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Bengal Cat Genetics: Stunning Results

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

An example of Bengal Cat genetics, colors, and patterns.
Bengal Cat Queen Eden of Divinus Pride

Bengal Cat genetics have produced a unique similarity to the wild Asian Leopard Cat which gives them striking physical features while the cross with the tabby cat has given them an engaging personality. In this blog post, we will explore the impacts of Bengal genetic research and tests.

A Brief History of the Bengal House Cat

Let us start by briefly reviewing the history of the Bengal house cat. The first Bengals were created by breeding domestic cats with Asian Leopard Cats. This occurred in the 1960’s and resulted in a cat with leopard-like markings, but a sweet temperament. It took several generations to refine this new breed, but they were eventually recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1991.

Amazing Appearance and Behavior of Bengal House Cats

In our last blog post, you learned about the striking physical appearance and the warm nature of the Bengal cat. Here are some highlights:

  • a beautiful coat with multiple patterns and striking colors 

  • muscular physiques

  • dexterity, strength and playfulness

  • very mentally bright and interactive, enjoying bonding with their pet parents. 

More about Coat Colors and Bengal Cat Genetics

Zeus is a display of Bengal Cat genetics, colors, and patterns.
Bengal Cat Sire Zeus of Divinus Pride

Bengal cats are known for their variety of colors. The Asian Leopard Cat only had a few colors, but genetics have led to a variety of colors in Bengal house cats. In this article, we'll explore the various colors of Bengal cats, helping you to understand what makes them so different and fascinating.

Bengals: A Rainbow of Colors

The primary colors found in Bengal cats include:

Brown Bengal Cats

This is the most common color profile and features shades from light to deep brown, embellished with charming spots, rosettes, or marble patterns in varying tones. The pattern markings can either be black or chocolate brown. Brown Bengals are the first variation of the breed and are considered the 'Gold' standard. The gold reference is in regard to their coats that shine with sparkling golden glitter, a result of a specific gene they carry. Though other variants of the Bengal cat can also carry this gene, it is most prominent in brown Bengals. This is the type of Bengal we breed at Divinus Pride Bengals.

Snow Bengal Cats

Snow Bengals have a lighter fur color and they come in three varieties.

  • Seal Lynx Point:

    • Seal lynx point Bengals are characterized by a bright, white to cream-colored coat and vivid blue eyes. The spots or marbled pattern on these cats are usually darker or can even appear light in some cases.

  • Seal Mink:

    • Seal mink Bengals have a light ivory or cream-colored coat and aqua blue or green eyes. Their pattern appears in a darker shade of brown.

  • Seal Sepia:

    • Seal sepia Bengals have a coat color that ranges from ivory to golden fawn, with their spots being a dark brown. Their eye color can be gold, aqua, or green.

Silver Bengal Cats

Silver Bengals have a cool-toned platinum color to a warmer, slightly beige-tinged silver. Their spots and marbled patterns usually appear in black or dark charcoal.

Blue Bengal Cats

Blue Bengals are rare, ranging in color from cool gray-blue to a silvery-blue, giving them an eerie appearance. Their spots and marbled patterns can be in darker blue shades.

Cinnamon Bengal Cats

Cinnamon Bengal cats have a warm, golden-toned coat. Their spots or marbled patterns appear in a darker shade of brown.

Melanistic (Black) Bengal Cats

Melanistic Bengals appear almost black. Their pattern – either spots or marble – exhibit a subtle dark chocolate color.

  • Charcoal: 

    • Charcoal Bengal Cats have deep, dark coats that appear as if dusted with a layer of soot. This color is typically accompanied by bold and distinct markings

Bengal kitten with pretty spots is playing.
A Brown Bengal Kitten from Divinus Pride

Bengal Cats Genetics: Effect on Coat Patterns

Bengal cats exhibit a wide range of coat patterns and colors due to the diverse genetic influences inherited from their wild and domestic ancestors. Some of the most common coat patterns include:

  • Marbled: features randomly swirled patches of color

  • Spotted: characterized by small to large spots or rosettes

  • Charcoal: features a smoky, dark overlay on the cat's primary coat color.  

Caring for Your Bengal Cat: Helping Them Shine

To maintain your Bengal cat's appearance and overall well being, follow these essential care tips:

  • Brush their coat frequently

  • Feed your Bengal cat a balanced, high-quality diet

  • Provide ample opportunities for play, mental stimulation, and bonding

Wisdom Panel, a prominent pet genetic testing company, has been actively researching Bengal genetics and aims to understand the underlying genetic factors that contribute to their distinct appearance. By researching the Bengal glitter gene (more about the glitter gene in future blogs), they hope to learn a great deal more about the Bengal’s colors and patterns. 

Bengal cat genetics play a crucial role in determining the captivating appearance of Bengal cats. However, health is more important.  In future blog posts, we will begin to go into more depth about the three most common diseases that Bengals can be susceptible to. 

In Conclusion

Bengal cats captivate with their wild, striking appearance and array of colors and patterns. Regardless of your preference, each Bengal color and pattern combination is undeniably beautiful and unique. If you're considering adding a Bengal cat to your family, be prepared to be mesmerized by their enchanting colors, and remember that their personality and affectionate nature make them even more special.

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