About Bengal Cats
Origin of the breed
The Bengal Cat breed originated from the hybridization or crossing of a wild Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) and a domestic cat. In the late 1970’s, a researcher by the name of Dr. Willard Centerwall, at the University of California, was studying the natural resistance that the Asian Leopard Cat has to feline leukemia. He bred an ALC to a domestic to see if the Hybrid kittens would inherit this resistant gene. Jean Sugden (now Jean Mill) received Dr. Centerwall’s female kittens from the successful ALC crossed with domestic cats. Jean Mill started registering the cats descended from ALC’s as Bengal Cats with The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1984. The name "Bengal" is derived from the Latin name of the Asian Leopard Cat, Feline Bengalensis.
The first generation known as an F1 is the product of a ALC to a Domestic breeding. An F2 Bengal has an F1 mother and a domestic father. An F3 Bengal has a F2 mother and a domestic father. F4 and beyond Bengals are know as SBT (or Stud Book Tradition). It is this generation that is eligible to be shown in TICA. F1-F3 male Bengals are not used for breeding as they are usually sterile. Fertility in male Bengals begins at the 4th (F4) generation.
Bengals come in several different colors. The most common color is Brown. There are 3 different colors of snows (Seal Lynx Point, Seal Mink, and Seal Sepia), Silver as well as silver snow (Silver Seal Lynx Point, Silver Seal Mink, and Silver Seal Sepia). These are all colors accepted by TICA. In addition to these colors, there are non standard colors such as Melanistic, Blue, Cinnamon, Chocolate, etc. The Bengal cat comes in two patterns, Spotted and Marble. There are many forms of each pattern, like rosetting in the spotted.
| Bengal Personality
A domestic Bengal (four or more generations away from the Asian Leopard Cat) has been selectively bred for an active, loving and resolute disposition. Some Bengals are extremely interactive and insist on being an active member of the family. Many Bengals have a natural love for water and for interactive playing with adults, children and other pet members of the family. Just as in all cat breeds, there are individual personalities within bloodlines and even between littermates. Some Bengals are born showmen; some may be reserved. Careful breeding for a loving temperament is only half the story. Socialization, interesting experiences and lots of hands-on love and attention in early life and beyond are what shape your Bengal kitten into a prized companion.
Barring (or Rib Barring) - tabby-striped markings located behind the front leg where the ribs are.
Fuzzies - refers to the temporary stage of coat development in which some Bengal kitten's coat looses contrast and takes on a dull appearance. This stage of coat development may start as early as 4 weeks and persist until up to 16 or so weeks of age.
Glitter - refers to the tips or upper portion of the hair shaft that glistens and reflects light like a prism, giving the appearance of the coat being sprinkled with gold or crystal dust.
Ocelli - refers to the virtually white or light colored thumb-print shaped horizontal marking on the back of the ear
Pelt or pelted - refers to the unique texture of the coat of a wild animal. Some Bengals have this unique plush, unusually soft texture to their coats.
Rosette - refers to a spot within a spot. These two or three toned markings may be of various shapes such as doughnut shaped, arrow head shaped, paw print shaped, etc.
'Snow' Bengal - layman's term used to describe seal lynx, seal mink, or seal sepia spotted or marbled Bengals
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