The Bengal is a relatively new hybrid breed of cat developed to have a gentle and friendly temperament, while exhibiting the “wild” markings (such as large spots, rosettes, and a light/white belly), and body structure reminiscent of the wild Asian Leopard Cat. The name Bengal was derived from the taxonomic name of the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) and not from the more widely known Bengal tiger species, which is unrelated to the Bengal’s ancestry.
There is a common misconception that Bengals are large cats, but they typically fall within the size range of a conventional domestic feline. Females are generally in the 7 to 10 pound range and males fall between 9 and 12 pounds.It is not uncommon to have a male that reaches 15 18 pounds. They are large-boned, well-muscled cats with the male in particular being extremely muscular. Non-altered males often continue to put on muscle mass up to two years of age The face of a typical Bengal features a series of distinct horizontal stripes, popularly known as “mascara”, which extend from alongside the eye to the back of the neck. The sides and top of the body are marked with spots, usually rosetted like those of the jaguar. The remainder of the body – including the legs and tail – consists of symmetrical stripes.