Despite the generally accepted belief that bengal is a miniature copy of a leopard, the colors of Bengal cats are quite diverse. Consider the main ones.
The classic version of the color (the same leopard color) is called brown (black) spotted tabby. Which translates as black spotted. Moreover, in different systems it is recorded in different ways. So, in the WCF system, the color is indicated by the code n24, where n is black and 24 is spotted. True, this does not mean that Bengal cats are black. Just in the genetics of colors, it is accepted that all cats are either black or red. All other variations are based on them. And we see the background color of the Bengal cat as golden, although it is not considered to be golden, respectively, the criteria for evaluating the golden color are not applicable to it. And only in the people this coloring is called “the socket on gold”.
It would seem that cats of this color should be similar. But in fact, you will never find two identical bengals, even if both have the same black spotted tabby (n24) in the pedigree! Starting from the background, which according to the standard can vary from light to dark and from golden to red-red, ending with spots – they can be medium-sized single spots, large monotonous spots or “rosettes” – two or three-color spots. Outlets in turn can also be different – “darts”, when the spot has the shape of an arrowhead with color transitions from light to dark, “open socket” – a certain semicircle or semi-open with an open contour, “donut” is a classic “donut” with clearly outlined outline and brightened middle. Rosettes and spots can be fused, forming bizarre drawings, but the main requirement for them is the horizontal orientation of the picture, the absence of straight vertical lines (the so-called “edges”). The color of the marks can also be brown to charcoal black, the standard does not stipulate an advantage, but a clear contrast between the background and the marks is desirable.
Here it is worth paying attention once again to the concept of “ribs” in Bengali color. When choosing their first cat, novice breeders very often pay attention to the absence of ribs, while not always understanding the difference between the “rib” and the “fused rosettes”. In simple terms, the “rib” is a clear, often thin, vertical line extending from the back to the stomach. Such lines in the color of breeding animals are extremely undesirable. Another thing is fused sockets. They are wavy lines, so to speak, of diagonal or sometimes vertical orientation. Such marks, although considered a disadvantage, are not evaluated very strictly. They are considered in the general impression of the color. Most experienced breeders, choosing a new breeding animal, will prefer a bright, contrasting animal with fused rosettes over the boring dull and non-contrast color of an animal that does not have such a flaw.
The next kind of “golden” color is black marbled (patched) tabby or in WCF code – n22, where 22 is a marble pattern. Marble in Bengal color appeared due to other breeds used in breeding during the formation of the breed. However, the genes of Asian leopard cats have given the indisputable advantages of Bengal marble over other breeds. The fact is that in all breeds of cats, the marble pattern is again vertical, while the marble color of the Bengal cat tends to horizontal. And if you add r
Marble color is transmitted by recessive genes. Therefore, a cat that has a marble gene and a spotted gene will always have a spotted color. When two animals with such genetics are crossed, both spotted and marble kittens can be born. However, if at least one of the parents does not carry the marble gene, then the birth of marble kittens is excluded. At the same time, the birth of spotted offspring is impossible from two marble parents. It is currently very difficult to find a cat or cat that does not have marble in genetics. But such cats are found. Moreover, the lack of marble in the foreseeable pedigree is not an indicator of the absence of this gene in the animal in question. So far, such a carrier can only be detected empirically.
Unfortunately, the marble color is undeservedly less in demand than the classic “rosette”. Most likely, this is due to the desire to see exactly a copy of a wild animal. But, fortunately, lately this color has got more and more admirers. There are nurseries (so far mostly foreign) that work with this particular color of a Bengal cat and receive truly magnificent animals.
The next color variety of Bengal cats differs from the previous ones in the background color. This is a silver color, it is also silver spotted (ns 24) or silver marbled (ns 22). Accordingly, in this color the marks are the same as in the previous one, with all the ensuing requirements. But the background has a silver tint. Here, the variations in shades are not so pronounced and are reduced to lighter / darker. Probably the only requirement is the absence of rufisms (the so-called areas with a red, rusty shade on a silver background).
Well, the last group of recognized colors is snowy. According to the drawing, this color also does not differ from the rest. But according to the background color it is divided into 2 groups – seal lynx and mink. The first relates to point colors, i.e. has pronounced darkened areas on the muzzle, tail, legs. Some kind of Siamese color. Representatives of this color of a Bengal breed with a pronounced pattern are truly beautiful and unique. And this is the only color of the Bengal cat, in which animals have blue (or rather even blue) eyes. Kittens of this color are born completely white and only with age gain color saturation (point areas first appear, and then the pattern appears). The complexity of working with this color lies in the fact that the color reaches full bloom by about two years, and the breeders are forced to make a decision about the work of this animal in breeding much earlier, based only on experience and forecasts.
Mink is also a beautiful color. Cats of this color have a more uniform tone, the colors of baked milk and brown marks. Aqua eyes. Kittens of this variety of snow color are born already with a visible pattern, but also bloom with time.
Finally, I want to add a few words about unrecognized colors. Now work is underway on such colors as “coal”, “blue” and others. These are varieties of gold (black) color, and in pedigrees they are now written that way. Due to the very vague description of the standard with respect to the background color of the color, animals of this color participate in exhibitions and receive adjustable ratings. However, in reality, these are still unrecognized colors, work on which is still underway. The most notable is the “coal” color, which in itself is quite peculiar – a very dark background (as if stained with charcoal) and the same dark marks (stain or marble). Because of this, the color looks completely opaque, but very attractive. The use of this color in breeding helps to achieve good contrast, and the so-called “arched” cats look simply amazing. The use of coal color also gives another variation of the unrecognized color – melanistic. Cats of this color are completely black. However, very often in the light, at a certain angle, one can distinguish even darker spots (sockets) or a marble pattern. Currently, animals of this color are used to breed a new breed – pantheretta.
elief to this, then we can confidently say that the marble color of a Bengal cat is unique. However, this color also has its own nuances. The simplest division (which is by no means complete) is the division into “cloak”, “patterned” and “ribbon” marble. The latter looks most impressive, although the patterned one is also very beautiful. Pashcheva does not look so elegant, because the main color at the same time looks just black, but it is no less valuable due to the beautiful glitter tint and because of the value for working on the rosette color. The fact is that the color of the Asian leopard cat, the founder of the Bengal breed, does not differ in large spots-rosettes, and the modern idea of Bengal cats elevates the color to the leopard one. And it is precisely for the transformation of a small spot into a beautiful large outlet that cats with a cloak marble color are used.