Why Is My Bengal Hissing So Much? (Vet Answer)

Hissing is a common behavior in cats. It’s how they communicate with other cats, but sometimes it can be hard to figure out why your Bengal is hissing. 

Here are some reasons that may explain why your Bengal is hissing, along with tips on how to deal with the situation!

WHY is My Cat HISSING – How to Stop It!
Bengal cats may hiss excessively due to stress, fear, or feeling threatened.
Understanding the underlying cause of the hissing behavior is important in addressing it effectively.
Environmental factors, such as changes in routine or introduction of new pets, can contribute to excessive hissing.
Providing a calm and secure environment for Bengal cats can help reduce their tendency to hiss.
Consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist can provide valuable insights and guidance in managing hissing behavior in Bengal cats.

Maternal Instinct

The maternal instinct is a powerful thing, and it can lead to some surprising behaviors in a Bengal cat. 

For example, if you’re holding one of her kittens, she may hiss at you even though she doesn’t know who you are because she thinks that you might hurt her baby. 

Likewise, if you move too quickly or get too close to the kitten without realizing it, your Bengal may hiss at you to let you know that she feels protective and territorial over her young ones.

If you’re wondering how to become a registered Ragdoll cat breeder, our comprehensive guide provides all the information you need to get started. Learn more about the requirements and process of becoming a registered Ragdoll cat breeder and embark on your journey in breeding these beautiful felines.


Bengal cats are very territorial and will hiss or growl at other animals, people and anything they perceive as a threat. This can include the following:

  • Other cats (including strays)
  • Dogs of any size, even small ones
  • Small children who are not familiar to them (and may accidentally startle them)
  • Loud noises such as thunderstorms or fireworks that startle your Bengal cat

Fight or Flight

When Bengal cats hiss, it’s because they’re trying to communicate. When a Bengal hisses at its owner, it’s usually because the cat feels threatened or uncomfortable in some way.

Some Bengals are more vocal than others and will make their displeasure known with an occasional hiss or even an ear-splitting scream. 

This is often referred to as “hissy fits.” If your cat is constantly hissing at you and/or other people, take them to the vet immediately—it could be a sign of something serious such as a urinary tract infection or feline asthma.

A Bengal hissing while chasing another cat is also not a cause for alarm; this is normal behavior when they’re fighting over territory or food in the wild. It’s important that you don’t intervene if your cats are fighting each other—they will resolve their issues on their own!

Understanding the gestation period of Persian cats is essential for cat owners and breeders. Our veterinarian-approved article explores the question, ‘How long are Persian cats pregnant for?’ Discover the answer and gain insights into the stages of feline pregnancy by visiting how long are Persian cats pregnant for.

Play Time

Play time is a key part of your cat’s day, and it serves several important purposes. It’s a way for them to exercise and release energy, but it’s also an opportunity for cats to bond with each other or with the humans in their home. 

Play teaches kittens how to interact and socialize with other felines, as well as how to hunt prey animals like mice or birds.

Playtime can be much more than just playing around: it will help your Bengal develop his hunting skills. In order for him to learn how hunting works in real life situations, he needs practice! 

The best way for him to do this is at home—wherever there are toys lying around that he can chase after or pounce upon!


The first reason is pain. If your cat is hurt or has a medical condition, he may hiss because he’s in pain and wants you to go away. 

The second main reason for hissing is stress. Your Bengal probably doesn’t like being handled by strangers, so he might become stressed when strangers are around him and hiss at them as a warning sign.

Dental issuesDental diseases, tooth decay, or gum infections can cause pain in cats.
ArthritisDegenerative joint disease leading to pain and stiffness in cats.
Injury or traumaAccidents, falls, or physical injuries can result in acute or chronic pain.
Urinary tract issuesInfections, bladder stones, or inflammation can cause pain in the urinary tract.
Gastrointestinal problemsDigestive disorders, such as gastritis or pancreatitis, can be painful for cats.
Ear infectionsInfections in the ears can cause discomfort and pain in cats.
Skin conditionsDermatitis, allergies, or wounds can lead to pain and discomfort.
Eye problemsConditions like corneal ulcers or glaucoma can cause pain in the eyes.
Post-surgical painPain resulting from surgical procedures or recovery process.
CancerVarious forms of cancer can cause pain in cats, depending on the affected area.

Fear, Anxiety and Stress

Stress can be a source of hissing. If your cat is stressed, he may become aggressive or defensive and hiss at you. 

If you notice your Bengal’s behavior changing and he acts abnormally in any way, it could be because of stress.

If you’re noticing more hissing from your feline friend than usual, try to identify what might be causing it. Identifying the cause of your Bengal’s stress will help reduce it and improve the quality of life for both of you.

Uncover the intriguing historical connection between Siamese cats and Chinese culture. Our article dives deep into the topic, revealing the fascinating insights on the question, ‘Are Siamese cats Chinese?’ Discover the historical background and cultural significance by visiting Are Siamese cats Chinese.


When a Bengal is hissing, it may not be because they are hungry. Bengals are not always hungry and can go a long time without food, but when they do eat, they will eat often and in large amounts. 

This may seem like an obvious answer, but if your Bengal has been hissing for several days with no eating activity whatsoever, this can be ruled out as a cause.

If you don’t see your cat eating or drinking or going outside to relieve himself regularly (more on that later), then you should take him to the vet for a checkup. 

There could be something wrong with him that’s causing him pain or discomfort—it’s better to find out now than let things get worse!

If your Bengal does have an appetite though and he’s still acting strangely after eating his meal, there might be another reason for his behavior change: maybe he has some kind of physical problem? Let’s go over some possible explanations together!


Overstimulation. It sounds like a good way to describe what’s going on with your cat, doesn’t it? Your Bengal has been overstimulated for so long that hissing is his only way of communicating. He’s letting you know that he needs some space so that he can calm down and relax.

A new environment. Moving to a new home (whether across town or across the country) can be stressful for cats, especially if they’re used to being in one place their whole lives. 

Cats are territorial animals who enjoy routine and comfort—a move may disrupt this sense of security and cause your Bengal to start hissing out of confusion or fear!

Play aggressionExcessive play behavior that can escalate into overstimulation in cats.
Environmental stressorsLoud noises, changes in routine, or overcrowded spaces can lead to overstimulation.
Excessive handlingProlonged or rough handling of cats can cause overstimulation and trigger aggressive behavior.
Sensory overloadOverexposure to intense stimuli, such as bright lights or strong odors, can overwhelm cats.
Lack of outlets for energyInsufficient opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation can contribute to overstimulation.
Overactive householdLiving in a busy or chaotic environment with constant activity can lead to overstimulation in cats.
Intense social interactionsContinuous interaction with humans or other pets without breaks can result in overstimulation.
Medical conditionsCertain medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism or pain, can make cats more prone to overstimulation.
Breed predispositionSome cat breeds, like Bengals or Siamese, may be more susceptible to overstimulation.

Loneliness and Boredom

Bengals are incredibly intelligent, but they also require a lot of stimulation. If you have a Bengal kitten and you’re working all day, it’s easy to imagine how your little one could get bored and lonely at home and the result is he might start hissing at people or other animals when they come near.

If you work long hours away from home and don’t interact with your cat even half as much as he needs, he may very well learn that hissing is the way to get attention when there’s no one around to play with him for an hour each day.

A Bengal kitten who spends too much time alone will become more aggressive as he grows older than if he’d had some attention from his owner during those critical formative months of life (kittenhood).

When it comes to feeding your Ragdoll cat, choosing the right diet is crucial. If you’re considering Fancy Feast, our comprehensive article provides valuable information on its suitability for Ragdoll cats. Find out if Fancy Feast is good for Ragdoll cats and explore alternative feeding options by visiting Is Fancy Feast good for Ragdoll cats?.

Medical Issues

If you’re noticing more hissing than usual, it’s possible that your cat is ill. Bengal cats are prone to kidney disease and diabetes, so if your cat suddenly starts hissing when you touch him or try to pick him up, it’s worth having him checked out by a vet.

If your cat does have a medical issue, he’ll need treatment quickly in order to stay healthy and happy. A vet will be able to give you information on how best to care for your cat during treatment periods as well as what medications can help keep those issues at bay.

Medical IssueDescription
Dental DiseaseCommon dental problems in cats, such as periodontal disease and tooth decay.
ObesityExcessive body weight in cats, leading to various health complications.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)Infections affecting the urinary system, including the bladder and urethra.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)A term encompassing several conditions affecting the lower urinary tract in cats.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)Progressive and irreversible deterioration of kidney function in cats.
DiabetesA metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels in cats.
HyperthyroidismOveractive thyroid gland leading to increased metabolism in cats.
AllergiesCats can develop allergies to certain substances, such as food or environmental factors.
Respiratory InfectionsInfections affecting the respiratory system, including the lungs and airways.
ArthritisJoint inflammation and degenerative joint disease in cats.

Heat or Pregnancy

The reason for this increased hissing is due to either the cat being in heat or pregnant. Most cats who are hissing will do so because they are in heat, which means that their hormones have gone haywire and they are ready to mate. 

This can be a stressful time for your Bengal kitten or adult cat because she feels like she needs to find a mate but can’t because you won’t let her outside where she thinks all the men are waiting for her. 

She may also become aggressive towards other cats due to her increased hormone production.

If your female Bengal has recently given birth and seems extra angry about things around the house, it could be because she is nursing kittens and feeling very protective of them at this point in time. 

Although this does not happen often with new moms, some females will become irritable when their litter starts crying or when there is too much noise around them during meal times or playtime with their kittens (which could be any time of day).

Breeding Ragdoll cats requires careful planning and consideration of the optimal age for breeding. Our veterinarian-approved guide answers the question, ‘What is the best age to breed a Ragdoll cat?’ Learn about the factors to consider and ensure the well-being of your cats by visiting What is the best age to breed a Ragdoll cat?.


If your bengal is hissing, it can be challenging to figure out the cause. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many different reasons for a cat to hiss and not every hissing situation is an emergency requiring immediate veterinary attention. 

If you notice your kitty hissing, try to determine what kind of behavior problem it might be by thinking about the circumstances that led up to this point. 

Then consider how you might address those issues before reaching out for help from someone else like an expert or a friend who has experience with cats.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to learn more about why cats hiss:

PetKeen – Cat Hissing at You All of a Sudden: Explore the possible reasons behind a cat suddenly hissing at its owner and learn how to address this behavior effectively.

Orlando Vets – 6 Reasons Why Your Cat Keeps Hissing: Discover six common reasons why cats may continue to hiss and find practical tips on how to handle and prevent this behavior.

A-Z Animals – Why Do Cats Hiss?: Learn about the instinctual and communicative nature of hissing in cats, and gain insights into why cats resort to this behavior in certain situations.


Here are some frequently asked questions about why cats hiss:

Why do cats hiss?

Cats hiss as a defensive behavior when they feel threatened, fearful, or want to establish boundaries.

Is hissing normal behavior for cats?

Yes, hissing is a normal behavior for cats, especially when they feel threatened or provoked.

What are some common triggers for cat hissing?

Common triggers for cat hissing include unfamiliar people or animals, territorial disputes, fear or anxiety, and feeling cornered or trapped.

How can I help my cat stop hissing?

To help your cat stop hissing, create a calm and safe environment, gradually introduce them to new situations, and provide positive reinforcement for desired behavior. Consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist may also be beneficial.

Should I punish my cat for hissing?

No, it is not recommended to punish your cat for hissing. Hissing is a natural response to stress or fear, and punishment can escalate the situation and damage the bond of trust with your cat. Instead, focus on understanding and addressing the underlying cause of the hissing behavior.