Appearance: Bengals are wild-looking cats, each one descended from a four-to-five-generation-old cross-breeding with an Asian leopard cat, according to Animal World. However, Bengals are not hybrid cats. In order to be a recognized Bengal cat, it has to be at least three generations separated from its Asian leopard cat ancestor, and its other ancestors must consist solely of other Bengals.
Coming in a huge variety of patterns and colors, Bengals have some properties that keep them all alike, according to Bengal Cat Home. They have a head that's longer than it is wide, and is slightly small compared to other cats. They have small, rounded ears that are widely set apart. They are medium to large cats, but not as big as the largest breeds. One of the telltale signs of a Bengal is its pronounced muscularity, a clear inheritance from its wild bloodlines. Bengals come in two main patterns, each in a variety of colors. Spotted Bengals look like miniature leopards, while marbled Bengals look like a walking desert with dark, chocolate swaths spiraled by vanilla strands.
History: Animal World tells us that the Bengal is one of the most deliberate breeds of cats in its creation. In 1963, Jean Sugden, an actual geneticist in Arizona, created the breed by crossing the Asian leopard cat with a domestic shorthair. When the geneticist lost her husband, however, the breed was stymied, until another geneticist tried something similar, in order to determine why the Asian leopard cat was resistant to leukemia. He gave the kittens to Jean who continued to breed them. Even though a cure for feline Leukemia wasn't found, a new breed was. While the Cat Fanciers' Association doesn't currently recognize the breed, The International Cat Association has since 1983.