What breed are Bengal

Bengal cat

The Bengal cat is also known as a leopardette and, thanks to its coat of paint, is directly reminiscent of a leopard in miniature format. Despite this resemblance to wild cats, Bengal cats are lovable and cuddly pets that their owners can enjoy.

For a harmonious coexistence, however, some breed-specific peculiarities should be observed. This includes in particular the above-average urge to move that Bengal cats have.

Key facts at a glance:

  • Name: Bengal cat or leopardette
  • Life expectancy: up to 15 years
  • Origin: USA
  • Size: up to 40 cm shoulder height
  • Weight: cats up to 4 kg / male up to 8 kg
  • Fur: ​​short and dense, different basic colors with marbled or dotted markings
  • Character: spirited, intelligent, friendly, playful and cuddly

Origin and history of the Bengal cat

Although the Bengal cat has only been recognized as a separate breed by FIFe since 1999, it has its origins as early as the 1960s. In 1963, the American geneticist Jean Mill crossed domestic cats with the Asian wildcat Prionailurus bengalensis.

This marks the beginning of the breeding of Bengal cats as domestic animals, in which great importance is attached to the desired color of the fur. Today the animals are only bred as true breeds and no longer crossed with wild cats.

Description of the bengal cat

Bengal cats are particularly noticeable because of their fur pattern, with which they resemble a leopard. Your physique is slim and elegant, but also quite muscular at the same time. Female bengal cats can weigh around four kilograms. Hangovers weigh an average of 5.5 kg, but can also reach eight kilos.

The Bengal cat's head is relatively small in relation to its body. The ears are medium-sized and rounded. The large, almost round eyes can be brown, green or gold and should have a black line on the inside of the eyelids.

The Bengal cat's silky fur is short and dense and can have different basic colors with a dotted or marbled pattern, which should be a clear contrast to the basic color. The dotted drawing can also appear in the form of rosettes (two-tone polka dots). However, a striped coat is undesirable in Bengal cats.

Creature of the Bengal cat

Bengal cats are extremely friendly and cuddly. They attach great importance to extensive physical contact with their holder and really enjoy being brushed from time to time. They are also extremely communicative and like to communicate with their surroundings by meowing and cooing.

They are also considered to be very intelligent and willing to learn and are quite capable of learning one or the other little trick. However, Bengal cats are also quite spirited and active. It is not uncommon for this to mean that, out of boredom, they clear out cupboards or cause chaos in their home in another form.

Keeping Bengal cats

Owners of a Bengal cat should ensure that their four-legged friend has enough activity and that the animal has enough suitable toys available. If a Bengal cat often has to stay at home alone, it is also advisable to keep it together with a fellow cat.

Bengal cats are very jumpy and have a high urge to move. A large house with a garden is therefore ideal for keeping them. On the other hand, a Bengal cat does not feel comfortable in a small city apartment.

In order to offer them enough exercise and variety, Bengal cats should be kept outdoors if possible. It is not uncommon for the four-legged friends to disappear for two days and go on a discovery tour.

Diseases in Bengal cats

Although the breeding of Bengal cats was characterized by inbreeding in the very beginning, the breed is considered to be extremely robust and healthy. Nevertheless, Bengal cats can of course get sick. It is also known that their genetic make-up poses an increased risk of certain diseases. Bengal cats can be genetically predisposed to the following diseases:

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease: PKD disease causes cysts to form in the kidneys, which can lead to fatal kidney failure.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: if you develop PRA, the retina gradually dies, ultimately causing the cat to go blind.
  • Patellar luxation: In the case of a patellar luxation, the kneecap pops out, which is not only painful, but in severe cases even has to be surgically corrected.
  • Pyruvate kinase deficiency: PK deficiency leads to anemia (anemia) in the affected cat and in the worst case scenario can be fatal.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: HCM is characterized by thickening of the muscles in the left ventricle of the heart. The disease leads to cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac insufficiency and, sooner or later, can lead to fatal heart failure.

Bengal cats love water

Apart from their striking appearance, Bengal cats have another great feature to show. In contrast to most of their conspecifics, they love water, which is why a small paddling pool in the garden is generally very popular with Bengal cats.

However, if in doubt, they do not stop at a possibly existing aquarium in the living room. Owners of a Bengal cat would therefore do well to secure it adequately.