How to Read a Bengal Cat Registry Record

How to Read a Bengal Cat Registry Record

Bengals are recognized by a number of cat associations.  TICA, ACFA, UFO, and CFF, and ICE all are cat associations that Bengals are eligible for show. For Championship in TICA only. In ACFA Bengals are eligible in NBC. In May of 1998 they became eligible for Championship in ACFA. Because TICA has taken the lead on recognizing the breed, Bengal cat breeders everywhere owe a great debt to TICA. I solidly endorse TICA and hope you join.

A genetic registry is the means by which we all establish our Bengals pedigrees. You can purchase a pedigree from TICA on any TICA registered Bengal for $25 for 3 generations, and $50 for 5 generations. You should request a pedigree of your Bengal from your Bengal breeder at purchase. There should be no charge for this.

One question that is often asked, are Bengals a “pure bred”. Yes and no. Yes in that when you have a pedigree’d cat, it’s a “pure bred”. However, Bengals are a “hybrid”; they are a man-made cat. To produce a Bengal you must start with an Asian Leopard cat, and a domestic short haired tabby. In the history of Bengals, Oci’s, Burmese, even Maine Coons have been cross bred to create the breed you now know as the Bengal. I have for a period of time stated that the long haired Bengal is the progeny of the Maine Coon, this is not quite accurate. We (Bengal breeders) were getting longhaired Bengals long before anyone used any Maine Coons in the breed. That is simply a long-hair recessive gene that was passed along, initially coming from one of Dr. Centerwall’s domestic shorthairs. It is a gene that the Maine Coon carries, and many cats carry, but the Bengal didn’t get the LH gene from the Maine Coon. I’ve also misinformed everyone initially stating the snow Bengal is the progeny of Siamese. It is simply a recessive gene once again. The domestic shorthairs Dr. C used carried the lynxpoint gene recessively. The Siamese gets its color from the same gene. But that doesn’t mean that There are Siamese behind Bengals. Just a gene in common. Like A black Persian and a black Bombay. They both have black genes, but that doesn’t mean they are related. The mink/sepia do in fact come from the Burmese. This was a deliberate breeding as there were no mink/sepia before this time. All mink/sepias must show a Burmese in their ancestry. All Bengals are of foundation Asian Leopard stock. I’d like to thank Gene Ducote for pointing out these corrections.

Bengals are generally divided into two catagories by Breeders.

Foundation Bengal Stock or  SBT’s

To the layman, this means you either have a Bengal that is eligible to be taken to a cat show, or you have a Bengal that’s family history is too close to the Asian Leopard to be granted show status. You would go on the logic that regardless of outcrosses or breeding Asian Leopard Cats (ALC’s) to SBT‘s to own a SBT, the ALC must be 4 generations removed. There is a better and more detailed answer, you must read on though.

Back to the genetics and TICATICA registers all cats with a alpha numeric code. By design, the code will not allow any two cats to have the same alpha numeric assignment. These codes separate all cats into classes:

Stud Book Registry (SBT)

Stud Book Variant

Foundation Registry



Have you yet asked yourself which registry does my Bengal belong to? If it is registered in the stud book, then your Bengal is what is know as a SBT, (Stud  Book Tradition.) An SBT is no less than 4 generations removed from the Asian Leopard cat.  TICA considers this enough in breeding to produce the tame domestic demeanor a Bengal cat should require. At least to attend a cat show. At 4 generations removed the Bengal cat will have somewhere around 8 to 12% Asian Leopard Cat blood.

If it is in the foundation registry then your Bengal is a foundation Bengal. It could described with it’s genetic code in a number of ways.


The numeric in the second column is the indicator.


= At least one unregistered sire or dam


= At least one unregistered grandparents


= At least one unregistered great-grandparents

By   H Y B R I D I Z A T I O N

The letter in the first column is the indicator.


= Sire or dam registered as another breed.


= One grandparent registered as another breed.


= One great-grandparent registered as another breed.

By   A N C E S T R Y   &   H Y B R I D I Z A T I O N   R E C O R D

Now we combine the letter & numeric.


= Sire or dam registered as another breed and/or unregistered parent. Example: SBT to ALC


= One grandparent registered as another breed and/or unregistered grandparent. Example: A1T to SBT


= One great-grandparent registered as another breed and/or unregistered great-grandparent. Example: B2T to SBT

Because of the abundance of SBT‘s, the Bengal Standard has been modified. According to sources the registry is still open to breed Asian Leopard Cats to the Egyptian Mau. That is the only outcross still allowable. No longer may we breed an Asian Leopard Cat to Oci cats, Burmese, Abyssinians, or any other domestic short haired tabby other than the Egyptian Mau. Some breeders are divided on the issue. New breeders are clueless and don’t know what stand to take, but once you get to a level of competence you develop an opinion. The facts are that by using an SBT and ALC, (if you know your SBT has no genetical faults) you eliminate health issues. Breeding an SBT to ALC also cuts down on the generations needed to produce a fertile male.

The ALC is will always be necessary to produce a Bengal and equally important; it is necessary to propogate new blood lines. The foundation record of an Asian Leopard Cat would identify it as an OOT. Regardless of Asian Leopard Cat’s bred together they will all be registered as OOT’s.

Date of Birth

This second component of the Bengal cat’s registration certificate is it’s birthday. This requires no further explanation unless you are a moron or a close personal friend of mine. 🙂

Cat Position

The last three numerics are the final component to the cats registration code. It indicates this individual cats position in a total cat count registered on that birthday. For example if there was a litter of 6 then the numbers could be 001, 002, 003, 004, 005 or 006. Pretty straight forward.

Lets try a complete registration code: B2T O20796 030

This is an F2 (two generations removed from an Asian Leopard) born on February 7th, 1996. Its position in the cat count is 30. There may have been more cats registered for that birthday, but there is no way of knowing from this registration code. The fact is this cat is my (filialFoundation Bengal. Her name is Spectra. Remember TICA considers filial Bengals, Foundation Bengals.

Let’s try one more: SBT 070196 015


This is a “pure bred” Bengal so to speak. The SBT indicates 4 generations Bengal to Bengal breeding. Born on July 1st, 1996. It is one among 15 or more Bengals registered with TICA born on July 1st of 1996.

Our Legend Makes It Easy

  • ALC - Asian Leopard Cat
  • F1 - F3. Generations 1-3 of the ALC. Also known as a Filial, or Foundation. Item
  • SBT - Stud Book Tradition. Any Bengal four generations removed from the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC)
  • A - One Parent Registered Other Than Bengal
  • B - Grandparent(s) Registered, Not Bengal
  • C - Great Grandparents, Not Bengal
  • O - Unregistered cat in Pedigree (this could include Asian Leopard Cat or 'Alley Cat')
  • 1 - Unregistered Parent
  • 2 - Unregistered Grandparent(s)
  • 3 - Unregistered Great Grandparents
  • 0 - 3 Generations Registered But Not All Bengal
  • T - All Cats On Pedigree Are Acceptable Color
  • V - Cat(s) On Pedigree Vary From Accepted Color
  • The Cat's Birth Date - Indicate the Number of Bengals Registered On That Birth Date
  • List Item

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