Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Bengal Cat F1-F3 generations
Can F1 - F3 Bengal cats be regular pets? Are they too wild and aggressive? Should people have them as pets?
The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) considers the Bengal cat a wild cat and won't register this breed. This means it won't register any generation of Bengal Cat. Four generations from the wild Asian Leopard Cat the Bengal is called an SBT (Stud Book Tradition) and is a true domestic cat albeit a pretty active, athletic and demanding cat compared to some other breeds. A lot of people and TICA (which registers the Bengal) disagree with the CFA.
I did a Google search to try and find out why, in detail, the CFA won't register this cat and have thus far failed. It must be to do with underlying issues of breeding from wild cats and creating wild cat/domestic cat hybrids, which could be seen as detrimental to the wild cat. Although some say it is beneficial. The wild cat population continues to decline however due to mankind's activities.
There is a lot of controversy about this. To me living in the UK it seems that most if not nearly all of the market in keeping wild cats as pets takes place in the USA, which is the biggest domestic cat "market" (96 million cats I think at the last count).
America is a relatively rich country and the people there can often buy what they want. Like other Western Societies it is consumer orientated.
All this leads to acquiring wild animals and particularly wild cats as pets. There is more space in the US to keep them too.
In lieu of keeping tame wild cats there are of course the Bengal F1-F3 fillials. Some say these cats are just fine to keep and friendly etc. etc. But the truth is probably that in general these cats are too naturally aggressive to be true pets. A wild cat needs to be aggressive to survive. But as a pet they don't need to be aggressive as they are cared for. The trouble is they don't realise that.
You've probably got to be someone who is "into" wild cats and can spend all the time needed to care for them to adopt a cat of this type. Remember that the females of these cats are breeding cats housed at catteries so they act completely differently to neutered cats. The male fillials are sterile (this is just the outcome of crossing a domestic cat with a wild cat it seems), but they will spray (mark territorially).
A domestic cat needs to integrate into the family and be friendly. Some of the Bengal fillials won't have this character so the relationship becomes not one where the cat is a family member but one where he/she is an animal in a private zoo and the zoo is your home.
Photograph illustrating this article is by Helmi Flick and copyright Helmi Flick
Bengal Cat Fillials to Chausie Cat Breeders