Bengal cat wanted poster

Bengal cat wanted poster

A portrait of the exotic cat breed

The pretty fur with a leopard pattern makes the elegant Bengal cat a real eye-catcher. The active cats are similar in appearance to a wild cat, but have more of a domestic cat in character. Here you will learn everything about the history, keeping and care of the exotic cat breed.

History and origin of the Bengal cat

Today’s Bengal cat was created by crossing a wild Asian leopard cat with a black domestic cat. A California geneticist mated the two in 1963 to combine the spotted coat pattern of the wild cat with the character of a domestic cat. She continued breeding and in 1972 took on some female hybrids from a feline leukemia research project. In the process of creating the breed, Burmese and Siamese cats were also crossed. So she got a breed of cat that looks like the wild Bengal cats, but is suitable as a house cat by nature. Today, breeders only cross pedigree cats homozygous and no other breeds are crossed in anymore. Also known as Leopardettes in Europe, they have only been bred since 1999. Today the breed is recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline and is still rarely found as a domestic cat in Germany.

essence and character

Don’t be fooled by the wild appearance of the Bengal cat. The leopard-like cats are very affectionate and extremely communicative with their humans. Especially as an indoor cat, Leopardettes prefer to accompany their owners around the house and seek attention. Of course, every cat has its own character, which you can only find out by dealing with it. From the basic traits, all Bengal cats are fearless, intelligent, and curious and active well into old age. With a little patience, they can also be taught little tricks.

Appearance of the Bengal cat

The Bengal cat’s most distinctive feature is, of course, its distinctive leopard-print coat. The color variant in marbled or spotted brown in particular is reminiscent of a wild cat. But there are also cats that have a brindle or spotted coat pattern. The cats have an elegant and slender build with a relatively large head and eyes. Unlike other cat breeds, they have a tail that is particularly thick at the base and ends in a rounded, thin tip. On average, the big cats weigh four to five kilograms.

attitude and care

acquisition cost

If you want to get a Bengal cat, you should be aware that the breed is one of the most expensive in the world. For a healthy kitten you pay between 1000 and 1500€ from a reputable breeder. The price essentially depends on the characteristics of the leopard skin. In addition, breeders distinguish between the three categories of hobby animal, breeding animal and show animal. As a hobby animal, you usually only get kittens that show small deviations from the breeding goals. In the purchase contract, you then have to commit yourself not to use the cat for breeding.

Outdoor cat or indoor cat?

The athletic Bengalis need a lot of exercise to feel good. The best thing to do is offer them a big house with a garden to roam around. If you decide to live in an apartment, you should also provide enough space and opportunities for playing and climbing in the house. The freedom-loving animals do not feel comfortable in small city apartments. A stable scratching post or a climbing course should definitely fit in the apartment. The leopard cats have a strong jumping ability and no increase is beyond their reach. You should definitely consider this before you bring a Bengal cat into your home. Especially when they are bored, the big cats tend to tear apart the apartment. In general, it is recommended to keep the Bengal cat as an outdoor cat and to offer it enough activity in the house. With free-roaming cats, you can expect the otherwise clingy cats to go wandering for two days.  

How much activity does the Bengal cat need?

Due to their descent from wild cats alone, the Bengal cats are among the very active cat breeds. They are persistent climbers and need a lot of exercise. The best way for them to let off steam is on the scratching post, at hunting games or ideally outdoors. Regular hunting games with a fishing rod, toy mice or balls together with their human are also great activities.  Stimulating mentally with  or learning little tricks is essential to keep cats from getting bored. If you are often away from home, the cats need company. They get along best with conspecifics. As one of the few cat breeds, the wild cats are real water rats and can also easily deal with a dripping faucet.

grooming and feeding

The Bengal cat’s fur is short, dense and feels silky soft. In contrast to long-haired cats, they are therefore very easy to care for and only need to be brushed from time to time. A special feature in the development of the coat up to the ninth month is the so-called fuzzy, in which the fur is a little torn and the markings look washed out. When it comes to nutrition, Bengal cats are not particularly demanding. It is best to feed them a protein-rich feed that provides them with all the nutrients. -based feeding, which comes closest to the food of a wild cat, would be ideal.

Interesting and worth knowing

Criticism of Bengal breeding

Critics of Bengal breeding believe it is irresponsible to mate a wild cat with a domestic cat just to get a specific coat pattern. According to animal rights activists, mating for the first time is even torture breeding , as complications usually arise at birth. Many of these wild cat hybrids still show the traits of a wild animal today. Before purchasing such a cat, you should be absolutely sure that you can give it a species-appropriate life even if it has inherited the activities of its ancestors.

Bengal cats on social media

The handsome Bengal cat Thor (@bengalthor) from Belgium has 200,000 followers on Instagram, who accompany him online every day. His owners upload pretty pictures of his trips to nature and snapshots in the apartment. The Bengali Suki (@sukiicat) of the two Canadians Marti and Ken has even more fans. They take their beautiful cat with them on trips and trips and record it for their 888,000 followers on Instagram. From the beach to the desert to a canoe trip in the mountains, the cat accompanies its owners everywhere and seems to really enjoy it.

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