The Bengal, zoom on this leopard-looking cat

The origins of Bengal

Originally from the United States, the Bengal is the result of the cross between a domestic cat and a leopard cat that lives in the province of Bengal, located between India and Bangladesh. The first crossing took place in 1963 by Jean S. Mill, an American geneticist. To do this, the scientist chose a cat of the American Shorthair breed. Over the years, it was agreed to keep the “wild” appearance of the Bengal. The first cat from this breed arrived in France in 1989.

Bengal physique

  • size: about 35 cm (male or female);
  • weight: 4 to 6 kg (female) or 5 to 7 kg (male);
  • hair: short and thick. Soft texture;
  • hair color: “spotted”, “rosettes” or “marbled” patterns;
  • head shape: triangular in shape and small in size. Well-marked chin;
  • shape and color of the eyes: oval in shape, they can be green, blue or gold;
  • shape of the ears: small or medium size. Rounded at their top;
  • other particularities: short or moderately long tail. It tapers to the end.

Bengal character

The Bengal is a very affectionate, even clingy cat: it is perfect as a life companion and is friendly towards children and adults. He appreciates humans, but also other animals, cats or dogs. The Bengal is known for its intelligent, playful and sporty side: it needs to stay active and has a great capacity for learning.

The Bengal will like both an apartment and a house. It’s even better if he has a secure garden or balcony at his disposal. It is essential to regularly plan new activities to occupy this cat who needs movement and freedom.

Bengal health

The health of the Bengal is considered robust. However, certain pathologies can impact the life of these cats. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is one of them and causes congestive heart failure. Flat rib syndrome or Pectus Excavatum (flattening of the bottom of the rib cage) can also be encountered. The Bengal can also be a victim of Pyruvate Kinase deficiency, a genetic disease that causes severe anemia.

The Bengal is particularly prone to progressive retinal atrophy, which leads to blindness. The Scientific Council of the LOOF (Official Book of Feline Origins) recommends that breeding cats be screened. Almost two out of 10 Bengals are carriers according to specialist Antagene.

The Bengal lives between 10 and 15 years. Regular eye and ear monitoring is required, as well as an annual visit to the veterinarian.

The price of Bengal

To buy a Bengal, it takes between 1000 and 3000 euros. About 600 euros must be added for the annual maintenance cost. A diet rich in protein is essential.

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