The Bengal cat is a uniquely beautiful animal, having all the domestic cat attributes that cat lovers know and love, combined with spectacular patterns and colors that imitate their wild ancestors.
Bengal cats are arguably the most beautiful breed of domestic felines. Check out this guide to Bengal cat colors and patterns, breeds, and personalities.
The breed name comes from the leopard cat’s taxonomic name.
Bengals have a wild appearance; their golden shimmer comes from their leopard cat ancestry, and their coats may show spots, rosettes, arrowhead markings, or marbling.
Bengal Cats History
The Bengal breed originated as a hybrid of a domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) and a leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).
The leopard cat looks very much like a domestic cat, except for the larger, snapping eyes, pronounced whisker pads, longer legs, and brilliant leopard-style markings. It looks, in fact, like a miniature leopard.
The Bengal breed began when a female leopard cat was purchased from a pet store. Unlike today, at the time leopard cats could be purchased at pet stores in the United States.
This is no longer the case due to these cat’s special needs and state requirements.
Some Characteristics of Bengal Cat
The Bengal could never be called delicate. They’re athletes: agile and graceful with a strong, muscular body, as befits a cat who looks as if they belong in the jungle.
Despite their wild appearance, Bengal cats are actually quite affectionate with their human families. That said, they also have high energy and a fun-loving, playful side. They want to stay active and need a home that can match their energy.
Athletic and agile, Bengals love to climb and will gravitate toward the highest point in any room. Bengals are often great sources of entertainment.
One of the main characteristics that make them so special as companions are their intelligence. It’s not surprising Bengals are sharp as furry tacks since surviving in the jungle takes wit as well as lightning reflexes.
Bengal Cat Personality
Bengals learn very quickly and enjoy learning new behaviors. In fact, they may learn tricks you’d rather they didn’t, such as turning on and off light switches, opening doors, and flushing toilets.
The curious Bengal may get into everything, and changes in the home often provoke a quick response from the Bengal. Open a cupboard and your Bengal may dive in for a look-see and will rearrange the contents if they’re not up to his standards.
Because of the leopard cat’s habit of eliminating in water to hide its scent from larger predators, some Bengals learn to use the toilet.
Like their wild relatives, Bengals relish their freedom; they dislike being held or restrained. This isn’t unique to Bengals but to most very active breeds. Bengals often love water, particularly if it’s running.
Some only dip an occasional paw under the faucet, while others may try to go for a romp in the tub or shower—as long as it’s their idea.
Some report that their cats’ fascination with water borders on obsession, and steps must be taken to keep floods to a minimum; Bengal owners quickly learn to keep the toilet lid down.
Bengal Cat Physical Attributes
Before, looking at the available Bengal Cat for Sale
Torso long and substantial, not oriental or foreign. Medium to large, but not quite as large as the largest domestic breed. Boning is sturdy and firm; never delicate.
Very muscular, especially in the males; one of the most distinguishing features.
Broad modified wedge with rounded contours. Longer than it is wide. Slightly small in proportion to the body, but not to be taken to the extreme.
Skull behind the ears makes a gentle curve and flows into the neck. The overall look of the head is often distinct from the domestic cat. Strong chin, aligns with tip of the nose in profile.
Muzzle full and broad, with large, prominent whisker pads and high, pronounced cheekbones. Slight muzzle break at the whisker pads. Nose large and wide; slightly puffed nose leather.
Medium to small, relatively short, with a wide base and rounded tops. Set as much on the side as the top of the head, following the contour of the face in the frontal view, and pointing forward in the profile view.
Light horizontal furnishings are sometimes seen.
Oval, almost round. Large, but not bugged. Set wide apart, back into the face, and on slight bias toward the base of the ear. Eye color is independent of coat color except in the lynx points.
The more richness and depth of color the better.
Legs & Paws
Legs medium length, slightly longer in the back than in the front. Feet large, round, with prominent knuckles.
Medium length, thick, tapered at the end with rounded tip.
Length short to medium. Texture dense and luxurious, close-lying, unusually soft, and silky to the touch. Patterns are spotted or marbled.
Spots are usually random or aligned horizontally. Rosettes showing two distinct colors or shades. Contrast with ground color is often extreme, giving distinct patterns and sharp edges. The belly is often spotted.
Brown tabby, seal sepia tabby, seal mink tabby, seal lynx point, black silver tabby, seal silver sepia tabby, seal silver mink tabby, seal silver lynx point. Spotted or marbled patterns.