These beautiful Bengal cat photos will give you a closer look at an unusual breed that many people may have never encountered. The Bengal looks like a wildcat but has the personality of a domesticated feline. This breed is full of fascinating surprises. Discover more about the breed through captivating Bengal cat facts that will make you want a little leopard of your own.
1. Origin of the Bengal Breed
To create the Bengal cat, breeders first crossed a female Asian leopard cat with a male domestic cat in the early 1970s. The intention was to create a cat with a wild leopard appearance and the personality of a docile house cat. Ocicats, Abyssinians, and Egyptian Maus are some of the breeds that were commonly used to cross with the Asian leopard. The Bengal quickly grew in popularity and was recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1983.
2. Achieving the True Bengal Takes Generations
Bengal genetics are complex. Males of the first generation hybrid (F1) are sterile. Generation F2 and F3 females are bred back to domestic cats. Generation F4 is the product of breeding two F3 cats together, and it's at this point that these cats are considered domesticated Bengals, which can be kept as pets.
One outstanding F1 Bengal - Sarez Zeus, bred by Esmond Gay of Sarez Bengals - sold for $150,000 in 2003.
3. Bengals Have a Wild Cat Look
Ideally, a Bengal cat should look like a miniature version of a wild leopard. The Bengal's head is round and relatively small, with wide eyes and prominent whisker pads. Like their Asian leopard ancestors, they have long, muscular bodies.
4. Bengal Kittens Are Distinctly Fuzzy
Bengal kittens are distinctly fuzzy, and they have that cub-like look that sets them apart from other kittens. Bengal breeders call this the "fuzzies" or "fuzzing," where the Bengal kitten's guard hairs are longer than the rest of their coat, giving them that fuzzy appearance. Their markings can look blurred during this stage. Bengal kittens grow out of their fuzzies by 4 to 5 months old.
5. Bengals Come in Many Colors and Patterns
Bengals may be marbled or spotted with distinct rosettes. They can be one of three colors, including brown, silver, and snow. Brown is the most common color, with snow and silver being more difficult to find. Within the breed, you'll find eight recognized color variants:
- Brown Tabby
- Seal Sepia Tabby
- Seal Mink Tabby
- Seal Lynx Point
- Black Silver Tabby
- Seal Silver Sepia Tabby
- Seal Silver Mink Tabby
- Seal Silver Lynx Point
Spotted, marbled, charcoal spotted, and charcoal marbled patterns are the only recognized patterns. Other colors are also possible, though these are not recognized by The International Cat Association. Non-standard colors include blue and black.
6. Snow Bengals Resemble Snow Leopards
Here's a look at the snow Bengal, which closely resembles the snow leopard. These gorgeous cats have a pale coat with distinct rosette or marbled markings. Siamese males of various color points were used to produce this color variation. The same gene that makes the Siamese cat white also blocks pigment in the snow Bengal. Just as the Siamese breed has a darker face, ears, and tail, seal lynx point snow Bengals can have the same features.
7. Glitter Bengal Cats Exist
The glitter Bengal may sound like a mythological creature, but it's a fur trait some Bengal cats possess. A glitter coat means the hair has an iridescent shine to it. This trait is caused by an inherited genetic mutation that some Bengals have, making them look like they were sprinkled with glitter.
8. Temperament and Personality of the Bengal
Bengals, unlike some other domestic cats, are incredibly outgoing and want to participate in nearly everything their human companions do. Athletic and adventurous, these cats do not enjoy spending long hours alone.
Many owners describe the Bengal as being "dog-like" because they enjoy playing fetch and can easily learn tricks.
9. Bengals Love Water
Most Bengal cats love water. This is a common trait among cats of this breed, and something that most Bengal owners find endearing. These cats may sit by the faucet and drink or play with the water dripping out of the tap. If they have access to open water, a Bengal may try swimming in a pond.
Bengals for the Win
Few recent cat breeds have captivated cat lovers quite like the Bengal. Whether you're a dedicated feline aficionado or entirely new to this breed, the Bengal's beautiful looks and winning disposition will earn your affection. Learn about your Bengal cat's needs, lifespan, and health requirements, and your new pet will thrive under your care.