The Bengal Cat

The Bengal Cat

The Bengal cat, or simply Bengal as it is sometimes called, is a breed of domestic cat that has been achieved through the crossing of an Asian leopard cat with a domestic feline. The Bengal cat is basically a hybrid and its attraction comes from the fact that it has a wild look thanks to its spotted fur and skin that make it resemble the savage felines like leopards. Its body is also slightly bigger and more muscular because of its descent from the Asian leopard cat. The Bengal cat was created to live in a domestic environment as a pet and it generally has a mild and obedient temperament; yet for animals like this to be really domesticated they need to be at least the third generation from the crossing of the domestic feline with the Asian leopard cat.

Contrary to popular ignorant belief, its name isn’t derived from the Bengal tiger, but from the taxonomic, Latin name of the Asian leopard cat, P. b. bengalesis. The first recorded existence of the Bengal cat dates back to 1889 when it was mentioned by a British author in his book about cats. However, it was first mentioned that a Bengal cat could and was kept as a pet in a Belgian scientific journal that appeared n 1934. There were many who tried this kind of breeding, so we can assume that more or less different races of Bengal cats were developed around the world at one time or another. Some of the more prominent cat breeders that had a lot of success with their Bengal cats were the couple Elizabeth and Greg Kent and what they created still lives today in many breeds of the modern Bengal cat.

Unfortunately, the Cat Fanciers’ Association doesn’t recognize hybrids as being real cats, so the Bengal cat doesn’t feature among the 60,000 breeds of cats registered with them, and neither do other hybrids. Moreover, the Bengal cat is not accepted as a domestic pet in some parts of the world, such as the United Kingdom, due to their Dangerous Wild Animals Act passed in 1976. Nowadays there are even more complex hybridizations, so much that the Bengal cat, which is a hybrid itself, is used for cross-breeding with other animals. Thus, we have the Serengeti cat which is a mix of Bengal cat with Siamese or Oriental Shorthair, or the Savannah who is created through the mix of many other genes. Unfortunately, cats of this type, as well as the Bengal cat, may develop certain genetic disorders due to the forced breeding, so they can have serious health problems, such as an autosomal recessive disorder.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop people from taking Bengal cats as pet. Furthermore, if they are provided with everything they need for entertainment, Bengal cats can be very docile and easier to train than other cats due to their native intelligence. If you plan on raising a Bengal cat, you should equip your cat with several cat scratching posts. We say several, because, you should have one in each room of the house. The cat scratching posts don’t all need to be giant cat trees, but small scratching pieces that your cat can claim as its own, feeling that she has her own place on each room of the house.

Bengal Cat Pictures Gallery