Bengal Cat Breed

Small leopard or huge cat? You may have never heard of a Bengal pet. But after you learn its history, you’ll know one when you see one.

The other day I was in the pet store with my roommate, who was purchasing food for her cat. We meandered down to the actual pets that were for sale, and there was a Bengal kitten. I had never heard of this unique breed, but I’ve found they are very interesting.

The Bengal breed is a mix of Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat. Thus, they are very different from the typical house cat. You can almost always spot a Bengal cat because of its large size and its wild look that points decidedly toward its leopard roots. It is almost a miniature leopard. This breed is very energetic and intelligent, and most are docile. However, some can be “more wild,” and therefore less inclined to be trained. (Okay, “training” and “cat” might not be a phrase you’d typically use with most cats, but you get the picture.)

How exactly did this breed come about? In 1963, leopard cats could still be bought as pets in the United States. Jean Mill, a resident of California, bought a small leopard cat to keep as a pet. However, she felt bad that her leopard cat was lonely, so she bought a male domestic cat. To her surprise, the leopard cat became pregnant and had a litter. Only one kitten survived from that litter, but it was able to reproduce. Thus, the Bengal breed came into existence. You can learn more about the development of the breed by researching online.

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