Bengal Cat: origin, size and character
The Bengal cat is a breed of cat known for its coat similar to that of a leopard. They’re also a hypoallergenic cat.
Personality: Curious, playful, intelligent, active.
Size: Bengal cat can reach a weight of 3.5-7kg (8-15 pounds).
The Bengal is a breed of cat that originated in the United States. This medium to large sized breed, compared to other cats, is characterized by its fur resembling that of the Bengal Leopard Cat, a species of wild cat from which it is bred, by crossing with domestic cats.
The origins of the Bengal Cat breed
Since the dawn of time, crossbreeds between races have fascinated mankind. For the Bengal, the story began in 1963 in the United States. At that time, Joan Sugden was a young geneticist with a passion for cats. She dreams of creating a breed of domestic cats that share the same traits as the leopard. She then decides to mate her black cat with a wild Asian cat. The latter is a representative of the species Prionailurus Bengalensis, commonly known as the “leopard cat” for its spotted coat. From the union of the two mammals will be born an adorable kitten… with a totally wild temperament!
Joan Sugden’s project did not really gain momentum until the 1970s, when she met William Centerwall. The latter was studying the leopard cat’s supposed immunity to feline leukosis. As part of his research, he crossed the domestic cat with the leopard cat to see if the immunity was transferred genetically. Since the answer was no and a vaccine was discovered, the doctor agreed to transfer several first generation hybrid females to Joan. These eight females, mated to cats of other breeds, created the Bengal breed. In 1983, the International Cat Association TICA will register the Bengal in the category “new breeds and colors”. However, it was not until 1991 that the breed was officially recognized.
Between 10 and 16 years old.
Resistant / robust:
Considering the rather thick fur of the Bengal, its cold hardiness is better than some other breeds. The fact remains that this is a short-haired cat with no significant undercoat.
Tendency to gain weight:
Since this cat has greater dietary requirements than other breeds, it can gain unnecessary weight if its food portions are not adequate. Check with your veterinary team.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: This is a condition of the heart muscle (the myocardium) that causes it to thicken. It is actually a syndrome in which several diseases are grouped together, some of which are well known, others difficult to diagnose and others that are said to be idiopathic (of undetermined cause).
This condition is not over-represented in the Bengals, but it is still found on occasion. The condition is insidious, as the cat may be symptom-free for many years despite having severe CMH. Clinical signs may be vague, for example loss of appetite, fatigue. In cases where the cat decompensates quickly, obvious breathing difficulties appear. Thrombosembolisms (a clot that blocks in a blood vessel) causing sudden and painful paralysis can also occur.
Progressive retinal atrophy: this is an inherited disease that leads to blindness more or less quickly after it starts. Sometimes the disease can appear when the cat is already older or younger, which can help the cat adjust to its new “blind” life gradually. For less fortunate cats, the disease affects them at a very young age, so they have very little time to adjust.
Some individuals can suffer from the same diseases as other domestic cats, such as oral diseases.
Pyruvate kinase deficiency is a deficiency in an enzyme that plays a role in breaking down sugars in erythrocytes. This PK deficiency results in the death of erythrocytes and the development of anemia in cats.
No marriage with other race/breed is allowed for this race.