their games, and they prefer activities that allow them to run and pounce. Not only does this prepare your Bengal for relaxation and cuddles, but it also helps you bond with them on their terms instead of yours. Relationships should be based on a give-and-take system, even with animals. So, if you want your Bengal to humor you and cuddle for a while, be ready to play with them because that’s the trade-off!
  • Once you see your Bengal getting tired, it’s time to invite them up onto your sofa for snuggles. It’s unlikely that most Bengals will become true lap cats. It’s most likely going to be a trade-off of playtime and cuddling.
  • If your Bengal gets another burst of energy or the dreaded zoomies while cuddling, let them get the energy out before inviting them back for more cuddles. This will ensure that they’re as comfortable as can be while cuddling and help them build positive experiences with snuggling.
  • Additionally, if your Bengal is allowed to sleep in bed with you, it is the prime time for snuggling. Bengals will most likely want to snuggle when it’s time to sleep, especially when everyone in the house is going to bed. This is especially true if you exercise your Bengal enough during the day. Your Bengal might be all tuckered out and ready for a cuddle session by the end of the day. But keep in mind that cats are naturally often more active at night; your pet may cuddle for a while and then scamper off in the middle of the night to continue playing.

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What Cats Are More Affectionate Than Bengals?

Since some people find that Bengals are on the lower end of the cuddliness scale, you might be keen on a breed that’s perhaps better known for cuddling. Here are the lap cats known for their cuddly and affectionate natures.


female owner holding her ragdoll kitten
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

hailed as one of the cuddliest cats you can get. The name ‘ragdoll’ comes from the breed’s tendency to go lax like a doll when picked up. Some people claim that Ragdolls don’t have the same wild prey drives and energy levels as Bengals. However, they will definitely play, have exercise needs, and it’s not advised to expose prey animals to them.

Siamese Cats

Siamese Cat, blue point
Image Credit: Jagodke, Shutterstock

Siamese cats are also known for their vocal and affectionate tendencies. Enthusiasts of this breed claim that they’re more playful than Ragdolls and have more energy, possibly making them a perfect choice for anyone who wants an in-between between the Ragdoll and Bengal dispositions.

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Final Thoughts

Bengals might be trendy, but that doesn’t mean they’re the perfect breed for every owner. For starters, they aren’t legal everywhere! If you prefer a more relaxed lap cat, the prevailing anecdotal evidence suggests that you probably want to go with a different breed. There are plenty of cats that are cuddly and huggable. As some say, there’s no need to try and jam a square peg into a round hole!

Featured Image Credit: lshman000, Pixabay

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