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. Bengals
are relatively large-boned, shorthaired 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.
Brown Spotted Tabby
The brown spotted tabby (BST) 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 mahogony.
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 and mahogany
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 develops as
the kitten grows; it can be amazing to see the swirling patterns appear.
Some think the marbled
Bengal pattern has a resemblance to the Clouded Leopard coat pattern.
Seal Lynx Point, Sepia and Mink Spotted
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
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".
"Glitter," the high shine (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 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
The International Bengal Cat Society
energetic, intelligent, curious, obnoxious, stubborn, friendly, busybody
cats. Curious and entertaining, some even enjoy playing in water and
bathing with their owners. They will get into anything and everything!
They will play in the sink or the toilet, steal
pens/pencils/silverware, sit on door tops, follow their owners around
like a puppy, unfold the laundry, get into the
trash, and find the most
curvy, ground-level and above ground-level race course the house can
provide. They usually get along
well with other pets when introduced
The Bengal cat makes a loving, intelligent housecat. Some
owners regularly walk their Bengals on leashes. The domestic Bengal
(four generations or more from the
Asian Leopard Cat)
has normal litter box habits although it is fastidious and will not
tolerate a dirty litter box.