The Bengal cat’s history
The Bengal cat originates from crossings of the Asian Leopard Cat (felis bengalensis) to the domestic cat.
A doctor from California doing research on feline leukemia gave Mrs. Joan Mill eight hybrid cats. She proceeded to different crossings with domestic cats. Among those were the Egyptian Maus, the Siamese, the Abyssinian and the Burmese.
In 1985, the Bengal was shown for the very first time in an exhibition, competing in the new breed colour classes. Then, the breed was officially recognized and accepted into championship status in 1991 by The International Cat Association (TICA).
The Bengal cat is athletic and robust, agile and graceful. Its walk remains very feline and sensual. A real miniature leopard in your living room! Its look is direct and a bit wild. When you get close to pet the cat, it will drop to its side and become as cuddly as can be. It is so surprising and completely irresistible!
Its coat is soft and silky. It resembles a leopard’s pelt of fur more than the domestic cat’s coat. As a matter of fact, many people who are allergic to cat’s hair don’t have any problems with Bengal cats.
There are two recognized patterns in Bengals: spotted (rosettes) and marbled. The first pattern is comprised of spots that can be solid (spots) or darker on the outer circle and orange on the inside (doughnut rosettes). Contrast between the background colour and the rosettes is important. The Bengal is the only breed of cats that displays a “rosetted” coat. The marbled cat’s pattern resembles the panther’s horizontal swirls. Very spectacular!
The «fuzzy» or camouflage stage
Like their ancestors, the Asian Leopard Cat, Bengal kittens go through a stage called the «fuzzies» or camouflage.
In fact, they grow longer hairs that stick up, helping them to camouflage in nature and be protected from predators. This ticked coat partially hides the kittens’ markings and colours as young as one month old up to six or ten months old. Then, it gradually clears again, back to a breathtaking coat that will last their life long. It often reaches all its splendour only around 18 months old.
Golden dust or glitters
Bengals have a coat that is so silky and shiny; it gives the impression that it has been sprinkled with gold. This is an exceptional trait that is unique to the breed and it makes the fur soft to the touch.
The Bengal cat has relatively recent wild origins. Therefore, it is very important to choose a breeder who socializes his kittens (cage free) and who selects only the softest and most affectionate cats for reproduction. What a feeling when your wild looking cat jumps on your lap to be petted!
Energetic and lively, Bengals love to play. They enjoy climbing as high as possible. Like wild felines, Bengals love water and won’t hesitate to bathe with you.
When socialized at a young age, these cats are affectionate and enjoy being petted more than anything. They demand a good deal of attention. They will follow their owner almost like a dog. When they need attention, they will make sounds that are unlike any other cat’s meow. In fact, they talk… and they won’t stop until they get what they want!