It seems to constantly come up with Bengals, terms like “F1” or “F3”, but what does it mean? Not only does the “F” number mean a lot to the makeup of the cat, it also plays a part in the laws surrounding the breed. Since it’s so important to the breed and ownership of a Bengal cat, let’s delve further into it with these topics:
Simply put, the “F” signifies how far from the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) ancestor a specific Bengal cat is.
The “F” refers to “filial” meaning “son”. The “1” designates the generation number from the ALC. The ALC starts off the family line when it is bred with a domestic cat. The offspring produced are called “F1” Bengals.
The F1 females (because the males in are infertile this early in the filial line) are bred with male domestic cats to produce F2 Bengals.
The family line continues like this, producing Bengals of F3, F4, and so on. The male infertility enigma fixes itself after F3 Bengals so male F4 Bengals are fertile but a male F3 Bengal isn’t.
The “F” ratings signify how much ALC is in a Bengal cat. An F1 will be half ALC and half domestic cat. An F2 is half as much ALC as an F1, so it will be one fourth ALC and three fourths domestic cat. An F3 is one eighth ALC, an F4 is one sixteenth, and so on.
Knowing how much ALC is in a Bengal cat isn’t just important for understanding what “F” rating the cat is, it also highly affects how big the cat gets, how it behaves, and how well it gets along with other animals in or around the house.
To see how being an F1 can affect the temperament of a Bengal, check out the video below to see how helpful an F1 can be with the household chores, a trait that usually isn’t shared by most house cats:
The Bengal cat’s interest in water can be affected by how much ALC is in a Bengal. It isn’t a trait that’s in all Bengals but it is common and is more likely to be a soggy characteristic in Bengals of higher filial. F3 and F4 Bengals still frequently enjoy playing in, swatting around in a water bowl, or poking their nose into stagnate or running water.
It can also affect a Bengal’s interest in being outdoors. Bengals of a higher filial will be more likely to exhibit their ALC ancestor’s commonality of being outdoors.
The amount of ALC in a Bengal will be more likely to affect a Bengal’s betterment with a raw food diet as well. F1 and F2 Bengals typically do better with a raw food diet than Bengals of F3 or beyond. Bengals that are F3 or beyond can still be helped by a raw food diet, but F1 and F2 Bengals can still be helped more by it.
How the Bengal is effected by the amount of ALC in it, aka the filial number, is the basis for laws surrounding the breed. The ever-important legal side of things specify what filial of Bengal is legal in a state and which aren’t. There are states where any Bengal filial is legal and others, for instance, that only allow Bengals of F3 or beyond.
Some states will demand that certain paperwork be filled out before or during a Bengal cat purchase or adoption. Others will want bloodwork done to prove how much ALC is in the Bengal and therefor label the Bengal vehemently as a specific filial.
The site Hybrid Law shows the specific laws for each state in the U.S. and other countries around the world.
Knowing the laws in the area before buying or adopting a Bengal is necessary to know what filial of Bengal is legal and lawfully allowed in a prospective owner’s state or country.
The “F” rating isn’t just a common accessory to the Bengal cat breed, it holds a heavy importance over the behavior and availability for adoption and purchase of a Bengal cat. It’s very important to understand the “F” rating when looking into the Bengal breed as a prospective pet because the laws surrounding Bengals of certain filials might designate what filial a person can own in their state or country.
So, what do you think about “F” ratings for Bengals? Do you agree with what was said here? Comment below to let us know!