The Bengal cat is a unique breed of spotted or marbled cat created by crossing a domestic cat with an Asian Leopard Cat. The Asian Leopard Cat is a beautiful, small wildcat approximately the same size as a domestic house cat. The Asian Leopard cat is widely distributed and can be found inhabiting parts of Indonesia, Philippines, Borneo, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. The fur of the Asian Leopard cat has a spotted pattern similar to that of a leopard.
Bengal cats are extremely intelligent, playful and friendly. They are very active and they love to jump and climb. Some Bengals play fetch just like a dog. A Bengal cat must be four or more generations from the Asian Leopard cat to be considered an SBT (stud book tradition) Bengal. SBT Bengals are eligible for competition in the show ring and are fully accepted as a domestic cat. The earlier generations, F1, F2, and F3 are known as foundation Bengals. Below is a table showing just what four or more generations from the Asian Leopard Cat means:
Asian Leopard cat X domestic Bengal= F1
F1 X domestic Bengal= F2
F2 X domestic Bengal = F3
F3 X domestic Bengal = F4, SBT domestic Bengal
All of are Bengal cats and kittens are purebred SBT Bengals, many generations removed from the Asian Leopard cat.
The Bengal Cat gets its spots from its distant ancestor, the Asian Leopard Cat
Asian Leopard Cat photos courtesy of Twin Pine Farm & Exotics, in SC.
Bengal Coat Color and Patterns
Click on the links below to learn more about Bengal Cats.
Bengal cats come in a variety of colors and patterns. Bengals can be spotted or marbled. Some spotted Bengals have “rosettes”, which means each individual spot is outlined by a darker color. Bengal cats that have rosettes are extremely exotic looking. The picture on the right is an example of rosettes. If you look closely, you will see that the spots are two-toned in color, dark brown and black. This is a picture of our Bengal cat, Gabby. She has beautiful, and well defined rosettes.
Spotted and marbled Bengals come in a variety of colors: such as Brown, Snow, and Silver.
-Brown Bengals have markings that are various shades of brown to black. Brown spotted Bengals are the most common and most popular color because they closely resemble the Asian Leopard Cat.
-Silver Bengals have grey to nearly white backgrounds with dark grey to black markings.
-Snow Bengals have a coat that appears white, cream or light tan with spots or marbling that may range from light to dark brown. The spots on snow Bengals are difficult to see when they are kittens. As the snow Bengal gets older, the spots gradually get darker. The spots will continue to darken until the cat reaches 9-12 months of age. The picture on the right shows the development of a Seal Lynx Snow Bengal. It is hard to predict what a snow kitten will look like as an adult. Some are darker than others. In general, lynx have lighter markings than minks.
There are three different types of snow Bengals.
1. Seal Lynx Point – Siamese ancestry -cat will have blue eyes
2. Seal Mink – Siamese and Burmese ancestry- turquoise eye color
3. Seal Sepia- Burmese ancestry- eye color varies-green or gold
How Big Do Bengal Cats Get?
Bengal cats are similar in size to the average domestic short-haired cat. Males are larger than females and usually weigh 10-15 pounds. Females usually weigh 8-12 pounds.