are bengal cats legal in new york

In New York, Bengals must be at least five generations removed from the Asian Leopard Cat and registered with the American Cat Fanciers’ Association or the International Cat Association. However, they’re entirely banned in New York City.

When and Why the Ban Was Implemented

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene imposed a ban on Bengal cats in 1997. This was carried out because of worries about how hybrid breeds would affect the environment and public safety.

The Asian leopard cat and domestic cats are crossed to create the Bengal cat breed. A California breeder developed the breed in the 1960s in an effort to produce a domestic cat with the recognizable features of a wild leopard. But the effects of this breeding process on the environment and the possibility of genetic defects have drawn criticism.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene claims that the introduction of Bengal cats into the environment may harm nearby ecosystems. Concerns about Bengal cats escaping and mating with feral cats to produce a population of hybrid cats that might endanger local wildlife were also voiced by the department.

The Controversy Surrounding the Ban

The NYC ban on Bengal cats is a topic of great controversy. Although some contend that the prohibition is warranted because of worries about property damage and public safety, others think it is unfair and targets a particular breed of cat.

Bengal cats are just like any other domestic cat, according to one argument made against the ban. Many of their owners attest to their intelligence and loyalty, and they are well-known for their playful and loving nature. In fact, some contend that because of their distinct personality traits, Bengal cats make even better pets than other breeds.

The ban is still in effect in spite of these arguments, which annoys and disappoints a lot of cat lovers in the city.

Origins and Development of the Breed

1961 saw the introduction of the Bengal cat, which was bred in California by Jean Sudgen Mill. She crossed a female domestic cat with a male Asian leopard cat to produce a hybrid she called “Kinkajou.” The first Bengal cat to be raised in the home was created by breeding this male hybrid with a female Siamese cat.

After that, breeders started producing more Bengal cats by breeding domestic cats of different breeds to achieve the required characteristics. The breed became well-known because of its distinctive spotted coat and lively disposition.


Can I have a Bengal cat in New York City?

Various cities have imposed restrictions; in New York City, Bengals are prohibited, and there are limits on Bengal ownership in Seattle, Washington, and in Denver, Colorado. Except where noted above, Bengal cats with a generation of G5 and beyond are considered domestic, and are generally legal in the US.

Can you have a Bengal cat as a pet?

Bengals make fabulous pets for experienced cat owners who love an active, curious and dog-like cat – and can keep them entertained with toys, games and plenty of environmental enrichment.

Do Bengal cats need papers?

Many states address this concern by requiring any Bengal to be registered in an official cat organization so that pedigree is documented and it is a known fact that the Bengal pet is NOT an early generation Bengal, which is illegal in several states.

Are Bengal cats considered domestic cats?

Ancient Wild Roots Back in the 1800s, the Bengal cat came into existence after an Asian leopard cat was bred with a domestic cat. It wasn’t until Jean Sugden Mill perfected the hybrid breed during the 1980s that the Bengal cat truly became domesticated with a temperament to match.