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Leopard Cat

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Leopard Cat

The Interesting History of Bengal Cats

Bengal cats start at first generation from the Asian Leopard Cat. The first generation is referred to as an F1 Bengal Cat, the second generation away from a Asian leopard cat is an F2 Bengal cat, and the third generation away from an Asian leopard cat is an F3 Bengal cat. Male Bengal cats born in the first four generations are sterile because they are a hybrid cat. Early generation Cats are not for the average household due to the nature of the Asian leopard cat.

Bengal cats are a hybrid cat that is a cross between the Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat. Domestic cats that have been used to make Bengal cats are Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Burmese or Egyptian Mau. Where does the name “Bengal cat” come from? “Bengal cat” is derived from the Latin name of the Asian Leopard Cat which is Feline Bengal catensis. Bengals cat are coveted by the exotic wild spotted pattern from the Asian Leopard Cat. Asian leopard cats are found in central Asia.

Bengal Cats

So where did the Bengal cat history begin? Jean Sudgen of the United States crossed a black short haired domestic cat with a female Asian Leopard Cat in 1963. Those F1 Bengal cats had F2 Bengal cat kittens proving that second generations of Bengal cats were possible. Unfortunately due to a death in the family breeding the Bengal cat was stopped after getting to the second generation. Then in 1975 Jean Sudgen, who was now Mrs. Jean Mill, got eight female Bengal hybrids from a geneticist called Dr. Willard Centerwall.

Dr. Willard Centerwall had been involved in a breeding program where Asian Leopard Cats were crossed with domestic cats as part of a study of feline Leukemia. It was in 1975 that Jean Sudgen Mills began again to further the new breed. It was not till 1984 the domestic Bengal cat were recognized by the International Cat Association.

What is an Asian Leopard cat?

Asian leopard cats are small jungle cat that can be found in the forests of Southern Asia, India, China, Korea, and also been reported in Taiwan, Philippines, Borneo, Java, Bali and Sumatra. Bengal cats range from 10-15 pounds in weight. Asian Leopard Cat are scavengers and normally nocturnal in the wild. Asian leopard cats love playing in the water and are expert swimmers. They are a shy cat and only experienced exotic cat owners should own one. They do require daily interaction with many people to remain docile.

Often Asian leopard cats will pee in water. An Asian leopard cat has a small head with rounded ears that have a white spot on the back of them called “ocelli”. The most striking marking on an Asian leopard cat is their large amber nocturnal eyes with 2 black stripes running from the corners of the eyes. Most Asian leopard cats have 4 striped bands that run from their foreheads to behind their necks with ringed tails with black tips. Asian leopard cats have black spots on white bellies with rosetted spots on pelts that can be tawny brown, golden, grey, to bright orange-red backgrounds, with the spots being usually chocolate brown to black.

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