Common Name:

Called Safari Cat until early 70's when name became Bengal, which comes from Asian Leopard Cat’s scientific name: Prionailurus bengalensis (see Animal Planet video, below).

Hybrid of:

Asian Leopard Cat & a domestic cat.

Life Span:

12 to 16 years.

Physical Attributes:

The Bengal cat is medium to large in size, typically weigh 6-15 pounds. Bengals come in two patterns: spots and marble; while the spotted coat is a trait for most domestic parentage, the marble coat only happens when the Asian Leopard Cat is bred with a Tabby cat. Bengals also come in many colors including gold, copper, or even "snow," which indicates Siamese and Burmese ancestry. Bengals have "tear lines” down their eyes, rounded ears, and longer hind legs.

Interesting Facts:

The Bengal cat has a chirp-like meow, the result of a combination between the Asian Leopard Cat and a domestic cat's meow. Listen below.

Whether or not the Bengal cat is actually immune to feline leukemia is widely debated. While some sources, such as Animal Planet’s Cats 101, maintain that the cats are immune or that it is at least possible for them to have immunity, other sources adamantly declare that the cats have no immunity to the disease.

Animal Planet's Cats 101:

More interesting information about the bengal can be found in the video below, which is a segment from Animal Planet’s Cats 101. Please note this video, while providing interesting background on the bengal and exhibiting key traits of the species, does portray the bengal as a domestic cat breed while some persons and organizations would prefer them be labeled exotics.

Animal Planet's Cats 101: Bengal