Alongside other hybrid cat breeds such as the Savannah, Bengal cats are typically larger than the average house cat.
Males on average weigh between 4.5–6.8 kg (10–15 lb) and females 3.6–5.4 kg (8–12 lb).
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The Bengal cat is usually either classed as brown-spotted or snow-spotted (although there are more colours, brown and snow are the only colours of Bengal that the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (UK) recognise).
Within brown Bengals, there are either marble or spotted markings.
The breed typically also features "mascara" (horizontal striping alongside the eyes), and foreleg striping.
The eyes of a Bengal cat are relatively large and are usually bright blue or green.
The name "Bengal cat" was derived from the taxonomic name of the Asian leopard cat (P. regarding hybrids between wild and domestic cats in Malaya: "I have never heard of hybrids between bengalensis (the Leopard Cat) and domestic cats.