The Bengal


The Bengal cat is a new and exciting breed of domestic cat, bred to resemble small leopards.

The Bengal breed originated from a cross between the wild Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) – the Felis bengalensis – and a domestic cat.

The wild Bengal/ALC is a small spotted cat which lives from south of Indonesia to the Himalayan forests. By selective breeding for temperament as well as beauty, Bengal cats have evolved that are small replicas of their wild ancestors, but have loving dependable personalities.

 FOTO: ALC von Geoff und Holly Borchard (USA)



The original home of the Bengal is the USA, where Mrs. Jean (Sudgen) Mill and also some other breeders (in the early sixties) began with their breeding programs.

Jean Mill crossed a ALC girl with a housecat. Out of this combination she holds one girl for herself and bred it back to her father. After this, she stopped breeding, because of private reasons. As she restarted her breeding program in 1980, the first problems occurred.

All males out of the F1 generations (the first generation after the cross with the wild ALC) were sterile.That means, that the 2nd generation, the F2, always have a domestic father.

The first generations, produced out of ALC´s and Bengals are so called “Foundation Bengals”. This are F1, F2, F3 and F4/SBT.

F1 = 1st generation

F2= 2nd generation

F3= 3rd generation

F4= 4th generation/ SBT (studbook tradition) – Bengals from the 4th generation onward are referred to as SBT Bengals and can achieve champion status at cat shows.


The foundation Bengals (especially F1 till F3) do have many characteristics from their wild ancestors, because they follow much more their instincts. It is possible to get a permission to keep a wild animal in Germany, but you have some conditions for example as an outdoor enclosure, to guaranty a appropriate holding of the species.


Who wants to know more about the keeping from ALC´s and Foundation Bengals, should ask some experienced breeders of this special kind of Bengals for informations.





Head           10 Points

Ears            10 Points

Eyes             5 Points

Neck             5 Points

 Body           10 Points

  Legs            5 Points

  Feet             5 Points

  Coat            10 Points

  Color            10 Points

Pattern            30 Points



Traditional Category: Tabby Division, Brown Spotted Tabby, Brown Marbled Tabby only. Sepia Category: Tabby Division, Seal Sepia Spotted Tabby, Seal Sepia Marbled Tabby only. Mink Category: Tabby Division, Seal Mink Spotted Tabby, Seal Mink Marbled Tabby only. Pointed Category: Tabby Division, Seal Lynx Point (spotted or marbled) only.



The goal of the Bengal breeding program is to create a domestic cat which has physical features distinctive to the small forest dwelling wild cats, but with the loving, dependable, temperament of the domestic cat. Keeping this goal in mind, judges shall give special merit to those characteristics in the appearance of the Bengal which are distinct from those found in other domestic cat breeds.



The conformation gives the Bengal cat a basic “feral” appearance. It is medium to large, sleek, and very muscular with hind-quarters slightly higher than shoulders. The head is a broad modified wedge with rounded contours, longer than it is wide, with a large nose and prominent whisker pads. The ears are medium set, medium small, short, with a wide base and rounded tips.



The spotted Pattern: Spots shall be random, or aligned horizontally. Rosettes formed by a part-circle of spots around a distinctly redder centre are preferable to single spotting, but not required. Contrast with ground color must be extreme, giving distinct pattern and sharp edges. Strong, bold chin strap and mascara markings are desirable. Belly must be spotted.

The marbled pattern: Markings, while derived from the classic tabby gene, shall be uniquely different with as little “bull´s-eye” similarity as possible. Pattern shall, instead, be random giving the impression of marbled, preferably with a horizontal flow when the cat is stretched. Vertical striped mackerel influence is also undesirable. Preference should be given to cats with three or more shades; i.e., ground color, markings, and dark outlining of those markings. Contrast must be extreme, with distinct shapes and sharp edges. Belly must be spotted.



Brown Tabby: All variations are allowed; however, a high degree of rufinis yielding a yellow, buff, tan, golden, or orange color is preferred. Markings may be virtually black, brown, tan, or various shades of chocolate or cinnamon. Light spectacles encircling the eyes and a virtually white ground color on the whisker pads, chin, chest, belly and inner legs (in contrast to the ground color of the flanks and back) is desirable. Rims of the eyes, lips, and nose should be outlined with black, and centre of nose should be brick red. Paw pads and tail tip must be black.

Seal Lynx Point: Ground color should be ivory to cream. Pattern can vary in color from dark seal brown, light brown, tan, or buff, with the light spectacles, whisker pads, and chin. There should be little difference between color of body markings and point color. Tail tip must be dark seal brown. Eye color: blue.

Seal Sepia Tabby/Seal Mink Tabby: Ground color should be ivory, cream, or light tan with pattern clearly visible. Pattern may be various shades of sable brown to bitter chocolate, ivory cream spectacles encircling the eyes, and ivory cream whisker pads and chin are desirable. There should be very little or no difference between the color of body markings and point color. Paw pads should be dark brown with rosy undertones allowed. Tail tip should be bitter chocolate (dark sepia/mink). Eyes may be gold, to green, to blue green.



Temperament must be unchallenging. Any sign of definite challenge shall disqualify. Cat may exhibit fear, seek to flee, or generally complain aloud, but may not threaten or harm. Bengals should be confident, alert, curious, and friendly cats.



Spots on body running together vertically forming a mackerel tabby pattern, circular bulls-eye pattern on marbleds, substantially darker point (as compared to color of body markings) on Lynx Points, Seal Sepia or Seal Mink. Any distinct locket on the neck, chest, abdomen or any other area not provided for in the standard. Do not penalize for mousy undercoat.



Belly not spotted. Paw pads not consistent with their color group description, or paw pads not all of the same color. See Show Rules, ARTICLE SIXTEEN for rules governing penalties/disqualifications applying to all cats.



Shape: Broad modified wedge with rounded contours. Longer than it is wide. Allowance to be made for jowls in adult males.

Size: Slightly small in proportion to body, but not to be taken to extreme.

Profile: Gently curving forehead to bridge. Bridge of nose extends above the eyes. Nose has a very slight concave curve.

Nose: Large and wide; slightly puffed nose leather.

Muzzle: Full and broad, with large, prominent whisker pads and high, pronounced cheekbones.



Shape: Oval, may be slightly almond shaped.

Size: Large, but not bugged.

Placement: Set wide apart, back into face, and on slight bias toward base of ear.

Color: Traditional – all colors than blue. Seal lynx point-blue. Seal sepia tabby or seal mink tabby-aqua (blue-green).



Size: Thick and muscular, large in proportion to head.

Length: Long, and in proportion to body.



Shape: Long and substantial, but not oriental or foreign.

Size: Medium to large (but not quite as large as the largest domestic breed).

Boning: Robust, never delicate.

Musculature: Very muscular, especially in the males, one of the most distinguishing features.



Length: Medium, slightly longer in the back than in the front.

Boning: Large and substantial. Never delicate.

Musculature: Very muscular, like the body.



Size: Large.

Shape: Round.



Shape: Thick, tapered at end with rounded tip.

Size: Medium large.

Length: Medium.



Length: Short to medium. Allowance for slightly longer coat in kittens.

Texture: Thick, luxurious, and usually soft to the touch.



See Colors.



See Patterns.


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 by Leopardcats. All rights reserved.