The Bengal is a domestic cat breed developed to look like an exotic jungle cat. These cats were developed by selective breeding from hybrids of the Asian leopard cat with domestic cats. The goal was to create a confident, healthy, and friendly cat with a highly contrasted vividly marked coat.
The name "Bengal cat" was derived from the taxonomic name of the Asian leopard cat (P. b. bengalensis). They have a "wild" appearance with large spots/rosettes/arrowheads, and a light/white belly with a body structure reminiscent of the Asian leopard cat. Once separated by at least four generations from the original Asian leopard cat × domestic cat crossing, the breed's temperament resembles that of a domestic cat.
For the typical pet owner a Bengal cat kept as a pet should be at least four generations removed from the leopard cat. Bengals require a large amount of attention to keep them happy and enjoy playing and jumping.
The Bengal is usually either classed as brown-spotted or snow-spotted. Included in the spotted variation is rosetted, which consists of a spot with a dark line surrounding it. Snow Bengals are also either marble or spotted.