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Bengal cat

The Bengal cat is an attempt to create a domestic feline with 'wild' characteristics and coloration, but a domestic temperament. They are very large cats - a male may weigh as much as 15 pounds, and a female commonly weighs 8-10 pounds. The closer the cat is to their Asian Leopard ancestors, the larger it is likely to be.

Bengal cats are actually a hybrid between Asian leopard cats[?] and domestic felines - mainly Egyptian Maus[?] and Burmese cats. Bengal cats are labelled with an 'F' number to indicate how many generations they are removed from their wild ancestors. Kittens from an Asian Leopard Cat (crossed with a Bengal or domestic cat) would be called F1 Bengal cats, their offspring would then be called F2 Bengals and so on. Bengal cats from F1 to F3 are not allowed to be shown, although many F3 Bengal cats are very friendly. Asian Leopard cats or F1 and F2 Bengal cats may not be house-trained and need knowledgeable owners. They are often difficult to breed (F1 and F2 males are always infertile and F3 males are almost always infertile) with smaller litters. Consequently, when they are occasionally sold, they are much more expensive than later generation Bengal cats.

Bengal cats have either spots or marbled patterns on their coats, and they are bred in both dark (ranging from gold through to rich browny russets) and light (silver, very pale grey and white) coat colours. Silver or 'snow' Bengals are a newer variation and therefore rarer and more valuable.

A beautifully clearly marked marbled Bengal kitten, aged 13 weeks.
Image courtesy of Norcastle Bengals (http://www.norcastle.co.uk/)

A litter of spotted Bengal kittens.
Image courtesy of Norcastle Bengals (http://www.norcastle.co.uk/)

Bengals seem to be extremely affectionate and to get along well with other cats.
Image courtesy of Victor Martinez (http://home.austin.rr.com/lunamayaxoxo)

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