Bengal Cat– A Beautiful Blend of Leopard & Jaguar

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Abhishek Chile
Bengal Cat is considered as designer breed who epitomises wild look of a leopard and temperament of a domestic cat. In virtue of my fascination this breed demands less attention and care as compared to others like Persians. Let’s see what all it takes to make Bengal a unique breed.
 
In December 2016, my cat took part in a cat show held in Nashik where I met my elder brother and my mentor Saquib Pathan. From that day my journey into actual cat fancy began. Then I became a part of small group of crazy cat people and the craziness went on. Today, I am part of The Feline Club of India (FCI) which is the only cat registry in India till date. I’m one of the founder members and secretary of the club’s Kolhapur chapter.
 
My cattery Kingslayer’s is registered under FCI. I learn lots of things from the club and I do apply this knowledge in my responsible cat keeping. Me and my teammates use this knowledge to empower other cat parents in our surrounding cities. Being an architect by profession work commitments keep me on my toes.
 
A designer breed
I was always fascinated by Bengal Cat—a designer breed who has a wild look like a leopard and temperament like a domestic cat. Bengals demand less attention and care as compared to other breeds like Persians. That’s why I chose to have a Bengal Cat who has short coat and friendly temperament. Bengals are the only domestic cat breed who can have rosettes like the markings on leopards and jaguars.
 
A devoted companion
Bengals are generally confident and devoted companions. Some of them are generally talkative. Many Bengal Cats have an affinity for water and will enjoy watching you brush your teeth, while others are keen to join you in the shower!
 
A funny incident
Few months back a funny incident happened. One of my Bengal Cats went out in our garden and in 15 to 20 minutes we heard someone had screaming. My mom rushed to the spot and found a guy who had climbed a tree nearby, told her that he saw a leopard cub entering our house. We calmed him and explained that was our pet cat, not a leopard cub.
 
Tracing back to origin
Bengal Cat is like all domestic cats. But the breed’s origin can be traced back to non-domestic ancestors. However, today’s domestic Bengal Cat comes only from breeding Bengals to other Bengals that requires no specialised care.
 
In 1963, Jean S Mill crossed the domestic cat with the Asian Leopard Cat, a spotted, five to twelve pound, shy non-domestic cat species from Asia. This was the first effort to use hybrid offspring to create a breed of domestic cat with the loving nature of the best fireside tabby and the striking look of leopards, ocelots and jaguars. The modern Bengal breed traces to cats bred by Mrs Mill in the early 1980s.
 
Selective breeding
Our cattery Kingslayer’s is home to beautiful Bengals who come from renowned catteries from different parts of the world. Always remember ‘breeding is an art and showing is an game’ so that we as responsible cattery owner want to do selective breeding which in turn makes our breeding programme impactful on cat fancy and breed standards. We do limited and selective breeding in order to have specimens who are close to actual breed standards. We do showing in cat shows which are organised by FCI and our cats have achieved some of highest ranks in several shows.
 
A great family pet
Bengals are great family pets. One thing for sure about this breed is that you will have a lot of fun raising them and playing with them. A Bengal Cat can fit into your everyday life. If you are planning on getting a Bengal, then have fun! When searching for your own Bengal companion, look for a breeder well versed in feline health, including genetic health, particularly referring to Bengals.
(Abhishek Chile is an architect by profession and a cat daddy by choice. He was born and brought up in Kolhapur, has been living with cats for almost a decade. Since his childhood, he is fascinated by pets, specifically cats)