The Bengal was crossbred to evoke the look of wild cats such as leopards and ocelots. Selective breeding of domestic cats with the wild Asian leopard cat (ALC) resulted in the remarkable rosettes and spots seen in the Bengal. The careful breeding has produced a calm, friendly cat with striking colour contrasts.
The idea of an ALC / domestic crossbreed is mentioned in cat breed books as far back as 1889, but whether anyone had actually attempted the cross is unknown. After all, it could take some persuading to get Fluffy Paws to make babies with this:
Bengals were bred for genetic study in the 1930s, as it had been noted that the Asian leopard cat appeared immune to feline leukemia. The breed was further domesticated in the 1960s, using a successful cross between the ALC and Egyptian Mau.
Understandably, Bengals kept as pets are required to be at least 4 generations removed from the leopard cat to ensure safety. The first 3 generations are kept for breeding purposes only. The Asian leopard cat itself is an endangered species, with numbers slowly on the rise in captivity.
Bengal / Ball Pit
I have a thing about ball pits. They are amazingly awesome. I simply can’t understand why they don’t make them for adults. I dream of rooms full of coloured balls that I can dive into.
My cats will lie on top of anything they even suspect is important to me – my computer, my one pair of decent black pants, my lunch, drawings of cats, my children… If I had a ball pit of my very own, I just know that a cat would immediately lie on it.