The Bengal Cat is a unique breed of spotted domestic cat derived from the ancestral crossing of a domestic cat with an Asian Leopard Cat. The name "Bengal cat" is derived from the Latin name of the Asian Leopard Cat, Feline Bengal catensis. The domestic Bengal cat has inherited the exotic, stunningly wild spotted pattern from the Asian Leopard Cat, found in the wild in central Asia. This beautiful breed is very affectionate and loving will still obtaining the wild look of its Ancestor.
The main credit for this breed is given to Jean Sudgen of the USA. Jean Sudgen crossed a black shorthaired domestic cat with a female Asian Leopard Cat in 1963.
Later in 1975, Jean Sudgen, now Mrs. Jean Mill, acquired eight female hybrids from a geneticist Dr. Willard Centerwall, who had been involved in a breeding program where Asian Leopard Cats were crossed with domestic cats as part of a study of feline Leukaemia. Jean Mills began again to further the new breed. This was the beginning of the exciting and exotic Bengal cat breed. Finally in 1984, the domestic Bengal cat we know today became recognised by the International Cat Association.
The Bengal cat is a medium to a relatively large shorthaired exotic cat. Bengal cats vary in size with the male between fourteen to twenty pounds and females slightly smaller at ten to twelve pounds. Bengal cats are very muscular cats with long bodies, thus appearing larger.
Their faces have a feral expression with small rounded ears, intense facial markings, and pronounced whisker pads. The domestic Bengal cat is a highly intelligent and affectionate cat. Their stunningly beautiful dense soft pelt fur and wild markings mixed with their exceptionally loving personality makes them like having a lap leopard.
Bengal Cats are also mischievous and active cats. They can easily be leash trained, taught to play fetch, love to climb, and have many other abilities. They are also very vocal cats, always eager for human companionship and approval and have a chirp like meow. The Bengal cat mixes well with children and other animals. The Bengal cat is also unique in the fact that they love to play in water. They are said to be cats for the dog people. I'm asked all the time if they are affectionate. Some say they aren't lap cats. I have only had a few that loved to be pet but didn't like to be picked up unless it was their idea. Most of mine however do like to snuggle. Just like with domestic cats it depends on their personalities and conditioning early in life.