The Bengal cat is a breed of shorthaired domestic cat.
This cat breed was developed in the United States in the 1970s and ’80s.
It was created from hybrids of domestic cats and the leopard cat and the Egyptian Mau.
Jean Mill of California is given credit for the modern Bengal breed. She made the first known deliberate cross of a leopard cat with a domestic cat (a black California tomcat).
However, Bengals as a breed did not really begin in earnest until much later. In 1970, Mill resumed her breeding efforts and in 1975 she received a group of Bengal cats which had been bred for use in genetic testing at Loyola University by Willard Centerwall. Others also began breeding Bengals.
The Bengal cat was officially named the Bengal in 1974 by Bill Engler. There is still some speculation as to the “real” origination of the breed’s name. It was purported that the name was garnered from the Bengal cat’s heritage: felis bengalensis, and others held true to the story that the name was indeed inspired after Bill Engler himself, B.Engle.
The Bengal cat has a typical lifespan of 12 to 17 years.
Bengal Cats are an average to large-sized cat breed. The typical Bengal cat has an overall height of 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 in) and body length of 36 to 46 cm (14 to 18 in). An average Bengal cat weighs between 3.5 to 7 kg (8 to 15 lb).
It is characterized by a broad head and muzzle, high cheekbones, and pronounced whisker pads. The eyes are round and wide, with dark markings around the eyes (mascara) and the ears small and rounded at the tips. The back legs are slightly longer than the front legs, making the hind end a bit higher than the shoulders, and emphasizing the Bengal’s wild-cat appearance.
Bengals come in a variety of coat colors. The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes several Bengal colors. Brown Spotted, Seal Lynx Point (snow), Sepia, silver, and Mink Spotted Tabby Bengals.
The fur is short, sleek and soft, often with an iridescent quality known as “glitter” which gives the cat a gorgeous sheen. The stunning fur has random rosettes of light spots within darker outer circles.
The Bengal cat is the only domestic breed of cat that has rosette markings like the markings on leopards, jaguars and ocelots.
People most often associate the Bengal with the most popular color: the brown spotted/rosetted Bengal. However, Bengals have a wide variety of markings and colors. Even within the Brown spotted/rosetted category a Bengal can be: red, brown, black, ticked, grey, spotted, rosetted, clouded.
With active, inquisitive, and intelligent personalities, Bengal cats often make for playful, energetic, and confident companions.
Many Bengal owners say that their Bengal naturally retrieves items, and they often enjoy playing in water.
Bengal cats were first recognized as an experimental breed by TICA in 1983 and received full recognition in 1993.
Bengal cats certainly aren’t the cheapest breed of cat to buy. The average cost that you can expect to pay for a Bengal kitten is usually about $1,000 but, they can actually range anywhere from $400 all the way up to $10,000. This will all depend on their location, the breeder, their gender, and their quality.