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History of Bengal cats


In the 1950s American veterinary research experts found out that the Asian Leopard Cat (Felis Prionaliurus Bengalensis) is genetically protected from Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) from which lots of domestic cats died in the past and dies even today.
For a long time experts only crossed the Asian Leopard cat with domestic cats for research purposes to examine weather the breeded hybrid cats are also protected from these diseases.
Through this research they found out that the hybrid cats inherit the tendency to catch these diseases just like other domestic cat breeds. They also assessed that hybrid cats are not equally fertile, male cats are often sterile due to the different number of chromosomes between the two kinds. However, female cats are suitable for further breeding.

Early Breeding

The Bengal cat kind was first officially created by a Californian breeder, Mrs. Jean Mill the owner of Millwood Kennel in 1963. She also crossed a female Asian Leopard Cat with a male domestic cat.
With this, she created the first generation F1 Bengal cat as later breeders classify it.
This cat called Kinkin grew up between domestic cats and later mated with her own father. From this match, special spotted and unicolor cats were born later classified as F2 cats.
The main goal was to create a breed with the exotic look of Asian Leopard Cats but the friendly temperament of domestic cats. Mrs. Jean Mill mainly wanted to save the Asian Leopard Cats threatened by extinction as they were being exploited for the fur market.


Planned breeding of this kind only started in the 1980s by Jean Sugden and Dr. William Centerwall geneticists. The name of this kind was derived from the Asian Leopard Cat living in the Asian wilderness.
Later more people joined the breeding project and included other kinds to the final creation of Bengal cat kind like the Abyssinian, the Burmese, the Tonkinese, the Egyptian Mau, the Ocicat, the British Shorthair and the Siamese.
The Bengal cat became an officially recognized kind by the American TICA (The International Cat Association).
The first public presentation of the Bengal cat kind was a year later in 1984.
In 1990 a spotted Bengal cat became champion in a cat exhibition, so it has been recognized as a separate breed.
In 1994 the brown marble and the snow color type also became champion.
In 1998 the American ACFA and the British GCCF also permitted the presentation of this breed on exhibitions.
After this, Bengal cats became the most popular breed in the United States.
In 1999 the European FIFE also recognized the breed of Bengal cat as a separate kind.
In 2004 the silver and silver snow color has became recognized, but only by the TICA.
In 2013 the silver, silver snow, blue, blue snow and silver blue color has been separated by only one step from the all recognized, but only by the GCCF association.
Today, Europeans are also familiar with Bengal cats and this kind gains more admirers in each cat exhibition.
To revive the bloodline, breeders use Asian Leopard Cats (ALC) even today to cross them with Bengal cats. The F1 hybrid cats breeded this way are often very shy and their personality resemble to Asian Leopard cats rather than Bengal cats. Hence, these cats are often used only for breeding. From crossing F1 breeds with other Bengal cats, we get F2 hybrid kittens. Then crossing an F2 hybrid cat with a Bengal cat we get 3rd generation F3 hybrid cats, which can develop stronger ties to humans. The next generation F4/SBT cats are sold all over the world by breeders and can be presented in cat exhibitions as well.


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