All About Bengals
Breed Characteristics and Standards
Bengals as Pets
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The Bengal breed is a hybrid cat. They are a mix of the Asian Leopard Cat, and a domesticated tabby. The first known breeding of this hybrid was in the late 1880's.
It did not, however become a product of an intentional breeding program until Jean Mill, after a genetics education at UC Davis, attempted it in the 1960's. She developed her program further through the 70's, and the breed underwent genetic testing at Loma Linda University.
The International Cat Association (TICA) officially recognized the Bengal domestic tabby breed in 1983. In 1997 The Governing Council of Cat Fancy (GCCF) officially accepted Bengals as a breed. In 1999 Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) added the Bengal breed as part of their registry. Finally, the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA) officially accepted the breed into their registry.
It is a relatively new breed, in terms of cats. SBT (Stud Book Tradition) cats are at least 5 generations removed from the Asian Leopard Cat, and are what is considered a domestic breed. All others are considered EG (early Generation), and have different dietary, and environmental needs.