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The Bengal cat is descended from crosses between
wild Asian Leopard Cats and domestic shorthairs. The first Bengal
breeding program began in 1963 and the breed was first accepted
for championship status in TICA in 1984. It is a large cat with
a short glossy coat.
While most commonly seen in the brown spotted
tabby pattern, Bengal kittens may also be found in the marbled pattern (classic
tabby). Glittering refers to an effect on the coat that makes
it looks as if the coat was sprinkled with glitter; rosetted refers
to the spots forming distinct patterns, preferably with more than
one color tone within the spot. Seal sepia, seal lynx, and seal
mink, color patterns with a pale white or cream background, are
popularly referred to as "snow" Bengals.
Bengal cats are active, intelligent companions. Buyers should ask
how many generations removed Bengal kittens are from wild blood;
the best companion cats are at least four generations removed.
Most pet Bengals are wild only in looks, not in personality. They do well with other pets their own size or larger, but due to their closeness to wild blood, they may not be as kind to small pets such as hamsters or small birds.
Interesting fact: An SBT (stud
book tradition) Bengal represents at least four generations of
Bengal-to-Bengal breeding, and thus will be no less than four
generations removed from wild blood. F1 through F4 (filial)
Bengals are anywhere from one to four generations removed
(F1 is the offspring of a Bengal-to-Asian Leopard Cat breeding,
an F2 is the offspring of Bengal-to-Bengal breeding with at least
one F1 involved, and so on). An SBT cat would thus be at least
an F5. Most pet Bengals are F4s or SBTs; cats with more wild blood
than that may make difficult pets.
WARNING: As a hybrid breed, Bengals are illegal to own in some states or municipalities in the United States. This is mostly due to badly-worded laws banning wild animal-domestic animal hybrids, mostly meant to prevent dangerous hybrid crosses that might result in vicious animals or invasive species. Registry-recognized hybrids and good breeding practices result in neither, but laws can take time to change. Please check with this website to determine if your state is affected: http://www.hybridlaw.com
Associations: The Bengal cat breed is currently accepted by most
associations except CFA.
Books about Bengals from amazon.com
Bengal Breed Information
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