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Bengal colors and patterns

Bengals come in an extreme variety of colors. Below are all of the colors and patterns. All colors come in both patterns. Included is information on the genetics of each color, TICA status and photo.

BST kitten, 5 weeks

BST male. "warm" tone, not much rufousing

Jumanji Lightning Strikes of Merkaba
Awesome rosettes and type

The "traditional" Bengal, the Brown Spotted tabby.
This is the original Bengal color, most closely representing the color of the Asian Leopard Cat, the Bengals ancestor. Brown spotted and marbled are the most common and widely accepted color. Brown encompasses a range from cool grey with black spots, also known as charcoal to very orangey hot colored with spots ranging from black to medium brown. This orangey is known as rufousing. The spots may be either a solid spot, round or arrowhead shaped or a rosette. There many types of rosettes, the donut, pawprint, 2 tone spot, and arrowhead. I know this sounds confusing, but it is quite simple once you get the basic concepts down. The pattern should have a horizontal or random flow, not a vertical pattern as in domestics. Belly also must be spotted. Browns are eligible for TICA championship status.

rare open marble pattern, a.k.a. reverse marble

classic marble pattern


Brown Marbled Tabby
These cats resemble the Ocelot or Clouded leopard in pattern. The pattern should have a horizontal flow and be free of round or bullseye patterns like seen in the domestic. Marbles are strikingly beautiful at every stage, even the fuzzies. They are born predominately dark and the pattern opens up as they mature. The marbles come in the same color range as the spotteds. They still must have a spotted tummy. Marbles as of late have been exhibiting a "chaining" down their backs which looks like links or even snakeskin. Marbling is a recessive pattern, meaning that it can crop up at any time provided that there is a marble somewhere in the pedigree. All are eligible for TICA championship status.

charcoal spotted

Charcoal spotted and marbled, see Brown

Blue spotted

Blue spotted and marbled.
Blues are grey cats with Grey markings. Blues are a recessive color and can crop up at any time if there is a blue in the pedigree. Unfortunately, blues are registered as brown so unless you know the colors in the pedigree, blues can crop up at any time. Blues are not eligible for championship with TICA. There are a few breeders working with this color, as it is pretty, however it is generally viewed as a flaw and the kittens are sold as pets. Blues are easily distinguished from charcoal in that a blue will have a grey tail tip and a charcoal will have a black tail tip.

Black, or Melanistic
These cats resemble the black panther. They look like a solid black cat but in the light you can see their pattern. There are a few breeders working with this color right now, amidst controversy. Currently, melanistics are not eligible for championship status, however, breeders are working on achieving evaluation status.

Seal lynx marbled

Seal Lynx spotted

The "snow" Bengals marbled and spotted
Snow actually encompasses 3 different colors, all influenced by different genetics.

Seal Lynx Point
The most common "snow" influenced by the siamese pointing gene. These cats always have blue eyes, that is how you can easily tell a lynx from the other 2 patterns. Lynxes are born almost white and their pattern comes out and darkens as they age. Usually by 2 years, they are in full color. The body color is whit or cream with a tan to dark grey pattern. Of course, the darker the pattern, the better the cat. There are "snows" now that resemble silvers, the snows have really come a long way. Lynx is also a recessive gene, so it can crop up at any time as long as a parent was a lynx. EX: 2 browns, one with a lynx parent can produce a lynx in the litter.

Seal Sepia
These cats are a cream or light tan with pattern ranging from light brown to dark brown. Their color is influenced by the burmese gene and is not a pointed color. Sepias do not have blue eyes, usually eye color is green to gold.

Seal Mink
This is where it gets confusing! Mink occurs when the cat gets one copy of lynx and one copy of sepia. Mink and sepia can be very hard to distinguish. If you know that there is NO lynx in the pedigree, then mink can be ruled out. Usually minks have aqua to green eyes. All of the snow colors are accepted for TICA championship status.

a Merkaba Bengals silver

Silvergene Splendor of Starbengal

Merkaba Avalanche

Silver Bengals spotted and marbled
Silver bengals most closely resemble the wild snow leopard. They are white with a black pattern. This is due to the I or inhibitor gene which inhibits the brown color, and leaving the black pattern. When breeding Silvers to browns, the browns out of the litter are an illustrious gold. Silver is a dominant gene, so a parent must be silver in order for the kitten to be silver. Silvers are currently in NBC evaluation status in TICA and are going for championship status to be decided this year.