The Bengal is a hybrid breed of cat bred to have the markings of a wildcat but the temperament of a housecat. The Bengal is reminiscent of and named after the Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis); the Bengal Tiger species is completely unrelated. It is a medium sized cat weighing around 8-10 lb for females and 15 lb for males.

They are a hybrid breed developed through a program of crossbreeding domestic cats with Asian Leopard Cats over several generations. The first three generations of males are almost always infertile. The modern Bengal gene pool contains genes from many varieties of domestic cats.

The Bengal’s face features horizontal stripes which extend from the eye to the back of the neck. There are spots on the sides and the top of the body, and the remainder of the body ““ legs and tail included ““ is covered by symmetrical stripes. The coat of the Bengal can be either spotted or marbled. The following patterns are acceptable for competition: Brown Marbled or Spotted Tabby, Seal Sepia Marbled or Spotted Tabby, Seal Mink Marbled or Spotted Tabby, Seal Marbled and Seal Spotted Lynx Point. Some organizations accept silver, and blue and black also occur, but are not recognized colors.

Bengals are very high-energy very intelligent breed and demand great amounts of attention. They are not known to be lap cats, but instead are very playful. If a Bengal is left alone, it can become bored and therefore destructive. They are also very jealous cats, so while a playmate might be a good idea, it could also result in a cat fight. Interestingly, the Bengal takes a great interest in running water. They enjoy games such as fetch and hide-and-seek. They can easily be taught tricks and often vocalize to communicate.