Lykoi | The « warewolf » cat

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The origins of the Lykoi cat

It all started in Virginia on September 4, 2010, when Patti Thomas heard about a mom and her beautiful little kittens.

She first discussed these kittens with Cheryl Kerr because her veterinary clinic had sent her pictures, thinking that it may have been a natural mutation of Sphynx. The kittens were almost totally naked during the first pictures (of course today, we know that this is actually the moulting phenomenon). Patti was quick to get this little family, supported by other breeder friends.


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The first DNA samples were sent to Dr. Lyons after a few days.

On December 14, 2010, Dr. Lyons confirmed that these babies were neither Sphynx nor Devon Rex. Moreover, none of the genes she had worked with in the past were known. In April 2011, a consent was made between Patti Thomas and the Gobbles. The kittens and the mum would be owned by both parties and would go to the Gobbles for further testing and mating.

On April 27, 2011, miraculously, an email was sent by Ann Jorgenson, about an announcement for two (2) kittens closely resembling those found at the Patti Clinic, advertised as half-Sphynx. Fortunately they were in Tennessee. The Gobbles were then looking for kittens as well as three (3) in Vermont and two (2) others in Tennessee. It was then that the Lykoi was registered with TICA (the International Cats Association) as an experimental breed.


Some facts:

  • September 14, 2011 Daciana Dream arrived.
  • The first Lykoi born from a planned marriage with the Vermont male “Lining Wolfie” and the Tennessee female “Oposum road kill”. On April 26, 2012, the first black lykois “roan” King Artemis and his sister Queen Ulrica were born.
  • Artémis and Ulrica each paired with an F1 (gene carrier), were sent to Florida and Virginia in August 2012, to establish the first breeder programs.
  • On December 17, 2012, Goddess Diana was born and later she traveled to France to establish the first European breeding, which, by the way, works to recognize the breed with the LOOF (The Official Book of Feline Origins). A big thank you to Christine Boulanger for this advancement!

In August 2013,

catteries were established in British Columbia and southern California and received their first cats from Tennessee. Then, catteries were seen in Arizona, Oregon, Kansas, Canada Quebec (who work to recognize the breed with CCC), Tennessee, Nevada, Australia and South Africa.

In 2015,

about 18 catteries worked together for the recognition of the breed by the TICA and bring it to the Championship. More than 130 Lykoi cats were registered there. Mating plans have changed enormously due to several natural mutations found around the world that brought new blood to the main program of use of black shorthaired domestic cats to cross with our lykois. Many different families have emerged.

In 2016,

the lykoi was presented at the TICA annual meeting in California, San Diego. It was at this time that the lykoi was recognized and was able to join the other races at the competitions in May 2017. The breeders are established all over the world, including Belgium, the Czech Republic, Poland, Brazil, Russia, Japan, Taiwan and the list goes on …


Why did “Lykoi” name was chosen?

Simply because Lykoi means wolf in ancient Greek.

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Criteria of the breed

 Lykoi has a black and / or melanistic coat color with white hairs. It is also partially stripped of hair. He never has hair in his face (eyes, chin, muzzle and behind the ears). It’s this characteristic that gives this werewolf look to the Lykoi.


Personality

They are very sociable and require a lot of attention. Some Lykoi also have “cat-dog” characteristics by carrying the ball and chasing.


Evolution

Even today, the breed continues to evolve with the help of breeders who work together.


Source:

https://www.facebook.com/lykoilegacy/ (Text and pictures)

https://www.tica.org/

 

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The Sphynx cat

The Sphynx cat originates from France, but its history began in Canada.


Origin

In 1966 in Toronto, Canada, a domestic cat gave birth to small, naked cats. Two of these cats were brought back to the Netherlands by Dr. Hugo Hernandez who crossed them with Devon Rex.

It is in 1983 that Patrick Challain, a French breeder, buys an entire litter to Dr. Hernandez and presents them a year later at the cat show of Baltard. More than 20,000 people came to this exhibition to see the famous « naked cats », which even triggered a riot.

In 1985, Aline and Philippe Noël bring back two cats from the Netherlands, and Aménophis Clone is the first to represent the Sphynx breed.

According to the LOOF (Official Book of Feline Origins), the Sphynx is therefore of French origin.


Its morphology

  • The Sphynx is a medium sized cat and weighs between 6 and 11 pounds (2.7 to 5 kg).
  • He has a triangle head with high cheekbones and a very pronounced pinch. He also has big ears tied down.
  • The Sphynx has fine legs and a tapered tail.
  • Its skin has a light down reminiscent of a peach skin.
  • All colors are accepted at Sphynx.
  • Its life expectancy is relatively large, between 12 and 20 years.

Character

The Sphynx is a very sticky cat. He loves company and learn faster than other cats: he opens his eyes faster than others, walks faster, eats more and before other breeds. He loves to snuggle under the blankets and into warm arms.


Maintenance

His skin secretes a lot of sebum, so he needs a special maintenance. He must be bathed regularly, but max once a week. It can also be cleaned daily with hypoallergenic milk and ear care as well.


Fun facts

  • Despite the fact that it is « stripped » of hair (but covered with a fine down) and seems fragile, it is on the contrary very robust.
  • Even though the Sphynx cat does not have whiskers, it can be very good at heading into space and does not hit walls more than other cats. He is even an excellent hunter.
  • Sphynx is not a hypoallergenic cat. His saliva contains Fel d1 protein, a major allergen.
  • He eats more than a furry cat due to a greater heat loss to regulate his body temperature.
  • The Sphynx has a Russian cousin called the Donskoy.

Source : http://www.loof.asso.fr/races/desc_race.php

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphynx

Siamese Cat | One of the most popular in Asia

The Siamese, originally from Thailand (also called Siam Country) is one of the most popular breeds in Asia. Became very popular in the 19th century, it is distinguished by its beautiful blue eyes, its triangular head and slender body.


Its origin

The earliest siamese cat traces date back to the 14th century when the description of the « Winchienmaat » (the Siamese cat) returns in the ancient manuscripts of Tamra Maew (translated by the poems of the book-cat), which would come from the kingdom of Ayutthaya. In these stories, there is also talk of cat Korat and the Suphalak (not to be confused with the controversial Burmese).

When the capital Ayutthaya was sacked on April 7, 1767, at the end of the Burmese-Siamese war, the Burmese army burned everything and returned to Burma, bringing with it Siamese nobles and members of the royal family in captivity. The Buddha images were cut for their gold, and all the royal treasures were stolen. According to Thai legend, Burmese King Hsinbyushin found and read the poem for Thai cats in Tamra Maew. The poem describes all Thai cats as being as rare as gold, and all those who own this cat will become rich. He told his army to gather all the Suphalak cats and bring them back to Burma with the other treasures. Today in Thailand this legend is told as a humorous explanation as to why Thai cats are so rare.


Two types of Siamese Cat

It should be noted that there are 2 types of Siamese: the « old » Siamese and the Siamese called « Thai ». The « old » Siamese has long ears and a triangular head that is very similar to the Oriental Shorthair and Siamese « Thai », face rounder and beefy.

Original Siamese Cat Source: Wikipedia
Thai Cat Source: Wikipedia

At the origin of several breeds

The Siamese cat is also at the origin of several feline breeds well known today, such as:

  • The Balinese (A long-haired Siamese)
  • Bengal (cross between an Asian Leopard and a Siamese)
  • Burmese
  • Havana Brown
  • Himalayan
  • Oriental
  • Savannah (the first savannah was a mix of Serval and Siamese)
  • Tonkinese
  • And many others…

The colors of the Siamese

Originally, the only color accepted was the Seal Point, but as Blue Point, Chocolate and Lilas Point appeared, these colors were also accepted. In the 70s, Tabby Points and Red Cream were also their entry. In 1989, Silver Tabby and Smoke Points were accepted.


Character traits

Mya Siamiese Chocolate Point Cat

The Siamese is a cat that needs interaction with his human. He is a loyal cat with often only one master, although there may be several members to his family. He gets on very well with the other chats and enjoys the company.

They also are very talkative, like the cat of Bengal. It was not unusual for my Mya to tell me about her day when I came back from work.

 


Health

The life expectancy of Siamese is between 10 and 14 years. Studies show that they are sensitive to gastrointestinal problems as well as lower urinary tract diseases.

Currently a global research is launched by several European and American laboratories. These are sensitized on a disease that affects the race of Siamese and Oriental: feline amyloidosis, called « family » amyloidosis.

Source: Wikipedia

This disease affects mainly cats between 1 and 5 years old, but can also reach older cats. It is a genetic disease that presents as kidney failure or as hemorrhage internal to the liver or pancreas. Studies are still in progress to determine the exact cause.


Some interesting facts:

  • Several accounts say that the Siamese cat kept the treasures of the King of Siam, which caused the eyes to end by squinting at the sight of the treasure.
  • Bob Dylan mentions the cat » in his song « Like a Rolling Stone » (3min 10 sec)
  • In The Lady and the Tramp, the two petty cats are Siamese who are named Si and Am.
  • In the Garfield series, Garfield’s rival is a Siamese named Nermal.
  • According to the Guinness World Record, the oldest Siamese to date would have lived 30 years and was named Scooter.
Scooter who lived to be 30 years old.

Ragdoll cat | Its origins & temper

The Ragdoll is a breed of cat native to the United States. Its name comes from the fact that when it is taken, it becomes as soft as a ragdoll ragdoll doll in English.


Origin

The breed was first created in 1963 by Mrs. Ann Baker, who at the time raised Persians. She decided to mate a long-haired white cat with a male of unknown origin. In 1969, a couple decided to adopt 4 kittens of Mrs. Ann Baker in order to raise them.
In 1971, Mrs. Baker founded the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA). She decides to keep control of all the descendants of the breed and imposes a lot of constraints on the ragdoll breeders so that in 1994, a group of breeders decided to cut the bridges with the ragdoll world and created a new breed called Ragamuffin.

Later, Persians, Burmese and Burmese also contributed to the development of the Ragdoll. Baker has made many unusual statements about cats’ development, including foreign influence, CIA experiments, and human gene infusions, but that’s all they are: the claims, without foundation in fact. Other people had also started raising Ragdolls. They broke away from Baker and formed the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International, with the goal of standardizing the breed and gaining recognition from the cats’ registers. The Cat Fanciers Association began registering cats in 1993 and gave them full recognition in 2000. Most registries now recognize the breed, including the American Cat Fanciers Association and the International Cat Association. Ragdolls are not crossed with other breeds.


Greatness

Females usually weigh 10 to 15 pounds, and some males weigh more than 20 pounds.


Personality

Unlike many cats, Ragdolls are distinguished by their collapse in the arms of those who wear them, even if they are cradled on the back. They love their family, greet them at the door, follow them around the house, jump on one knee or huddle in their bed whenever they have the opportunity. They often learn to come when they are called or to pick up toys that are thrown at them. The word most often used to describe them is docile, but that does not mean that they are inactive. They like to play with toys and participate in family activities.

With positive reinforcement in the form of praise and food rewards when they do something you love, ragdolls learn quickly and can pick up tricks as well as good behaviors such as using a scratch post. In a soft little voice, they remind you of the meal time or ask for caresses but are not overly vocal. Ragdolls have good manners and are easygoing. You will find a Ragdoll on your couch or bed, but usually not much higher than that. He prefers to stay at the same level as his pack rather than the highest point in a room.

Coat colors and maintenance

Ragdolls are distinguished by their large size, semi-long coat in a pointed pattern, and sparkling blue eyes. They are among the largest domestic cats, with some males weighing 20 pounds or more. A Ragdoll has a light colored body with a darker face, legs, tail, and ears.

It comes in three models: mitted and bicolor, which both have white, and colorpoint, which has no white. Ragdolls do not reach their full size and coat development until they are three or four years old. The breed standard of the « Cat Fanciers Association » says that the Ragdoll should have a large broad head in a modified wedge shape. All sides of the head should be the same length and the muzzle should be slightly rounded. The eyes are described as bright blue ovals. Medium-sized ears have rounded ends and bow forward.

The paws

The large round legs are bushy with fur and the long tail looks like a floating plume. Ragdoll has a moderately long, silky coat. It is short on the face, flourishes in a collar around the neck, shortens again on the shoulder blades, and then extends towards the tail, which is entirely covered with fur.

Colors

According to the association, the coat comes in four styles – two-tone, van, mitted and colorpoint – up to six colors: seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red and cream, and points that can be strong, lynx, tortie , or torbie (tortie and lynx). This adds to many different possibilities in terms of color and pattern. Ragdoll Mitted are exactly as described: they have four white feet, plus a white chin and belly, and sometimes a white spot on the face that can look like a flame, a star or an hourglass. The two-tone are even whiter than mitted, including on the chest and belly and sometimes on the back.

Characteristics of the face

On the face, they can have a white inverted V shape. The vans have the most white on the body and the colored dots have no white. Ragdolls sold as pets may have slight cosmetic imperfections that make them unsuitable for the show business. These may include ears placed higher on the head than preferably, a nose that does not appear at the tip, eyes that are not blue or mittens that do not rise high enough on the hind legs. As long as they have the sweet and affectionate Ragdoll temperament, none of this really matters to a cat who will be a beloved companion instead of a show star.

Source: Wikipedia (translated)

See our other articles on races.

Korat Cat | A lucky charm or just a myth?

History

Move over, rabbit’s foot. The Korat cat is a living good-luck charm in his home country of Thailand, where he is also known as the Si-Sawat cat. The silver-blue cats with the emerald-green eyes are said to date to the 14th century based on their depiction in ancient literature. They were popular gifts, always presented in pairs, and had special meaning when given to brides because of their association with prosperity and fertility. The name Korat comes from the region in northeast Thailand where the cats are thought to have originated.

It’s unclear when Korat cat first came to the West. A cat that resembled a Korat cat was exhibited at a show in England in 1896, but whether it was truly a Korat (pronounced ko-raht) or simply a self-blue Siamese—meaning solid-colored—is not known.

The first known Korats imported into the United States arrived in 1959. Appropriately, they had been given as gifts to an American couple who were returning to the U.S. after the husband had retired from the Foreign Service. The Cat Fanciers Association recognized the breed in 1967, two years after Korat car breeders founded the Korat Cat Fanciers Association to promote the breed.

Wherever they are found, all Korats can climb their family tree all the way back to Thailand. They are a natural breed and have never been outcrossed to any other breed as part of their development or to create another breed. They are recognized by all the major cat associations.


Size

This is a medium-size cat, weighing from 6 to 10 pounds.

Personality

Korat CatThe smart and opinionated Korat is possessive of his people. He likes to stay close by and won’t desert them for visitors. He gives his heart to one or two people whose company he prefers, or with whom he spends the most time, but he’s certainly willing to accept affection from others as well.

Be aware of this propensity before you get a Korat cat, just in case having a cat follow you around all the time would drive you crazy. A Korat is not a loner. He does best with companionship, whether that is someone who works at home or another animal. There’s a reason, it seems, that traditionally they were always given in pairs. A Korat who is frequently left alone or ignored may develop behavior problems such as aggression or separation anxiety.

That’s not to say that adult Korats can’t switch their affections. Cats placed in new homes quickly adapt and bond closely with their new family.

This is an energetic cat who enjoys learning tricks, playing fetch and even walking on leash. It’s easy to teach household rules to the Korat if you reward him with petting, a happy “Good cat” or a treat. Limit corrections to a loud “No!” or hand clap.

If you have multiple cats, be sure you have plenty of toys to go around. The Korat did not learn to share in kittygarten, and he can be stubborn about giving up toys or other objects that he views as his.

Although he can be bold with definite likes and dislikes, the Korat is generally a quiet cat who likes a quiet environment. Although he’s not known for being talkative, he is capable of making many different sounds, from a chirp to a scream, when he wants to get his point across.

Choose the Korat if you enjoy having a lap cat. He will be pleased to fulfill this desire any time you like.


Health

Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. Korats are generally healthy, but they have a couple of issues buyers should be aware of. A genetic neuromuscular degenerative disease as well as low body fat, which can make them sensitive to anesthesia.

GM1 and GM2 gangliosidosis occur when cats lack particular enzymes that are necessary for proper functioning of the nervous system. Fortunately, tests are available to identify cats that carry the diseases, so the condition is uncommon.

Korats typically have a low percentage of body fat, so veterinarians should take this into account when determining how much and what type of anesthesia to given when a Korat is undergoing any type of surgery.

Be sure to ask a breeder about the incidence of health problems in her lines and what testing has been done for any that are genetic in nature. In the case of GM1 or GM2, both parents should have been tested, and if one is positive or a carrier, the kittens should be tested as well.


Care

Actually, the Korat’s short single coat requires little grooming. Comb it weekly to remove any dead hairs. A bath is rarely necessary.

Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Trim the nails every couple of weeks. Wipe the corners of the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so you don’t run the risk of spreading any infection.

Check the ears weekly. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.

Keep the litter box spotlessly clean. Cats are very particular about bathroom hygiene.

It’s a good idea to keep a Korat cat as an indoor-only cat to protect him from diseases spread by other cats, attacks by dogs or coyotes, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Korats who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.


Coat Color And Grooming

With his silver-tipped blue coat and huge green eyes—“as sparkling as the dewdrops on a lotus leaf”—the Korat is one of Thailand’s most beautiful exports. He is noted as well for his heart-shaped head, large ears and alert expression.

A Korat’s eyes are blue at birth. As he matures, the eyes turn to amber, the pupil surrounded by a fringe of green. By the time the cat is two to four years old, the eyes have become the brilliant green for which the breed is known.

The short single coat has hairs that are a light blue at the roots, then deepen, ending in a silver tip, producing a halo effect. Unlike some breeds, the coat has its silver-blue color from the time kittens are born, although kittens may have what are known as “ghost tabby” markings. These should disappear with maturity. The Korat’s nose leather, lips and paw pads range from dark blue to lavender.


Children And Other Pets

Korat Kitten

Korats will appreciate the attentions of a child who treats them respectfully, and they enjoy playing and learning tricks. With proper supervision, they can be a good companion for children.

Like many cats that originated in Southeast Asia, Korats tend to prefer other Korats. They can get along with other cats, and with dogs, but they expect to have pride of place. This may or may not go over well with other animals. The Korat likes to have company. However, and if he spends a lot of time with another cat or dog, they will likely become close friends.

Source: http://cattime.com/cat-breeds/korat-cats#/slide/1

The origins of the Maine Coon

The Origins Of the Maine CoonMaine Coon

 

 

The Maine Coon is a long haired cat breed from the state of Maine in the United States. This rustic-looking cat is characterized by its large size, plume tail, square muzzle, feathered ears and long hair. It is to this day one of the largest breeds of domestic cat, with savannah. The Maine Coon is also the oldest North American natural breed.

 

The Maine Coon is probably one of the oldest North American natural breeds. Several legends describe the origins of the breed. The most common is that the Maine Coon is the result of a cross between cats and raccoons (colloquially English, racoon abbreviation), which would explain their very bushy tail. Of course, it is genetically impossible to achieve such a hybrid, but the breed keeps this legend its name.

The second advance that the maine coon is a descendant of the six angora cats sent by Marie Antoinette of Austria while preparing to escape to escape the French Revolution. These angoras were allegedly brought on Captain Samuel Clough’s Sally’s ship Sonny with the Queen’s other belongings. The angoras would then be mingled with local farm cats to give birth to Maine Coon.

Another theory is that the breed developed from crosses between local farm cats and other long-haired or mid-long cats first imported by the Vikings around the year 1000. Maine coon would then descend from the Norwegian forest cat, which would explain their similarity. This hypothesis is supported by the similarity between Van Turk, Siberians, Norwegians and finally Maine Coons, whose geographical origins correspond to the movements of the Vikings. This similarity with Norwegian can also be explained by the fact that the winter climate of New England and Norway are identical and would have led to the selection of the same physical specificities.

In the 19th century, Mrs. Pierce, one of the first Maine owners, also speculated that these cats had arrived on the shores of Maine by sea, not thanks to the Vikings, but rather by the wealthy Maine families who possessed then luxurious boats and traveled a lot. They would have brought back from their expeditions many exotic pets, especially to amuse the children. Pierce’s second hypothesis was that angora cats were loaded onto commercial vessels to hunt rats3. In both cases, they reportedly landed on the east coast and mixed with local shorthair cats.

Another possibility is that they have been imported by European immigrants and have adapted to the living conditions and difficult climate of the region.

No matter what theory you decide to believe, Maine Coon is a hyper loving and intelligent cat.

  • Its weight can be up to 9 kg for a male and 6 kg for a female, about twice the number of domestic cats.
    His legs are strong and muscular.
    The tail is long and folded on the back, it must reach the scapula. It is at the broad base and must end in a point.
@Felix Gallery by Robert Sijka
@Felix Gallery by Robert Sijka

Some interesting facts:

  • The longest cat record in the world is held by Leo, who in 2006 was 121.9 cm.
  • Nicolas Cage, yes yes, the actor, recently adopted a Maine Coon.
  • Maine Coons are equipped for the winter. They have even developed « snow shoes » with their little hairy under-feet that prevent the pads from freezing too quickly.
  • Do you remember Miss Moth in Harry Potter? Well believe it or not, it’s a Maine Coon!
  • Due to their thick coat that repels water, the Maine Coons seem to like playing with it.

Patrick Larrivee’s portrait of Maine Coons

Source: Wikipedia

 

The Origins of Savannah Cats | What to know

The Savannah is a new breed of cats, native to the United States. This large cat is the result of crossing between a male serval and a domestic cat. It has several physical resemblances to the serval, including size, color and ears of characteristic shape. origin The savannah comes down from the Serval. The first Savannah, a female named « Savannah », was created by the breeder Judee Frank on April 7, 1986. Patrick Kelly, interested in cats with a wild appearance, decided to create a breed after having had a 1989 female kitten, « Kitty », from the first Savannah. He encouraged various breeders to attempt crossbreeding, but there was little more than Joyce Sroufe to join him.

They set a standard that they presented to TICA in February 1996. A year later, Joyce Sroufe presented the Savannah at a feline Westchester show in New York State and succeeded in getting the first fertile male Savannahs. In 2002, TICA considers the entry of this new breed to be the same as other domestic cats but only for the third generation resulting from mating with the serval, ie the hybrids of the F1 generation and F2 can not be accepted. The LOOF allows the breed to be exhibited since 1 January 2007 as « New races and colors », wild cats and first and second generation hybrids (F1 and F2) being banned on display.

The import of Savannah was banned in Australia by Environment Minister Peter Garrett because of the risks associated with introducing this breed to hunter talents, the twelve million hawkish cats in Australian territory already weighing threats to wildlife. In the UK, the waiting time before owning a savannah kitten in 2009 was six months for a price over 6,000 pounds.

Standards

Measurements

The serval weighs between 15 and 20 kilos, while the domestic cat weighs between 3 and 8. The Savannah resulting from this mixture weighs between 7 and 14 kilos. It can measure up to forty centimeters (at the shoulder). The male is larger than the female. The unofficial size of serval in the savannah is unpredictable and completely alleged in the generations.


Description

Its head is small compared to the rest of the body. It is triangular in shape and is longer than wide. Their neck is very long, thick and muscular. They have a long nose and a small chin. The eyes are of medium size and oval, somewhat almond shaped. They are often accompanied by white tears characteristic of the breed. The color varies from yellow, golden green or amber. As there are servals to the eyes, this color of eyes can also be found in the savannah, but remains very rare!The ears are very large and placed very high on the head. Their base is very wide and the ends are rounded. They may present ocelli, white bars or rather wide gold.The legs are long and thin, and the hind legs appear very tall. The feet are small but have long fingers.Their tail is quite thick and about 3/4 of the length of a normal cat. It has rings and ends with a rounded and black tip.It has a « spotted tabby » dress with several small black patches on the legs and head. These spots are round, oval or elongated. All of Savannah’s belly is spotted and almost white.


Character

The savannah is described as a very intelligent, curious, sociable, active, gentle and affectionate cat. It would be a great jumper and he would love to play and go in the water. They are interactive with the human, love the leashes and bring back the ball, hence their nickname: cat-dog. These characteristics, however, remain perfectly individual and linked to the history of each cat.

Source: Wikipedia

The origins of Bengal Cats | What to know

In the beginning…
In 1974, Dr.Willard Centerwall stated, “Bill Engler was probably the person most responsible for publicizing these hybrids” (referring to Bengals). Centerwall further stated, “Probably nobody can legitimately claim to be the originator of this particular hybrid.”
The Bengal cat was officially named the Bengal in 1974 by Bill Engler. There is still some speculation as to the “real” origination of the breed’s name. It was purported that the name was garnered from the Bengal cat’s heritage: felis bengalensis, and others held true to the story that the name was indeed inspired after Bill Engler himself, B.Engle.

Who was Dr. Centerwall?

Dr. Willard Centerwall graduated from Yale University School of Medicine with postgraduate degrees in public health and human genetics from the University of Michigan. He served as a medical missionary for five years in South India and also worked in Afghanistan’s Amazononas territory of Venezuela and in Guatemala. In 1968 he started working at the Loma Linda University Medical Center as a professor of pediatrics, professor of maternal and child health in the school of health and an instructor for anthropology in the school of graduate studies. He was also the director of the genetics, birth defects and chromosome services for the university. His scientific hobby was felines, having published in the Journal of Heredity a definitive explanation on male calicos and tortoiseshell cats. Later he had numerous other studies published involving several different small wild felids.
The late Dr. Willard Centerwall is probably better known in the Bengal realm for his contributions of several Leopard Cat hybrids bred from two ALC brothers that came to be known as the Centerwall ALC’s. Dr. Centerwall bred the Asian Leopard Cats to domestics in an effort to aid his studies in immunocompromised individuals (carriers of congenital disease, HIV/AIDS, leukemia, lymphoma, generalized malignant disease and those using radiation therapy or medications that depress the immune system) and comparative gene mapping of cats and humans2. “We are currently engaged in research on the Type ‘C’ Feline leukemia virus in cooperation with Dr. Raoul Benveniste, Virologist with the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland,” Dr. Centerwall said. “The ordinary domestic cat carries the Type ‘C’ genome in the DNA molecule and passes the potentially lethal leukemia virus to its offspring through normal hereditary processes. On rare occasions, there is release of the virus into the system of the cat, causing leukemia and death. Because it is recognized that the Asian Leopard Cat does not have the feline leukemia virus built into its system, scientists in cancer research have expressed great interest in what happens to the leukemia genome in the offspring of the leopard cat and the domestic cat.”
The compilation of a dense gene map and eventually a whole genome sequence (WGS) of the domestic cat holds great value for human genome annotation, for veterinary medicine, and for insight into the evolution of genome organization among mammals. Human association and veterinary studies of the cat, its domestic breeds, and its charismatic wild relatives of the family Felidae have rendered the species a powerful model for human hereditary diseases, for infectious disease agents, for adaptive evolutionary divergence, for conservation genetics, and for forensic applications.
Feline leukemia acts in much the same manner as human leukemia. Dr. Centerwall was determined to find out why leopard cats were resistant to feline leukemia and if that resistance could be passed on genetically to their hybrid off-spring. He hoped these studies would provide him with more information regarding human leukemia (It should be noted, Bengal cats are not immune to feline leukemia).
Eventually, these same hybrids were instrumental in the Bengal breed’s development. Through a mutual contact, Dr. Centerwall and Jean Sugden Mill met in 1980. He had several F1 kittens needing homes that he enthusiastically shared with Jean. Gordon Meredith had also obtained some of the Centerwall cats earlier that were later entrusted to Jean when Gordon became ill and was hospitalized for Cancer.

Who was William (Bill) Engler?

Bill Engler was a zookeeper and an active member of the Long Island Ocelot Club, LIOC. Early in 1964, Bill composed a “plea for the cats” to LIOC members, in which he shared that having been in the business of importing, obtaining and selling exotic cats for a number of years, with each succeeding year he found them increasingly harder to obtain. And the only means he could see to save them, the exotic cats, was by their being bred in civilization much as dogs and common cats. In 1967, Bill Engler was awarded the LIOC Lotty Award, an annual award presented by LIOC which signifies unusual devotion to exotic felines, exemplary conduct at home and abroad relative to Exotic Cats and unusual service to the club, the LIOC.
Bill was also active in “movie work,” – behind many of the feline scenes so widely admired on TV.
In 1970, Bill stated that he had two litters of “Bengals” sired by his Leopard Cat Shah, totaling nine kittens. In April of 1971, the same queens, Cybele and Cyclemnestra, were again bred to Shah producing six more Bengal kittens. Bill stated his purpose for the hybrids was: “To create a small exotic cat that was beautiful and that had the disposition that was suitable for a pet house cat, that had a greater resistance to disease of civilization than his jungle-bred cousins, and that would readily reproduce himself.” Although no kittens had been produced by these Bengals, Bill anticipated that there soon would be. In 1972, Bill shared with other LIOC members, “We are all aware of the increasing difficulty in getting, as well as the increasing costs of Ocelots, Puma and other exotics we love. I hope that these Bengals can not only help fill the gap between the supply and demand for exotics, but help to create greater interest in all exotics, that this interest be beneficial in funding research for production of and legislation for the protection of all the cats.” In 1975, Bill said that he had now produced over 60 Bengals and had bred down “2.5” generations. He retained seven Bengals for his own breeding and they represented first, second and “2.5” generation cats. Bill was considered a “pioneer in Bengals” and was active in the early years of the Bengal breed, hybridizing leopard cats to domestics, yet none of today’s Bengals can be traced back to any Engler lines. William Engler presented the name Bengal to the domestic registries and the breed’s name was official. The Bengal was accepted for registration through ACFA, and Bengals were now being registered by several different breeders.

F1 Bengal Anakin