The Bengal cat is a hybrid breed, invented by crossing a domestic house cat with an Asian Leopard Cat. During the 1960s, after researchers discovered that wild cats (eg. lions and tigers) were immune to some cat-related diseases such as leukaemia and other cancers, they started to breed the wild Asian Leopard Cat to a domestic house cat in order to study how their immune system would cope with these diseases. The resulting litter was filled with a mix of solid and spotted kittens.
The Bengal cat is the only spotted breed that is directly descended from a wild cat - the Asian Leopard Cat. The goal in producing the Bengal was to recreate the look of their wild ancestor, but in a domestic cat.
The Bengal Cat is suited to most people, but they must remember Bengal cats are boisterous, energetic and very playful and they also want to be the boss. To care for them properly they do need someone who can handle them!
They are extremely intelligent and can be quite easily taught basic commands, can be walked on a lead and they will come when called by their owner. If you are after a friendly and loving cat and one that is blessed with a unique beginning, then the Bengal cat may be the one for you.
The Bengal cat is a short-haired breed so will only require minimal grooming.
For the latest research in breed-related problems in the Bengal cats, visit the University of Sydney's LIDA (Listing of Inherited Disorders in Animals) website.