Unique Qualities of the Breed
Our goal at Starkittie Bengals is to produce sweet, genetically healthy kittens with as much genetic diversity as possible. We want them to come as close as possible to the TICA written Bengal standards.
How we strive to meet this goal:
1. All of the bengals in our house are genetically tested using the optimal selection test, which tests for color (and what colors they carry), blood type, genetic diversity, and 7 pages of genetic disorders found in cats.
2. All cats in the house are tested and are FeLV/FIV/Heartworm negative, and are vaccinated against Feline Leukemia. We also run several PCR diarrhea panel tests each year on different cats in the house to test for the DNA of any parasites they can pick up.
3. I attended vet. tech school to better care for my cats and kittens. I also attend workshops and seminars on Feline health to keep up to date on the latest health issues and cures.
4. We show our Bengal cats and household pets to better socialize them, and to stay in touch with the newest traits and looks of the bengal. In our 18 years of breeding, and 15 years of showing, we have produced many quadruple and supreme grand champions, as well as regional and international winners. Careful pairing of the adults is done to create the most beautiful bengal and to improve the Bengal Breed.
5. All kittens are held, hugged, and kissed every day from the day they are born. As they get older, they are also played with.
The kittens are all seen by a veterinarian at least once before they go to their new homes, and will be current on vaccines. Of course they are also de-wormed every 2 weeks. Your kitten will also be microchipped.
History of the Breed
The bengal breed was started by Jean Sugden in 1963, when she bred an Asian leopard cat (felis bengalensis) with a solid black domestic tomcat (felis catus). The line was discontinued in 1966 due to a death in Jean’s family.
Later, other people who owned Asian leopard cats, produced some of these hybrids, including Dr. Willard Centerwall, who was working with Loma Linda University. He was studying the components of the Asian leopard cat’s immune system that seemed to give it immunity to feline leukemia. He was hoping that there could be something to help human leukemia research.
Jean Sugden Mill, who was now remarried, got some of Centerwall’s first generation kittens, and continued her breeding of these beautiful new domestic cats. Most of the bengals in the world today trace back to the original Centerwall crossbreeds.
A few second generation kittens were shown in cat shows. The most famous of these was Millwood Penny Ante. In 1985, The International Cat Association welcomed Penny Ante and other bengal kittens into their shows with exhibition-only status. Later, bengals were able to compete in the new breed and color classes. A standard was written for the bengal, and the new breed was official. The bengal cat was accepted into Championship status in 1992, and 4th generation or later bengals were considered domestic cats, competing against other breeds on equal status.
Bengal cats vary in size, but most males weigh between 11 and 18 pounds (they appear larger because they are long and muscular), and females weigh between 7 and 11 pounds.
*History and information on the Bengal cat obtained from “The Guide to Owning a Bengal Cat” by Jean Mill.