Bengals in the Household
I got my first Bengal in 2018. I immediately noticed how much different Felix was from the other cats I have known and loved. I fell so in love with him, that I knew one day I wanted to breed Bengals. This decision is finally coming to fruition as I enjoy producing Beautiful Bengal Kittens. The temperament of a Bengal is typically closer to that of a dog than a cat. They often bond with one person in the household very strongly and often enjoy a good game of fetch.
Bengal Kittens for Sale typically continue their kitten behavior years beyond what a typical domestic shorthair cat would. As a result, if you are going to Adopt a Bengal Kitten, it is best to adopt two together or plan on getting another kitten from a shelter at the same time so they have constant companionship. Your Bengal will most likely be in and out of cupboards and up and down off refrigerators. While it is possible to train them to respect boundaries you set, that takes constant reinforcement. They’re a bundle of fun and energy and can make the perfect companions for the right house!
About Bengal Cats
The Beginning of Bengals
Hybrid cats have been around for centuries. Although the first cat show recorded was in London in 1871 at the Crystal Palace, it was in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1875 when a wild Ocelot won in the “Wild or Hybrid Between Wild and Domestic Cat” class. There were several Hybrids documented at this cat show, you can read about them in a bood by Harrison Weir, Our Cats and All About Them. There were several such Hybrid crossings that occurred in the 1800s and 1900s. This was the start of the trend of breeding for Hybrids that would eventually lead to the Bengal Cat Breed.
Let’s start by talking about the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC). A small wild cat native to Southeast Asia, this cat lives in such varied habitats and regions, that there are often regional differences in the breed, creating many different size averages, colors, and patterns. Its wild appearance is what creates the foundation of the Bengal breed today.
The Asian Leopard Cat became an attractive option to create a hybrid breed, when it was discovered that they were resistant to Feline Leukemia (FLV). This was discovered by Dr. Willard Centerwall, a professor of pediatrics and maternal health, who studied feline genetics as a hobby. He wanted to learn whether this resistance to FLV could be passed down to hybrid offspring. He also was interested in how this resistance could potentially affect Human Leukemia research. Unfortunately this idea and eventual research project didn’t lead to any break through. It was also not possible to pass their resistance down to their hybrid offspring the Bengals. So despite misleading information on the internet, Bengals are just as prone to FLV as any other domestic cat.
When talking about Bengals, another person who started creating hybrids from the Asian Leopard Cat was Jean Mill’s in the 1960s. Jean’s motivation was reportedly more to motivate people to buy live animals, rather than supporting the fur trade, which was causing a lot of problems with many different species of wild cats population numbers. Also to discourage people caging actual wild cats and instead offer a more house friendly version of a wild cat. Jean got her first ALC from Dr. Centerwell.
The last person who had a hand in the Bengal breed in a very small way was a zookeeper named Bill Engler. It is believed that he was responsible for how Bengals were named, it being a combination of his first and last names (B. Englar). Other people believe that they were named after the Asian Leopard Cat’s scientific name: Prionailurus Bengalensis. Engler produced a couple litters of Bengals, none of which contributed to the current gene pool of Bengals today.
Despite several people having a hand in creating the breed of Bengals today, it is Jean Mill’s who managed to eventually get them recognized as a legitimate breed in TICA (The International Cat Association) in 1986.