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Bengal Cat – Cat Breeds Guide

Adopt A Bengal Cat, Cat Breeds Guide


The Bengal Cat is not a purely domesticated cat breed in origin. It is a hybrid. This is a result of crossing a domestic cat with a wild Asian Leopard cat. This hybrid has the wild appearance of the Asian Leopard that is considered as very desirable but a temperament of a docile and gentle house cat.

Today there are two recognized type of Bengal Cats:

  • The domesticated Bengal Cat breed or generally called as the SBT Bengal are the cats from crosses between a two fourth or fifth generation Bengals. To produce an SBT Bengal, various domesticated cat breeds were used and included in the foundation stock. These breeds include Egyptians, Burmese, Indian Maus and various mixed breeds.
  • The other type is called hybrid Bengal cats. These are cats that are from the crosses made between a domesticated Bengal cat and the American Leopard Cat. Only the domestic type of Bengal cats are accepted for show competitions

Official Name

The official name of the Bengal cat breed is rooted on the Asian Leopard Cat’s scientific name, Bengalensis. It is also called by some as the domesticated SBT or Studbook Tradition Bengal cat.


The modern day Bengal Cat is not a natural domestic cat breed but a hybrid that was developed in the West Coast of the United States. Records of hybrid crosses of the Asian Leopard cat and a domesticated cat breed has been accounted since the late 1800’s, but the formal and serious breeding development to refine and produce a consistent and standardized litter started during the late 1960’s, initiated by modern Bengal Cat creator Ms. Jean Mill.

Quick FAQs
Size: A typical Bengal cat can be Medium or Large in size.
Coat Type: The Bengal cat breed is a shorthaired hybrid cat.
Body Type: The Bengal cat has a body type that is considered as moderate.
Grooming Requirement: Bengal cats are not demanding pets when it comes to grooming. Having these cats groomed once every few weeks will be sufficient.
Vocal Tendency: Bengal cats are quite pets and will only vocalize if necessary.
Energy Levels: The Bengal cat breed is a very active cat with very high activity levels.
Time Alone: A typical Bengal cat will require about 4 to 8 hours of “alone” time.
Care: A Bengal cat can be a handful and require lots of attention.

Recognized By:
The International Cat Association – First to recognize this breed, classifies it under the Shorthair Group.
Australian Cat Federation Inc. – Recognized this breed, classifies it under GROUP 3.
Co-Ordinating Cat Council of Australia – Recognized this breed, classifies it under GROUP 3.
Fédération Internationale Féline – Recognized this breed, classifies it under Category III.
Governing Council of the Cat Fancy – Recognized this breed, classifies it under the Foreign Breed Group.
New Zealand Cat Fancy – Recognized this breed, classifies it under the Shorthair Group.
Southern African Cat Council – Recognized this breed, classifies it under the Foreign Breed Group.
World Cat Federation – Recognized this breed, classifies it under the Shorthair Group.
Livre Officiel des Origines Félines – Recognized this breed, it under the Shorthair Group.


The modern Bengal Cat breed started its formal and serious breeding development during the 1960’s, led breed creator Ms. Jean Mills. She first studied the genetics of crossbreeding wild cats with domestic cat breeds during the late 1940’s.

Historically, crosses between the Asian Leopard Cat breed with domestic cats has been going on since the late 1880’s. Author Harrison Weir mentioned this hybrid cross in 1889 on his book titled Our Cats and All About Them. A more concrete historical account of this type of cross was confirmed by a Belgian Scientific Journal in 1934. During the 1940’s, a Japanese feline publication published a successful pet story regarding a cat that is a result of cross between an Asian Leopard Cat with a domesticated cat breed.

The modern and Mill’s created Bengal cat was created to produce a domestic cat with a unique spotted coat pattern that is wild-like. Genetic studies were made to produce this wild physical appearance but the pioneer breeders made sure that the cats will have ideal temperament. Today, Bengal cats are known to be gentle and good-natured pets.


The Bengal cat breed may be considered somewhat dog-like for their natural disposition of being people oriented. These are not needy cats, but will enjoy a lot of time hanging out, playing or just interacting with their owners. These cats can get a bit demanding as they always want to be the center of their owner’s world. The Bengal cat is known to display admirable loyalty and some are considered to be able to know what their human’s are feeling. Overall, this is a cat that looks very exotic and wild on the outside but very docile, gentle and a cat eager to mingle and please. These cats are also known to be very curious, very devoted as well as very confident felines.

The Bengal cat breed has all the wild features of the Asian Leopard cat but the temperament of the gentlest, quietest and highly sociable domestic cat breed. This breed is famous for having a rosetted spot coat patter on the side and back portion of the body. Other parts of this cat’s will feature stripes instead of spots.
Generally, Bengal cats are physically wild-looking felines that have very desirable temperament, displaying a well-balanced and very domesticated disposition.
The Bengal cat has a substantial and long body that is not foreign or oriental in type. This cat has a muscular body that displays its athleticism and robust bone structure.
Head, Ears and Eyes
Bengals are cats that have broad heads that is modified wedge in shaped and have rounded contours. This breed’s ears are smaller and shorter than the average breed. The ears are set wide at the base and have tips that are rounded. Bengal cats’ eyes are oval in shape with some cats coming with a slightly almond-shaped set of eyes. The eye color for both Seal Sepia Tabby and Seal Mink Tabby will be aqua. Cats with Seal Lynx Point will have blue eye colors.
Coat and Tail
The Bengal tail is thick and tapered at the end and the tip with be rounded. Bengal coats may be short or medium in length. Whatever the length is, this breed’s coat texture is thick and considered luxurious with a uniquely soft character.
A Bengal cat may come in various colors and patterns including Seal Lynx Point, Seal Sepia or Seal Mink Tabby and the common Brown Tabby.
The Bengal Cat is a hybrid that has shown a couple of disorders that eventually leads to blindness at an early age. Otherwise it is considered a healthy breed as long as owners make sure that the type of cat they keep as house pets are SBT Bengals types