Bengalkatze

General Description


Loved by those who appreciate its inquisitive and loving nature, the Bengal is a medium to large cat renowned for its richly colored, highly contrasted coat of vivid spots or distinctive marbling. Originally developed from crosses between the domestic cats and the Asian Leopard Cat, the Bengal is the only domestic cat that can have rosettes like the markings on Leopards, Jaguars and Ocelots. Today's domestic Bengal cat comes only from breeding Bengals to other Bengals and requires no specialized care. Since their beginnings in 1986, the Bengal's regal beauty and alluring charm have quickly made it one of the most popular breeds.


History


Throughout history there are indications of a profound human fascination with the large and small wild felines that inhabit the jungles and forest of the world. In 1963, Jean S. Mill crossed the domestic cat with the Asian Leopard Cat, a spotted five to twelve pound shy wild cat species from Asia. This was the first effort to use hybrid offspring to create a breed of domestic cat with the loving nature of a favored fireside tabby and the striking look associated with Leopards, Ocelots and Jaguars.

Accepted as a new breed in TICA in 1986, Bengals gained championship status in 1991. They are now one of the most frequently exhibited breeds in TICA.


Asian Leopardcat (Source: http://www.nitewindes.com)
Asian Leopardcat (Source: http://www.nitewindes.com)

Personality


While you can train a Bengal to have "good manners", they are an active, inquisitive cat that loves to be up high. If you don't like a cat to leave the floor, a Bengal is probably not the right cat for you. Bengals are busy by nature. They are very affectionate and can be a "lap cat" whenever THEY want to be, but in general their idea of fun is playing, chasing, climbing and investigating. When a Bengal is in full play mode, it's rather like trying to hold on to running water! They'll often save the cuddle time for when they want to sleep. Many Bengals enjoy water and may join you in brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Some Bengals are vocal while others are more quiet and selective about using their voice.

Bengals will also, in general, ALWAYS want to be where you are. After all, that's where the action is! And Bengals are all about "The Action". When given the choice of a static toy, and one that does wild, unpredictable things, Bengals will always choose the "wild" one! For individuals or families who enjoy rambunctious, funny, beautiful and dynamic feline companionship, consider the Bengal.


Traits


The Bengal is most noted for it luxurious short, soft coat which may appear in either the spotted or marble pattern.

A healthy Bengal is well muscled and has an appearance that depicts its athleticism. Bengals are balanced cats and none of its physical features should appear exaggerated or especially pronounced.

Bengals are generally confident, curious and devoted companions. They get along well with other pets when properly introduced and enjoy being part of a family.

The Fuzzy-Phase


The developement of the fur of bengalcats is unique compared to all other domestic cats and the heritage of their wild ancestors. In the wild, this fuzzy phase (e.g with Leopards) while they are kittens serves as camouflage and so protects them from other carnivores. These traits are kept by the bengalcats.

The kittens are born with a relatively clear coat, which changes during the first weeks. It grows longer and stands out of the small body. The consequence of this is, that the drawing seems blurry and the kittens seem to become grey and colorless. To see the true color of the fur during this time, you have to check the fur behind the ears or at the paws. This color will be their true color when they become adults, and their fur becomes clear and smooth with 10 - 16 weeks of age. The fur development is completed with the age 6-7 months.

Aitutaki as a Kitten during Fuzzy-Phase
Aitutaki as a Kitten during Fuzzy-Phase
Aitutaki with 10 months
Aitutaki with 10 months