The History of a Bengal Cat Breed
Over the course of evolution, several species of animals were able to change according to the demand of the environment they inhabit. Some changed physical features because of pure necessity in obtaining their food or defending themselves. This is Mother Nature’s way of improving each species and specializing their overall functions. Having evolution on one hand, man has always tried to mimic this amazing natural process of species enhancement. With the skills and intelligence that he is able to discover and develop, he is able to duplicate this dramatic process of change that Mother Nature makes. Through vast research, man was able to develop the science of genetics and manipulating genes to attain the distinctive change that they want on any plant or animal that they choose. So many species have already undergone physical, behavioral, and mental changes through man’s breeding programs. Through elaborate trials, so many breeds of various species have already sprung out. One of the species that got involved in these breeding programs is the cat. One of the rare breeds that resulted from breeding trials is the Bengal cat breed. Here are some of the significant stages that the Bengal cat breed had to go through to become the popular champion quality breed that it is today:
- The Starter Years – Bengal cat or Felis lybica is a very unique feline breed because it exhibits the physical patterns of its Asian Leopard Cat or Prionailurus bengalensis but is as very affectionate, playful, smart, inquisitive, lovable, and sociable as a domestic cat. The Bengal cat is said to be a new of domesticated cat breed. Its creation was initiated in 1963 by known breeders. It was just in the mid-1980s that the fully domesticated Bengal cat breed came out and was accepted to be registered.
- Continuous Progress
- Several challenging years of trial and error have been worth it when the Bengal cat breed was finally perfected. Geneticist, Jean Sugden-Mills, of Yuma, Arizona, spearheaded the creation of the Bengal cat breed in 1963. She crossed a female ACL with a short-haired domestic cat to produce litter that has the wild physical traits of the female and the gentle personality of the male. The first breeding trials led to sterile male offspring. The females of the first Bengal cat breed were the only ones used for the proceeding trials.
- Another geneticist,Dr. Willard Centerwall (California), continued Sugden-Mills’ endeavor and tried the breeding procedures again. This time he had a different goal in doing this—he wanted see if the leopard cat is immune to feline leukemia. Dr. Centerwall’s program yielded eight females, which she gave to Jean Sugden. She then used the eight Bengals to restart her breeding program. This effort once again contributed to the improvement of the Bengal cat breed.
- Affirmation – in 1983, the Bengal cat named “Mills Finally Found”, which was the real domesticated breed, was registered by TICA (The International Cat Association). The Bengal cat was a breed finally allowed by this organization to join cat shows under its wings. However, the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) still does not fully recognize the Bengal cat breed.
The Bengal cat is a breed that both domesticated and wild cat lovers would really want to have in their homes. The Bengal cat breed is the result of crossing a wild Asian Leopard Cat with either one of these domesticated cats: Ocicat, Egyptian Mau, Bombay, British shorthair, American shorthair, Abyssinian, Siamese, or Burmese. Breeding the best filial generation of the Bengal cat breed took a long time but it was indeed very rewarding. The 4th Filial Generation (F-4) and beyond or the SBT (studbook status) graded Bengal cat breed is known as the “true domestic Bengal”. It makes the best pet of all the generations bred from the Asian Leopard Cat. With the continuous development of the breeding programs by the equipped, devoted, and experienced breeders, the Bengal cat breed continuously flourish in the domestic household.
The Bengal cat is a breed that is considered one of the most ideal house cats in today’s generation. It is a dynamic, adaptive, and intelligent domestic cat that anyone would be proud of. Being able to know its origins and struggles makes you appreciate the breed more. It makes you appreciate life because through the Bengal cat breed, life found a way. The Bengal is truly a rare and special gift to introduce to your family.
Author: John Eagle