A mixed Bengal cat is one of the most sought-after cat breeds in the world mainly due to its outstanding coat. It’s the only cat breed that has conspicuous rosette markings. That’s why the most common question that everyone asks when adopting a cat is: How can I tell if my cat is a mixed Bengal cat?
If you’re looking to get a mix Bengal cat and you don’t know what to look for, this article will offer you tips on how to tell if a cat is a mixed Bengal.
What Is a Mix Bengal Cat?
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A mixed Bengal cat is a housebroken cat breed and a hybrid of the Asian Leopard cat with the spotted Egyptian Mau and other domestic cats. The name Bengal is derived from the taxonomic name of the leopard cat. A mixed Bengal cat has a wild appearance, considering that it comes from leopard ancestry.
This cat also features golden shimmers, spots, rosette markings, marbling, and arrowhead markings on its coat. It can easily be confused with a leopard cub. A mixed Bengal cat is quite energetic, so it requires regular exercise and plays to get rid of the energy.
The first breed of a mixed Bengal cat is reported to have been developed in the early 1800s. Its first mention happened in 1889 when the book “Our Cats and All About Them” by Harrison Weir was published. However, the first crossbreed of the Asian Leopard cat with a domestic cat is reported to have been developed in the early 1970s.
Jean Mill, an American graduate living in California, is credited for carrying out this crossing. She did the crossing soon after graduating from Pomona College with a degree in psychology and after taking a few graduate lessons in genetics at the University of California, Davis. Her first deliberate cross of a mixed Bengal cat was between the Asian Leopard cat and a black California tomcat.
Nonetheless, the Bengal cat wasn’t recognized as a cat breed until much later. Mill continued with her efforts to breed cats, and in 1975 she got a group of mixed Bengal cats that were bred by Willard Centerwall at Loma Linda University for genetic testing. From that point on, other cat breeders around the country started breeding Bengals in large numbers.
A mixed Bengal cat was officially accepted as a breed by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1983. The breed gained championship status in 1991. It was also accepted by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in 1997. In 1999, the Federation Internationale Feline (FIFe) accepted the Bengal cat breed into its registry.
This cat breed has also been accepted by several other authoritative organizations, including the Cat Franciers’ Association (CFA) and the Australian Cat Federation (ACF). The initial three filial generations of breeding (F1-G3) are considered the “foundation cats” or the “Early Generation” Bengals. The Early Generation male Bengals are usually infertile, so the early generation Bengals of the F1-G3 are normally bred to fertile domestic Bengals.
Since the first crossing of the Asian Leopard cat with domestic cats happened in the 1980s, the Bengal cat breed has become very popular around the world. By the year 2019, there were approximately 2,000 registered Bengal breeders globally. This is a clear indication of how popular and desired this cat breed is worldwide.
Are Bengal Mix Cats Good Pets?
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The leopard-like coat and rosette markings on mixed Bengal cats have made them very popular, attracting the highest number of cat owners worldwide. But are Bengal mix cats good pets? The answer is yes.
Mix Bengal cats are known to be very intelligent, energetic, trainable, loyal, and amusing to watch and be around. Furthermore, mixed Bengal cats enjoy the water, which is one of their most desirable qualities. These cats are quite outgoing and conversational. They’re also outgoing with other cats and pets, creating a peaceful environment in the house.
If you introduce your Bengal cat to other pets in the house like dogs early on, they learn how to socialize with them and develop a strong bond. Once your mixed Bengal cat becomes comfortable around you, it’ll love you affectionately and create a close attachment with you. This cat can also create a strong bond with one member of your family while remaining indifferent to other members.
The fact that it’s trainable, energetic, intelligent, loyal, and amusing makes it a nice pet. Since this cat socializes easily and attaches well to different members of the family, it’s safe around kids. But it’s important to introduce your mixed Bengal cat to your kids early to allow them to socialize and build a bond.
Generally, this cat breed makes a wonderful and affectionate pet. Nevertheless, don’t forget that as an energetic cat it requires regular exercise and care. So, you need to come up with a schedule to provide your cat with the care it requires.
How to Tell If Your Cat Is a Bengal Mix
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Bengal mixes and purebreds are fairly new cat breeds that have only existed since the 1980s. They can be purchased from cat breeders, rehomed through breed-specific rescues, or “happy accidents”. Although Bengal mix cats are readily available, it’s not easy to know if your cat is a mixed Bengal cat. That’s because they share many traits with purebred Bengal cats.
Therefore, you need to be aware of simple ways to differentiate a mixed Bengal cat from the rest. There are several ways to do this. For instance, you can do a DNA test, which is considered the most effective and accurate way to know if your cat is a mixed Bengal.
Fortunately, this test isn’t expensive and will help you know if your cat has a Bengal ancestor. Aside from ordering a DNA test, you can tell if your cat is a mixed Bengal cat by checking its traits. Here are the key traits of a mixed Bengal cat.
1. Likes Water
Some cat breeds hate water, but with mixed Bengal cats, it’s a completely different story. The Asian Leopard cat is known to occasionally go for swims, and it passes this trait down to its Bengal descendants. Therefore, it’s normal for your mixed Bengal cat to bear or even have fun playing in the water. For instance, if your cat happily jumps into the bathtub or swimming pool without a second thought, it could be a mixed Bengal.
2. Elegant and Athletic
A mixed Bengal cat hardly sits still, unless it’s sleeping or eating. It spends most of its time on the move like climbing, exploring, and swatting. Additionally, it’s not clumsy or awkward like other domesticated cats, but it’s a graceful athlete. This cat breed makes climbing, running, and jumping around look easy.
3. Outstanding Patterns
As noted above, Bengal cats are crossbred with Asian Leopard cats, whose coats and fur resemble those of leopards. Its fur can have either of these two distinctive patterns: marbled fur or two-toned ringed spots. The ringed spots are commonly referred to as rosette markings and resemble those on a leopard’s fur. Bengals are the only domesticated cats with these markings.
4. It Goes for Walks Like a Dog
Do you struggle to get your cat to put on a harness, or it gladly wears it? If your cat enjoys wearing the harness as you go for an evening stroll, it could be a mixed Bengal. This cat breed is very intelligent and easy to train. Other breeds balk at the sight of a harness.