The Bengal cat breed originated in the United States during the 60s.
Various domestic cats were crossbred with the Asian leopard in order to research the leopard’s ability to not suffer from feline leukaemia and its genetic compatibility with domestic cats. The chosen breeds were the Abyssinian, the American Shorthair, the Burmese cat and the highly valued Egyptian Mau cat.
On the other hand, the Californian breeder Jean Mill had a decisive role to play in terms of spreading word about the existence of this breed, thanks to her curiosity in striving to obtain a cat that had an attractive wild appearance along with a more docile temperament. The result of the crossing was a litter of intelligent, affectionate and very active cats.
Each generation born following the initial crossing between the domestic and wild cats was named “F”, so the first was F1, the following F2, and so on successively. From F4 onwards the cat breed was considered to be completely domestic.
Bengal cats are characterised for being intelligent, affectionate and very playful, to the point where their behaviour is reminiscent of dogs, given that they follow owners around the house, wait for them at the door, and they can even get to the stage of going to fetch a ball that is thrown to them and then return it.
They also love the company of adults, children and other types of animals. Although it seems strange, they love swimming. This attribute, very rare in the majority of domestic cats, has been inherited from their wild ancestors, who were great fishers.