What to Expect with a Bengal Cat

Hello, everypawdy.  The other day, I told you a little about one of the things that makes me an unusual cat.  I am a polydactyl cat.  Now I’m going to tell you about my breed, bengal cats.  Both Jacey and I are bengal cats.  Just like diabetic cats, bengal cats are not for everyone.

All bengal cats are descended from a wild cat, the Asian leopard cat.  The scientific name of the Asian leopard cat is prionailurus bengalensis.  The second half of its scientific name is where our breed name comes from. All bengal cats like me and Jacey are descended from Asian leopard cats

Just like with many humans, we came about as the result of an accident.  Jean Mill purchased a female Asian leopard cat from a pet store in California in 1963.  Mill thought her cat looked lonely, so she put a male domestic cat in the cage.  Well, the cats did what cats will do, and the bengal breed had its start.

Mill decided to propagate the line, because she was concerned about the plight of Asian leopard cats who were purchased by unsuspecting humans.  These humans later gave them up to zoos after the animals showed that they were wild animals when they entered adulthood.  So she wanted to create a breed of cats who would retain the wild look of the Asian leopard cat but also have a domestic cat’s temperament.

Bengal Cats like Jacey and MeShe succeeded, but bengal cats like me and Jacey are still not for everyone.  We are very smart cats, and we can be very demanding.  And we love to talk.  So combine our sometimes demanding personality with our love to vocalize, and you will hear from us a lot.  Our intelligence means we will investigate things, and open drawers, closets, and cabinets.  We are very active cats, too, so be prepared to deal with us running around at all hours of the day and night.

But if you can deal with our personality, we have lots of love to give to you.  I love to hop up next to my human just before his alarm goes off, and give him sandpaper kisses and purr.  Jacey loves to sleep in between his legs, and when she gets tired of that, she will hop into the space between his arm and his body and curl into a little ball there.

Meet African Jungle Cat Hybrid Simba

Hello to all my friends, both the two legged and four legged kind!  Remember how I told you that my human wanted to bring all sorts of big cats home with him when he went to the San Diego Zoo?  I may be a diabetic cat and sweet but I can set my paw down when I need to.

Here is a story about what happens when you do bring an exotic cat into your life.  Some people say we bengals are exotic cats, because we originally a cross between the Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat.  The early generation ones are exotic cats, but when you get four generations beyond the wild cat, then we are okay for the right human.  Even then, we are active, vocal, playful, and intelligent cats so even domestic bengals like me and Jacey are not right for all humans.  Especially when you add in the challenges that a diabetic cat like me presents.

Bagheera the Diabetic Cat Introduces SimbaMy furiend Simba is definitely an exotic cat.  He is the offspring of an African Jungle Cat and a first generation hybrid.  That means he is 75 percent African Jungle Cat.

At six weeks, he went to live with his first human.  He was declawed because since he was so close to a wild African Jungle Cat, his claws were razor sharp.  Combined with a human who was on medications, that was not a good mix.  He absolutely loved his human.  She would feed him table scraps, treated him kindly, and showered Simba with lots of love.  Not surprisingly, Simba became very bonded to his human.  He was tolerant of his human’s two legged kids, because they weren’t around too much, but he never really bonded with them.

One day, Simba’s human left and never came back.  Other humans told Simba that he would see her over the rainbow bridge, but Simba didn’t believe them.  And one of her two legged kids put Simba in a cage and took him to a strange place.

Simba was not happy with this.  He wanted his human back, not her strange two legged child.  He had to let this human know that he wasn’t happy, so he started to stalk her and bite her legs.  Eventually, she couldn’t take it any more, and Simba thought he was going to be reunited with his human.  But instead he went to a place called Spots and Stripes Bengal Cat Rescue.Cheetah and Dog Bonded

He is getting lots of love from the humans there, but he still wants the human he bonded with back.  Remember when I showed you the picture of the cheetah at the San Diego Zoo and the dog?  They bond for life, and if the dog goes over the rainbow bridge before the cheetah, then that cheetah can no longer be an animal ambassador.  The same thing has happened with Simba, and it will take a lot of time and love to get Simba to trust other humans.

Spots and Stripes is not giving up.  They do need some help, because they need an enclosure for Simba.  If you think this diabetic cat is big, I am tiny compared to him.  I am 16 pounds, and Simba is double my size.  So he needs to be kept in a special place so he cannot hurt the other cats.

You can help Spots and Stripes and Simba by donating.  And if you can’t donate, please share this story so that others can help.