If like us, you thought wild and exotic jungle Cats are absolutely cool, how would you feel to find out that there is a perfect breed that specifically developed for that reason? Okay let’s be real, to have the wild and untamed nature of a jungle Cat instilled within a domestic sized feline would be insane to have as a Pet, but this breed has been developed to a docile, friendly and furry companion, with the beauty of a jungle Cat’s coat.
The first recordings of a domestic sized “leopard” was in a book, written 1889. Sightings in the Malay Peninsular were mentioned in 1927 of a nursing Asian Leopard Cat. The only true definitive moment of crossbreeding Asian Leopard Cats with Domestic Cats were recorded in a scientific journal, published 1934. Thereafter a Japanese Cat Publication released an article on the crossbreed as a pet in 1941. In 1946, Jean Mill became a major contributor to the development of the Bengal Cat. She was studying Genetics and submitted a paper on crossbreeding.
|Asian Leopard Cat|
In 1970 Willard Centerwall conducted a study on crossbred Asian Leopard Cats and Domestic Cats for their apparent immunity to Feline Leukemia, but he soon got ill and the Cats were handed over to Jean Mill. The ACFA (American Cat Fanciers Association) was the first registry to accept the Bengal. As opposed to keeping the hybrid status, Jean Mill further bred the Bengals, to create a very domesticated breed. This happened 1983, when she was in TICA (The International Cat Association).
Fun Fact: Bill Engler was the man to chose the name “Bengal” for this feline breed, in close relation to Bengalensis, also known as the Asian Leopard Cat. The modern developed Bengal breed now has no ties to the Asian Leopard Cat ☺
What Does A Bengal Cat Look Like?
Bengals were distinctively developed to look like Margays, Leopards or Ocelots (all of which are exotic large jungle Cats). To be even more specific, it is their plush, soft coats that look like those of a jungle Cat! Bengals have long bodies, similar structures to that of an Asian Leopard Cat. And their coats are usually spotted/rosettes or a marbled look (like blurred markings of a Cloudy Leopard).
Bengal colours include bright orange, light brown to off-white or cream (Snow Leopard alert!) and they have large oval eyes of either blue, or green. Another obvious marking you could look out for are horizontal stripes on their front paws, and also beside their eyes, this feature is fondly referred to as “Mascara” marks. All in all, just picture a Leopard in a domestic Cat’s size, and you got a Bengal!
The short, plush smooth coat of a Bengal only requires brushing once a week, just to minimise the furballs lingering in the home. And since they love water so much, it doesn’t require a lot of convincing for them to take a bath!
Other basic care includes cleaning their ears, and trimming their nails when necessary. Apart from those, you’ve got this sector covered, throw in more attention and fun activities to keep your Bengal happy ☺
Bengal Cat Behaviour
Bengals are a ball of energy and fun, and one of the Cats that love water. Don’t be surprised or afraid to shower with your Bengal. That’s right, their curious nature and intelligence adds to their fun. They do require a lot of human interaction and attention, if you do not have that much time, have another Cat to keep them company or try to avoid this breed.
Bengals can be kept entertained by lots of challenging toys and activities, they are high jumpers, climbers (Mesh up your windows and doors!) and are extremely playful. Word has it that Bengals would find means to attract your attention if you’re not giving it enough, things like hiding your stuff, and even learn how to open drawers! If you love excitement and the rewarding relationship of being able to train your Cat, a Bengal would love you back the same ☺
Bengal Cat In Singapore
Bengals are exquisite and beautiful, and we’ve also noticed how much more available exotic Cat breeds are now in Singapore. Though we are unable to find or trace the sources of these exotic Cats, we believe in sharing helpful tips and insights to better care, and also reduce abandonment. Every breed has their own unique sets of behaviours and personalities individually, so it is extremely important to do your research before getting a pet.
It is not the duty of the Pet to adapt to your lifestyle, but humans should ensure their lifestyles suit the type of Pet they are considering instead. On a lighter note, we were fortunate to see a Bengal at Pets Carnival @ Kallang Trivista, its owner was gracious enough to let us hold it too ☺ Check out what you’ve missed!