Foundation Bengals

Foundation Bengals are cats that have an Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis / P.b.) within three generations in it's pedigree. They are also sometimes referred to as Early Generation Bengals or EG Bengals.

A cat who has one parent that is a P.b. is referred to as an F1 for Foundation Generation 1 (from Mendolin genetics). A cat with a grandparent that is a P.b. is called an F2. A cat with a great grandparent that is a P.b. is called an F3. At the F4 generation we start calling them Stud Book Tradition or SBT Bengals and they are allowed to show for championship status in TICA and UFO. ACFA requires a cat to be an F5 to show for championship status.

If you are contemplating acquiring a foundation Bengal do some research first. Make sure that the person that bred the cat you are considering bottle raised the kittens. Mother raised foundation cats have a tendacy to be very shy, some are even unhandlable. There is also a higher percentage of litter box issues with foundation cats. There are dozens and dozens of heart breaking stories of foundation Bengals that didn't work out with their new owners for these very reasons.

So why would anyone want to own an EG Bengal?

The bonding instict that Bengals are famous for comes down from the blending of domestic genes with the Asian Leopard Cat genes. The closer you get to the Asian Leopard Cat the more intense that 'couplet' bonding can be.

Couplet bonding with an EG Bengal is often described as 'telepathic'. I don't know if that is the case but I do know this ... I have bottle raised F1 babies for a friend.. It was the most unique experience in my life and I will never forget it. I have raised other kittens, domestic and Bengal, none were as intelligent as these kids were. One of the kittens followed my every movement with his eyes. He never lost that even with his new owner. Mr. Zenith with Fancidots will always hold a special place in my heart.


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