The Bengal is a medium to large domestic feline that originates from crossing the small Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) to the domestic cat, creating a companion with an exotic look and a friendly temperament. ALCs are beautiful and exotic looking animals, roughly the same size as the average housecat. They vary in coloration and markings depending upon the sub-species. The ALC has played an important role in the Bengal breed's creation, but it is not a pet. Four to five generations after breeding Bengal-to-Bengal, the Bengal breed is recognized for championship competition by most international domestic cat assotciations, including TICA, ACFA, GCCF, FIFe, and AACE.
The Bengal’s beautiful coat makes it stand out in a crowd. Shades of brown, orange, sand, buff, silver, or ivory make up the background color. Some Bengal patterns display striking rosettes, spots, or swirls made up of more than one color, usually a secondary color forming a dark outlining of the pattern.
The Bengal cat can be spotted or marbled. The marbled pattern is created by the combination of rosettes from the ALC and the domestic classic tabby pattern, producing a “marbleized” look with one or more colors swirled into the base colors.
Ideally, both spotted and marbled patterns should have a horizontal flow rather than a vertical appearance. Since the original goal of the Bengal breeder was to capture the look of the exotic spotted ALC, the dominant spotted pattern is most common.
The Bengal cat is active and has a happy, interactive, and extremely intelligent personality. Every domestic cat breed has its unique features, and the exotic heritage of the Bengal cat can be seen in its every day activities. While Bengals will happily search out on a lap or stretch out on the sofa next to you during naptime, they are very active during the rest of the time.
Whether playing in their water bowls, fetching a ball for their families, taking walks on a leash or leaping to the top of the cupboards, Bengals are constantly on the move. Bengals are perfect for those who want to interact and play with their cat daily. Like many other varieties of pet, the Bengal cat demands a good deal of attention and affection and enjoys being an integral part of the family.