Types of Bengals 
Types, Patterns, and Colors
Early Generation domestic Bengals:
Early Generation domestic Bengal is the correct term to describe the first three generations (F1, F2, and F3) of domestic Bengals derived from crossing an Leopard Cat with a domestic cat. These were the first Bengal recognized as, advertised as, purchased as, and even shown as, domestic Bengal cats. They were the cats that  well established the trademark Bengal cat, long before the later generations were ever created.

From 1984-1995 TICA registered all Bengals as domestic Bengal cats. It was not until 1995 without the Bengal breeder's consent TICA placed them in their newly formed Foundation Registry, but still registered them as domestic Bengal cat. In 2001 TICA again without the Bengal breeders consent changed it's registration policies and no longer registered them as Bengal cats, but as ALC/BG. Please keep in mind that TICA is just one of many domestic cat registries in the world and is the only registry that has a Foundation Registry. Early Generation domestic Bengals have been and continue to be registered in other registries as domestic Bengal cats. Registries have little to do what something is. If TICA stopped registering all Bengal cats tomorrow, would that mean the Bengal cat no longer existed? Of course not!

Many newer breeders are incorrectly calling the early generation domestic Bengals "Foundation Cats" this has become a catchy phrase and is misleading. The true "Foundation Cat" of the Bengal cat breed is the Leopard Cat! Without the Leopard Cat, you don't have a Bengal cat.

Later Generation domestic Bengals:
Later Generation domestic Bengals is the correct term to describe the fourth or more generations from the Leopard Cat and Domestic cat breeding. These generations are eligible for Championship in many registries.

SBT is also a new catchy phrase used to describe the later generation domestic Bengal cats. It stands for Stud Book Tradition, but keep in mind that other domestic cat registries have all generations of Bengal cats in their Stud Books and register all the Bengal generations as SBT and some registries don't use the term at all. So again, this is another catchy phrase that is misleading the public.

Some web sites have statements of the fourth or more generation as being the "true", "only", domestic Bengal cats or "they must be four or more generations to be a domestic Bengal". This again is misleading and does not reflect the true history of the breed nor what was and still is an established International and USA protected trademark of the Bengal cat breed.

There are two types of patterns in Bengals. The Spotted  (Leopard) and the Marble.

The Spotted Pattern (Leopard) : Spots shall be random or aligned horizontally. Rosettes formed by a part circle of spots around a distinctly redder center are preferable to single spotting, but not required. Contrast with ground color must be extreme, giving distinct pattern and sharp edges. Strong, bold chin strap and mascara markings desirable. Blotchy horizontal shoulder streaks desirable. Belly must be spotted.

The Marble Pattern: Markings, while derived from the classic tabby (domestic) gene, shall be uniquely different with as little "bulls eye" similarity as possible. Pattern shall instead be random giving the impression of marble, preferably with a horizontal flow when the cat is stretched. Vertical striped mackerel influence is also undesirable. Preference should be given to cats with three or more shades; i.e., ground color, markings, and dark outlining of markings. Contrast must be extreme, with distinct shapes and sharp edges. Belly must be spotted.

    Bengals come in a variety of colors. The colors of Bengals that  have been excepted for Championship points in IPCBA to date.
     They are the Brown Tabby, Silver Tabby, Seal Lynx Tabby,  Seal Mink Tabby, and Seal Sepia Tabby.
    All other colors are still shown in the New Breed and Color class, this includes Solid Black (aka Melanistic), Blue Tabby. Many breeders are working very hard to develop these beautiful colors of Bengals in hope of reaching Championship recognition in the near future.
Go to see: Bamboo Melanistic Bengals


The following colors are already excepted for Championship points in other registries.

Brown Tabby (Classic): All variations are allowed; however a high degree of rufous yielding a yellow, buff, tan, golden, or orange ground color is preferred. Markings may be virtually black, brown, tan, or various shades of chocolate or cinnamon. Light spectacles encircling the eyes and virtually white ground color on whisker pads, chin, chest, belly, and inner legs (in contrast to ground color of flanks and back) is desirable. Rims of eyes, lips, and nose should be outlines with black, and center of nose should be brick red. Paw pads and tail tip must be black.

Silver Tabby: Ground color should be a sparkling silver-white overlaid with intense black horizontally flowing markings, contrasted markings may be distinctly charcoal to dark gray.  Rims of eyes, nose and lips outlined in black.  White spectacles encircling the eyes and a white ground color on the whisker pads, chin, chest, belly, and inner legs (in contrast to the ground color of the flanks and back) is desirable. The silver tabby genetically is a shaded cat expressing the agouti pattern, therefore the undercoat should be white.  A small degree of tarnishing is acceptable, especially along the spine, legs, muzzle and face.  Paw pads should be deep charcoal or brownish black, no speckling or mottling allowed.  Nose leather brick red.  Eye color may be gold, copper, green, bronze, brown or hazel, the more richness and depth of color the better.

Seal Lynx Point (Type of Snow): Ground color should be ivory to cream. Pattern can vary in color from dark seal brown, light brown, tan, or buff, with light spectacles, whisker pads, and chin. There should be little difference between color of body markings and point color. Tail tip must be dark seal brown. Eye color: blue.

Seal Sepia or Seal Mink Point (Types of Snow): Ground color should be ivory, cream, or light tan with pattern clearly visible. Pattern may be various shades of sable brown to bitter chocolate. Ivory cream spectacles encircling the eyes, and ivory cream whisker pads and chin are desirable. There should be very little or no difference between the color of the body markings and the point color. Paw pads should be dark brown with rosy undertones allowed. Tail tip should be bitter chocolate (dark seal sepia/mink). Eyes may be gold, to green, to blue green.

Other desirable markings and traits found in top quality Bengals

It is believed that Glitter is caused by a hollow air shaft encasing the hair shaft color. It kind of works like an icicle or a prism reflecting light and accentuating the color. Glitter appears almost metallic or sparkle like and is extremely attractive.

Or pelted is when the coat of a Bengal has a thick soft feel like a rabbit pelt. It is believed that the hair shafts are about half the thickness and the pelt has double the hairs per square inch than the normal coat. Double pelted is a new term to describe what is believed a shorter and even finer hair thickness on a Bengal, making a thicker, lusher pelt and a more defined pattern.

Refers to the lighter markings found on the back sides of the Asian Leopard Cats and many other wild cats ears. This adds to the wild appearance and uniqueness of the Bengal and shows the influence of the Asian Leopard Cat.

Rosettes come from the Asian Leopard Cat spotting genes. Through careful breeding, these two-tone spots are being produced many generations away from the ALC and foundation cats. There are basically four types of rosettes: the Arrowhead, the Primordial, the Paw Print, and the Doughnut. Bengals may have none, one, a few, or all of these types on the same cat. It should be noted that not all ALC's have rosettes.





All documents, photographs and graphics are Copyright © 1996-2005