Bengals have a keen similarity to certain wild cats that live in forests. Although, our domesticated friends have incredible temperaments and are quite loving. It's important to note that because the Bengal is so similar in many respects to their counterparts in the wild, it's quite distinctive looking from other domestic cats.
Cat Breed Description: Bengal Cats are highly popular partly because of the fact that they look somewhat "wild." Cat enthusiasts enjoy owning and showing off this cat quite possibly because of their spots and stripes. While this cat does have a very assuming appearance though, it's important to remember that this one a very domesticated animal. The Bengal Cat is friendly, well adjusted, and a lot of fun to be around. As far as looks go, Bengals have rear legs that are longer than the fronts, fairly thick tails when compared to other cats, a wider and longer head, and a broad nose. What might be most recognizable are the smallish ears that rounded and forward pointing tips.
History of the Cat Breed: Much of the origin of the Bengal Cat breed lies with the fact that cat enthusiasts once (and probably still do) wanted to own and care for large cats of the wild, such as Ocelots, Cheetahs, and Lions. Since owning one of these creatures isn't very practical as well as illegal in many areas, a breeding pioneer named Jean S. Mill began mating Asian Leopard Cats with regular American Domestic Shorthair Cats. The result was the friendly and well domesticated cat we know and love today. This mating program took place in the 1980s in America and the Bengals we now see for sale and adoption are all descendants from those very first kittens. In 1991, the International Cat Association recognized the Bengal breed.
Cat Traits, Temperament, and Personality: Bengals are smart and assertive. If you've ever been around a cat that simply shows up and becomes part of the conversation, you may have experienced being with a Bengal. These cats love to place themselves right in the middle of it all and love to run around, play, and jump to catch things. This breed especially excels at leaping and climbing, so be careful when it comes to keeping them out of one area and in another. They may surprise you with where they end up. It's best to cater to the personality traits of this cat because they can be quite determined to get their own way. If you attempt to shoosh them away, they'll come right back. It's best to invite this cat to be part of the party. The Bengal is somewhat akin to a dog. It's a friendly breed that bonds well with its owner. It's not an annoying type of cat, so don't concern yourself with that. Bengals can be trained to perform easy tricks such as fetching, giving the paw, and sometimes to walk on a leash. You'll be impressed by the intelligence of this cat. These are excellent family cats, they get along great with other pets and they even like to swim. What's not to love?
Health and Grooming: Some Bengal breeders have found that hereditary issues can afflict their cats. An example of this is polycystic kidney disease. Bengals can also be affected by some infectious diseases, such as feline infectious peritonitis and trichimonas foetus. As far as grooming goes, the Bengal Cat is very low maintenance. Its coat is soft and short and is relatively hands off. All you really need to do as an owner is to periodically brush your cat.