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Orange Bengal Cat Facts, Origin & History

Orange Bengal cats are hybrid cats that look like they just stepped out of the jungle, which makes sense because they have Asian leopard cat and domestic cat ancestry, although most Bengal cats you’ll find today are descended from two domesticated parents. Orange Bengal cats are one variant within the larger Bengal cat breed. The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes brown, silver, and snow Bengal cats. Brown Bengal cats have dark brown rosettes. Orange Bengal cats are a subset within the brown category with green eyes, deep orange fur, and dark rosettes. They’re gorgeous, loyal, super smart, and make fantastic pets!

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The Earliest Records of Orange Bengal Cats in History

It appears that Bengal cats have been around for quite some time. Records from the late 19th century document the existence of a few of the hybrid wonders in the United Kingdom. You can also find newspaper articles about similar hybrid cats in Japan and Belgium in the years immediately before World War I.

The popularity of the cats remained limited until the 1970s when Jean Mill attempted to breed Bengal cats. While several other breeders, including Pat Warren, William Engle, and Willard Centerwall, crossed Asian leopard cats with domestic kitties during these early years, Mill was the first to create hybrid kitties at least five generations removed from their wild ancestry.

How Orange Bengal Cats Gained Popularity

Bengal cats were accepted as house cats in Japan as early as the 1940s. However, the breed became a hit in the 1980s as a result of Jean Mill’s tireless work to have it accepted by cat associations. In the 1960s, Asian leopard cats and other small wild cats could easily be adopted in pet stores throughout the United States.

After Mill was able to create and breed domesticated kitties with the temperament of a housecat and the markings of a miniature leopard, the intelligent housecats started becoming the breed of choice for those looking for a wild-looking yet tame pet. Because of their intelligence, Bengal cats also became popular among those looking for trainable kitties that relished interacting with humans.

Formal Recognition of Orange Bengal Cats

TICA first admitted Bengal cats to its register as an experimental breed in 1983. Brown Bengals, including kitties with the coveted dark orange fur, were fully accepted by the organization a few years later, in 1991. Bengal cats were recognized by the Cat fanciers Association (CFA) in 2016 and the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in 1997. Other organizations that recognize the cats as official breeds include the Australian Cat Federation (ACF) and the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe).

Orange Bengal Cats feature dark brown markings on deep orange coats, making them look like miniature leopards. This combination tends to be the gold standard in the cat show world, but snow and silver are the two other standard colors accepted by most of these organizations. You can also find charcoal, blue, and melanistic variants, but they haven’t been officially recognized by any organization.

Top 3 Unique Facts About Orange Bengal Cats

1. There’s a Longhaired Version: the Cashmere Bengal Cat

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Image Credit: Ilona Koeleman

Believe it or not, you can even find longhaired Bengal cats. As we’ve said before, Bengal cats are hybrids, but over the years, a few longhair genes have gotten into the mix! It’s possible to find cats with a Bengal’s distinctive rosettes or whirls with soft flowing coats. Currently, the longhaired types are not accepted by most cat associations. TICA, the only cat fancy organization that registers the cats, granted the variant recognition in 2017.

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2. They’re Very Vocal

Image Credit: xaviera750, Pixabay

Bengal cats are not shy. They might be one of the most vocal kitties you ever meet. They meow to say hello and chirp at birds like normal cats, but the cats have also been known to create distinct sounds directly associated with specific things they want their owner to do, like feed them. Bengal cats will also alert you if they’re displeased by treating you to an extended meowing session.

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3. Bengal Cats Enjoy Training

Bengal cats are very intelligent and have a ton of energy. They’re one of the few breeds that quickly learn to walk on a leash or shake hands. Because Bengals bond deeply with humans, getting them to learn new tricks is usually easy. All you need is a bit of patience, a few treats, and maybe a clicker training tool, and your Orange Bengal cat will be sitting and responding to their name in no time.

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Do Orange Bengal Cats Make Good Pets?

Orange Bengal cats, just like most Bengal cats, are ideal pets for most families. They tend to get along well with other household pets, such as cats and dogs, but they’re not recommended for homes with fish or small rodents due to their strong hunting instincts.

The Bengal’s out-of-this-world intelligence can become destructive if the cat doesn’t get enough mental or physical stimulation. Since they’re energetic, they’re not the best choice for apartment dwellers or individuals with limited time to spend with their feline companions.


If you’re thinking about adopting one of the wild-looking kitties, get ready to have your heart stolen. With gorgeous markings and an affectionate personality, an Orange Bengal cat will make an excellent pet. If you choose a Bengal, you’ll be in the same cat-owning club as Kim Kardashian, Ricky Rudd, Donatella Versace, Kevin Bacon, and Bruce Springsteen.

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Featured Image Credit: lshman000, Pixabay