From ALK to Bengals

The Bengal Breed

     We owe the creation of the Bengal cat breed to experienced American breeder Jane Mill. The beginning was in the 1960s, when Jane first tried to crossbreed the Bengal dwarf cat, or ALC leopard cat, with a domestic American short-haired cat. The experiment was a success, and the Kin KinKin cat was born, which inherited its exotic appearance from her mother.

     At the next stage of the breed Kin KinKin was mated to her father, who turned out to be the best candidate for that role. However, it soon became clear that the males of the second generation (F2) were infertile. Jane Mill could renew her efforts to breed Bengal breed only in 1980s, when she founded the first Millwood cattery in the history of the breed. Since the cats of the first two or three generations were sterile, for her second project Jane Mill was anxious to find a male capable of reproduction. A suitable candidate, a brightly colored spotted domestic handsome cat, was found in the early 1980s at the Delhi Zoo. The male was named Tory (Millwood Tory of Delli). It was he who inherited his descendants the glitter effect (the glow effect of the coat). Tory became a big daddy - his name can be found in almost all pedigrees of Bengal cats in the beginning of the breed formation. 

     In 1983, TICA began to officially register the litter of Bengal cats, two years later they were allowed to participate in exhibitions, in 1991 the standard was approved and the cats were allowed to participate in the championship of TICA. It should be noted that hybrids F1, F2, F3, being intermediates, have no right to participate in competitions. 

     Condition of a Bengal cat admission for championships - a barrier of 4 generations - was set so that for such a long time behavior of wild ancestors were completely leveled, and the behavior of descendants became mild as in domestic cats. After all, the purpose of breeding the new breed was to get affectionate socialized cats with the appearance of wild animals. 

     At exhibitions, a Bengal cat can be timid and fearful, but not aggressive. In case of inappropriate behavior, it is immediately excluded from the competition. Today, the Bengal breed is firmly established in the United States and recognized by other felinological organizations.