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The Bengal Cat: a Domestic, Not So Wild Cat

Aug 17, 2007
If you are looking for a cat that is truly unique in its look, take a peek at the Bengal Cat. A fairly new breed that originated in the United States, breeding an Asian Leopard cat with a domestic cat developed the Bengal. With its physical resemblance to its wild ancestor, the Bengal cat has all of the exotic beauty of a leopard combined with the pleasant gentleness and domesticity of your typical house cat. Originally, Bengal cat breeders wanted a way to preserve the exotic look of the Asian Leopard while developing a truly trustworthy domesticated cat, and when first exhibited in shows in 1985, the public's reaction was indeed overwhelming as they stared in awestruck wonderment at this absolutely gorgeous cat. Their spotted and marbled coats are truly a feast for the eyes.

This is absolutely the best way for people who love the look of exotic wild cats to own their very own domesticated version without the danger inherent in actually owning one of the wild exotic cats like a tiger, lion, or leopard. However, if you are considering cross breeding to create your own Bengal, importation of the Asian Leopard Cat is limited and guided by strict controls, so you are better off to just adopt one for an already certified breeder of Bengals. The first attempt at developing the Bengal cat was made back in 1871 when a Leopard cat was cross-bred with a domestic shorthair. However, the first breeding with the intention of creating a pet leopard was done in 1941 in Japan. In the United States, the effort to breed a Bengal did not take place until the 1970s, but this finally resulted in the Bengal that exists today.

These beautiful cats have fur that is a rich diversity of color and can have either leopard spotted or marbled coats with a background color of brown or white. Also, there is no other breed of cat in existence that has the pearl or gold dusting effect, making the Bengal cat look as though it has been dipped in crystal or gold dust. This glittering effect shimmers in the sunlight and is extremely beautiful to behold. Bengals also have tails that appear ringed with a black tail tip and spotted tummy. Its coat has the wonderful feel of silk or satin, and even the Bengal's voice is different from any other domestic cat as they can coo or chirp. And you would have no trouble giving your Bengal a bath, as they love to play in the water as well as somersault and jump.
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