The Bengal cat is a wonderful leopard miniature, of which we must respect the movement and freedom needed, though it is very friendly with humans.
The Bengal cat, or Bengal, is a fascinating crossbreed with the Asian Leopard, Felis bengalinsis, also evident from the coat characteristics. This cross was tried for the first time in California in 1963 by Jean Sugden, later it was retried by Dr. Centerwall, in an attempt to create an exemplary immune from feline leukaemia. Unfortunately he didn’t succeed, however, an amazing specimen of cat was born.
The crossings have been tempted with Egyptian Mau, Burmese, Abyssinian and Ocicat breeds, trying to mythologizing the aggressive temperament of the cats born from a leopard-cross.
The first cats appeared in 1983, when Joan Sugden introduced them at the TICA International Cat Association, in 1985 they appeared in the first cat shows, but the official recognition of the new breed occurred in 1991.
Bengal cat character traits and personality
Its temperament, although it has been mitigated by the cross, is still very active, rarely wild, good hunter and climber, it loves to be at the top. It can live peacefully with other dogs and cats, but be careful of the birds cage It can be very docile and quiet, smart and resourceful, it loves to be petted and praised. It loves water and does not meow a lot.
It needs space to run and jump, so it is not very suitable to live in the apartment. To soften their character, kittens are often breastfed by a domestic cat.
If you want a cat that has not lost its ancestral wild instinct, the Bengal is for you.
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Aspect and Features of Bengal cat
Triangular head, big eyes, usually green, yellow or light-blue for the “Snow-Bengal” that has a Siamese-like colouring, but lighter.
Weight: the male can reach the 9 kilos and the female 6 kilos.
Possible colours: Spotted Tabby e Snow Bengal (also said snow-leopard colour) both with evident spots, the first one from a bright orange/ light brown colour till a dark black.
There are only two coat patterns:
– rosettes pattern: a spotted pattern, with many little spots on the whole body, preferably lined up horizontally.
– marbled pattern: with 3 very large parallel stripes on the back and butterfly wings on the shoulders and flanks.
Bengal breed standards (BEN)
Aspect: the Bengal is a domestic cat with the physical characteristics of the small wild cat Felis bengalinsis (“Leopard Cat”).
It’s a wild-looking cat and with the loving temperament of a domestic cat. Lively look.
The Bengal is sleek and very muscular.
From medium to large size.
Shape: large wedge shaped head, with rounded contours, longer than wide. Plump cheeks are allowed in adult males.
Size: slightly small in proportion to the body, without excess.
Profile: slightly rounded forehead up to the nose; slightly concave nose curve.
Nose: large and wide nose, the point is slightly swollen. The nasal bridge extends up above its eyes.
Cheeks: high and prominent cheekbones.
Snout: plump and large with big and prominent whisker pad.
Shape: medium to small, ears are essentially short, large at the base and with rounded points. Some horizontal hairs inside the ears are acceptable but the tufts are not welcome.
Position: wide apart; from the front view the ears follow the snout contour and in profile are inclined forward.
Shape: oval shaped, slightly almond-shaped possibly.
Large but not prominent.
Position: well-separated, slightly slanted towards the base of the ears.
Large and muscular, long and in proportion to the body.
Long and powerful, big in proportion to the head, not oriental type or foreign. Sturdy bone structure, never frail. Very muscular body, especially in males, one of its main features. The back part is slightly higher than the shoulders.
Medium length, back legs are slightly higher.
Very muscular, never delicate.
Big and round feet.
Thick, tapered at the extremities, with rounded point.
Medium length and width.
Structure: short to medium length.
Slightly longer fur is allowed in kittens.
The texture is thick, sumptuous, exceptionally soft to the touch and preferably shiny.
Perfect physical condition, physically and behaviourally well-balanced.
- General observations:
The Bengals should be self-confident, lively, curious and friendly cats.
A dark grey guard hair shouldn’t be penalized.
A Bengal cat can cost $150 to $400 .