History Of The Bengal
The Bengal breed was first created by crossing domestic cats, originally Egyptian Maus, Abyssians or Ocicats with a small wild cat breed, the Asian Leopard Cat. Many people think the name comes from it's very distant relation, the Bengal Tiger, but in fact comes from the Latin name of the Asian Leopard Cat, Felis Bengalensis.
The closeness to the original Asian leopard Cats is denoted using the "F" number, which is short for Foundation. The first Bengals were 50% domestic and 50% Asian Leopard Cat. This is called an F1 cross. An F2 cross is a cat produced from breeding two F1 crosses, and an F3 the next generation down; and so the lower a cat’s “F” number is, the more closely related they are to their wild heritage. In fact, to keep F1 and F2 cats you actually require a Wild Animal License.
The intention of crossing of domestic cats with a small wild cat breed was to produce a domestic cat with many of the desirable traits of wild cats. One of these traits was to mimic the distinctive coat of their wild ancestors with a thick, luxurious coat in either a spotted (sometimes known as rosetted) or marbled tabby pattern.
The modern breeding programme, which is now four to five generations removed from the original Asian Leopard Cats, is intended to produce cats that will become companionable pets and be considered a domestic animal and officially a Bengal.
The Bengal cat breed is one of the most unique and distinctive domestic cat breeds and that goes for their temperament. They cannot be compared to the average cat. There are several things that all potential Bengal owners should consider before falling for their charms and buying one.
Due to their wild ancestry it is recommended that 4th generation Bengals onwards make the best pets. The Bengal is considered a fairly high maintenance breed and demands a lot of time and attention and they are not for everyone. More like a dog than a cat, they will often follow you around the house, want your attention and want to get involved in everything that you do. They are a vocal cat due to the involvement of the Siamese cat in the formation of the Bengal and Siamese cats tend to be pretty vocal. If they are not getting their own way or feel as if they are being ignored, they will generally make a lot of noise and sometimes it seems like they are “talking” to their owners demanding that you find them something to do.
Bengals are strong characters that know their own minds, and are possibly not the best breed for a novice cat owner to start with. However, a well bred Bengal Kitten has a wonderful temperament, is very affectionate and is perfectly suited to join families with children and other animals such as other cats or dogs. Bengals thrive on attention and will appreciate the company of at least one more cat and they will form a very strong attachment to their owners. However, provided they are given the love and attention they deserve they are equally at home in situations where they are the sole companion.
Being very athletic, they are also some of the most agile cats you will ever see and their acrobatics are a joy to watch. Unlike common cats, Bengals can also be trained and are also suitable for people who are allergic to cats. Bengals are very playful and love to retrieve objects thrown for them. They also love playing in and around water and pawing at aquariums! This legacy has probably come from it's ancestors who often live near water and are accomplished swimmers and fishers.
Bengals are very energetic cats and they will hide and seek, hitch a ride on your shoulders, pounce on the broom and will leave you questioning their logic with their mischievous and inquisitive behaviour. They do sleep like any other cat, but love to tear around or race around after imaginary prey.
Being no ordinary cat, a well brought up Bengal kitten will bring laughter, love and entertainment to the whole family.
Choosing A Bengal Kitten
The first consideration is whether you are intending the kitten to become a beautiful family pet or if it's for breeding.
If it is for a family pet then the temperament and health are the most important issues. Every kitten has a different personality so the best thing to do is watch them carefully and try and choose one that meets your expectations. We will help you in this respect and will always try to match a kitten's personality to a suitable owner.
Always be aware of low generation or foundation F1, F2 or F3 kittens for sale. The lower the number the closer they are related to the Asian Leopard Cat and therefore not guaranteed to be fully domesticated, may not be reliable using litter trays and will generally not make good pets in the home.
Be aware of cheap Bengal Kittens for sale as they could be of very poor quality and may not have received the best upbringing. It may not be a full bred Bengal at all.
Should you need any further help or advice please don’t hesitate to contact us.