The Bengal Cat is a hybrid animal, the result of cross-breeding a domestic cat with an Asian Leopard Cat. The name Bengal Cat is derived from the latin name for it's progenitor, the Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus Bengalensi).
The breed was not initially created for companionship, but for scientific research, due to the fact the Asian Leopard Cat is known to be immune to the Feline Leukemia Virus, thus researchers endeavored to find out if this immunity could be passed on to descendant hybrids. Various breeders attempted to have the breed developed ; and the Bengal Cat was fully recognised as it's own breed by the International Cat Association in 1991.
Despite being a new breed, it's affectionate personality and beautiful coat and patterns make it a very popular and desirable pet.
Size and Appearance
Closely resembling it's wild ancestor in pattern and colouration, the Bengal's coat can range from a pale cream colour, sand and gold, to brown and orange ; with spots and markings ranging from chocolate-brown to charcoal black. The markings can resemble the Asian Leopard's marbled pattern and spots ; and can also present in a tabby-like pattern. Bengal cats also have spots on their bellies.
It is the same size as a regular house cat, though on the larger side, and can weigh 8 – 15 pounds ; it is also a very muscular cat, despite also being agile and graceful.
Unlike the Asian Leopard Cat, the Bengal is well-adapted to family life and can make a charming companion if socialized properly.
A highly intelligent cat, it requires stimulation, toys, and interaction ; much like it's wild ancestor, the Bengal enjoys water and a pool should be provided, along with some climbing equipment to satisfy the animal's natural and instinctive desire to climb.
It is possible to train this cat to walk on a leash like a dog, and it is even said this breed enjoys playing fetch with it's owners. It has a sweet and gentle temperament, enjoying affection and play sessions with it's human companions.