Bengal cats are large and feature unique spotted coats, making them look like wild cats. Although they come from a family of small, wild leopard cats from Asia, Bengal cats are still considered domestic cats. The name Bengals is taken from the scientific name of the Asian leopard cat, which is Felis bengalensis.
These cats emerged through a cross between domestic shorthairs and Asian leopard cats. The first breeder who created this cross was Jean Mill from California. However, it was not her intention to make a new breed. She obtained a leopard cat so that her black tom cat has some company and wouldn’t feel lonely. Eventually, she was shocked to find out that these two species mates which resulted in kittens. Mill took a spotted female and breed her to her father which resulted in spotted kittens.
Simultaneously, Dr. Willard Centerwall created a cross between domestic cats and Asian leopard cats. These leopard cats were known to resist the feline leukemia virus, hence, researchers wanted to find out if this trait can be acquired by the hybrid offspring.
Over time, a lot of breeders became interested in breeding these cats and one of them is Mill. Although she wanted to give up cat breeding due to some changes in her life suddenly, she wanted to start again. She took a few of Dr. Centerwall’s hybrids and looked for ideal males to breed to them. One of them is a brown spotted tabby which she obtained from a shelter. Another is an orange domestic shorthair from India. Today, Bengals are considered the same as domestic cats. Bengals that are purchased now have fewer traces of wild bloodlines.
It was The International Cat Association that first recognize the Bengals and in 1983, the association approved their breed’s experimental status. Finally, in 1991, there was full recognition. Later on, the Bengals were recognized by other associations such as the United Feline Organization, the United Feline Organization, and the American Cat Fanciers Association. Bengal cats are considered the most desired specie, in fact, in 1990, a British woman spent more than $50,000 on her Bengal cat. They are known as the “Rolls Royce” among the felines.
Size and Personality
The size of Bengals is medium-to-large. They also weigh eight to 15 pounds or even more. Bengal cats are very intelligent and very active as well. They can be a fun companion, but they can sometimes be challenging. Overall, Bengal cats are friendly, talkative, confident, and active. They always make sure that people noticed them.
At the same time, they love to play games such as fetch, and they are great at learning tricks. They have swift paws that are just as great as hands. Also, it’s a great thing that they do not have opposable thumbs, or they could rule the world. When these Bengal cats get bored, they could do unconventional things such as plucking your DVD player, switching the lights on and off, etc.
Bengals like playing in the water. You might find them taking a shower or jumping in the bathtub with you. The fish in your pond and aquarium might be in danger with their clever paws. They also like to climb, which is why you might find them in the highest area in your house. You should provide this feline with a tall cat tree and some puzzle toys that can challenge its brilliance.
Occasionally, if you can’t find your Bengal swimming in the pool or swinging on the chandeliers, this loving feline will simply sit on your lap. Of course, they would love sharing the bed with you and sometimes steal the covers.
Mixed-breed cats and pedigreed cats usually encounter different health issues that might be genetic in nature. Although Bengal cats are generally healthy, however, there are a few diseases that have been observed in this breed:
- Flat-chested Kitten Syndrome – a specific type of deformity that ranges from mild to severe. Most often, kittens who have survived this disease until adulthood will not show any symptoms once they mature.
- Distal Neuropathy – an illness that affects the nervous system and causes weakness. This disease can affect Bengals as early as one year of age. Luckily, several cats have recovered on their own, but sometimes there are a few relapses.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease genetic in some breeds.
- Hip Dysplasia – when it gets severe, this could lead to lameness.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy – a specific type of degenerative eye disease.
- Patellar Luxation – a genetic dislocation of the kneecap that could go from mild to severe. Although severe cases could be treated by surgery.
Even though your cat is healthy when you bring them home for the first time, you must be prepared if any health issues might occur. One of the best ways to help you prepare is to have a pet insurance plan. This can help you prepare just in case your cat requires veterinary treatment. Try to look for a pet insurance plan for your precious Bengal as early as possible.
Bengals have short, thick coats that can be easily maintained and cared for by simply combing them regularly to spread skin oils and get rid of dead hair. Although a bath is not necessary.
Brushing their teeth regularly can help in preventing periodontal disease. It is best to practice dental hygiene daily; weekly is also better than nothing. Every couple of weeks, do not forget to trim their nails. To remove any discharge, use a soft, damp cloth and wipe the corners of their eyes. For each eye, use a different portion of the cloth. This can help avoid the risk of spreading any infection. Every week, check their ears, and if there is something dirty, then get a soft, damp cloth and dip it in a mixture of warm water and cider vinegar, and use this for wiping them out. Using cotton swabs is not recommended since this could damage the ear’s interior.
Always make sure that their litter box is thoroughly clean. When it comes to bathroom hygiene, cats are quite particular. If they can find that their box is dirty, then they might use other places in the house.
It is recommended that you keep your Bengal cat indoors so it can be protected from attacks from dogs, diseases spread by other cats, and other dangers that could harm your cat when they go outside. For instance, they could get hit by a car or other vehicles. Build a large outdoor enclosure for your Bengal so they can safely jump and climb. Also, letting them go outside means that there is a risk that they could get stolen by someone who would love to have a nice feline such as yours.
Bengals cannot be considered delicate since they are agile and have strong bodies. Most often, they look like they belong in the jungle. They have broad heads, medium to small ears, large oval eyes, and long necks. Their bodies are supported by medium-length legs that are a bit longer than in the back. Their medium-length tails are tapered and have a black color at the tip. Once they roll over, you can immediately notice that they have spotted bellies.
Lone Star Bengals & Kittens is a cat breeding company that breeds Bengal cats. If you want to acquire a Bengal cat, then you can contact us at 817-602-4807 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.