The Bengal Cat
The Bengal Cat is a breed of domestic cat developed by selective breeding to evoke the feline denizens of the wilderness such as leopards, ocelots, margays and clouded leopards. Bengal cats were developed by selective breeding of domestic cats with hybrids of domestic cats and an Asian Leopard Cat (ALC), Prionailurus Bengalensis, with the goal of creating a confident dog-like characteristics, healthy and friendly cat with a high contrast and vivid markings on their silky glittered coat.
The name "Bengal cat" was derived from the taxonomic name of the Asian Leopard Cat (P.b.bengalensis). They have a "wild" appearance with large spots, rosettes, and a light/white belly, and a body structure reminiscent of the ALC, but were once separated by at least four generations from the original crossing possesses a gentle domestic cat temperament.
Brief history of Bengals
Bengals' genealogy can be traced back to the hybrid pairing of a domestic cat and a leopard cat, which explains their loyal nature and their strong inquisitiveness. The first generation of hybrid Bengal kittens resulted in highly nervous dispositions and sterile males, and only by the fourth generation of hybrid kittens could the Bengal breed be healthy and suitable for prosperous domestic living.
Bengals have long and lean torsos, and the males of the breed are especially muscular. Their legs are slightly longer in the back, and they have big paws. A Bengal's head is slightly smaller in proportion to its body, which is why some people find this breed to be intimidating. A Bengal's coat, under the proper care, is dense in texture and luxuriously silky to the touch. Each Bengal has unique spotted or marbled fur that are often presented in contrasting colours. The more common brown Bengals have green or gold eyes. Other colours include: Blue and Black, Melanistic, Snow, Sepia, Silver, or Marble. Other unique colours include variations of blue and charcoal. This breed is non-hypoallergenic.
General care guide
Since Bengals are an active breed, they require a significant amount of attention from their owners. You will need to play with them often and stimulate their intelligence. Regarding their grooming needs, Bengals have thick, silky coats that generally require very little to no brushing. Bengals are independent and can take care of themselves by licking their fur in less-frequent self-grooming sessions as compared to other cat breeds. This means that with less dried saliva on their coats, they are less likely to trigger acute allergies in people who are allergic to cats. Other general health, nutritional, and dental care applies.
Interesting fact: Bengals, like leopards in the wild, are fascinated by water and some even have no qualms about getting into tubs or showers!