As part of the taste of humans by wild felines, there are many breeds of domestic cat that have developed in the image of such animals. Although almost none of these domestic cats respond to the wild characteristics sought beyond the physical resemblance.
This is not the case of the Bengali cat, one of the few cat breeds that does count in its DNA with wild blood. The origin of this feline breed is very current and dates back only to 1963, in the United States. Its appearance was carefully planned by an expert in animal genetics, Jean Mill, who started the breeding program of this breed after the first cross between a domestic common cat and a leopard cat from Asia, a small and wild feline the size of a domestic cat but that has nothing to do with pets.
From then on, they began to fix the characteristics of the breed with other crosses, with specimens of breeds such as the Egyptian Mau, the Ocicat, the Abyssinian or the Siamese. Thus, from 1970 the new breed was established as such, and was also recognized and admitted in beauty exhibitions.
This breed has managed to position itself as one of the favorites in all parts of the world for its beauty and its resemblance to the leopard.
After crosses with the other breeds, the temperament softened, but still today it still maintains behaviors that can remember the wild leopard cat, from which it comes. For this reason, the Bengali cat is not a breed that can be recommended to anyone.
The Bengali cat has inherited many of its characteristics, both physical and behavioral, from its wild ancestors. For starters, it is an animal larger than the average domestic cat, and possesses the beauty of leopards.
As for temperament, one of its most striking characteristics is the taste for water, something that is due to the needs of the big cats to swim and fish to survive. That is why this animal cannot be treated like the rest of domestic cats, because if not understood, it will be doomed to live a sad and frustrating life, and never generate with your family the desired relationship with a pet.
Despite everything, it has become very popular over the years, and it is now possible to find specimens of this breed in all parts of the world.
Bengal Cat Features
The flare cat is a strong and muscular animal, robust and heavier than other cats of similar size. That’s because the bones of this breed are also heavier and denser than might be considered normal, which makes this animal have a unique presence in relation to other breeds of domestic cats.
The weight that the Bengali cat can reach is up to 19 pounds (9 kilos) in an adult male, a weight that is not exaggerated for the size of the Bengali cat. At the other end, females not exceeding 7 pounds (3’5 kilos) in weight can also be found.
Among the features of the bengali cat most noteworthy is its head. And is that the head is very striking also for its size, rounded and wide, although always in proportion to the rest of the body.
Its expression is of great beauty thanks to huge and almond eyes, which can be of various colors, usually yellow or greenish, and a strong and sharp jaw that gives it a wild expression very typical of the leopard, animal to which it undoubtedly refers.
Something that does not go unnoticed in this animal is its unique fur, worthy of any larger feline. Soft and thick, bright and with a color pattern very similar to that of the leopard. It tends to sning on your body showing all its majesty.
Although the pattern of its fur is striped, the truth is that the base color can be very variable, from creamy to gold, yellow or orange. Even the spots that give it the appearance of a small leopard can vary from black to chocolate.
Bengal Cat Diseases
Usually it does not have hereditary physical diseases, and is more resistant than other breeds to the diseases more typical of domestic cats.
However, this animal may have periods of emotional instability if it is not properly educated and if it is not offered the activities it needs. And its wild roots require adapted activities, which must go beyond being at home and being a quiet domestic kitten. Otherwise, it may have anxiety, depression, or nervousness.
To avoid these behaviors, it is necessary to ensure that among the genes of the specimen there are at least four crosses of domestic cats, so you should always go to a breeder specialized in the breed.
Bengal Cat Basic Care
Beyond the vet, you’ll need to get your pet to bring healthy lifestyle habits to all levels, and adapted to their needs. You should also make sure that the food ration is adequate and provided in several daily portions so that it doesn’t get gastric problems.
On the other hand, you must brush their fur at least once a week to keep it in the best condition. Certainly, it is not a type of fur that requires excessive care, but it is advisable to remove dirt and dead hair frequently. You can also bathe it completely from time to time, every two months or so that its fur shines even brighter.
Never set aside education and exercise, because that will help your pet be loving and obedient. Play as much as you can with him and give him the opportunity to perform intense and varied activities, which test both his physique and his great intelligence.
And always educate him in a firm but affectionate way, remember that he is an animal with wild blood, and that getting angry with him or punishing him will only worsen his character and his trust in you.
Things to know about the Bengal Cat
It must be borne in mind that to actually belong to this breed, it must be a descendent of the fourth generation. That is, they have to pass three previous crosses with domestic cats that guarantee that the puppies will also be domestic and sociable.
The first males that emerged from the crossing of the domestic cat with the leopard cat were sterile, which augured a bad future to the breed. However, after the subsequent crosses of the female with other domestic cats, the males were fertile, so that it continued to develop and evolve until this day.
It is so a modern breed that it was first recognized as such in 1985. It had previously been recognized in some places, but recognition from official associations was still lacking.
There is a very rare variety of bengal cat, called snow flare, white, which originated by crossing the Asian leopard cat and the Siamese cat. However, it is very rare to find specimens with the white mantle.
The meow of the Bengali cat is very peculiar. Sometimes it will be sweet and soft like that of any homemade kitten, but it may also show a deep and serious meow, which will remind much more of a wild animal.
Getting hold of one of these animals involves a significant investment, both economically and at the level of effort and time to obtain it. But it will also be very rewarding when you can embrace your new friend and you will understand that effort will always be part of your relationship.