Breed Profile: Beauty in the Beast

The Bengal has taken the world by storm thanks to its good looks, but its personality keeps fans coming back for more.

By Elisa Jordan

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There is something special about an exotic-looking cat. The sleek elegance, striking coat and penetrating eyes have long captivated the imaginations of those who appreciate cats and secretly wish to have a wild cat as a pet.

“If you think about it, on every continent going back hundreds and even thousands of years you will find that there has been a fascination with the dramatically patterned wild cats — it is apparent in art, fashion, rituals and beliefs,” says Anthony Hutcherson, a Maryland-based Bengal breeder and The International Cat Association (TICA) Bengal breed-committee chair. “Even now, people sport leopard-print clothing and accessories.”

Bengals, a hybrid of domestic cats and Asian leopard cats, can fill the desire that many people have to own an exotic-looking creature — without the wild temperament, of course. They add beauty to a home. They offer a dash of mystery. They are a conversation starter for guests.

**Get the March 2010 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article.**

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