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THE CAT OR THE LEOPARD

     The Bengal cats are still rarity. People familiar with Bengals through hearsay behave toward them carefully and often ask questions like: “Could it eat the master up?” While the Bengal cats’ owners demonstrate the signs of light madness about their pets, sometimes almost fanaticism. It is no wonder that such a range of opinions exist, because the breed is really unique one – the Bengal is a relatively new hybrid breed of cat with the wild Asian Leopard Cat.

     Despite the fact that zoologists refer this forest species to the same subfamily its bigger kindred, lion, tiger and leopard, belong to - namely, to subfamily of panthers. Nevertheless, experiments on crossing of wild cat’s immune system were proven to be successful. However male individuals of first generations’ hybrids were sterile, but, on the other hand, the following crossing of female individuals and domestic cats resulted in posterity able to reproduction.

     The general idea of Jane Mill’s unusual project (the American biologist) was that people would stop encouraging a barbarian extermination of tiny forest predator if it begins associate in their minds with domestic cat of a new breed. Besides, she wanted to give people a domestic animal which being tame, would remind a typical jungle dweller.

     Each pedigree Bengal kitten bears genes (about 12 - 25%) of its leopard ancestors. Due to this circumstance, Bengal cats have several unique inherent features, for example, they like playing in the water, they have specific wild exterior reminding a leopard in miniature, and charming eurhythmics of movements.

      Vogue opinion (coming from ignorant people) about allegedly “aggressive” character of Bengal cats is contrary to the fact. Bengalese may be the same tender purrs as usual domestic cats. They are quick-witted, naughty and friendly and, got particularly strongly attached to one of family members, they may run after him (or her) everywhere as a mutt, to sleep in your bed, to “assist” in affairs, to make you company in watching TV or taking the bath. The nature provided them with excellent health; they are unpretentious and very clean. Usually they easily live in harmony with other animals; however they steadily take a leadership attitude toward them. But there exists one major rule that any happy owner of a Bengal should remember: animals of this unusual breed need increased attention and kindness from the human being.

     In all well-known breeding nurseries the stud cats are usually kept in enclosures. However majority of breeders try to take kittens home for fosterage at least for one month to take them a chance to come to love home and warmth of human hands. If it is not done at time, the Bengal cat in the future may develop unwanted strains inherited from their all-sufficient wild ancestors: excessive caution, distrustfulness and predisposition to solitude.

     The majority of world famous Bengal catteries are situated in the USA. Nowadays the English are the leaders among European breeding nurseries. There are some differences between American and British standards of the young breed, but they are not considerable.

THE CHARACTER AND THE TEMPERAMENT OF BENGAL CAT

     Contrary to hearsay the Bengals are completely unaggressive! Every aggressive reaction from the cat of this breed is the cause for disqualification and castration of the animal. Thanks to competent work of the first Bengal breeders this breed has wonderful character and strong spirit. The Bengal’s character is business-like, playful and shy a little. If you don’t communicate with your Bengal cat, it will slowly begin to pine without your love. It will begin to avoid you and to hide somewhere. But at the same time it will react with kindness and loud purrs as a response to your association. Bengals are very mobile and are always ready to play in every age. Bengals need a company, because they get on well with other cats as well as with dogs of different breeds. They are attached to their master very much. One may divine the wild animal in Bengal’s temperament. All the playing techniques, pursuers and vaulting are taken from the real hunt. Keeping a look out the Bengal playing is as entertaining as watching the Discovery Channel. Bengals can also catch rats with great success if they are in cottages or private houses.