Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bengal Cats

Most of my friends and colleagues know I am interested in purebred cats. I go to cat shows and love seeing the different breeds, especially Singapuras, Abyssinians, and American Short-haired Classic Tabby's.  Some day, once I solve the cat overpopulation problem, I will get one of these gorgeous cats but for now I would feel somewhat guilty.

What amazes me is those I meet in the field tell me they "just got" or "are feeding" a Bengal cat. a Russian Blue or a big Main Coon cat. I have to refrain from telling them that these cats, in fact, are not what they think they are.

The photo below is of a Bengal cat, a cross between a domestic feline and an Asian Leopard cat. I saw one at my vet's office this morning and he indicated that they can have health problems - possibly related to inbreeding.

 Purebred Bengal Cat

These caregivers are confusing he cats they have with a Classic tabby. Classic tabby's are a variety of tabby cat with an open or closed bull's eye pattern on its sides, a "butterfly pattern" on the back of the neck, and an "M" above the eyes. More distinct patterns also have a two dot pattern on both sides of the butterfly pattern and two distinct stripes down the back.  This classic pattern is not nearly as common as the "mackerel" variety of tabby whose stripes often look like a fish scale pattern. Some stripes are spotted making some of these cats resemble Bengals as well.

Below is a photo of a classic tabby often confused with a "Bengal" cat

American Short Haired classic Tabby

Similar mistakes are mad with Russian Blue cats and Main Coon's...However, most Persian cats are pretty distinct. I have trapped what appear to be Persian cats that were de-clawed. Clearly these "pets" had either been abandoned or escaped and joined feral colonies.

Below is a photo of a Singapura! So let's get busy spaying and neutering so I can get one of these beautiful cats.

Singapura Cat with Kittens