Bengal cat history
Bengal cat name derives from the Latin name of its wild ancestor, Felis Bengalensis (Asian Leopard Cat). This also indicates the breeds origins: In 1963, Jean S. Mill crossed a domestic cat with an Asian Leopard Cat, a spotted five to twelve pound shy wild cat species from Asia. This was the first effort to create a breed of domestic cat with the loving nature of a favored fireside tabby and the striking look associated with Leopards.
However, the modern Bengal cat breed traces to cats bred by Mrs. Mill beginning in the early 1980's and as the number of breeders and owners grew, this led to the formation of The International Cat Association's (TICA) Bengal Breed Section. T.I.C.A. adopted the first written breed standard in 1986 and the first Bengal Bulletin was published in Nov/Dec 1988.
Bengal cat personality
The Bengal cat combines a "wild" appearance with a gentle temperament.
Bengal cat is busy by nature. It is an intelligent and interactive cat with whom you can develop a very genuine two-way relationship. It is neither a distant cat that ignores you with arrogance, nor a dull quiet cat.
It is also amazing athlete. It can rush around with great joy, climb doors and cupboards, and leap to huge heights. When a Bengal cat is in full play mode, it's rather like trying to hold on to running water!
A Bengal cat might enjoy water and may join you in brushing your teeth or taking a shower. However if you’re after a swimming cat, you’d be better off with a Turkish Van.
Finally a Bengal cat is very affectionate and can be a "lap cat" whenever it wants to.
Bengal cat breed standards
According to the Fédération Internationale Féline, a Bengal cat has a slightly small in proportion to the body head. The head is also broad, shaping a modified wedge with rounded contours. It is longer than it is wide and when viewed in profile it is obvious that it shapes a gentle curving forehead.
The nose is large and wide with a slightly puffed nose leather. When viewed in profile, the bridge of the nose extends above the eyes. It also bears a very slight concave curve.
Bengals cat muzzle is full and broad, with large and prominent whisker-pads. The cheekbones are high and prominent and the chin is strong, aligning with the tip of the nose in profile.
The ears are medium to small. They are rather short with a wide base and rounded tips. A light horizontal furnishing is acceptable, however any amount of tufts is undesirable. They are set wide apart, following the contour of the face in the frontal view and pointing forward in the profile view.
The eyes are oval and maybe a little almond shaped,large but not bugged. The recognized eye colors are the green, brown, gold, blue-green, aquamarine and blue. Their eyes are set wide apart, with a slight slant towards the base of the ears.
A Bengal cat possesses a medium to large body with a long and substantial torso, but not oriental or foreign. The bone structure is robust and never delicate and the musculature well developed. However, the most distinguishing characteristic of its body is that the hindquarters are slightly higher than the shoulders.
The legs are of medium length, with the hint slightly longer than in the front ones. In addition they are very muscular and not at all delicate. The paws are obviously large and round.
Their neck is thick, muscular and long. The tail on the other hand is of medium length, thick, tapered at the end and with a rounded tip.
Bengal cat coat is of short to medium length. The kittens sometimes have a little longer coat, however that changes later. The texture is thick, luxurious, unusually soft to the touch and preferably glittering. The recognized patterns and colors are the following:
· Spotted Pattern: Random, horizontal or diagonal. Rosettes showing two distinct colors or shades are preferable to single spotting, but not required. The shape is similar to a paw print. The belly must also be spotted.
· Marbled Pattern: Markings, while derived from the classic tabby gene, and the horizontal pull of the non-domestic giving a uniquely different pattern with as little "bulls-eye" similarity as possible. The pattern should instead be random giving the impression of marble or the impression of chaining with an horizontal flow when the cat is stretched.
· Brown (black) marbled
· Seal sepia/ Seal mink marbled
· Snow marbled
· Brown (black) spotted
· Seal sepia/ Seal mink spotted
· Snow spotted