I've recently discovered Bengal Cats; a breed of cats that are a hybrid between a domestic cat and the Asian Leopard Cat (Felis Bengalensis). These cats were first bred in the early 1960's but not attempted seriously until the late 1970's; with the first Bengal Cat registered in the International Cat Association in 1983. The Asian Leopard Cat is a jungle cat that lives in the forests of Southern Asia, India, China, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Borneo, Java, Bali and Sumatra.
Asian Leopard Cat
Domestic Bengal Cats; named from the scientific name (Felis Bengalensis), are those that are at least four generations or more from their wild ancestors. Unlike many other domestic cats Bengal Cats are very energetic, playful and intelligent. They behave more like a dog than a typical cat and become very attached to their owners; they are extremely social and love being a part of the family, particularly with children. The breed also tend to like water and can be found jumping into any unattended water in the house, on the up side this makes bathing them easier.
The thing that most attracted me to this breed is it's reputation for being hypo-allergenic. Although no cat is truly hypo-allergenic this one comes pretty close. Instead of the typical cat fur, Bengals have a pelt that is very short and thick, this means there is minimal hair loss and the pelt feels soft as mink. Some Bengals even have a glitter coat, this is unique to the breed and makes them appear to be sprinkled with gold. Not everyone with cat allergies find they don't react to Bengal Cats, however, I have to say I am one of the lucky ones!
I began to read up on allergic reactions to cats and was surprised to find that for some reason it is thought that the lighter the cat's coat the lesser the allergens. In addition, female cats that are desexed seem to cause less allergic reactions than male cats, particularly if they still entire. Armed with this knowledge I began to research this amazing breed of cats and went to visit a local breeder. I was astounded that for the first time in over 20 years I was able to hold a cat without itching, wheezing and suffering from a runny nose. That visit I held a huge range of Bengal's from kittens to females and entire males.
I was hooked; to have a little leopard running around our house was too tempting an opportunity to let pass. I put my name on the waiting list and kept my fingers crossed that I would be able to take home a Bengal Cat that was not only hypo-allergenic, but as a bonus also a desexed snow female. There were no guarantee's that a female snow would be born, but I felt confident it would happen.
Éowyn - so named from Lord of the Rings - was born 26 July along with her two sisters and one brother. Her father is a seal lynx point snow Bengal with blue eyes, just as she and one of her sisters are. When she turns 12 weeks we will welcome her into our home where she will become a part of the family, can't wait!