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Brown Bengal Cat Info: Facts, Origin & History (with Pictures)

Lorre Luther

By Lorre Luther

bengal cat lying on wood

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If you’re looking for a gorgeous, super-active cat with the temperament of a domestic feline and the markings of a miniature panther, the Brown Bengal cat is sure to bring a smile to your face. These popular hybrid cats have a mixture of Asian Leopard cat and domestic feline heritage, making them intelligent and personable while giving them markings reminiscent of a tiny jungle cat. While there are several recognized colors within the breed, Brown Bengal cats are the gold standard in the competition world

The Earliest Records of Brown Bengal Cats in History

While Bengal cats started to gain popularity as a recognized breed in the 1970s, the cats have been around for quite some time. Harrison Weir, the first organizer of modern cat shows, wrote about the hybrids in his 1889 classic book, Our Cats and All About Them. Weir was most likely only familiar with first and second-generation hybrids, as long-term intentional breeding of Bengal cats didn’t start until much later in the United States. There are also descriptions of Asian Leopard and domestic cat mixes in Belgium and Japan in the early 20th century.

Bengal Cat
Image Credit: lshman000, Pixabay

How Brown Bengal Cats Gained Popularity

Jean Mill, a Californian with experience in feline genetics, was primarily responsible for convincing cat registries to permit the enrollment of Bengal Cats, which increased their popularity and led to the cats becoming the 8th most popular breed in the United States. Mill was also instrumental in demonstrating that Asian Leopard and domestic cat mixes could be successfully bred through the fifth generation, with the domesticity of each generation increasing over time. Before working on Bengal cat breeding, Mill helped develop the Himalayan cat, a purebred cat featuring Persian and Siamese cat ancestry. Other breeders involved in the development of the Bengal cat breed include Pat Warren, William Engle, and Willard Centerwall.

Formal Recognition of Brown Bengal Cats

bengal cat in wooden background
Image Credit: EZvereva, Shutterstock

The breed was first recognized by The International Cat Association. Other groups that allow Bengal cats to be registered include the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), the Australian Cat Federation (ACF), and the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe).

Brown Bengal cats are one of the three color variants recognized by these organizations, but the cats can have several different shades of fur, including orange, cream, golden tan, and cinnamon. To count as Brown Bengal cats, they must have dark brown spots or marbling and gold, green, or hazel eyes. The preferred markings include a tail with a black tip.

Top 3 Unique Facts About Brown Bengal Cats

1. Bengal Cats Love Water

Pretty much all Bengal cats enjoy the water; most even have webbed paws, just like Asian Leopard cats. Bengal cats will happily dip a paw or tail into the tub while you’re bathing and have been known to even hop in for a quick dip.

bengal cat playing water in the bowl
Image Credit: kalyanby, Shutterstock

2. You Can Train Them To Walk on a Leash

Bengal cats are very intelligent and require more mental stimulation than other breeds. These two characteristics make them easy to train. Clicker training typically works best, and many owners report that it’s simple to train their Bengal to walk on a leash.

bengal cat on a leash
Image Credit: Amerigo_images, Shutterstock

3. Some Have a Glittery Coat

Bengal cats with a particular gene have coats that glitter in direct sunlight, but the trait is almost impossible to see in photographs. The characteristic is found in Bengal cats of all colors and in kitties with spotted and marbled markings.

striped tiger bengal cat
Image Credit: Cressida studio, Shutterstock

Do Brown Bengal Cats Make Good Pets?

Bengal cats make lovely pets most of the time. They’re smart, easy to train, and tend to become attached to their favorite person. They typically get along well with other cats and dogs, but they can become fixated on rodents, making them not a great choice if you keep rats, guinea pigs, or mice as pets. The cats crave attention and can become destructive if they don’t get enough mental or physical stimulation.

bengal cat sits on woman's lap
Image By: golubovystock, Shutterstock


Bengal cats offer the best of both worlds; they’re domestic cats with beautiful wild markings reminiscent of their larger cousins in the wild. Remember that if you choose to bring one of these gorgeous kitties into your family, you’ll need to provide plenty of love, attention, and exercise to keep your companion happy.

Featured Image Credit: Arina_B, Shutterstock

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