The Bengal is a hybrid breed of cat, formed by the cross of a domestic feline and an Asian leopard cat (ALC), Prionailurus bengalensis bengalensis. The Bengal cat has a desirable wild appearance with large spots, rosettes, and a light/white belly, and a body structure reminiscent of the ALC. The Bengal possesses a gentle domestic cat temperament, provided it is separated by at least three generations from the original crossing between a domestic feline and an ALC. The name Bengal cat was derived from the taxonomic name of the Asian leopard cat (P. b. bengalensis), and not from the more distantly related Bengal tiger. The earliest mention of an ALC/domestic cross was in 1889, when Harrison Weir wrote in Our Cats and All About Them : However in 1927, Mr Boden-Kloss wrote to the magazine Cat Gossip regarding hybrids between wild and domestic cats in Malaya: The earliest mention of a confirmed ALC/domestic cross was in 1934 in a Belgian scientific journal, and in 1941, a Japanese cat publication printed an article about one that was kept as a pet. Jean Mill (nee Sugden), the person who was later a great influence of the development of the modern Bengal breed, submitted a term paper
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