The Bengal cat is an exquisite breed that not only looks quite exotic, dangerous and wild, but actually has a wildcat's blood in it's veins.
The Bengal cat is a cross between the domestic cat and the Asian leopard cat which is commonly referred to as the "ALC".
In recent years, the Bengal has been crossed much less often with the ALC, and has become a fairly stable, and often quite loving breed, even developing color variations typical of many domestic cat breeds.
But the degree of leopard cat in any given Bengal can make a difference in how good a pet that individual is.
Some Bengal cats are difficult to handle, and a percentage are returned to the breeder or given up for adoption specifically because of wild or destructive behavior.
It is very important to know who the parents of your prospective new Bengal kitten are, and ideally, to see and handle them as well.
Crosses between domestic cats and wild cats have occurred for centuries, but in the case of the Bengal, the breed and official breed standard were not adopted until the late 1980's.
The Bengal cats that are commonly kept as pets are several generations removed from the ALC and can make pleasant, and certainly gorgeous companions, but this is still not a fully domesticated breed, and first time cat owners might consider a more predictable option...
The personality of the Bengal cat is very dog-like.
These big cats will follow you around the house observing everything, and with firm training from an early age can be taught all kinds of tricks and commands.
Bengal cats are very, very active, and very strong-willed cats.
Companionship and mental stimulation are essential or else they may become destructive.
The Bengal cat is not recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the world's largest cat organization. but it is gaining in popularity among pure-bred or "pedigreed" domestic cat breeds.
Often quite large and retaining a wild look that is stunningly attractive, the Bengal can make a fine pet in the right environment, but requires lots of stimulation and, ideally, room to roam.
A secure cat pen outdoors would be greatly appreciated by this often prey-driven cat.
The opportunity to stalk about in a natural setting can help with boredom.
Bengals can have a very dog-like personality and enjoy learning tricks, playing fetch and walking on a leash.
Shedding may be high and regular grooming is desired.
These are sturdy, muscular, large-sized cats that have few breed-related health issues.
Because they are a very active domestic/wild hybrid, the Bengal may not be suitable for a family with children or additional pets.
Exposure to the breed and education about this cats requirements are essential before making a decision about getting a Bengal.
For the right people, however, they are stunning and unparalleled companions..-Bengal Cat Facts
Bengal kittens are tremendously energetic, excitable and active.
They are usually completely decked out in spectacular spots when they are just a few days old and they grow more gorgeous by the day.
Kitten-proofing is required for anyone considering adopting or purchasing a Bengal kitten.
High furniture should be off limits, caution should be taken when holding these busy youngsters, particularly when carrying them across hard wood or tile floors, and spaces under counters and doors should be blocked off as they have a very strong urge to explore.
In Appearance, the Bengal kitten is a bit gangly and the head and paws may seem way too large.
They generally have some fuzziness in the coat until they are about 12 weeks old, and then the sleek and satiny adult coat starts to come in.
They tend to grow quickly and reach mature height at about 6 months, filling out and maturing to full size and weight at about one and a half years old.
These are very expensive little kittens due to rarity and the skill required by the breeder to get the wild look while retaining a domestic nature.
Be careful of scams where photos of kittens are displayed and huge deposits are requested.
Head Shape: The head should be a broad modified wedge with rounded contours. Longer than it is wide and slightly small in proportion to body size. Profile: Gently curving forehead to bridge. The nose is large and wide with fullness to the nose leather and a bridge that extends above the eyes for a distinctive look. The muzzle is full and broad with thick whiskers and high, angular cheekbones. The ears are medium to large in size, tapered and set high on the head. in size Height: Medium to medium-short, allowance to be made for larger appearing ears on kittens up to 12 months. Base: Wide in proportion to height. Lynx type tufts on the ears are not desirable. The eyes are large and deep-set, slightly oval in shape. Eyes may be any color.
Body and Tail: The neck is thick and muscular, large in proportion to head. The body is long, powerful and muscular, medium to large in size. The legs are of medium length in proportion to the body, muscular and powerful with robust bone. The tail is thick and medium length with rounded tip. The feet are large and round with prominent knuckling and big-bones.
Coat: The coat is short, sleek and soft, often with an iridescent quality known as "glitter" which gives the cat a gorgeous sheen.
Pattern: The markings should contrast strongly with the base color and should be a spotted or rosette type pattern as opposed to the typical "tabby" pattern. The belly should be spotted as well, and pure white belly with no spots is not desirable.
Overall Appearance: This should be a very muscular and large cat with a distinctly unique look. The more wild and removed from the typical domestic cat in pattern and general appearance the better. High marks for muscularity and distinctive coat pattern.