Bengal Cat’s History

The Bengal cat is a breed of domestic cats with a wild ancestor, the felis bengalensis or Asian leopard cat . Its origin dates from the 60s and is located in the United States. It was the result of a coincidence when there was a cross between a short black hair male and an Asian leopard cat female, owned by the geneticist Jean Mill. She was the researcher and breeder who had the most influence in the breeding of the Bengals and the official foundress of the breed, although since 1889 there is evidence of various crosses between domestic cats and Asian leopard cats.

Photo: Jean Mill with one of his Bengalis

The purpose of Jean was to get copies with the wild aspect of the Asian leopard but with the loving and docile character of a domestic cat. After the next two or three generations, the litters already had a behavior similar to that of domestic cats.

Jean Mill continued with his research and crossed short-haired breeds like the Abyssinian , British Shorthair , among others, and mottled as the Ocicat . However, as the results did not seem convincing enough, she traveled to India to try to find a domestic cat that had features similar to the Asian leopard. To her surprise, a zoo discovery was decisive in forging the Bengali breed: there she would find a cat Mau > from India full of black spots on an orange coat and very emerald green eyes, which she would call Millwood Tory of Delhi.

Foto: Millwood Tory

After several years of hard work and selective breeding she managed to consolidate the Bengali breed and its recognition as an official domestic feline breed.