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Bengal cats

Country of origin:

Brown, snow or silver, coat is spotted or marbled

6-7 kg

11-13 years

Other names:
Bengal cat

The Bengal cat resembles a small leopard in appearance and fascinates almost all cat lovers. This breed was developed by crossing a domestic cat with a wild Asian leopard cat: although the ancestors of the Bengal cat were not of a very gentle nature, they are the very epitome of affection! The Bengal cat gets along well with all the members of the family, and is willing to interact with both children and animals. She usually chooses a single owner, but will certainly allow herself to be petted by other members of the family. They are very sociable cats who love to talk and if you are looking for a quiet pet, the Bengal cat is not for you!

History of the breed

Although it may seem otherwise, the name of this cat breed is not related to the Bengal Tiger. The breed’s name comes from the Latin name for the Asian leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). Each Bengal cat is said to have up to a quarter of its ancestral genes. The Bengal cat breed was created by accident, simply by keeping two cats at home. Jean Mill from California decided to get an unusual pet in 1963 and chose a leopard cat (at that time, leopard cats were still legal in the USA). Later, Jean Mill noticed that her cat was lonely, so she bought a domestic cat. Some time later, the cat owner discovered that her pet was pregnant, which was a real surprise! Only one kitten survived the litter and was named Kin-Kin. Leopard cats were persecuted during this period because of the popularity of keeping them at home. Jean Mill must have had a conscience, because she realised that it was not right to keep wild animals at home. If one wanted to keep a special animal in the house, a cross between a leopard and a domestic cat seemed the right thing to do, so Jean Mill decided to continue breeding similar domestic animals. Although she did not have high hopes that Kin-Kin would succeed in extending its lineage, the cat also produced offspring. The cats of the first litters were rather wild in temperament, but gradually became more and more mild-tempered. Bengal cats were first introduced to dog shows in 1985.

Bengal cats: appearance

The Bengal cat is large and sturdy,  the pattern of its coat is simply eye-catching. The claws of this breed are very graceful, the body is long and rather slender. The coat of the Bengal cat is not only distinguished by its leopard pattern, but also by its extraordinary lustre and softness. The head of this breed is broad and rounded, the cheekbones are usually very prominent, the nose is rather large and broad, and the whisker pads are prominent. The ears are of medium size, with rounded tips. The eyes are oval, distinct and quite far apart. The coat of the Bengal cat is short to medium length, the colours allowed are brown, snow or silver, and the fur is spotted or marbled. The undercoat is unspotted and the paw pads are usually not the same colour as the coat.

Bengal cats: character

Bengal cats are noisy and very active. They have a special cunning: they often learn to get what they want by observing human activity. Opening doors and windows is a joke for Bengal cats! If you think you can hide anything from a Bengal cat, you’re very wrong: these cats can climb to the highest places in a room without needing any help at all – a Bengal cat can climb up walls too! Bengal cats are attracted to all sorts of shiny objects and like magpies, they love to gawp. If you have valuable items, make them more secure – the cat may play with them and leave them or hide them.

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