What the heck is an F1, F2 etc? Here is a summary break down.
As a Breeder I finally got it but it took a while. My first thought was that I would NEVER get it. So here goes…
Bengal Cats 101
“ALC” – Asian Leopard Cat. This is an exotic small cat. They are about the same size as a regular cat. They weigh as little as 8 pounds and occasionally can weighs in at 14 or 15 pounds.
F1 is a cross between an “ALC” and a domestic cat. We almost always use Bengals at this time because they are down from the ALC and are part way there. F1 males, always sterile.
Why are the boys sterile? They are 2 different species. The “ALC’ has one more set of chromosomes than the domestic cat. Actually, the genetics scientist state that all the F1s would be sterile just as all mules are sterile. Mules are a cross between a horse and a donkey. It made national news a few years ago when someone had a fertile mule. So we just got lucky that the F1 Bengal girl is fertile.
F2 is a cross between an F1 girl and a fertile Bengal male. F2 boys are always sterile.
F3 is a cross between the F2 girl and a fertile Bengal male. When cross breeding first started, occasionally there was a male that was fertile. That was then and this is now. They are always sterile.
Once on the F4 level, they are usually going to be an “SBT”
SBT = Stud Book Tradition
They’re the result of breeding Bengals to other Bengals, and are at least four generations removed from an “ALC” . Your average Bengal has only a small percentage of Asian leopard cat, with the desirable looks and temperament that everyone loves.
which means that F5s are eligible for the show ring. If you are considering breeding, please be aware that many F4 boys are sterile. I have not heard of F5 boys being sterile but I am not sure of that.
F1 Bengals are usually only used for breeding, likewise F2s, and F3s, known as “foundation” cats. It often isn’t until the F4 or even the fifth generation, and later, that Bengals are sold or raised as domestic pets.
An F1 Bengal is the first generation from a wild Asian Leopard Cat “ALC” bred with a domestic cat. F1 Bengals are a half and half mix of “ALC” and a domestic cat.
An F2 Bengal is an F1 female cat bred with a male domestic cat. F2s Bengals are one-quarter Asian Leopard Cat.
An F3 Bengal is an F2 female bred with a male domestic cat. F3 Bengals are one-eighth ALC.
An F4 Bengal is an F3 bred with a domestic cat. F4 Bengals are one-sixteenth ALC.
An F5 Bengal is an F4 parent mated with domestic Bengal cat.
So the Asian Leopard cat is his great-great-great-grandparent.
Why are Bengal cats illegal in some states?
Bengals are considered a hybrid animal due to the fact they’re a cross between the Asian Leopard Cat and the domestic feline. The first to fourth (F1 to F4) generation of hybrid Bengals retain much of their untamed nature and can be difficult to live with and can be very destructive to the native wildlife if allowed to roam unattended or escape.
Even though Bengal cats are illegal in some states, you won’t be arrested for their ownership, but you may be fined and have your cats confiscated if their lineage falls into the F1 to F4 categories.
The states that ban ownership of F1 to F4 Bengals include:
- New York State
Otherwise all states allow ownership of Bengals that are at least F5 and lower.
Bengals that are generation F5 and beyond are considered domesticated and suitable for ownership and PRICED accordingly.