Exotic Looking Breeds of Domestic Cats

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About Bengals


The Bengal Cat is a distinct, unique breed of spotted domestic cat derived from the ancestral crossing of a domestic cat such as an Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Burmese or Egyptian Mau with an Asian Leopard Cat. The name "Bengal" is derived from the Latin name of the Asian Leopard Cat, Feline Bengalensis. The domestic Bengal has inherited the exotic, stunningly wild spotted pattern from the Asian Leopard Cat, found in the wild in central Asia. This beautiful breed of cat is very loving, affectionate and friendly whilst retaining the uniqueness of it's wild ancestors.

Asian Leopard Cat, photo courtesy of Foothill Felines

The main credit for this breed is given to Jean Sudgen of the USA. Jean Sudgen crossed a black shorthaired domestic cat with a female Asian Leopard Cat in 1963. Offspring were produced proving that a second generation was possible. Further experiments were interrupted due to a death in the family.

Later in 1975, Jean Sudgen, now Mrs. Jean Mill, acquired eight female hybrids from a

geneticist called Dr. Willard Centerwall, who had been involved in a breeding program where Asian Leopard Cats were crossed with domestic cats as part of a study of feline Leukaemia. Jean Sudgen Mills began again to further the new breed. This was the beginning of the exciting and exotic Bengal cat breed. Finally in 1984, the domestic Bengal we know today became recognised by the International Cat Association.

Jean Mill is based today in California and is still breeding Bengals. She is also actively involved in the future of the Bengal breed. For more information about Jean Mill, please visit Jean's Website.

Conformation...

The Bengal cat is a medium to a relatively large shorthaired exotic cat. Bengals vary in size with the male between fourteen to twenty pounds and females slightly smaller at ten to twelve pounds. Bengals are very muscular cats with long bodies, thus appearing larger. They are also sturdy and substantial in appearance.

Heads should be wild looking and formidable. The face should have a feral expression with small rounded ears, intense facial markings, and pronounced whisker pads. Careful selection of breeding ensures that the Bengal remains loving and friendly with a superb temperament, whilst retaining a strong physical resemblance to it's wild ancestor.

The Bengal Personality...

The domestic Bengal cat (must be four generations or more removed from it's wild ancestor) are highly intelligent and affectionate cats. With their enchanting and strikingly beautiful wild appearance, They are really like having a tame piece of the wild in your own home, whilst still being so dependably sweet natured and delightfully loving.


The Bengal can be very mischievous and boisterous. They are active cats always ready to play. You can easily leash train them, and teach them to fetch, and play other games. They are also very vocal cats, always eager for human companionship and approval. The Bengal mixes well with children and other animals. With their sleek, soft coat, which is more like a pelt than ordinary cat fur, sufferers of allergies claim that the Bengal brings out fewer reactions.

The Bengal is also unique in that these cats actually love and enjoy water. They will play for hours with a slightly running tap. The Bengal will delight children and adults alike with its playful antics with water.

The Bengal cat will grace any home and be a loyal life companion. They are also very people oriented cats, so it may be worth considering obtaining two Bengals for company if you are likely to be out of the home all day. You will find that they are very "dog-like" in personality, following you from room to room in your home and always greeting you with a loving welcome. Whether male or female, this exotic, unique cat will hold a place in your heart forever like no cat as ever done before.

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