Contrary to the popular conviction, Bengal cats have been derived from the taxonomic name of the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) and not from the generally known Bengal tiger species. A new breed of cat, Bengal, though exhibits the 'wild' markings, are extremely friendly to both humans and other pets. They have a gentle temperament and nature, much unlike their wild look. Bengal cats are active and energetic animals and love to explore places. Generally, they have a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. To know more about the history, appearance and personality of Bengal cats, browse through the following lines.
Originally named as the Leopardette, Bengal cat is the hybrid variety of
domestic cats and Asian leopard cats. It was in 1963 that Jean Sudgen of
Yuma, Arizona bought a female Asian Leopard cat and christened it
Malaysia. To give the cat company, Jean put a black domestic cat in her
cage. The two mated and produced two kittens - a male and a female. When
the male offspring was attacked by Malaysia, KinKin, the female kitten
was removed and raised by a Himalayan queen. Though Jean thought KinKin
to be sterile, this was proved wrong, when KinKin was mated back to her
father and delivered two kittens - a black female and a spotted male.
However, due to the death of Jean's husband, the ongoing process of the
In the year 1980, Jean got in touch with geneticist, Dr Willard
Centerwall, who was working on a breeding program, which involved
crossing Leopard Cats with domestic cats. It was a division of a study
of Feline Leukaemia. Jean, then, acquired several F1 (the F stands for
Filial) hybrids from this program. Two years later, in 1982, Jean (now,
remarried) along with her husband, came across a tailless feral domestic
male with markings similar to that of the leopard. On seeing this cat,
Jean imported it to United States, wherein he was mated with the female
hybrids. The other domestic breeds used were Ocicats, Egyptian Maus,
Abyssinians, Bombays & British Shorthairs. It was in 1984 that
Bengal Cat gained an official recognition with TICA.
Bengal cats are generally the size of the conventional domestic feline.
While the females weigh between 7 to 10 pounds, the males are of 9 to 12
pounds in weight. However, at times, some cats may even fall within the
range of 15 to 18 pounds. Bengal cats are generally large-boned and
well-muscled, with the males being more muscular than the females.
Talking about their face and body features, the Bengal cat usually has a
series of distinct horizontal stripes, which extends from the sides of
the eye to the back of the neck. The body of the kitty is characterized
with spots, similar to those of the jaguar and the rest of the body,
including the legs and tail, have symmetrical stripes.
Bengal cats generally have spotted or marble coat patterns. They come in
veried colors and patterns such as brown spotted tabby, brown marbled
tabby, seal sepia spotted tabby, seal sepia marbled tabby, seal mink
spotted tabby, seal mink marbled tabby, seal spotted lynx point and seal
marbled lynx point. Silver is another color variation that was recently
added in the list. Thought cats are also available in blue and
melanistic (black), they are not recognized as the Bengal breed. One of
the most distinctive characteristics of Bengal cats is that they display
gold or pearl dusting effect, usually called glitter and has a pelt that
has a rich smooth satin or silk feel. Even the voice of these cats is
different from other domestic cats.
Bengal Cats are extremely mischievous and boisterous. They are also very
vocal, intelligent, loving and people oriented cats. They are very
affectionate and mix well with children and other animals. Contrary to
the popular notion, Bengal cats love to play with water. Another
distinctive feature about Bengal cats is that they love to climb high
lofty places and are extremely enthusiastic climbers. In other words,
Bengal cats make active and energetic pet.