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Copyright ©1999-2008 by Sandra S. Roan
The purpose of this webpage is to provide information about the Bengal cat and to provide photographic examples of various TIBBA and TICA recognized coloration and pattern of Bengal.  I hope you enjoy your visit.  If you are interested in a purchasing a Bengal, I encourage you to visit TIBBA's website to locate a Bengal breeder near you.  TIBBA is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, composed of a group of dedicated breeders, owners and enthusiasts who are united in their efforts to preserve, improve and promote the future of all generations of the domestic Bengal cat. 
 The Bengal Cat
The Bengal cat  is a unique and exciting breed of cat selectively bred to resemble the exotic beauty of the Asian Leopard Cat, Felis (Prionailurus) bengalensis, while exhibiting the tender, loving disposition of their domestic heritage.
Although Bengal cats look 'wildly' exotic, they are devoted, loving, people oriented cats that truly crave and offer affection, often butting with their heads or kneading their paws on ones lap. 
Bengal cats are agile, active, highly intelligent cats, which learn quickly.  They are often described as having dog like personalities; playing fetch and walking on a harness and leash.  Like their leopard cat ancestors, many Bengal cats display an affinity for water, playing in a tub of water or showering with their human companion.
The Bengal cat is medium large in size, with females generally maturing at 6 to 12 pounds and males generally maturing at 10 to 18 pounds.  The Bengal cat usually reaches its mature length, height and weight by two years of age.  The Bengal cat exhibits a broad modified, eggplant shaped head, prominent whisker pads, and vivid mascara lines.  The ears are medium set with a wide base, and should have somewhat rounded tips.
Bengals exhibit a long, very muscular body, with hind legs slightly longer than their front legs, giving them a "stalking" appearance, when they walk.  Their tail is of medium length, and should be thick and muscular, with a blunt, virtually black tip.
The Bengal coat is short, dense, soft and silky with a plush pelt like texture.  Some Bengals have gold or crystal tipping to the hair giving them the appearance of having been dusted with gold or crystal glitter.  The glittered effect to the coat causes the coat to glisten and sparkly with a metallic like sheen.
The Bengal cat is the result of the selective breeding of leopard cats to specific breeds of domestic cats.  In the recent past, the domestic cats utilized in the creation of the Bengal breed were the Indian Mau, Egyptian Mau, Abyssinian, Ocicat, Burmese and Domestic Short Hair.
It is no longer necessary to utilize these or other domestic breeds of cats to create "new" Bengal lines.  The current prevailing method of creating "new" Bengal lines is the introduction and selective breeding of new leopard cats to Bengal cats, thereby eliminating the domestic phenotypic traits exhibited by the early Bengals, and thereby increasing the leopard cat genes within the Bengal gene pool.
Bengals are often referred to by the generation they are from their leopard cat ancestor.  For example, an F-1 is a Bengal cat having a leopard cat parent; an F-2 is a Bengal cat having a leopard cat grandparent; an F-3 is a Bengal cat having a leopard cat great grandparent, and so forth.
The International Bengal Breeders' Association (TIBBA) and the International Progressive Cat Breeders' Association (IPCBA) recognizes all generations of Bengals as a domestic cat.  The International Cat Association (TICA) recognizes Bengals with a three generation pedigree of only Bengals as Stub Book Tradition (SBT) Bengals.  SBT Bengals are eligible for showing with IPCBA, TICA, the American Cat Fanciers' Association (ACFA), the United Feline Organization (UFO), the International Cat Enthusiasts (ICE), etc.
Generally speaking, Bengals are intelligent, self assured, outgoing, friendly, stable, affectionate cats, interacting well with children and other pets.  These cats are domestic in their habits; they eat any good quality cat food, and receive the same vaccinations as any other domestic cat.
Quality refers to the evaluation of the kitten to the Bengal Standard and the temperament of the kitten.  Quality affects the price of the kitten/cat.  Qualities are subjective.  All Bengals should be structurally and functionally sound.
Pet Quality
Pet quality Bengals exhibit some trait or traits that the breeder does not wish to perpetuate within the breed.  Examples of these traits are a tail that is a little long, short, or thin: ears that are a little longer or pointed: a belly that is not spotted: a coat that is excessively ticked: a non traditional color: a locket: etc.  Most often, the quality that distinguishes a pet quality Bengal from a breeder quality Bengal is so subtle, it can only be appreciated by a knowledgeable breeder.
Breeder Quality
Breeder quality Bengals exhibit traits that the breeder wants to perpetuate within the line, some of these traits are visible, such as a thick, medium length tail with a blunt tip: short, rounded ears: exceptional ocelli: little or no ticking: temperament: etc.  Some traits that the breeder wishes to perpetuate within the breed are not seen, such as history of strong genetic health within a specific line or specific recessive traits that the kitten or cat carries.  Some breeder quality kittens may exhibit traits that fall within the pet quality category, but the breeder may feel that the Bengal has points to offer that out weigh the other factor or factors.
Show Quality
Show Quality Bengals should exhibit spectacular beauty with a temperament to match.  These Bengals exhibit a plush pelt like coat that is generally glittered. Glitter is not a breed requirement, and cats that do not exhibit glitter are not penalized within the show ring.  Show quality Bengals should have a "wild" look to the face, long muscular body, few or no stripes on ribs or legs, light-backed ears, outstanding contrast, and a coat relatively free of 'salt and peppering'.
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© January 1999-2008 by Sandra S. Roan
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