Kitten History: Bengal

The Bengal kitten embodies the exotic qualities of her breed.

By Stacy Hackett

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Bengal © Helmi Flick

With her plush spotted coat, white tummy and long body, your Bengal kitten embodies the exotic qualities of her breed. Just how did she acquire her wild good looks?

The credit goes to Jean Sudgen Mills, a cat lover with a lifelong interest in genetics. In 1963, Jean crossed a black shorthaired domestic cat with a female Asian Leopard Cat, which resulted in two kittens, one a beautiful spotted female. Family tragedy interrupted Jean's breeding program until 1975, when she acquired several female hybrid cats produced by crossing Asian Leopard Cats and domestic cats.

Through fierce determination and selective breeding, Jean produced the stunning cats we know today as Bengals. In 1984, the domestic Bengal was recognized and accepted for registration by The International Cat Association, and continues to enjoy worldwide popularity.




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Reader Comments

Allie Neff    Willoughby, OH

2/2/2013 5:22:38 AM

We are interested in a relatively new breed called the Toyger, and understand that its'status was a result of efforts by a Bengal breeder named Judy Sudgen. We discovered a kitten on our front porch this past summer that has all the earmarks of the toyger.

Adele    Charlotte, NC

1/4/2011 5:58:11 PM

I have a 12 year old Bengal, I was wondering how long is a Bengals lifespan?

Karen Benefiel    Evansville, IN

11/8/2010 8:00:11 AM

we have adpted a bengal and are having health issues with runny eyes and sneezing..he has been on three rounds of medication at one time two at the same time..has anyone else had a issue like this ? He was very sick when we got him lack of energy but now he is energetic, courious and playful..a delight. Its almost like he has allergies. he is seven months old and is current on all shots and neutered...if anyone can help me please post.

Tim    NY, NY

9/19/2010 8:14:20 PM

Cute cats.

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