What is a Bengal cat
THE BENGAL BREED
The Bengal might look like a wild cat, but some people agree that this breed is as sweet as any domestic cat. Bengals are playful, gregarious, active cats with a generous dose of feline curiosity, full of life, and people-oriented.
With their family, Bengals develop close bonds of love and devotion and become devoted, affectionate, fun-loving mates, given you reach them halfway and give them in return the love they need.
The Bengal cat is unique. It is the first documented cross between a nondomestic cat, the Asian leopard cat (Felis bengalensis), and the domestic cat (Felis catus). By breeding Asian leopard cats with domestic cats, the first Bengals were made. Although the hybrid’s documentation goes back as early as the 1800s, Jean Sugden Mill refined the breed in the 1980s. Over time, breeders like Mill produced a cat that blended a wild, forest-dwelling cat’s charm and elegance with the disposition of a domestic cat.
Bengals are generally very healthy cats. The life expectancy is the same as many other cats: 14 – 16 years. In line with other pedigree breeds, there are some diseases that they have a slightly higher risk of – HCM (heart disease) and PkDef (chronic anaemia) being two of them. However, going to a breeder who screens for these things, the risk of your Bengal getting them is muchly reduced, even though the chances are small in the first place.
Bengal cats are usually quite large: males weigh on average between 10 – 15 lbs (4.5 – 6.8kg) and females 8 – 12 lbs (3.6 – 5.4 kg). Of course you will get some even bigger than that and a few who are smaller too, so don’t be concerned if your Bengal is outside of those averages.
The beautifully speckled or marbled coat is one of the Bengal’s most desirable features. Bengal coats come in a range of shades, from golden brown to grey and black. Certain Bengals even inherit something called the “glitter gene,” which gives a shiny, iridescent appearance to their coats. It’s hard to catch in photos, but a Bengal with this gene can seem to sparkle in Sunlife.
The Bengal bodies are large, lean and muscular with substantial bones. Their back legs are slightly longer than their front ones, reminiscent of their wild ancestors. Bengal heads are relatively small in relation to their bodies and should be a little longer than wide, with medium to small ears. Their tails are thick and can be ringed, spotted or marbled, but should always have a solid dark coloured tip. Bengal chins should be light and their whisker pads prominent. Noses are large and broad with slightly puffed nose leather, which is often a rich colour.
Even their voices are different to most other cats and they use them often! You certainly know if you have a Bengal in your house, because they loudly remind you often throughout the day! Bengals can be quite fussy about their litter trays, and will refuse to use them if not clean so they will let you know when they are not up to their standards. They will also remind you when it’s dinner time – you’ll soon stop whatever you’re doing, just to quiet them up!
Their intelligence means they are easy to train and many react well to clicker training. It’s not uncommon for Bengal owners to train their cats to go for a walk on a harness and leash.
Bengal cats tend to follow their owners around (people are where the action is), get involved in whatever activity their humans are doing, play in water, play fetch, walk on leashes, sleep with owners, play with and thoroughly entertain their human companions.
Bengals love to ascend and gravitate to the highest stage in every space. The Bengals are also an outstanding source of entertainment. Their intellect is one of the primary attributes that makes them so unique as companions.
The Bengal understands and loves discovering new habits very quickly. They can practice tricks that you would like them not to do also, such as flipping on and off light switches, opening doors, and flushing toilets. The curious Bengal will get into anything, and shifts in the home also allow the Bengal to react quickly. Open a cupboard, and if they are not up to his/her expectations, your Bengal will plunge in for a look-see and rearrange the contents.
As for how they age, you will see that in the first two years of a cat’s life, their human age goes up rapidly. This is very logical if you think about it, most cats are fully mature by the time they are 1 or 2 years old, therefore equivalent to an adult human being. After this, the age goes up in a pattern: 1 cat year = 4 human years!
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