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The Bengal Breed

The Bengal Cat is a striking and intriguing hybrid cat born from crossing the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) with a domestic cat. The very first documented cross-breed was reported in 1871, but it was between 1961 and 1974 when the first breed was created in the United States. The modern Bengal breed is credited by Jean Mill, from California. This enthusiastic breeder wanted a pet with the “exotic” look of the wild.

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The many breeds involved in the ancestors of the Bengal cat have resulted in a great variety of colors besides the original brown. We can currently find colors such as Chocolate, Cinnamon, Blue, Lilac, Fawn, Silver, Snow (with Siamese and Burmese genes), and a solid (no pattern) variation from all of the above. This palette is not recognized by all Cat Associations around the world, but we assume that this may change in the upcoming years.

The only color that you shouldn’t find in a Bengal is red. The reason is this gene will produce tortoiseshell cats which are undesirable. Anyways, some breeders are working with them and they are getting some interesting achievements.

The Bengal is a medium to a large-sized cat with a strong and long muscular body. Characteristic is a wild expression with big oval eyes and small rounded ears. There are two kinds of Bengal patterns: spotted (rosetted) and marbled, which is a modified classic tabby pattern. Longhair Bengals do exist as well, but they are rare. You can find a complete Bengal breed standard here. The Silverknight program focuses on black and snow silver spotted shorthair Bengals, but we will eventually have other colors available for you to choose from.

Bengal Facts: The Breed
Bengal Facts: Character

Temperament and Personality

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Bengals have such a great personality! They can climb shelves and cupboards all day without getting bored. They will land on your shoulder in a single leap as a jaguar jumps to reach his prey. You must understand they do not usually lap, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t have tender moments with them. They flop over and roll on their backs purring insanely and then they will fall asleep next to you. This is a relief compared to Bengal’s energetic moments.
Bengals are not the loudest breed but they do have a varied range of outspoken calls which they use when they want your attention. Surely your neighbors will confuse their meowing with a cry for help. But you should let them know that is how a Bengal cat sounds.
Bengals are wonderful pets but their character would not make them ideal for someone who wants a quiet and independent companion. Their dog-like qualities may not match with some people. So be wise and ask yourself if you can really handle an energetic cat at home. Despite their hybrid origin, Bengals are not wild animals and shouldn’t be aggressive, but they can be destructive when they feel bored, anxious, or frustrated. A walk in the park can really help to relieve their needs for adventure.

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