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|The Bengal cat is a result of selective breeding of the Asian Leopard Cat
(ALC) with a domestic cat. The domestic bengal is at least four generations
away from the ALC. The domestic Bengal is an exotic looking "domestic
cat". They require a regular feline diet, use the litter box and require no
special care or permits. Many love playing in the water, and even going as
far as getting in the bathtub with you on occasion! They are great
companions and are constantly entertaining their owners! To learn more
about Bengals, visit the International Bengal Association web page -
|The Bengal cat makes a loving, intelligent housecat. Curious and entertaining, some even
enjoy playing in water and bathing with their owners. They enjoy the companionship of both
adults and children and usually adapt to other family pets. Some owners regularly walk their
Bengals on leashes. Exercise, nutritional and immunization requirements are the same as for
all domestic household cats. The domestic Bengal (four generations or more from the Asian
Leopard Cat) has normal litter box habits, is recognized in several cat fancy registries and
currently makes up the largest number of cats competing in The International Cat Association
(TICA). Also recognized by registries such as AACE, ACF, ACFA, CCA, FIFE, GCCF, FIFE, NZCF
and QICC, this entertaining and affectionate cat is finding its way into more and more living
Colors and Patterns
The first registry to recognize the Bengal, The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes
several colors (brown, seal lynx point, mink, sepia, silver) and patterns (spotted and marbled)
for Championship competition. In the New Traits class, any other color may be shown, as well
as longhair Bengals.
Brown Spotted Tabby Bengals
The brown spotted tabby (leopard spotted) Bengals have dark spots on a lighter ground color
ranging from gray or tawny to sorrel to golden, very rufused (bright orange) and to a rich
mahogany. Note: The Asian Leopard Cat is considered a brown spotted tabby in the cat fancy
and ranges somewhat in color. Brown includes variations of tawny, sorrel, golden, hot rufus
There is also Seal Lynx Point, Sepia and Mink Spotted Tabby Bengals.
The seal lynx point (blue-eyed) and seal sepia (gold or green-eyed) spotted tabbies (fondly
referred to by breeders as two of the "snow" leopard spotteds) have ivory backgrounds with
contrasting spots. The seal mink (aqua or green-eyed) spotted is a combination of one each of
the above pointed Siamese and the Burmese sepia genes. Extreme contrast between the
markings and the ground color is desirable in each spotted color.
Spotted Seal Lynx Point Bengal
Spots of all colors and patterns vary in color, size, rosetting and intensity but preference is
given to random and horizontal pattern alignment with wide spacing or "acreage".
The classic tabby gene creates the marbled Bengal and represents a change of pattern from
spotted to swirled or marbleized. This dramatic pattern is comprised of swirls of brown spotted
colors flowing in a horizontal fashion instead of traditional spots. Preference is given to the
more horizontal, flowing and "ocelot-like" patterns. The "marbled" pattern can also occur in
lynx, sepia and mink color/patterns (see above).
A Brown Marbled Tabby and a Seal Lynx Point Marbled Tabby
Other Colors & Characteristics
"Glitter," the high shine (usually on a clear, non ticked coat) that has been discovered and
developed in the Bengal is a welcome addition to the breed.
"Rosettes," the dark outlining of coat markings (both in the spotted and marbled) that are
around a third rich color, are found in many Asian Leopard Cats and other wild cat species.
Rosettes showing two distinct colors or shades, such as paw print shaped, arrowhead shaped,
doughnut or half-doughnut shaped or clustered are preferred to single spotting but not required.
Some Bengal kittens go through what is referred to as the "fuzzy uglies". A beautifully clear
kitten at three weeks old may begin to acquire a ticked kitten coat at four to five weeks old. This
coat begins to clear again to higher contrast at about 12 weeks and is again breathtaking by 6
Please Note: There are a variety of other colors (such as blue, black, Tobie, etc.) and
characteristics (long hair, flat face, etc.) of the Bengal cat which are derived from the domestic
genes that DO NOT meet the Bengal standard in TICA... But which may be quite beautiful and
shown in UFO and other registries.
Bengals are relatively large-boned, short haired cats with males averaging from 10 to 15
pounds and females usually smaller. The face should have a distinctly non-domestic
expression, with small, rounded ears and intense facial markings. Careful selection ensures
Bengal cats that are friendly, loving domestic cats that bear a strong physical resemblance to
their Asian Leopard Cat ancestors. Please click on face to read an article about the Bengal's
head and face.
Kittens are categorized as to their quality when compared to the accepted TICA Bengal
Standard. The Standard for the Bengal cat describes the ideal. Kittens are sold either as
pets to be altered, breeders and/or show quality cats.
Show quality is the best of the best.
Breeder quality is a good cat that has something lovely to offer the breed and no faults
or perhaps one or two less desirable traits that can bred out in a generation.
Pet quality is a cat that for some reason the breeder feels does not qualify to be offered
as a breeder or show cat. This might be due to a visual undesirable trait such as a spot
of white color on the throat or groin (referred to as a locket) or a genetic defect that might
put offspring at risk for ill health.
Note: Bengal standards as accepted by other cat registries in other
countries may vary somewhat