Bengal Breed

The Bengal breed is a relatively new hybrid that traces its roots back to the 1960s, though the breed as we currently know it now has its beginnings in the 1980s. The cat is a result of a cross between domestic cats and the Asian Leopard Cat, a small and shy wild cat from Asia. The Bengal is intended to have the loving nature of a domestic cat and the striking looks of a wild cat. The cat’s name comes from the taxonomic name of the Asian Leopard Cat, and not from the Bengal tiger, who is unrelated.  

Bengals are an active, rambunctious and spirited breed. By nature very busy and interested in exploring, Bengals are only lap cats on their own schedule. Most Bengals will amuse themselves by playing, climbing and running around investigating things. Though always interested in being near the action and very affectionate pets, most Bengals will not want to snuggle unless they also want to sleep. Bengals have an interest in water, and you may find yours showing up when you wash the dishes or brush your teeth. Although you might not want your Bengal’s help with the dishes, this can make bathing yours much easier! Bengals have a range of vocal habits, from very talkative to quiet most of the time.

Bengal cats are medium to large, ranging from 6-15 pounds, with the females generally being smaller than the males. Their body is reminiscent of the Asian Leopard Cat, with balanced and muscled features. They have large heads with rounded contours and large, wide-set eyes in a variety of colors. Their faces have a full and broad muzzle and wide jaws.

The Bengal breed is distinguished by soft, short coat with wild-looking marks, from large to small stripes and spots and a white or light colored belly. The most popular color of the Bengal is the brown/black tabby, but also come in “snow” colors. Coats are marbled or spotted, with variation in spots and lines. Most Bengals also have distinctive bulls-eye marks, horizontal striping around their eyes and a foreleg stripe. 

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