History Of The Bengal Cat
In the USA in 1963 Jean Sugden crossed an Asian Leopard Cat (Felis Bengalensis) with a domestic cat but it wasn't until 1975 that she started on a full breeding program with the aim of producing cats with a beautiful exotic look and a domestic temperament. Asian Leopard Cats were crossed with domestic cats to produce Hybrid Leopard Cats and these cats were then mated with domestic cats over four generations whereupon the kittens produced are considered a domestic cat and were named the Bengal cat. The Bengal cat derives its name from the Latin name of its wild ancester, Felis Bengalensis.
The Bengal cat was imported into the UK in the early 1990s where Bengal cats quickly became popular due to their unique breeding and exoctic look.
Appearance Of The Bengal Cat
Bengal cats are similar in appearance to their wild ancestor, the Asian Leopard Cat, with a small head, large eyes, long back, muscular and sleek, long legs and a thick tail.
Bengal cats exist in two coat patterns: the spotted or rosetted Bengal from its wild ancestor and the marbled Bengal from combining the wild spotted pattern with the domestic tabby pattern. Both Bengal cat patterns exist in numerous shades and colours due to variations in shade existing in their wild ancestors, and also different colours from their domestic cat ancestors. All Bengal cats have a spotted or ringed tail with a black tip and four black bands from the forehead to the back of the neck that break into lines of spots on the neck and shoulders forming a broken necklace.
Size Of The Bengal Cat
The Bengal cat is a medium to large sized cat.
Character Of The Bengal Cat
Bengal cats are intelligent, friendly, athletic, active, curious and entertaining. They can also be mischievous and boisterous. Bengal cats are always on the move and always ready to play, looking upon adults, children and even dogs as play mates. Bengal cats are ideal for those looking for a cat that they can play with daily. Bengal cats also enjoy playing with water.
Lifespan Of The Bengal Cat
The lifespan of the Bengal cat is 9-15 years.
Requirements Of The Bengal Cat
Bengal cats have no special requirements.
Inherited Defects Of The Bengal Cat
Although most Bengal cats are healthy, hereditary diseases that are known to appear in the breed are cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (causes the cone light receptors of the retina to deteriorate and slowly cease functioning, ultimately resulting in blindness) and Cardiomyopathy (heart disease).