In 1963, an Asian leopard cat bred with a domestic short haired cat and the result was called the safari cat which was changed in the early 1970s to the Bengal cat. They are famous for their marbled or spotted coat that is truly beautiful. They have very much retained that feature from the Asian leopard cat. The look of the cat is very distinctive with round ears, larges eyes and wonderful facial markings.
Another distinctive feature is the hind legs are longer than its front legs again a feature inherited from the Asian leopard cat. They have a lean appearance and are powerful runners.
They can be fairly boisterous which is not too surprising when you consider who its ancestor is and not an easy cat to contain. Not always the ideal cat for everyone as they need a lot of action around them and interactivity.
Some have been irresponsibly bred which has meant that some are susceptible to cataracts as well as heart problems. They require little grooming as they have a short hair which they are rather proficient at taking care of themselves. You can expect to pay between $700 and right up to over $3000 for the more exotic types.
A responsible breeder only sells Bengal cats four or even more generations away from the Asian leopard cat. They take great care with the bloodlines, and develop cats for their temperament and sociability. Each cat has his own individual traits.
There are 4 main types of Bengal cats, either spotted or marbled. The spotted Bengal cats are the most common of these, with different background variations of either brown or white.
The breed standard allows a wide variety of patterns sizes and shapes. The spots can be large or small which are generally circular but some breeders go for the arrow shaped spots or rosettes. The spots can be random or nice straight horizontal lines.
Some have a glitter effect on the coat, in other words there is a lot of variety which only the breeder could show you properly the different types. It is important to choose the right breeder.
Breeders are quite numerous and as these cats have so many variations you need to educate yourself on the different types by reading breeder’s websites and searching for as much information as possible as this is not an inexpensive cat so you need to know what you are looking for.
A relationship with the breeder is essential as they are best qualified to advice you on their care and needs as well as educate you about the varieties. At Bengal Breed, they have an extensive list of breeders throughout the United States and Canada as well as other parts of the world many of which export the cats on demand. They do state though that they can make no guarantees as to the quality of these breeders so choose carefully.
Many responsible breeders will only sell you spayed and neutered Bengal cats as the responsibility of breeding them in exactly the correct way is important to protect this breed.
Only if you can satisfy the breeder that you have sufficient knowledge to become a breeder will they consider letting you have a breed-able cat. Search the internet and look for credible breeders like Marechal Cattery.
Join groups like The International Bengal Cat Society and improve your knowledge with regular newsletters to your e mail.
The preservation of this breed is taken very seriously by leading breeders and although one of the most expensive cats there is to buy they are among the most beautiful. Other breeders to look at Pocket Leopards Bengals and Nitewindes Cattery.
A further measure to obtain one of these delightful cats is to approach a Bengal Cat rescue group and enquire about adoption possibilities.
You can find them through Purebred Cat Rescue network which can point you towards some groups they may have a Bengal cat available for adoption.