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.




- Return to the Bengal Breed Profile -

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Reader Comments

Karen    Encino, CA

9/1/2015 10:23:52 AM

I would really like to know how to keep my bangal from literally wanting to kill my other cat. I had adopted Willy from someone who was unable to care for him and if I didn't the vet was going to euthanize him. I brought him home eight pounds under weight with a feeding tube. He took right away to my dog but was a definite biter but as time has gone by he is better with me. However he literally attacks my other cat who is nonaggression as can be. I have to keep them separated. The last attack landed by other cat in the hospital with drain tubes in him. I do not want to re-home Willy but I have done everything to properly introduce the two cats and nothing works. I want them both to be happy but just don't know what other steps I can take. So any suggestions would be helpful. He is a beautiful and very affectionate.

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.

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