At the same time, Bill Engler wanted to preserve the exotic cats’ genes by breeding them with house cats. Although none of today’s Bengal lines originate from these cats, he chose the name “Bengal”, which was accepted by the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA), the first registry to accept the breed.
A Bengal cat displaying spotting and rosetting pattern typical of the breed: Rosetted spots occur only on the back and sides, with stripes elsewhere. Jean Mill was instrumental in recognition of Bengals as a breed by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1983. Her plan was not to keep the breed as a hybrid, but to domesticate these cats by breeding them further with each other.
A male Bengal cat: Note the “mascara” (horizontal striping alongside the eyes) and foreleg striping, both typical of the breed. Greg and Elizabeth Kent were also early breeders, who developed their own line of Bengals using ALCs and Egyptian Maus. This was a very successful line and many modern Bengals will find it in their pedigree.