History of the Bengal breed.

In the early 1960s at the University of California (USA) a study was conducted on the immunity of feline family members. Among the subjects were both big cats - lions, tigers, leopards, and their small brethren, including Felis bengalensis. Small Asian leopards lived together with other domestic cats, which resulted in the birth of kittens from a female Felis bengalensis and a black short-haired cat. Then one of the daughters was mated to her father and produced adorable spotted babies.

The research continued with numerous crosses of Felis bengalensis with American house cats. These experiments involved Jane Mill, who decided to create a new breed of cat and in the 1970s she took 8 females who were first-generation hybrids. She first added two cats to this group: a spotted cat from a Los Angeles shelter and a house cat with orange eyes and juicy brown rosettes from a zoo in Delhi. Further, in an effort to maximize the effect of becoming Bengal cats, the first hybrids were knit with members of other breeds. In addition to American Shorthair there were Abyssinian, Burmese, Siamese (old type), Egyptian Mau and possibly the wild South American Margai cat.

Though modern standards clearly stipulate proportions and appearance of purebred Bengal, maximally approached to natural type, nevertheless such mosaic of ancestors has left the imprint and caused insignificant differences of breed representatives, originating from different catteries, even within the USA.

Besides the first Jane Mill hybrids, breeders purchased other animals, including wild Asiatic leopards born in a zoo. And these original types in turn differed somewhat in both size and appearance.

In 1983 TICA began to officially register litters of Bengal cats, and in 1985 the first Bengals appeared at American shows in the class of new breeds and made an indelible impression on everyone with their wild appearance.

In 1991, the first standard for Bengal domestic cats was officially approved. Later on the breed has been recognized by almost all known felinological organizations of New and Old World.

Many breeders on all continents deal with Bengals. The most famous catteries are located in the U.S. and Canada. The first and most famous Millwood cattery was founded, of course, by Jane Mill. Many of her followers, and in Russia, too, began working with the breed, buying the first animals from her. It is impossible to list all those who successfully work with these cats, I will only mention that in addition to North American breeders, good results have been achieved in England, Germany, Sweden, South Africa and other countries.




Charcoal Snow Mink

Breed by Terra Sinclair of Pocket Leopards

Owned by Jill Orman of Legacie Bengals










I was given permission to use these photos many years ago, and lost information on who owns who.  So if you could email me with information please do, and if you would like your cats picture taken off I can do so also!  Thank you!








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