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Bengal History

Things to know about the Beautiful Bengal Breed

Bengal cats derive from a cross breed of an Asian Leopard and a Domestic House Cat. This combination gives a Bengals the 'Wild Cat' look and a softer temperament which the domestic house cat brings to the mix.

Rosetted Bengals have 3 styles of markings:

* Paw-print 

* Doughnut

* Arrow-Head

Bengals come in 2 different Patterns

* Rosetted/Spotted

* Marbled

Bengals also are available in many different colours

Colours & Patterns

Bengals are an amazingly beautiful animal. Their unique markings are a favourite amongst cat lovers. 

Bengal cats are a dream come true. Not only are they beautiful, they are a domestic cat with a look that imitates the big cats found in the wild. All domestic cats, pedigreed or not, come in a variety of colors and patterns. The popular spotted and golden leopard coats are not the only accepted color and pattern for Bengals.

​Bengal cats are more than small, domestic versions of their larger cousins from the jungle. There is a wide range of colors, shades and patterns within the Bengal breed.

Depending on both parent’s genetic background, kittens within the same litter, can be very different from one another. Fortunately, the mapping of the feline genome allowed the genes that control coat, color and pattern in cats, to be studied and identified with DNA tests. Genetic testing allows breeders to predict the possible outcome of an upcoming litter and can prevent diseases to become an integral part of a breed.

Strictly speaking, there are only three basic breed-accepted colors: Brown, Silver and the three Snow colors (Seal Lynx, Seal Sepia and Seal Mink Point). Within each color category, there are two accepted types of pattern: Spotted and Marble.

With so many Bengal cat variations, you may not know where to begin when searching for your dream cat. That’s why we're showing you the variations of Bengal cats.


Bengal coats come in 2 Patterns.


Spotted & Marbled


A spotted coat Bengal cat is the most popular style of coat. Odds are, if you’ve seen a Bengal cat or are learning about what a Bengal cat even is, you’ve seen this cat in spotted form.  

​The spotted Bengal has characteristic, small to medium sized spots all over their coats. Large, random, two-tone rosetted markings are particularly prized. AKA they’re the house cats that look like mini leopards.

This pattern style appeared when breeders believed that larger and sparser spots were more desirable. The original spotted tabby pattern found in domestic cats has been modified by selective breeding.


The marbled coat pattern is derived from blotched tabby stripes that swirl. The ideal marble Bengal cat has a horizontally flowing, random, asymmetrical pattern made up of swirls of two or more colors.

The marble Bengal cat has four official types—reduced horizontal flow, horizontal flow, chaos pattern, and sheet marble patterns.
In 1987, Jean Mill  (Millwood cattery) produced the first Marbled bengal kitten in a cat named Millwood Painted Desert:
"She was a spectacular little female with an odd soft, cream-colored coat and weird pattern that looked like drizzled caramel. At the Incats show in Madison Square Garden, and all over the country, she was a sensation!!"

In her first standard for the Bengal breed, Jean Mill hadn’t intended to include anything except spots. But Painted Desert was an instant success with both judges and the public and thus the marbles were included in the Bengal registry.
The descendants from these early marbled Bengals contributed the outlining gene and horizontal flow which produced the first ‘rosetted’ spots in the 2000’s.

In 1993, the marbled Bengal was granted championship status within TICA.


Bengal Colour Varieties

Now that we’ve looked at the types of coats Bengal cats have, let’s take a look at Bengal cat colours.
Like other breeds of cats, Bengals come in a variety of colours. There are about 6 Bengal cat colours.

The standard Bengal colours are:

  • Brown

  • Snow

  • Silver

Non-recognised colours are:

  • Charcoal

  • Blue

  • Solid Black

The beauty is that the Bengal cat isn’t just 6 colour options. They can vary from kitten to kitten with breeding techniques for different colour variations and blood lines.