The Bengal cat is known for its wild good looks, intelligence, and beauty. This hybrid cat breed is gaining popularity because of its pattern and personality.
It maintains around the same size as a large domestic house cat even as it gets bigger. The Breeding of Asian leopard cats (Felis bengalensis) with domestic cats such as an Abyssinian, Egyptian Mau, or American shorthair resulted in the creation of these cats.
Overview of the Bengal cat
- Temperament: Affectionate, energetic, animated
- Weight range: 12-20 pounds
- Length: 15-18 inches
- Coat Length: Short hair, Long hair
- Coat Colors: Brown tabby, seal sepia tabby, seal mink tabby, seal lynx point, black silver tabby, seal silver mink tabby, and seal silver lynx point
- Coat Patterns: Spotted or marbled
- Eye Color: Green or gold
- Lifespan: 15-20years
- Hypoallergenic: No
Characteristics of the Bengal Cat
The Bengal cat may have a beautifully wild appearance, but it typically does not grow much bigger than an average house cat (around 12 pounds), and it reaches its full adult size in about a year.
This cat’s personality is just as endearing as its good looks make it appear. The Bengal is a friendly and outgoing breed that gets along well with people of all ages and other animals and pets. This cat has a lot of energy and enjoys having plenty of space to play in.
Origin and Development of the Bengal Cat
The Bengal cat is a hybrid created in the 1970s by Jean Sudgen Mill. Although there were earlier attempts to mate domestic cats with African leopard cats, Dr. Mill was the first person to create the Bengal cat successfully.
She obtained hybrids from Dr. Willard Centerwall, who was conducting research on the genetics of hybrids at Loyola University and was producing hybrids.
She then crossed the hybrids with domestic cats to generate a breed that had the temperament of a domestic cat but appeared to be of an exotic breed. In addition to developing a strain of Bengal cats, Greg and Elizabeth Kent developed a line of African leopard cats by breeding them with Egyptian Maus.
The number of generations that separate hybrids from their wild lineage refer to the hybrids themselves. An F1 hybrid is the first generation of hybrids with one African leopard cat (ALC) parent.
F2 and F3 can trace their ancestry to at least one ALC grandparent or great-grandparent. By the time the cats reach the F3 generation, they have the personalities of domestic cats.
The International Cat Association (TICA) will only accept cats that are F4 generations or more removed from having an ALC ancestor. The majority of Bengal cats in existence today are the product of breeding with other Bengal cats.
TICA gave Bengal cats their first registration in 1983 as an experimental breed; in 1993, and given full status as a breed in their own right.
In 2016, the Cat Fancier’s Association granted breed designation to the Bengal cat. In addition, the American Cat Fanciers Association, the Canadian Cat Association, the United Feline Organizations, and the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy all acknowledge them as eligible for registration.
Bengal Cat Care
Because the majority of Bengal cats in today’s world descended from African leopard cats several generations, they do not need any specialized care.
They are little more than giant domestic cats. It would be best if you brushed your cat once a week to remove any dead hair and to assist in reducing the risk of hairballs.
You should clip your cat’s claws once every few weeks, and you should make sure the litter box is clean on a daily basis.
Because Bengal cats are energetic and enjoy jumping, it is important to give them opportunities to climb and perches from which they can observe their surroundings.
You should provide your cat with toys that it can interact with. Spend time together playing games; your cat can learn to bring you the laser dot if you train it properly.
Most housecats do not share the passion for the water that Bengal cats do. You may need to take precautions to prevent your aquarium from turning into a fishing pond.
If your yard is large and secure enough, you could even provide a small pool in the backyard for swimming in and playing in.
Like any other kind of cat, a Bengal cat should never be allowed to go outside; it is in its best interest. This prevents them from contracting diseases from other animals, getting into fights, being attacked by predators, or getting hit by automobiles. It also keeps them from getting into confrontations with other animals.
Common Health issues
Your Bengal cat will need the same preventative health treatments and vaccines as a domestic cat. In contrast to their ALC ancestor, they do not possess immunity to the feline leukemia virus (FeLV).
As a result of having a smaller gene pool, purebred cat breeds have a higher probability of suffering from genetic illnesses than domestic cats with a hybrid history.
The following are some of the diseases that may be more common in Bengals:
- The autosomal recessive condition results in juvenile cats going blind at an early age
- Entropion (the rolling in of the eyelids)
- Infectious peritonitis in cats, also known as FIP, is a fatal disease caused by an infection with the coronavirus2.
Most people fall in love with Bengals due to the wild appearance of their markings. Different Bengals can have leopard patterns that include rosettes, marbling, spots, and stripes; nevertheless, the spotted and marbled patterns are the only ones considered official marks for Bengals. The outlines of the patterns come in either black, chocolate, or grey/silver.
There is a brown tabby, the most prevalent color, and a seal sepia tabby, a seal mink tabby, a seal lynx point, a black silver tabby, a seal silver sepia tabby, a seal silver mink tabby, and a seal silver lynx point.
The markings can be any shade of brown up to black, and brown tabbies generally have white background fur on their whisker pads, chin, chest, abdomen, and inner legs. The patterns can be any shade of brown up to black.
The majority of Bengals have short hair. However, there is also a variety of long hair. They do not meet the criteria for hypoallergenic.
Their eyes might appear either green or yellow. Bengals are characterized by their huge size, musculature, and distinctively long faces and ears.
Diet and Nutrition
Cat food is what Bengals and other domesticated cats consume for nourishment. However, this oversimplification may not always be accurate. Most Bengal cat owners opt to offer their pets a grain-free or raw diet, mainly if the dogs are within the first three generations of the breed.
Most people who own Bengal cats find that the most convenient method to provide their pets with food is to buy a diet that does not contain grains.