the cat Bengal

The Bengal cat has a great sensitivity and is very attentive to the mood of the people who surround it. These characteristics, making him a very good pet, allow him to easily adapt to any home environment and to build bonds of friendship with people of all ages. Thanks to his very friendly temperament, he will adapt himself to the master who will appreciate it and will succeed in making him a "small domestic leopard". His need for movement and freedom is the only thing to be respected.

The origins of the cat Bengal
The Bengal cat can boast of having wild blood in the veins. It descends indeed from Felis bengalensis, the Asian wild cat, also called Leopard Cat. Her story began in 1963, when Joan Sugden, a Yurna breeder, took possession of a female specimen, which she then mated with her cat (black). From this union was born Kinkin, a magnificent female very similar to her mother and wild appearance. Joan Sugden, faced with the beauty of this subject, then planned to bring forth other similar kittens; However, due to family and economic problems, she was forced to abandon her project.

Toward the end of the seventies, she discovered by accident that a Californian researcher, William Centerwall, was conducting research on Felis bengalensis because it was believed that Felis bengalensis was immune to feline leucosis; The researcher, to study the immune defenses of this animal, crossed the Leopard Cat with an American domestic cat. This represented Joan Sugden's opportunity to resume the project she had abandoned years earlier: create a domestic cat that looks like a leopard. She contacted Dr. Centerwall and succeeded in having eight hybrid (first generation) breeders, whom she mated with cats of different races, including the Egyptian Mau.

The first copies appeared in 1983 and were presented by Joan Sugden to the International Cat Association TICA (The International Cat Association), which accepted them in the New Races and Colors section under the name of Bengal in honor of their ancestors . 1985 is an important date for Bengal because, for the first time, he participated in a feline exhibition. The official recognition of the race dates back to 1991 and since then, Bengal has been accepted in the championship.

The perfect cat
The Bengal cat has a wild appearance, its body is athletic and powerful, and is graceful in its movements. It has a long and robust corpulence and its size can vary from medium to large. Its bone structure is robust and its musculature powerful (especially in males). The head is ample, it has a rounded triangle shape and is somewhat small in relation to the body; The neck is long and proportionate to the head. The nose forms a concave curve and is large and broad; The muzzle is ample and full, with prominent and broad mustache bearings and pronounced and high cheeks. The ears, broad at the base and rounded at the point, are short and placed at the corners of the head. The eyes are large, slightly sunken and inclined towards the base of the ears (they may be slightly almond-shaped). The legs are of medium length (the posterior ones a little longer than the anterior ones) with large and round feet. The tail is long, moderately large, thick at the base; It tends to be refined and rounded to the point. The dress is shiny, supple and provided and the hair length varies from very short to medium. The male grows rapidly and quickly reaches 5 to 6 kg. The female develops slowly and is lighter: her average weight is about 4 kg

The hair color
The dress of the cat Bengal is special in the drawing as in the color. Two types of drawings are accepted: the spotted and the marbled. In the spotted pattern, spots are randomly arranged or aligned horizontally and create a sharp contrast with the base color. In the marbled drawing, the arrangement of the spots is also done randomly and horizontally, but the created contrast is different; In fact, in addition to the base color and spots, there is a dark line of spots demarcation, which creates extreme contrast, with distinct shapes and sharp outlines. For color, three different tones are allowed: brown tabby, seal tabby point, seal sepia tabby and seal mink.

• The brown tabby variety allows all variations of the brown spotted tabby; A strong reddish tone is preferable as it brings to the base color yellow tones, warm cream, light brown or orange. The stains are black, brown, light brown, cinnamon or chocolate. Around the eyes are clear "glasses", and the base color of the mustache pads, chin, chest, belly and inside legs is almost white. The edges of the eyes, lips and nose are circled in black and the center of the nose leather is red brick. The foot pads and the tip of the tail should be black.

• In the seal tabby point variety, the base color is a hue between ivory and cream. The color of the markings can vary from dark brown to light brown, to leather or hot cream. The difference between the colors of the markings and the color of the points is minimal. The tip of the tail is dark brown shiny.

• In the seal sepia tabby, the base color is ivory, cream or clear leather. The design is clearly visible and can have different shades, from chestnut brown to chocolate. The "glasses" around the eyes, the mustache pads and the chin are ivory-colored cream. There should not be a big difference between the color of the marks and the color of the dots. The foot pads are dark brown and a pinkish shade is allowed. The tip of the tail is chocolate colored. Eye color may be blue in seal tabby point, sear sepia tabby and seal mink, and gold to green in brown tabby and silver tabby.

The character
The Bengal cat has a wild aspect and a very soft character: under a leopard skin, it hides indeed a docile nature of domestic cat. Its sociable character comes from a careful selection, continued during the program of "construction" of the breed: it has retained the appearance and independent character of the Leopard Cat and has acquired the softness and the mansuetude of the domestic cat.
He who decides to welcome a Bengal in his house can only fall in love with his gentleness and his sensitivity: he is indeed able to adapt to the mood of his master. He is a friendly, intelligent, enterprising, lively and playful cat. It is not insistent or invasive precisely because it is capable of grasping and respecting the moods and requirements of the person who takes care of it. He loves to be congratulated and caressed, offering in return very gentle and affectionate effusions.
Bengal is also a great hunter, instinct that he expresses mainly through play. He loves to jump and climb everywhere (curtains, trees) and therefore needs a lot of physical activity and space. Moreover, even if it is a characteristic contrary to the nature of the felines, it likes much water, like the Abyssinians. It is not a cat that meets much and his voice, reminiscent of a fawn (another characteristic inherited from his ancestor Leopard Cat!).

The problem that arises for those who choose a Bengal kitten relates to character; This problem is solved easily by following simple but precise rules. First of all, Bengal is considered domestic only after the fifth generation. It is preferable that the first generation of kittens be separated from their mother within the first few hours after birth and entrust them to a domestic cat; In this way, they lose every "wild" instinct and learn the gesture of play and social behavior. In addition, the domestic mothers' cohabitation with the young favors the attenuation of the wilderness and the development of attitudes adapted to life at home, such as the use of litter (Bengalensis urine and Defecates in the water to quickly erase its tracks).

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