What does it mean to be an F1, F2, or F3?
Early Generation Bengals are the first 3 generations removed from the Asian Leopard Cat. When labeling them we refer to them as F1 to F3 (F standing for Foundation) or sometimes G1 to G3 (G standing for Generation.)
F1(G1) – Asian Leopard Cat parent
F2(G2)- Asian Leopard Cat grandparent
F3(G3)- Asian Leopard Cat great grandparent
Early generation Bengals are of course beautiful cats, but it is important to remember that they are not for everyone. Life for both the cat and the owner can become very uncomfortable if the household is not prepared or willing to accept the early generation Bengal’s traits and characteristics.
Having early generation Bengals takes a different and serious level of commitment for the life of the cat. Even though early generation Bengals require a lot of work, in my experience, they are also very devoted, loving animals and bond very strongly to their people.
Some will bond so strongly to their owners that they may die if separated from them, so again, a lifetime commitment. These wonderful creatures require early and continued socialization, more enrichment, and more time.
A lot of patience, understanding, and love goes into figuring out certain behaviors that can be linked back to the Asian Leopard Cat. Keep in mind, the early generation Bengal has an Asian Leopard Cat as a parent, grandparent, or great grandparent.
The closer the early generation Bengal is to the Asian Leopard Cat, the stronger the instinctive behaviors can be and the less likely those behaviors can be modified to fit the owner’s expectations.
They are very energetic and highly intelligent cats which can lead to destructive behavior when not properly channeled into a positive, more acceptable direction.
By nature, they can sometimes be a bit shy or standoffish so it is important to work with them daily from the time they are a kitten and as they age to desensitize them to all types of sights and sounds.
Even with all that work, some early generation cats will never be as social as others. It is key to recognize this and love them for who they are, not what you want them to be.
They are also each very unique in personality from one another. I have not owned one early generation Bengal that is like the next, their personalities are very unique and individual.
Early generation males are sterile. These male cats are placed as pets, while the females are usually used in breeding programs.
TICA (The International Bengal Association) will not accept Bengals for competition until they have reached the 4th generation removed from the Asian Leopard Cat. At the 4th generation and beyond they are referred to as SBT (stud book tradition) Bengals.
If you want to learn more about the cats pictured here, please see their linked pages below.