This is a page on Bengal cat facts written for children. Visitors can use the written content if they wish.
The Bengal cat is one of the most important, glamorous and noticeable breeds of cat. That is why it is very popular. Lots of famous people live with a Bengal cat, like Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton and Laila Ali (Muhammad Ali’s daughter). It is possibly the third most popular cat breed after the Maine Coon and Siamese. It is a “wild cat hybrid”. What does this mean?
The first Bengal cat in the world was created by an American lady whose name is now Jean Mill (her surname at the time was “Sugden”). She put a small female wild cat from Asia called a leopard cat into a cage with a male domestic cat hoping that they would mate. Luckily the cats got on and it worked. Their kitten was half wild cat and half domestic cat. The first time she did this was in 1963. She tried again over the following years during the 1980s, even using a cat she brought over from India and a cat called an Egyptian Mau.
Jean succeeded in creating more Bengal kittens and gradually the Bengal cat became more popular and more people became involved in creating (breeding) this cat. You can see that a “wild cat hybrid” is partly a wild cat and partly a domestic cat. When this first happened it was very exciting. The Bengal cat is the world’s first popular wild cat hybrid.
Today people rarely try to get the leopard cat and a domestic cat to mate. Nowadays a Bengal cat mates with another Bengal cat to produce Bengal kittens. These kittens have a bit of wild cat in them but not too much, which means Bengal cats have an interesting wild look and an exciting personality. But this breed of cat is still very nice and easy to live with. This is important because a Bengal cat should be easy to live with as it is a domestic cat.
The Bengal cat is quite a big domestic cat. It weighs from about 12 to 22 pounds. It is also a strong cat and is a very good jumper and climber. It gets these skills from the leopard cat.
The Bengal cat coat is very impressive. It is one of the things that makes this cat popular. There are two main types. The first is a spotted coat. The spots are called “rosettes”. There are dark spots on a brown background. The other is dark swirls and blobs on the same sort of background.
The spots of the spotted Bengal cat have different shapes. Sometimes they are the shape of a donut (doughnut) and sometimes a bit like an arrowhead or a pawprint. The coat that has swirls and blotches is called a marbled Bengal cat. It is named after the stone called “marble” which looks similar. You can also get Bengal cats with a silver background color these days. Another special coat that is particularly popular is one that glitters like gold. Wow. This is a glamorous cat. That is why the celebrities like them.
The color of the eyes vary from a copper color (brown) to a blue. You will also see gold, green and yellow colored eyes.
The Bengal is chatty and has a strong, confident voice that makes loud meows. This cat makes a lot of different sounds – more than the usual domestic cat. Sometimes the Bengal makes a puffing sort of sound or a low sound.
The Bengal cat is confident and intelligent but also friendly. This is a very curious cat. They like to play and are fast runners and high jumpers. They like high places and water a lot. You will see pictures of them drinking running water straight from the faucet (tap). Sometimes the Bengal cat will join their human companion in the shower or bath. This behavior also comes from the wild leopard cat. A bit of the wild cat is still in the Bengal cat after all these years.
There are some people who do not think that there should be wild cat hybrids. They say it is a bad idea for the wild cats and bad for people and wild life. They are frightened that they might escape their homes and become wild and attack wildlife. Perhaps the most important cat club in the world The Cat Fanciers’ Association do not accept that there should be wild cat hybrids. However, most people love the Bengal cat.
F1 stands for “first filial”. This means a kitten who has a wild cat father and a domestic cat mother. F2 stands for a kitten that has parents who are both F1 cats and so on. Most modern Bengal cats are 5th filial (F5).
This video shows the active Bengal cat.