- Enjoy the unique character of the Bengal personality
- Not for the faint of heart; these cats ARE part of the family
- Have an exotic-looking domestic own you
Breeding for the Bengal from Foundation Cats
Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) x pedigreed domestic shorthair=F1–1st generation babies with 50% wild blood/males are sterile/generally won’t fit into the normal household
F1 x domestic or backcrossed to parent or SBT Bengal=F2–2nd generation 25% wild blood/less shy/males are sterile
F2 x domestic or backcrossed to parent or SBT Bengal=F3-3rd generation 15-18% wild blood/more outgoing and loving/sterility in males diminish
F3 x domestic or backcrossed to parent or SBT Bengal=F4-1st generation SBT (Stud Book Tradition Bengal)/10-12% wild blood/outgoing, loving pets
From this point forward, SBT means only Bengal to Bengal breeding to retain its origin and purpose.
Bengals have been hybridized from the small, shy, forest dwelling Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) or precisely Felis Bengalensis. These cats are mainly found in SE Asia. The idea was to create a domestic that retained the appearance of its feral ancestor while developing a sweet natured pet. This was partially done to discourage the slaughter of the timid cat. Their pelt was admired and in demand for making into clothing accessories. The fur was used for ladies’ fashion articles. If people could own a wild looking but domestic cat with a stunning pelt they may be less apt to trap theALC and wear their pelts. The recent CITES treaty now protects these wonderful felines from such a fate.
Years later in 1961, Jean Mill of Arizona had acquired an ALC that bred with a domestic shorthair tomcat. One female survived which was then bred back to the father. Through misfortune with the early breeding program, it was abandoned until 1980 when she married Bob Mill and moved to California. When looking for new ALC’s she was directed to Dr. Willard Centerwall at Loma Linda University who was doing leukemia research on ALC’s and F1 kittens. The ALC seemed to have somewhat of a natural immunity to this dreaded disease. Once he obtained blood samples for research he was happy to place the kittens he had. A few years later Ms. Mill instigated the assistance of a stud she found in Delhi. Millwood Tory of Delhi developed into the king of all studs for Bengals today. Thus the new breed began.
It was not an easy breeding program for Jean Mill, E.G., setbacks with the cats, opposing standard cat breeders and legislation was emerging (we’re still fighting it) to stop the international and domestic importation, breeding and ownership of Bengals because of their feral lineage. MYTH– A Bengal may revert back to it roots and be dangerous. TRUTH-the ALC was never a dangerous feline. It had to be shy and aloof to avoid humans.
Appearance (color & patterns (click to enlarge)
Bengal Cats and Kittens resemble a spotted African leopard but do not grow larger than any other household cat. The overall appearance of a Bengal consists of a pelt-like coat, contrasting dark spots amidst a lighter background color, uniquely striking head markings or crown, small wide-set ears, black lipstick, eye liner and paw pads. (click to enlarge) Sometimes, the dark spots will open up and shine through with a variation of color. These are called rosettes and can be seen on some breeds of feral cats. This rarity is a bonus on a Bengal and can be very expensive. Another rare find is glitter. Although these cats do not have ticking, it will remind you of it. The end of the hairs will be tipped in gold which glistens in the sun. It is quite attractive. The body is long and sleek with higher hind legs. They eyes are round or almond highlighted with gold, green or blue. Variations in color exist in Bengals: brown, seal lynx point, mink, sepia with new ones being evaluated and patterns consist of spotted and marbled.
Bengals are a new breed that have soared to high demand in the last few years. People are recognizing the unique desirable differences compared to a common domestic. Gone are the days when you only see your cat when it wants food or attention. Bengal Cats and Kittens want to be part of the family at all times and are very loyal pets. Their intelligence and ability to reason are uncanny. They can figure out what would be almost impossible tasks for a normal cat. The athletic abilities of these cats are a sight to behold. I won’t make unwarranted claims but from personal experience my cats have leaped onto my pot/plant shelves which are approximately nine feet up (click to enlarge) then it’s off to the next pot shelf. They love high places to asses the activity below.
A Bengal is always entertaining you and will follow you from room to room. Most love to cuddle once the energy wears down and all will sleep on the bed at night if allowed. My kitten contract stipulates that any animal adopted will remain an indoor cat obviously for the safety and longevity of the pet. However, these animals are very easy to leash train. My crew accompanies me outdoors daily. Simba runs laps around the outside of the pool with me. He always climbs down to the first step in the pool and now and then goes for a quick swim. The love of water is inherent as the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) hunted for food in the water. Ziggy bats and plays in the water while keeping an eye out on the bird feeder.
Another consideration in choosing a Bengal is that Bengals seem to be more easily tolerated by people suffering from allergies. It is a dried saliva protein that causes dander and allergic reactions in people. The cats are not allergen-free but some find relief owning a Bengal compared to other domestics.
Bengals require lots of human attention and exercise. If you are gone for 10-12 hours a day then it would not be a wise idea to add a Bengal Cat to your family. They will become bored and destructive if left alone for long periods. Being the athletes that they are, a high quality diet is of vital importance. High protein foods are necessary as they should eat the same as their wild ancestors. You can supplement by sharing a piece of chicken, fish or beef with your cat at dinner. If you want something more than just a “looks” cat then a Bengal is for you.
What is a Bengal Cat?
The Bengal Cat is the only widely recognized breed with a background as a hybrid between the domestic cat and a wild cat species (i.e. the Felis Prionailurus, or the Asian Leopard Cat). This unusual background is the reason why Bengal breeders and owners of Bengal cats are often asked questions about the character and behavior of the Bengals. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Bengal Temperment and Personality
CAN YOU KEEP Bengals WITH CHILDREN?
Answer: Yes, Bengal cats are excellent family pets, and they love to play and sleep with the children of the family. Numerous Bengal breeders are themselves parents of small children, and they can attest to this being an excellent combination. However, please remember that children must be taught to treat animals correctly – this applies to all animals, and it is of course the parents’ responsibility to teach them.
IS A Bengal VERY WILD?
Answer: Not at all! Although it has a beautiful wild looking appearance, the Bengal behaves like other cats in most respects. Years and years of goal-oriented breeding have resulted in a Bengal Cat with a beautiful and exotic look and a pleasant and affectionate nature. Bengals are active, curious, and almost dog-like in their dealings with the owner, and they prefer to accompany the owner everywhere. The only areas, in which the Bengal Cat has retained a “wild” behavior is in the way it moves and in its handling of water. The Bengal is usually fast as lightning, and it uses its paws for picking up things (just like a squirrel). Moreover, numerous Bengal cats and Kittens enjoy playing with water – just like their wild ancestors in the jungle.
IS THE Bengal AGGRESSIVE?
Answer: NO! Unfortunately, some people, unfamiliar with the Bengals, spread this opinion – perhaps because in the early days of the Bengal history, a few Bengals did not behave very well in the exhibition halls (at least, this is the only explanation we Bengal breeders can come up with). However, due to responsible and caring breeders, the present-day Bengal has a loving and affectionate nature.
The Asian Leopard Cat is not aggressive by nature. It is a small wild cat. which maintains its natural shyness. Some will not use a litter box. They would rather defecate and urinate in water. This is a protective behavior which helps conceal their presence from larger predators.
The first generations after crossing a leopard cat with a domestic cat are called F1, F2, and F3 respectively – F stands for “foundation.” Early generations may have inherited the shy nature. This is not always the case. Bengals sold as pets are usually four or more generations away from their Asian ancestor. They have the pleasant character of the domestic cat. Occasionally, a litter of Bengal kittens comprises a kitten, which has inherited the shy character of its forefather. Such a kitten should be taken into special consideration by the breeder. It may not be well suited for a show cat or for an active family. It may, however, turn out to be an excellent companion for a single owner.
The International Cat Association (TICA) Bengal Standard mentions that a Bengal must not show aggression. Therefore, Bengals bred by responsible breeders are loving and devoted family cats – as a visit to such a breeder will most certainly attest to.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO LIVE WITH A Bengal?
Answer: In most respects, the Bengal behaves more like a dog than like a cat! It will follow its owner everywhere and is interested in the family doings. It enjoys helping with floor washing or doing the dishes and may even accompany its owner in the shower. It is curious and playful. Many Bengals entertain themselves for hours playing with a drinking straw. They love being cuddled when they have finished their household chores. Every Bengal I have had through the years likes to be in high positions – in this respect, their wild ancestry does not fail them. A tall cat tree is popular. If you miss your Bengal, you may find it sitting on top of an open door (not without danger), a tall bookshelf, or other tall pieces of furniture. From this high position, it will survey the activities of the household.
IS THE Bengal SO WILD THAT IT MUST BE WALKED ON A LEASH?
Answer No. Numerous Bengal Cat owners teach the cat to walk on a leash, I discourage this practice. Once the cat learns to love the adventursome outside, they want to go outside. A Bengal is very fast. An open door is no challenge to their speed and ingenuity. Many, many Bengal owners have lost their cat through a door or window opened for just a second or two. Predators exist, even in the cities. Coyotes, hawks, eagles, automobiles, and other humans, who cannot resist the beauty of these wonderful cats, etc. And there is always the possibility of communicable disease.
Based on initial work written, translated from Danish, and reproduced here by the generous permission of Annette Lerche Trolle, Trollspotting
$1500-$2000 Most of our kittens are beautiful enough to be considered breeder quality. However our “PET” Kittens are sold for “Pets” without Breeder rights.
|Potential Show Cats when available
Pricing – this is simply a guide as prices will vary depending on how the kitten develops. A Bengal’s pelt changes so rapidly in the beginning that prices are not set until kittens are four weeks old. They are sold in three categories: pet / breeder rights / potential show quality. Not all babies have the exact specifications that show judges are looking for but kitties are beautiful and loving. I guarantee that you will have one of the best pets ever.
Early socialization is a very important process for the Bengal Breed. As a Bengal Cat Breeder, I touch and talk to my kittens from the day they are born. Every one of them loves people. All kittens live underfoot and sleep on the bed when old enough.
Bengal kittens go through a “fuzzies” stage like other cats in the wild. It resembles a bad hair day and helps camouflage them while young and helpless. At three to four months old you will see their coats change to a pelt-like fur and their eyes change from blue to gold, or green.
I welcome inquiries about the kittens. All will be sold with a health guarantee, pedigree and TICA registration papers. These kittens are very well cared for and are looking for excellent new homes where they will be treated the same. Kittens are ready to go around 10 weeks of age depending on the maturity of the kitten.