Colors and patterns
If during the breeding of this breed they try to bring the exterior of the cats as close as possible to the original, then in colors the breeders even surpassed nature. And this is not an exaggeration. Here it is necessary to pay tribute to those pets from whom the Bengals inherited all the best. Abyssinian cats added warm apricot shades to the wool background. The Burmese presented their sable color – sepia. Siamese lightened the body even more, leaving darker and contrasting points. Egyptian Mau shared silver and bronze. American Shorthair laid marble. The result is an incredibly bright and beautiful Bengal cat.
What do small leopards look like?
The drawings on the body can be of 2 types: spotted – spotted and marble – marble. There are general requirements. Preference is given to more contrasting, with clear sharp outlines stains and stains. The contrast is created by two, and sometimes three or more, which is preferable, colors and shades.
Against a light background, large rosettes or lines of marble color are shaded in a third color from the main background, and the patterns are even more whimsical.
And nature applied “makeup” to the face: lightened hair around the eyes, the so-called “glasses”, ideally almost white pillows and chin, scattering from the nose on the cheeks 2–3 dark lines to match the picture. “M” on the forehead goes into an exquisite character in the form of a beetle of beetle, consisting of many graceful lines flowing from the back of the head to the neck. On the throat are solid or torn “necklaces” of spots. The lips, eyelids and nose are surrounded by a dark outline of black or brown and the same paw pads in accordance with the main color of the coat. On the back of the ears in the center there are brightened spots, “ocelot spots”, like in wild cats.
The neck, chest, abdomen, and the inside of the paws are much paler than the fur on the sides and back. In this case, the abdomen, legs and tail are covered with small round or elongated spots. Light and dark spots alternating along the length of the tail can be closed by rings and end necessarily with a dark tip, black or brown, depending on the color. Bengals with significant rufism of wool (i.e., a bright background of the pattern from apricot to red-brown tones) can have spots or stains of brown color, but black paw pads and the same tail tip. And only by these signs it is possible to accurately determine the real color of the cat.
These are common features that are characteristic of both types of drawing. And what are the drawings themselves?
Recall that small wild leopards wear spotted fur coats. Small spots of round or triangular shape are arranged randomly or in horizontal rows on the body. The same happens with home bengals. This pattern is called spotted. But sometimes the skins of forest animals were painted with a more complex pattern, consisting of triangles, commas, curved stripes. In the combination of wild and domestic cat genes with directed selection, unusually interesting options are obtained, and then beautiful sockets appear on the skins instead of simple spots. In principle, this is the same spotted, but some consider this type of pattern to be transitional from spotted to marble.
Rosettes (rosette) are in the form of rings and half rings, can resemble a paw print, dart tip or a bunch of grapes. Large individual round spots of solid color are also called rosettes. Preference is given to patterns made up of the same type of spots located evenly and in isolation from each other. It is important that they do not merge into vertical “tiger” stripes. This is a flaw. Large outlets should also not flow into one another.
From the shoulders to the tail along the ridge are rows of spots of rounded shape or in the form of curved stripes.
The name of the other marble drawing is marble, which speaks for itself. Although theoretically it is the same classik or blotched, but with respect to Bengals, only the first term is used. Curved, flowing horizontal lines, bizarre stains are very reminiscent of noble marble. But beautiful round spots and concentric circles around them, which are other domestic cats and are called “bull’s eye” by Americans, are not allowed. The same applies to “tiger” stripes.
Bengali drawings look very exotic. And although some options, albeit extremely rare, are found in other breeds, but in combination with a bright undercoat, contrasting polychrome patterns give home leopards a unique look.
Out of all the variety of colors, nature awarded little predators only one thing: black spotted tabby. For masking in the environment. Depending on the habitat, wool can have shades ranging from sandy gray to dark chestnut. Hybridization, however, made adjustments to the genotype of the Bengal breed, and some of the resulting variants were fixed in the standards.