Photo ofBengal Cat Relaxing on Floor
Bengal Cat Relaxing on Floor. photo © Getty Images / Mark Liddell

Bengal Breed Brief:

The Bengal is a medium to large, sleek and well muscled cat, with rakish hindquarters slightly higher than shoulders. Female Bengals average from 7 to 11 pounds at maturity, and males can average from 11 to 18 pounds at full growth.

The Bengal coat is short and dense, with a soft and silky feel, patterned in random spots or marbled, with a variety of acceptable colors. The coat may be "glittered," which is an effect that appears as if it were sprinkled with glitter.

Breeding a Wild Cat

The Bengal is developed from the crossing of an Asian Leopard Cat (Felis bengalensis) with a domestic breed, such as an Abyssinan, American Shorthair, Burmese, or Egyptian Mau. The first Bengal Cats were bred in 1963 by Jean Sugden Mills; and later in 1972, with eight female ALC-domestic offspring she acquired from the University of Calfornia.

TICA writes of the Bengal: "Originally developed from crosses between the domestic cats and the Asian Leopard Cat, the Bengal is the only domestic cat that can have rosettes like the markings on Leopards, Jaguars and Ocelots. Today's domestic Bengal cat comes only from breeding Bengals to other Bengals and requires no specialized care".

A Purrfect Pet

To belie its wild background, a Bengal is described as lively, playful, affectionate, and intelligent. Bengals love water, and will splash in the sink, or even jump into the shower with you. The Bengal combines the exotic look and feel of the small forest-dwelling wild cats they descend from with the dependability and loving temperament of the domestic cat. For a walk on the wild side with an affectionate companion who epitomizes the look of the wild, you can't go wrong with a Bengal.


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Registries Accepting the Bengal

The Bengal is currently accepted for registration by  TICA, the ACFA and the GCCF, and soon to be by CFA in the Miscellaneous Class.

TICA accepts registration of F1s through F3s and beyond, however, in order to be shown in TICA, a Bengal must be at least four generations away (F-4) from its Asian Leopard Cat ancestor.

In February of 2016, CFA announced that "Effective May 1, 2016, the Bengal will be recognized in the Miscellaneous Class. Breed information for the Bengals will be added shortly..." 

Thanks go out to Rich Nolte who has taken the responsibility for preparing the presentation to the CFA.
In Rich's words:

CFA Presentation: This is the Prezi I have worked on for the last few months. This has been my baby, I hope you all enjoy it like the CFA Board of Directors did. It is essential you read through it and the standard and points. We can shows Bengals as miscellaneous class starting May 1, 2016. There is a possibility they may fast track the breed, but to ensure this we need Bengal cats, kittens, and catteries registered ASAP if you have not done so already. This standard was written as a standard of perfection. Please do all you can to show CFA your BEST Bengals. Thanks for all your support. 

Your lucky CFA Bengal presenter,

Franny's Note: I'll personally follow up on this exciting news, as I know how long and hard Bengal breeders and aficionados have worked toward this goal. Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved.