So this is Fang, my nine-year old marbled Bengal. He was born in March 2007 in the UK and is a fifth generation bengal. In 2010, when I decided to move back to Australia, Fang also made the trip (a then four-year old) and stayed in quarantine for 30 days. He’s always been an indoor cat, and walks on a harness in the garden under supervision.
Bengals take their name from the Asian leopard cat’s scientific name, Felis bengalensis. They were actually created through crossing an Asian leopard cat with a domestic shorthair. Californian breeeder Jean Mill, was the first to make such a cross, actually by accident. She had acquired a leopard cat in the 1950s and let it hang out with a black tom cat so it wouldn’t be lonely. To her surprise, the two mated and produced a fertile female kitten which she mated back to her father. The first cat association to recognise the Bengal was The International Cat Association, which granted the breed experimental status in 1983, followed by full recognition in 1991.
Bengals are confident, curious, talkative, always alert and loves water.
They come in several colors and the coat can be spotted randomly or in horizontal patterns, or it can be marbled, with horizontal stripes arranged randomly on a lighter background. Some Bengals have a coat that is described as “glittered”, where the fur shimmers in the light, as if it were tipped with gold dust. Another characteristic is a spotted belly.