Bengal Cats for Sale: Owning an Exotic Spotted Cat without the Danger of a Leopard
Bengal cats are prized for their vibrant personalities and striking exotic-looking fur coats. Originally “designed” to fulfill people’s desire for a wildcat while preserving a domesticated attitude, Bengal cats make adaptive and delightful pets.
Dometic cats have reportedly crossed with Asian leopard cats as early as 1889 and perhaps sooner. However, Jean Mill is believed to have performed the first purposeful mix between a domesticated cat and an Asian leopard cat in 1963. Although this early mating produced two kittens, Mill did not pursue the project further until 1970. Meanwhile, Dr. Willard Centerwall was researching whether the Asian leopard cat could pass its natural immunity to feline leukemia to hybridized offspring. Centerwall gifted a colony of these ALC x domestic cat crosses to Mill. She would use these cats to create a multigenerational Bengal cat and market the breed successfully. In 1982, she infused spotted domestic cats (Toby of Delhi and Tasha) that she obtained from various places, including two from zoos in India. She registered Toby as an Egyptian Mau, a breed that would become a significant influencer on the Bengal cat. Other cats used to create the Bengal were the Burmese and Abyssinian.
Bengals cats are accepted by the major cat registries.
- The International Cat Association (TICA) – 1983; championship status in 1991
- Governing Council of the Cat Fancier (UK registry) – 1997; championship status in 2005
- Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFé) – 1999
- Australian Cat Federation (ACF) – 1999
- Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) – 2016; cat must be the result of 6 generations or more of Bengal cat x Bengal cat matings to register
Bengal cats look exotic but are not extreme in appearance. The head is small relative to the body and approximates a wedge shape. It is broad but longer than it is wide with high cheekbones. In silhouette, the profile should look mildly concave. The ears are small or medium with rounded tips, and the eyes are oval or round and wide-spaced. Both the neck and body are long and muscular. Ideally, the Bengal cat should be deeper in the rear torso than the chest, a trait of the Asian leopard cat. The legs are medium-long and muscular with the hind limbs slightly longer than the fore. The tail is of medium length, thick at the base, and tapering to a round tip. Bengal cats are eight to ten inches tall at the shoulders and 14 to 18 inches long without their tails. They weigh eight to fifteen pounds.
Bengal cats have short dense fur that should feel soft and luxurious. The breed’s coat lies rather flat despite how thick it is. Bengal kittens for sale may still be undergoing a process called fuzzing when you look at litters for the first time. Fuzzing is a phase when a kitten, like wildcat cubs, grows long tufts of fur that obscure its coat pattern. Wildcats adopted fuzzing to camouflage them better when they reached the age when they wanted to explore their environment but were still vulnerable to predators. Likewise, Bengals begin fuzzing when they are one to four months old and may not completely finish until they are eight to eighteen months of age. Late-generation cats have less fuzzing than F1 and F2 Bengals, especially if they come from Siamese, tabby, Abyssinian, and Burmese lineages.
Like many cats, Bengals come in a plethora of colors. Their patterns are what make them unique. Bengal cats for sale fall into two major categories of markings.
Spotted or Rosetted
Bengal cats can have single spots like a cheetah or rosettes like a leopard or jaguar. The rosettes are much preferred and involve a dark ring around a lighter background. They are randomly placed and much larger than single spots. They can run together as chain rosettes (like an ocelot) or be large, sparse, and reticulated (like a clouded leopard). There are a few classifications of rosettes.
- Paw print – rosettes are not fully enclosed, featuring clusters of tiny spots along the border of the rosette; like leopard spotting
- Donut – the center of the rosette is darker than the rest of the coat; the ring of the rosette is even darker; resembles a jaguar
- Arrowhead – triangular rosettes; like Asian leopard cat
Marbling is a pattern that describes the swirling of multiple colors of stripes in the coat. The marbled Bengal began as an accident in 1987 but received overwhelming acclaim from the show circuit and the public. Marbling ultimately led to rosettes in the early 2000s. Some Bengal cats show a combination of spots or rosettes and marbling. They are classified as rosetted or spotted Bengals.
Bengal cats for sale come in three standard colors composed of a remarkable range of shades.
Snow Bengal Kittens for Sale
Snow Bengal kittens always have a dark seal tip of the tail, regardless of their shade. White Bengal cats for sale do not exist, but some snow lynx individuals come close because their markings are exceedingly faint. Note that a snow lynx kitten is born without markings and temporarily looks like a solid white Bengal cat. Snow Bengals have a few different categories.
- Snow mink – a mix between snow sepia and snow lynx; cream, ivory, or light tan background; light or dark seal mink markings; eyes blue-green, aqua, or gold
- Snow lynx (Siamese base) – pale white cream background with various shades of seal markings; pointed cat but points should be barely visible; must have blue eyes
- Snow sepia (Burmese base) – light tan, cream, beige, or ivory background, various shades of sepia seal markings (sepia is black-brown with reddish undertones); green or golden eyes
Brown Bengal cats for sale are traditional and popular because their ideal colors are closest to Bengal tigers and leopards. They come in several background colors.
- Orange-brown – preferred
- Light tan
A brown Bengal’s eyes are brown, gold, green, copper, or hazel. Its markings are black, dark brown, tan, or reddish-brown. The abdomen should be noticeably lighter than the ground color, preferably white.
Silver Bengal cats for sale are most noticeable for their lack of reds or browns in the coat. They show a stark contrast between a light background and black or dark gray markings. Background colors can be white or gray. The eyes are gold or green, and the nose is red. Silver Bengals have minimal brown coloration if any.
Charcoal Bengals are a mirror of silvers as they have an exceptionally dark ground color. Their markings still show good contrast except in extreme cases where they are barely visible. “Solid” black and silver Bengals are called smoke and melanistic, respectively. Like black panthers, these cats are rarely without markings.
Blue Bengal cats have a dilution gene that mutes dark pigmentation. They are typically pale blue to slate gray with medium or dark blue markings. Their eyes are gold, green, or hazel. Blue Bengal cats are not yet an accepted color variety and thus have not reached championship status in any registries.
Despite its wild ancestry, a Bengal cat should have a stable and reliable disposition. Bengals cats are typically confident, self-assured, playful, and extroverted. Among the most social of cats, Bengals get along with children, dogs, and other felines if introduced at a young age. Adult cats take longer to adjust to strange animals because they tend to become territorial. Few Bengal cats like to cuddle or sit on your lap, but they enjoy being next to you. Many are one-person cats, choosing to bond with a single family member. Bengals are quite vocal with multiple sounds based on their mood or the situation. Your cat will be intelligent and active with a strong tendency to roam. Keeping your Bengal cat secure indoors is a challenge. Finally, Bengal cats enjoy the water. There is one thing to keep in mind when performing your search for Bengal kittens for sale. First-generation hybrids will act more like their wild ancestors and have more unpredictable behaviors. However, most modern Bengal cats for sale are six or more generations removed from the ALC.
Bengal Cat Lifespan
Bengal cats live an average of 10 to 15 years if you can keep them indoors.
If you find a litter of “Bengal kittens for sale near me,” see if the breeder has had a veterinarian perform an examination on the parents. Reasonable expectations include evaluations of the heart and eyes of breeding animals.
- Feeding – meat-based diet with a lot of moisture is best (wet, raw, or a mix; some owners include a little kibble); 25 to 30 calories per pound per day
- Grooming – brush weekly, bathe every two to three months
- Exercise – 10- to 15-minute sessions three or four times a day; provide climbing areas and engagement for mental enrichment
- Training – provides further mental stimulation; can train numerous tricks