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Cat Breeds: The Bengal

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If you want a playful, inquisitive pet, you should definitely consider getting a Bengal cat. These gorgeous felines are the first successful hybrid of wild and domestic cat breeds. Where did these cats originate? What is their personality like?

Here's your guide to the Bengal cat breed.

Where do Bengal cats come from?

In the early 1960s, cat owner Jean S. Mills accidentally helped create a new breed. She owned a female Asian leopard cat, a small spotted cat breed that weighed 5-12 pounds on average. To prevent her cat from getting lonely, she allowed it to spend time with a black male cat.

However, she was shocked one day to realize that the leopard cat was pregnant! She gave birth to a litter of kittens, and Mills kept a spotted female from the litter. She bred it with the father, which resulted in more spotted kittens. Little did she know that this marked the beginning of a new breed.

Around the same time, Dr. Willard Centerwall of Loyola University was also crossing Asian leopard cats with domestic cats. Because the leopard cats had genetic resistance to the feline leukaemia virus, the scientist wanted to know how this would affect hybrid offspring. 

By the 1980s, various breeders were developing the cat breed. In 1983, the International Cat Association recognized it as an experimental breed. But, in 1991, they recognized it as an official breed. Today, they are one of the most popular breeds exhibited in cat shows.

What do Bengal cats look like?

Thanks to their wild cat heritage, Bengals have stunning, luxurious coats. These coats may have either a spotted or a marbled pattern. The spotted coat is made up of distinct spots and rosettes in a leopard-like pattern. These spots may be single-toned or two-toned. 

Or, Bengals may have a marbled coat. The TICA describes this coat as, "a swirling pattern that appears as random swirls or thick diagonal and horizontal lines flowing across the coat of the cat."

As far as colours, Bengals may have a silver, white, cream, grey, golden, bronze, or mahogany background in their coat. They usually have off-white undersides and tabby markings on their faces.

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What kind of personality do Bengals have?

Bengal cats are extremely confident and self-possessed. They love to explore, make new friends, and play. Because of this, their owners need to be attentive and responsible. 

According to the Purrington Post, "These kitties are sweet and loving, yet incredibly agile, intelligent and active. They may come and nuzzle your face in the middle of the night, purring softly or spend hours pleasing themselves by stretching frequently or rolling on their backs in pure, uninhibited rapture."

Bengals are one of the few cat breeds that love water. If you allow them, they will join you in brushing teeth or taking a shower. 

If you are looking for an active, playful cat, the Bengal is a fantastic choice for you!

Let's Chat:

Do you have a Bengal cat? If so, what is your favourite trait of Bengals?

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