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Meet The Bengal

February 15 2022

It’s been a few days since our Rams won the Super Bowl, but fans are still celebrating. As you may know, the Cincinnati team was named after the Bengal tiger, a fierce and beautiful feline. However, there’s also a smaller kitty that bears the Bengal name. A Rancho Santa Fe, CA vet discusses this lovable furball below.


The Bengal is a combination of a few different breeds, but are mostly a mix of domestic cats and the Asian Leopard Cat. Fluffy’s origins date back to the 60’s, at which time Dr. Willard Centerwall, a pediatrician, began experimenting with cat breeding. He found that the kitties were naturally immune to feline leukemia, and was hoping to make progress with battling leukemia in humans. Unfortunately, his health declined, so he passed some kitties on to a lady named Jean Mill. She wanted a kitty with the looks of an exotic wildcat and the size and purrsonality of the average domestic housecat. Achievement unlocked!

The Bengal breed was recognized by the International Cat Association in 1983, but didn’t make it onto the Cat Fanciers Association roster until 2016. Kitties must be at least four generations away from the Asian Leopard Cat to be officially considered Bengals.


Fluffy can wear one of four pretty coat patterns: ticked, mackerel, blotched, and spotted. Most Bengal kitties have black and brown fur, but they come in several different colors, including gray, silver, and charcoal. There are even blue Bengals, though they are quite rare. Another cool thing about Bengals? Some of their coats glitter in the sun. It’s worth noting that, while most Bengals are about the size of the average housecat, they can get quite large. Some of the males weigh up to 20 pounds!


Bengal cats are curious, charismatic, and playful. These mischievous kitties have some very unique traits. For one thing, they like to retrieve things. Unlike most of our feline pals, they actually enjoy playing in water. Bengals are also known for being vocal and opinionated, as well as mischievous. They have a strong prey drive, and basically act like tiny, affectionate Bengal tigers. Don’t worry, though: while Fluffy may be a handful as a kitten, she should outgrow most of her zoomies by the time she’s three or four.

Do you need advice or have concerns about your cat’s health or well-being? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, your trusted Rancho Santa Fe, CA, veterinary specialist. Contact our animal clinic today for expert guidance and care.