Bengal cats are a very popular and attractive breed of cats. They retain some of the look of a larger, wild cat and this exoticness is what appeals to most Bengal owners. They are spotted with stripes and look similar to a very small leopard, although they can grow quite large for a house cat. Though not rare, fewer numbers of Bengal cats are white in color. These Bengals are called “snow spotted Bengals.”
As well as their wild looks, they also retain some of their wilder inclinations and have a lot of energy to burn through. Bengals will require a lot of play and plenty of room, or they may become too aggressive or out of control.
Origins of the Bengal Cat
Bengals were brought about by the crossbreeding of a normal domestic feline and the Asian leopard cat. The number of generations the Bengal is from the original Asian leopard at the beginning of its heritage line determines how wild the Bengal will be. The general consensus holds that 3 generations is enough to produce a completely domesticated cat, while 4 generations still being the recommended gap for common cat owners.
Although its looks suggest the similarly named Bengal tiger, the Bengal cat breed is not related to this tiger. The breed’s name is sourced in the species name of its genetic predecessors, P. b. bengalensis .
Similar Cat Breeds
Further breeds branching from the Bengal include the Serengeti cat, the Savannah, the Tiger and the Cheetah.
Bengal kittens are priced generally from around $200 at a lower point, up to over $1000, depending on the breeder and the generation gap present in the kittens. Most prices will average in between those amounts.
Recommended reading about the Bengal breed, particularly for potential or current Bengal owners: Bengal Cats (Barron’s Complete Pet Owner’s Manual)