Bengal Cats: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual (Barron's Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)


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Bengal cats are hybrids which have descended from crosses between wild leopard cats from Southeast Asia, and domestic cats. Early attempts to domesticate leopard cat kittens proved to be a failure, while bringing in domestic cat blood meant that the new breed was easier to house train, and friendlier with people.

Bengal cats are a large breed which have spectacular coats with leopard - like patterns, and they have been carefully bred to have nice temperaments - less wary and more outgoing than their wild ancestors.

They are very active and intelligent cats, and need an enriched environment. Many Bengal cats are kept indoors, because they are such special cats. Indoor Bengal cats need games with their owners, and places to climb, so that they don't get bored - an enclosed area in the garden, or a fenced in apartment balcony help alleviate their boredom, especially if they have high places to sit on, and access to water, which they love.

The markings of a Bengal cat change as the kitten becomes an adult, and the pattern can become muted, only to reappear. Bengal cats can be expensive, so it's worth checking at the breeder's that both parents are from the Bengal breed, and learning as much about their ancestory and links with wild leopard cats as you can.

Dan Rice is a US vet who has written this concise guide to the breed. It's a very good introduction to Bengal cats, and packs in a lot of information, though it is rather short. There's help with health problems that the breed is prone to, and the book gives a very good idea of what it's like to share a house with one of these marvellous cats. The illustrations are also a treat for all cat lovers, and show what a striking breed this is.