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General Description of the Bengal

The Bengal breed is a athletic, curious, confident and friendly cat. They are medium to large (but not quite as large as the largest domestic breed) The Bengal cat is the world’s most popular feline breed, according to The International Cat Association — the largest feline genetic registry worldwide –
The Bengal cats have a wonderful outgoing personality. They are fearless and love to play! Their curious nature makes the Bengal the perfect pet for children and their adaptable nature makes them fit easily in to homes where resident pets already live.

Body of the Bengal Cat

Long and substantial, Medium to large (but not quite as large as the largest domestic breed)


BENGAL COLOR & PATTERNS

There is a high degree of variance in color intensity within the Bengal breed. The base color can range from a silvery-grey to a sandy buff color, and even a bright tone in the brown spotted class. The traditional brown colored Bengals have green or gold eyes and are never to have blue eyes with the exception when they are born. The spotting, rosetting or marbling color can also range from very black to a light brown. Some brown spotted Bengals even have a very clear golden background coloring. No matter what the color/tone, the pattern on a Bengal cat should yield a high degree of contrast (unless the Bengal cat is a non-recognized black Bengal. Then the pattern is not likely to have much contrast). The traditional brown Bengal is the most popular breed color.

Next is the Marbled Bengal. Its coat is full of swirls,giving it a unique pattern. The Marbled Bengal can come in either the traditional brown colors, silver or snow coloring (and even in the unrecognized colors!). A tricolored pattern is preferred  to a pattern that only displays a single color. The pattern should have no similarity to a bulls-eye and the more random the pattern, the better. Some marble patterns are so broken up it is hard to tell if they are a marble or a spotted Bengal. These patterns are often referred to as “Sparble.”

Bengals can also have what is known as a “glitter” gene.  Glitter looks as though the Bengal was sprinkled with gold or crystal dust and shimmers in the sunlight. It is quite beautiful! This trait should not be mistaken for the typical sheen seen on a healthy coat. Glitter is different. There are actual flecs of gold seen on the hair shaft — on the snow Bengal, the glitter is crystal colored. Not all Bengal cats are carry the glitter gene.

 

Head of the Bengal cat: Broad wedge-shaped with rounded contours. Longer than it is wide. Slightly smaller to its proportion to body. The overall look of the head should be as distinct from the domestic cat as possible.

Profile: Slightly sloped forehead should flow into the bridge of the nose with no break. Bridge of nose extends above the eyes; the line of the bridge extends to the nose tip, making a very slight, to nearly straight, concave curve. Nose wide and big, with the whisker pads slightly puffed up. High and noticeable cheek bones.

Ears: The ears of the Bengals are small to medium, with wide base and rounded tops. Set off to the side on top of head, following the structure of the face in the frontal view, and pointing forward in the profile view.

Eyes: Bengal cat eyes should be almost round and large, but not bulging. The eyes are set wide apart, and on slight angle toward base of ear. Eye color can vary and cannot be controlled.

Chin: A Bengal Cat should have a strong chizeled chin aligning with tip of nose in profile.

Muzzle: Should be large with prominent whisker pads and high cheekbones.

Nose: Large and wide; slightly puffed .

Neck: The Bengal cats have a thick and muscular (more in the males), slightly bigger in proportion to the head, and slightly longer in proportion to the body.

Body: Long, solid, and strong torso. The body is big, although not as big as the largest domestic cat, and the bones are quite strong, far from being delicate. Very muscular, specially the males, which is one of the most outstanding feature.

Legs: Medium size, the back legs slightly longer than the front legs. Thick and solid skeleton, in no way delicate. Very muscular, just like the body.

Feet: Large.

Paws: Big in size, rounded and black paw-pads.

Tail: Medium length, thick, tapered at end with rounded tip.

Boning: Robust, never delicate.

Musculature: Very muscular, especially in the males, one of the most distinguishing features. Allowance to be made for the generally slighter musculature of the females.

Coat: Length: Short, close-lying. Allowance for slightly longer coat in kittens.

Texture: Thick, luxurious, and unusually soft to the touch.

Glitter: Comes from a domestic outcross into the first Bengal cats. It is a simple recessive giving a metallic look to the hair and a softer texture. While unique to the Bengal cat it is not required and should not be a considering factor.
Contrast: Contrast with ground color must be extreme, giving distinct pattern and sharp edges. The ground color has agouti banding, the uniformity of this banding gives clarity to the ground coloring. Pattern that lies deep on the hair shaft gives more contrast.

COLOR & PATTERN OF THE BENGALS ARE: Spotted or marbled. Spotted:Spots shall be random, or aligned horizontally. Rosettes showing two distinct colors or shades, such as paw print shaped, arrowhead shaped, doughnut or half-doughnut shaped or clustered and heart shapes are preferred to single spotting but not required. Contrast color must be extreme, giving distinct pattern and sharp edges. Strong, bold chin and mascara markings desirable. Blotchy horizontal shoulder streaks, spotted legs and spotted or rosetted tail are desirable. Belly must be spotted.

MORE FACTS ON THE BENGAL CAT:

Bengals aren’t hairless, and they don’t necessarily produce less Fel D1 protein than other breeds, so what makes them hypoallergenic? The answer is in their coats. Bengal cats have uniquely fine pelts that require considerably less maintenance than other breeds. As a result, Bengals don’t groom themselves as often or for as long, so their fur contains less allergen-rich saliva. They also don’t shed much, or shed far less than other cats, so whatever dander is present in their fur doesn’t get spread around as much.

LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT KITTEN

When you begin the search for that perfect Bengal kitten, it may be a good time to become educated on some of the simple facts of the breed. Bengal kittens are full of energy, entertainment and like any other pet, they require a commitment, love and attention! As most Bengal enthusiasts will tell you, these kittens are no sleeping beauties.

Full of energy, and a desire to for strong interaction! The Bengal is an intelligent cat that is easily trained. Many Bengals enjoy outings on a leash and harness. They generally integrate well with other pets and children.

A kitten will be with you for a very long time. On the average Bengal cats live to be fifteen years of age, some older and some younger, depending upon the quality of care provided and or health issues that might arise. Keeping your Bengal cat indoors and not allowing it to roam unsupervised helps insure a longer life. Bengals are perfectly happy to live indoors.

As a shorthaired breed, and due to their very unique coat type the Bengal kitten requires very little grooming. The kitten and the owner both may benefit from brushing though as an opportunity to increase bonding. As part of general feline grooming, nails should also be kept trimmed. When nails are clipped regularly the cat is less likely to sharpen their nails on your furniture! Providing alternatives to furniture as appropriate areas to scratch and climb are essential in successful kitten raising and it is highly recommended that a cat tree be provided for Bengal kittens and adults.

***Although the Bengal breed is not hypoallergenic, many Bengal owners with allergies find that their allergies are less affected by the Bengal cat and sometimes they are even nonexistent.

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