Cat Breeds 101: Bengal!

Cat Breeds 101 - Bengal - WPPhoto –

The Bengal cat is named after the scientific name of its ancestor, the Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). Jean S. Mill crossed a domestic cat with an Asian Leopard Cat in 1963. The combination of these two breeds created a unique cat that is great for those who are experienced in handling active felines.

The Bengal is most noted for its wild appearance. It usually has large spots, rosettes and a light or white belly. Their body structure is also reminiscent of their wild ancestor. They have wedge-shaped heads, their eyes are large and their hind legs are longer and more muscular than most domestic cats. [1] Bengals are prone to contracting an early-onset autosomal recessive disorder that can cause blindness in their first year of life. [2]

Bengal cats are trainable. However, they are known to be very active and inquisitive which is a trait that can be traced back to their wild ancestor. They love to climb and hideout in elevated places. Owners of the Bengal must be patient in order for this relationship to be mutually beneficial. If you really want your own Bengal, you have to be prepared for them to be “all over the place.”

Since these cats are mighty climbers you have to make sure that all of your shelves and cupboards are cat-proof. Building cat jungle gyms can help keep the Bengal away from your valuables.

As for toys, give them something that will stimulate their natural instincts. Toys like “Kitty whack-a-mouse”, laser pointers, or any moving toy that stimulates activity will be preferred.

This breed is in high demand and therefore there are a few breeders that are a bit careless. Try to look for a reputable breeder so that you will know that your cat is in the best shape.

Find out more about this beautiful breed by watching the video below!


[1] Dan Rice, Bengal Cats (Barron’s Educational Series, 2005). p. 7.

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