All About the Bengal Breed
In 1981 Jeans Mills started the Bengal breeding program. She put a regular domestic cat with an Asian leopard, she wanted to create a cat that was loving and affectionate like a domestic house cat but has the look of the leopard with its rosettes and the silk feel of the coat as well. The Bengal leopard was finally recognized by The International Cat Association in 1983, just two years after Jean Mill crossed an Asian leopard with a black house cat. The Bengal is only domestic when it’s moved at least four generations from the Asian leopard, most Bengal breeders out there are breeding domesticated Bengals.
Bengals have very long-life spans which can be up to 16 years if cared for and fed the right way. They are very energetic, love to give affection, come in many colors, and are just a little bigger than a normal house cat.
Coloring and Eye Color
If you have ever seen a Bengal cat in person you know they have striking coats that are painted with a light background and spotted with rosettes that are striking. And occasionally you’ll see a glittered Bengal, this is when they carry a color gene called dilute and the tips of their hair are clear and let the light reflect off it giving it a glittering effect.
Coloring, first we have the OG color, Brown. Browns come in all different shades and hues. They have gold or green eyes. The background of their coat can be any shade of brown from dark greyish shades to bright reds, the options are endless with browns. They have dark brown or black rosettes, and the shape varies.
The snow Bengal leopards look exactly like miniature snow leopards. These cats were mixed with either a Burmese or Siamese cat to give them the white coat. the rosette coloring varies depending on what kind of snow Bengal it is. There are three different snow Bengal leopards, the Seal Mink, Seal Lynx, and the Seal Sepia. The Seal Minks have tan to light ivory-colored rosettes and have Aqua eyes. The Seal Lynx has blue eyes and can have various shades of rosettes. And lastly, the Seal Sepia is a tanner in color and has darker rosettes and either gold or green eyes depending on the genetics of the parents.
Photo is of a Snow Mink
Next, we have Silver Bengal leopards. Just like it says in the name, these cats are a silver color. Silver Bengal have a gene that makes them lack color in their coat. The background of the coat can be anywhere from white to a dark grey color, and their rosettes are pitch black and stand out against their background color. Since most silvers have the dilute gene, their coats are glittered.
The photo is of a Silver Bengals.
Charcoals are like silvers but are very dark, they won’t have any other color but black and shades of black. A lot of the time different colors are mixed with charcoal to deepen the coloring and rosettes.
The photo is of a Silver Bengal that carries Charcoal.
The blue color is rare because it’s a double dilute gene, they are a steal to blue colored and have rosettes that are almost black but will never darken. They will have green, hazel or gold eyes.
After a Bengal Kitten opens their eyes around 10 days, its eyes are always blue. Then around 4-5 weeks, their eyes start to change into their true eye color.
Silver charcoal bengal with yellow/green eyes
Snow Lynx Bengal kitten with blue eyes
4-week-old kitten before their eyes change colors