Bengal Cat Types and Colors
The Brown spotted tabby Bengal (traditional Leopard)
Most closely resembles the Asian Leopard Cat. It will have black or brown spot variations on its torso, tummy, and legs. The body color will be in contrast, ranging from sorrel, tawny brown, bronze, copper, gold, and colors of this type. Eyes will be gold, green, or tawny.
The name sums it up. Keep in mind horizontal markings are good, vertical (up & down stripes) are not favored in show or breeder quality Bengals. You will find large rosetting or swirls marking the side torso of the Bengal. Look for contrast, not ticking (ticking are banded hairs, which gives the look of a salt & pepper very much like an Oci cat.) Ticking is good in Oci’s it is not desired or appreciated on a Bengal. Look for sharp contrast (a clear coat) and clearly sharp edges of the marble patterns. Usually the primary colors of a Marble will be black and brown, black and orange (popular), or brown and orange. The third color which varies in prominence and very important to creating a desirable look is light tan (gold) border separating the primary markings. Marbles for this reason are sometimes referred to as ‘tri-colored marbles’. No two Marble Bengals have the same pattern. A clear coated tri-color Marble Bengal is a sight to behold, and a rare find. A Tri-color Marble’s eyes may be gold, green, or tawny.
Snow Bengal (Seal Lynx, Seal Sepia, and Seal Mink)
Snows are just that, the inverse of traditional leopards and marbles. You want as little pointing as possible. Snows can be spotted or marbled. Nailing down the literal description of each type is an interesting task.
The most prevalent are Lynx Points, Seal Lynx to be exact. Seal Lynx refers to blue-eyed snows, marble or spotted. At birth the markings are absent but by year one, the spots or marbling is well defined with stark contrast. My nephew’s girlfriend bought a Seal Lynx Point from me a while back. At month six the markings where still recessed since about 8 weeks of age. I knew they would return by year end. She said to me, “What did you sell me? A barn cat?” She meant no harm but I assured her this is typical of this type of Snow. And yes, now the Bengal boy is a beautifully spotted adult. The coat of a Seal Lynx is amazing to the touch. Very pelted and soft.
Next are the gold or green-eyed Seal Sepia Bengals. To call them Seal Sepia Snows would be redundant. Sepia’s generally have amber eyes. The Sepia cannot have an aqua-eye color. Unlike the blue-eyed Seal Lynx, the Seal Sepia has clear to see markings from birth and maintains the contrast in pattern through-out it’s kittenhood. As it matures the markings will become even darker. The coat is not supple as the Seal Lynx.
Last are the Seal Minks which can only be green-eyed or aqua-eyed. Born with strong markings basically with a watermark black or charcoal look. These markings darken as the kitten matures. If all this isn’t confusing then you must be a breeder and know more than I. In fact, days after this new info goes up, I’m sure to get email stating I have some things wrong. Which I welcome for the sake of getting it straight.
Glitter on a Bengal is a major plus in terms of beauty. With very little light bouncing off the coat, you will see small individual hairs that literally shine like gold and have a gold presentation. Find Hunter Rose in our galleryand ‘click’ to his larger image, you can see the glitter coat. This makes Bengals very special. I know of no other breed that has glitter, and it is an anomoly unto Bengals. No one has really established why glitter occurs on Bengals. It’s Asian Leopard Cat ancestor does not have glitter. Gene Ducote of Gogees actually locked in the “glitter” gene by breeding a two siblings together. The glitter gene is now well established by her breeding.
Blacks, Blues, Silvers & Torbies
I’m working on this section. These are colors not currently recognized by T.I.C.A. That’s not to say the TICA Bengal Standard will not accept them in time. For instance, they can be shown in the NBC class at TICA cat shows. NBC stands for New Breed and Color. You can see some silvers at Pat Killmaier’s silvers at aluren.com.