About Bengal Cats

To Know Them is to Love Them

Also see our Bengalpedia for fun information and facts and Types of Bengals.

The first Bengal was born in California in 1963 by an unintentional mating between a female Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) and a domestic shorthair male by Jean Mill. Breeders began official breeding programs in 1980 The originator, Jean Mill, wanted to create a cat that looked like the Asian leopard cat but had a domestic's temperament. Romeo was born in Jean Mill's cattery.

       

The Asian Leopard Cat, Felis bengalensis, a small spotted wild cat native to southern Asia, was used in the breed's foundation. Leopard cats provided by a geneticist at the University of California at Davis were bred to American domestics, ocicats, Egyptian Maus, Abyssinians, and Burmese to create the Bengal's unique appearance.

Choose a bengal that is at least four generations away from her Asian leopard cat ancestors to avoid getting a cat with the wild cat's shy nature and unpleasant potty habits. Leopard cats are virtually impossible to litter box train, because in the wild they eliminate in running water to keep bigger predators from tracking them. Your We assure domestic sweet nature and amazing personality in our Bengals -- and they will be already litter box trained!

Appearance

The Bengal Breed - a TICA Perspective

A Breed Seminar by Jeff and Heather Roberts

Comprehensive seminar notes on the Bengal Breed from the TICA perspective, including history and detailed notes on what TICA judges look for in Bengal show cats. CLICK HERE.

Those Amazing Spots

The Bengal is a large, sleek, beautifully spotted cat with a powerful, athletic frame. Adult males are usually 10 to 18 pounds in weight, while adult females usually run 7 to 12 pounds. The body is long and very muscular, resembling the leopard cat's powerful appearance. The head is a broad modified wedge-shape and is longer than it is wide. Large almond-shaped eyes, set wide apart, and short rounded ears enhance the feral look.

Bengal (Cat) recommended reading In the Bengal, the spots are aligned horizontally rather than in random or tabby configuration. Like snowflakes, no two Bengals have the same pattern. Accepted colors are brown tabby, seal lynx point, seal sepia tabby and seal mink tabby. The spots can be black, brown, tan, chocolate or cinnamon and contrast with the background color. Vivid markings with sharp contrast of colors is the mark of a show Bengal. Some Bengals possess a recessive "glitter gene" that gives the fur an iridescent glow, as if covered with warm frost. The coat is short with a thick, luxurious, unusually soft texture.

Also see Types of Bengals.

Personality

What's the Bengal like? In a word - active. Bengals are lively, energetic cats with a healthy dose of feline curiosity. Graceful, strong, and agile, Bengals love to climb and will gravitate to the highest point in any room. Almost uncannily intelligent, Bengals learn quickly and can be taught a number of tricks - as long as you make it worth their while with a few cat treats, of course. In fact, some learn tricks you'd rather they didn't, such as opening cupboards, turning on and off light switches and flushing toilets. They are fascinated by water, and some will even join their owners in the bathtub for a dip.

Bengals form strong, emotional bonds with their human friends, and become loving, loyal companions. Because of their deep attachment to their humans and their high activity level, they need more human interaction than some breeds. If you're away all day and have an active social life at night, another breed might be a better choice.

Cost

Boulder Bengals is motivated to place our kittens in wonderful homes, ideally as loved pets. See our pricing here.

Association Acceptance

American Cat Fancier's Association (ACFA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
The International Cat Association (TICA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
Traditional Cat Association, Inc. (TCA)

Each year, the Bengal gains more fans as fanciers discover the breed's charms.

Special Notes

The breed is controversial despite its popularity, however, because some fanciers are concerned that the wild blood may cause temperament problems. Others are not in favor of breeding domestic cats to wild cats for conservation reasons, since most of our wild cats are threatened or endangered. Most likely, the Bengal never will be accepted by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA), since CFA's board has voted not to accept any breed with documented non-domestic ancestry.