Appearing similar to the Leopard, the Bengal cat derives from the wild Asian leopard cat and the Egyptian Mau.
The Bengal is a surprisingly new breed, they were first bred in the 1970s by Jean Mill, a professional cat breeder. She created the first known Bengal cat after studying genetics at the University of California, Davis. After Mill’s creation, other breeders began creating Bengal cats.
Earlier generations of Bengal cats are often considered foundational cats, thus leaving them often infertile. Undesirable qualities are bred out of the foundational Bengals, and generations later, they can finally begin to reproduce. Because of their close distinction to the wild Asian leopard cat, the Bengal cat is prohibited in Washington and Colorado, while some generations are illegal in New York, Georgia, Massachusetts, Delaware, Connecticut, and Indiana.