Origin and History
· The modern Bengal is a cross between a domestic cat and the wild Asian leopard cat Felis bengalensis.
· The aim of this cross breeding was to combine the look of the wild Asia
n leopard cat with the predictable temperament of the domestic cat.
· For the new breed to be accepted, it must be assured that the wild tendencies have been bred out and the cats had the ability to reproduce a consistent type.
· In the 1960’s in the United States, a Dr. Willard Centerwall bred several leopard cat hybrids.
· In the 1970’s William Engler, a zookeeper working with exotic cats, had kittens sired by a leopard cat.
· Subsequent generations of breeding produced the Bengal which was later on finally established as a domestic cat.
· The Bengal is a medium to large cat with a long, sleek, muscular body.
· The legs are strong and muscular with large, rounded paws.
· The tail is thick with a rounded tip.
· The average weight of the male is 5-8 kilograms and the female 4-6 kilograms.
· The Bengal’s head is broadly wedge-shaped but is small in proportion to its body.
· The eyes are large and oval-shaped.
· Bengals have short, beautifully patterned fur which is the breed’s unique feature.
· The coat is dense and is very soft to the touch.
· Coat has two patterns: marbled and spotted. In both patterns there is a clearly defined contrast of colour.
· There are four colours: brown, snow, silver and sepia/mink.
Character and Personality
· Bengals are affectionate and devoted cats who have a tendency to follow their humans everywhere.
· These cats are curious and seem to be always “busy”.
· They are hyperactive and playful cats who love to climb up high places.
· On some occasions, they prefer to be lap cats instead of running around.
· They are confident, sociable and talkative.
· Bengals can get along well with other pets
· The Bengal does not require much grooming.
· A cat tree is essential because Bengals love to climb.
· They are athletic and require a home with space where they can run around.
· They can adapt to both indoor and outdoor living but better kept indoors.
· The first generation of Bengal kittens born from the cross between the domestic cat and the Asian leopard cat had non-fertile males and only partially fertile females.
· The earlier generations of kittens also had an unstable temperament making them unsuitable as pets or show animals.