There were many reasons and good intentions for attempting the mating between two different species . There have been several hybridization experimenters since the late 1800's, but credits is given to Mrs. Jean Sugden Mill of Millwood Cattery in Califórnia for the first documented hybridization project which originated the Bengal breed. She did a hard work for recognition of this wonderful breed . In the 1960's Jean Mill crossed a female ALC with a black domestic cat.She placed a black male in with the female ALC because she felt the cat was lonely and wanted her to have companionship. Experts told her that a breeding between the two would not produce any offspring. Contrary to their beliefs the ALC produced a female kitten that was named "Kin Kin". Once again the experts said that the Kin Kin would be sterile. She bred Kin Kin back to her father and she produced a litter, with spotted and black kittens. Due to personal reason's Mill abandoned her work and as far as anyone knows none of today's Bengal's proceed from this early work.

       In the early 1970's William Engler, a zookeeper, also experimented with crossing ALC's and domestics.Working mostly with the F1 generation, no known Bengals come from these crosses. The name Bengal is derived from the scientific Latin name of the ALC (Prionailurus bengalensis or Felis bengalensis).In the late 1970's, Dr. Willard Centerwall, a geneticist, was researching the natural immunity ALC's have to feline leukemia, and in his research he was using the blood taken from ALC and Domestic crosses. These F1's had no use past having the blood drawn and homes were needed for them. This is where Jean Mill got her early F1 females from Centerwall ALC and domestic short hair crosses . Most notably are Millwood Praline, Millwood Pennybank, and Millwood Rorschach. All Millwood pedigrees go back to these cats and also, most of the Bengals in the world today trace back those original Centerwall crossbreds.

       In 1984, a beautiful domestic cat spotted with bright orange color and dark spots/rosettes was shipped to Mrs.Jean Mill from the New Delhi Índia Zoo to be used in the new breeding program to introduce a different bloodline. He was named MILLWOOD TORY OF DELHI and he was used mostly with F1 queens at first."Delhi" made notable contribuition to the breed with his magnificent color, small, dark-brown, distinct, all-over spots on a thick, shiny golden-orange coat and beautiful green eyes.

       Bengal is an exciting new breed of domestic cat that stems from crosses with the wild Asian Leopard Cat (ALC), and several domestic breeds, such as Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Burmese, Egyptian Mau, Ocicat and other domestic cats. The BENGAL resulted from breeders efforts to help save endangered wild felines then available for sale in pets stores. The intent was to produce a dependable house pet with as many of the ALC's appearance characteristics as possible and super temperament. A side advantage of such a striking little pet would be that the people could legally own the new friendly variety cat and not be so eager to purchase illegally wild felines as pets, there by reducing the illicit trade in live spotted wild cats. Through careful breeding for this good temperament, wild look and type, the Bengal has evolved into a wonderful and loving domestic cat. They still retain some of the looks of their early ancestors, but are a truly domestic cat that is currently registered and shown in several associations.

       The first 3 cross generations of an Asian Leopard Cat and a domestic cat are often called foundation Bengals (F1, F2, F3) and  the domestic Bengal cat
(SBT) begins with the 4th generation (F4) and more of BENGAL to BENGAL breeding. Males of the first generation are sterile. Also, sterility is observed in males of the 2th and 3th generation as well or may be fertile for just a brief period of time.The Females of the first 3 generations are usually fertile, but was observed that female F2's are less fertile than females F1's and F3's. Bengals of the 4th generation and beyond are delightfully safe pets to own and the disposition and temperament is comparable to that of many other domestic cat breeds.They enjoy the companionship of the humans, both adults and children and usually adapt to other family pets as well.

      We believe that the Bengals are the perfect cats to satisfy the will in many people to live with exotic spotted feline.

      They are not only dramatically beautiful but extremely intelligent, confident, affectionate, friendly, lovely, alert, alive and incredibly quick. The first thing one finds enchanting is the strikingly splendid leopard-like pattern of the thick, short fur, luxurious and usually soft to the touch. Bengals vary in colors, patterns (see Colors and Patterns) and size. They are about the same as an average house cats, with males averaging from 10 to 15 pounds and females usually smaller. The Bengal's body should be long and substantial, well muscled and balanced.The face should have a distinctly non-domestic expression, with small, rounded ears,intense facial markings and oval or slightly almond shaped eyes.

       Bengals were first registered by TICA in the early 1980's, but was not until 1992 that TICA admitted the breed into Championship status. Since that time Bengals have been recognized by registries such as The Canadian Cat Association (CCA), FIFe (Fédération Internationale Féline), United Feline Organization (UFO), American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA), The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) and many others cat fancy registries in various countries .

       In Brazil, the breed was introduced by the Mr. Marco Beja of Charmant Cattery in Rio de Janeiro, around 1995. The first fully dedicated brazilian Bengal Breeder, Mr. Marco Beja imported some Bengals from USA and did a beautiful work so that the Bengals became well-known. Some of these cats were very significant for the development of the breed in our country. These first Bengals who arrived here were Belltown Brian of Charmant, Cedarwood Mildred of Charmant, Windridge Sophie The Mini Leopard and Trendar John Lennon of Charmant.

       Our first Bengals were originaly from Charmant Cattery and some years later, for particular reasons Mr. Marco Beja interrupted his breeding program and gave us all his beautiful Bengals.We are very thankul for this,because, gave us an opportunity to start our intense and dedicated work with this magnificent breed. Once again, Thanks ours friends Mr. Marco Beja and his mother Mrs. Irinéia! We will always remember you with much fondness!

      Bungalow Cattery has been working with the best boodlines and now most of our cats come from Millwood Cattery, located in California- USA, known for “The Original Home of The Bengal cat”. On occasion, Mrs. Jean Mill called Cleber Delázari “The Mr.Bengal of Brazil”. For him, it was an honor! Therefore, The Bungalow Cattery is called “The Home of The Bengal cat in Brazil"!


An historical photo: Mrs.Jean S.Mill in 1964 with F1 "Kin Kin"
Photo: Millwood Cattery




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