Bengal

Personality:

  • Intelligent, loving, very active, and curious.
  • Bengals less than four generations from a cross with the Asian Leopard cat may lack a domestic nature (varies with each individual cat).
  • Many Bengals love to play in water.
  • Only Bengals with a four generation pedigree of Bengal to Bengal breeding are eligible to compete for championship titles in The International Cat Association (TICA).

History:

Breed derived from crossing a domestic cat with the Asian Leopard Cat, a non-endangered species that resembles the Ocelot or Marguay.  First documented cross in the United States occurred in 1963 through the efforts of Jean Mill of Covina, California who wanted to create a domestic cat that had the physical characteristics of the Asian Leopard Cat.  The leopard patterned Bengal was accepted for championship status in TICA in 1991. The snow and marbled versions were accepted in 1994. The Bengal is not recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) because of the cat’s wild blood.

Body Type:

  • Medium to large in size, sleek, and very muscular.
  • Head is a broad, modified wedge with rounded contours.
  • Eye color may be gold, green to blue green depending on coat color.

Coat:

  • Glossy coat is short to medium in length.
  • Base coat colors can be ivory, gray or golden orange.
  • Two patterns available: leopard spotted (dark spots on a lighter ground color) and marbled (swirls of black or brown spotted colors flowing in a horizontal pattern over the lighter ground color).

Health and Wellness:

  • Since this breed was developed by crossing domestic cats with the non-domesticated Asian Leopard Cat, a gentle temperament is essential.  This is true even in a playful kitten.
  • Reputable breeders work for good dispositions and recommend that pets be at least four generations away from a cross with an Asian Leopard Cat to insure a sweet, loving pet.

What you should know:

  • Good Bengals demand good prices.
  • Do your homework and buy your Bengal from a reputable breeder who will help you choose a Bengal that will be right for your personality and lifestyle.
  • Cats that are the result of a mating with a Leopard Cat, or other allowable outcross, are called F1.
  • Successive generations of Bengal to Bengal breedings are termed as F2, F3 and then SBT.
  • SBT’s are usually the best choice for a domestic temperament.