The Bengal Cat is a Medium to Large-Sized Cat. They are muscular and long. You would be hard up to find one that is overweight. The broad Head and Muzzle combined with High Cheekbones, pronounced whisker pads, those wide and round eyes that have mascara around them are what makes up the appearance of the Bengal Cat.

The Bengal cats’ ears are one of the hardest to mimic the Asian Leopard cat they are to be rounded and small.

This graceful jungle cat moves quietly and with stealth. Their back legs are just a tad bit longer than the front legs. Thus, making the Bengal muscular and built athletically. They built for action!

Standing out with its every so mink soft pelt with the very distinctive Leopard-like spots on the Bengal. Patterns can range from marble, plain spotted, arrowhead rosettes, large round open or closed rosettes in a horizontal flow or appearing randomly.  No matter the Generation the Bengal cat is known to be hypo-allergenic due to the dander being different thanks to the wild genes from the ancestor’

 

                                                                                Bengal Cat Colors

                                                                               

Breeders have engineered Bengals that are snow spotted (white), and snow marbled, Charcoal, Brown, Cinnamon, Silver, Blue, Smoke and Melanistic.  Bengals often possess a trait called glittering, which makes the pelt look glittery and metallic or pearl.

 

BENGAL CAT PERSONALITY AND TEMPERAMENT

 

Because of its exotic lineage, the Bengal is often assumed to be difficult to handle, not to make good pets and is often scrutinized of false claims.  That simply is NOT TRUE.  The Bengal has an affectionate personality, though it is not a typical lap cat. However, it does enjoy human company, and will often stay close to its family members and does love to be in its owner lap after he has worn his self out. The Bengal cat breed particularly enjoys the company of children, since its energetic nature makes it very fond of playing games.

                                                                                              Traits

One of the traits the Bengal house cat retains from its wild ancestry is the hunting instinct -- not only for small land animals, but also for water dwelling creatures. The Asian leopard has honed the ability to fish in the wild, and your domestic Bengal may very well carry this trait in the more playful form, swimming alongside of you, taking a shower or bath, or just playing in the sink.

 

A high energy cat, you will want to be sure to give your Bengal boundaries and teach him commands early on just like training a pup or dog. Bengals are often easy to train. Bengal cats are and keep in mind that most high energy cats like to jump to high locations. You will want to keep breakable objects

 

HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

 

The Bengal cat breed is singular in the cat fancy as the only successful pairing of a wild cat with a domestic cat. There is some anecdotal evidence that pairings of the Asian leopard cat with domestic cats had been attempted prior to the 1960s, but the real genesis of the Bengal breed began in earnest in the 1970s, when amateur breeder Jean Sudden, of California, became the recipient of a group of cats that had been bred for use in genetic testing. Dr. Willard Center wall of Loyola University had been testing Asian Leopards for their partial immunity to feline leukemia, and began cross breeding them with domestic cats for possible genetic viability in immunization development.

 

Rather than destroy the cats after the program was completed, Dr. Center wall searched for appropriate homes for his cats. Because Ms. Sudden had an actual interest in breeding Asian leopard hybrids, she chose not to take all of the cats, instead focusing on those cats that were showing a predilection for domestic temperament along with the desired spotting patterns.

 

For her part, Ms. Sudden had begun her first experiments in cat hybridization while studying genetics at UC Davis in the 1940s. When presented with the opportunity to work with Dr. Centerwall's Asian leopards and their hybrids, she took to it with enthusiasm, and although Dr. Centerwall was fully supportive of Ms. Sudgen's endeavors, the same could not be said for the cat fancy community. Most breeders were staunchly against breeding a wild cat with a domestic, and to this day, the Cat Fanciers Association continues to refuse registration to the Bengal because of its wild bloodline, though many other associations have included the Bengal breed since the 1980s, including The International Cat Association. MS. Sudgen, who had by now remarried and taken the name Mill, had been cautioned that the offspring of her crossings would be sterile, and this did prove true for the males that resulted from the mating, but she had better luck with the female hybrids. Before she could fully immerse herself in her new breeding program, however, Ms. Mill needed an appropriate male cat to cross with her female Asian leopard hybrids. Feeling that neither the Mau, Burmese, or Abyssinian pure breeds were genetically strong enough, she opened her net wider, and in 1982, her patience paid off when a curator for the New Delhi Zoo, in India, pointed her to a leopard-like street cat that was living on its own in the rhinoceros' exhibit at the zoo. Although the cat was feral, it proved to be an excellent mate for her hybrid females, and within years Ms. Mill had her successful, though still fledgling, breeding program well underway.

 

The first three generations, from the original pairing of an Asian leopard hybrid to a domestic, until the birthing of the fourth generation, are considered to be the “foundation" cats (generations are technically referred to as F1, F2, F3, F4...and so on). While these F1-F3 cats are considered by their breeders to be safe and suitable as pets, they are not allowed into competition. They are simply the foundation upon which the "healthy" purebred Bengal is built. With out the Early Generation Breeders the Bengal Cat Breed would become inbred and unhealthy in due time.   By the fourth generation, only Bengal to Bengal pairings are allowed, and the cat is then considered to be a pure breed. The Asian leopard is characteristically a reclusive, solitary, omnivorous hunter, and these wilder traits need to be bred out so that the final outcome is a house and people friendly feline companion. Although

 

Early generation Bengal cats are petted out to cat fanciers who are up to the challenge of raising a cat that is not entirely clear of wild blood, but with conscientious breeding, once the Bengal has reached the fourth generation stage, the breed exceeds expectations in friendliness, affection, and gentility, and has been the recipient of numerous show awards. Like your normal house cat in most aspects. Still, reticence toward the breed persists in some circles. As breed originator Jean Mill has said regarding her beloved cats, “Any other cat can bite a judge and excuses are made ... but if a Bengal bites they claim it's the wild blood. Our Bengals must be the sweetest cats at the cat show.

 

Early Generation Bengals i.e., F1, F2, and F3 hybrids with an Asian Leopard Cat (ALC), compared to later generations.

 

To explain better we have included a chart that can help understand the Bengal Cat.

.

Below are the percentages from crossing

an Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) with any cat Domestic Cat.

F1 = 50%

F2 = 25%

F3 = 12.5%

F4 = 6.25% SBT this level and lower....

F5 = 3.125%

F6 = 1.5625%

F7 = 0.78125%

F8 = 0.390625%

F9 = 0.1953125%

F10 = 0.09765625%

Below are the percentages from crossing

an Asian Leopard Cat with a BENGAL:

 

 

                                                                                High Percentage Early Generation Bengals

 

ALC x F1 = 75% F1

ALC x F2 = 62.5% F1

ALC x F3 = 56.25% F1

ALC x F4 = 53.125% F1

ALC x F5 = 51.5625% F1

ALC x F6 = 50.78125% F1

ETC....

 

You can see why they are not normally tracked down to F100. 😊

 At the lower levels, the focus is not on the actual ALC genes/blood, but rather on the similarities (and enhancements) to the Asian Leopard Cat, especially the appearance and personality. This retention and enhancement of the exotic look while developing a loving temperament are the goals of Bengal breeders.

 

 

                                                Early Generation Breed Standard

In short, there is not one! Why? Because depending on the linage of the Domestic Cat used to cross with the full exotic Asian Leopard Cat One cannot expect to get the same outcome every time.

© 2019 Palmetto Bengals. Photographic works may not be used or reproduced without express consent. We choose only to raise Bengal Cats which is why we are called "Palmetto Bengals". 

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