Loved by those who appreciate its inquisitive and loving nature, the Bengal is a medium to large cat renowned for its richly colored, highly contrasted coat of vivid spots or distinctive marbling. Originally developed from crosses between the domestic cats and the Asian Leopard Cat, the Bengal is the only domestic cat that can have rosettes like the markings on Leopards, Jaguars and Ocelots.
Today’s domestic Bengal cat comes only from breeding Bengals to other Bengals and requires no specialized care. Since their beginnings in 1986, the Bengal’s regal beauty and alluring charm have quickly made it one of the most popular breeds.
Employing scientific insights and a cooperative spirit, Bengal breeders continue to develop these stunning cats with careful selection for temperament, health and beauty.
Looking at Physical Characteristics
- Check for a spotted coat. The Bengal breed’s most distinctive physical feature is their beautiful spotted coat. These cats have inherited these spots from their leopard ancestors. All Bengals will, without exception, have a spotted coat. Bengal cats usually have a shine or shimmer to their coat that is most visible in direct sunlight. Breeders often call this the “glitter” effect.
- Look for the right color pattern. All Bengals have spotted coats, but they can come in a variety of colors. The most common color pattern is a brown or golden background color. But these cats can also come in cinnamon-sorrel colors, gray-beige, charcoal, silver, or blue color patterns.Sometimes the spots link together to resemble more of a striped patterns, but these are still considered Bengal cats. This is often called a marbled pattern variation.
- Notice the large, athletic build. Bengal cats are usually quite large and lean. They have an athletic build and very rarely develop the saggy belly that many other cat breeds get when they gain a little extra weight.Bengal cats typically weigh between 8 lb and 15 lb once they reach their adult weight.
- Watch for active behavior. Bengal cats are descendants of wild Asian leopards, so it is in their nature to be active and energetic. They have a penchant for playing and exerting large amounts of energy. Bengals spend more time playing and less time napping than many other breeds of domestic cats.If your cat seems quite docile or lethargic, it is unlikely that the cat is a Bengal.
- Notice if the cat is affectionate. Despite their wild ancestry and feral appearance, Bengal cats are very affectionate towards humans – especially their owners. They love to cuddle and play with their family members and spend much of their time engaging with humans.A Bengal cat will not be reclusive or aloof. It will spend most of its time around the humans and other animals of the household.
- Listen for their distinctive meow. Bengal cats are quite vocal and loud, more than many other breeds of cats. They regularly communicate with their owners about what they want and how they feel. They will not hesitate to let their owner know if their litterbox needs cleaning or if they want more food.Even though Bengals express themselves often, their meow is actually more of a gruff little bark sound than an actual loud meow.