Bengal Breed Standard

POINT SCORE

HEAD (30)
Skull5
Muzzle6
Profile4
Ears6
Eyes6
Chin3
BODY (20)
Boning5
Musculature5
Legs/Feet5
Tail5
COAT & COLOR (25)
Texture10
Coat Color10
Eye Color5
PATTERN (25)
Pattern-Specific Point Allocation15
Contrast10

GENERAL: The Bengal is a medium to large cat with a sleek, muscular build. Boning is substantial. Hindquarters slightly higher than shoulders. The tail is thick, with rounded tip, and carried lower than the back. The Bengal’s head, expressive nocturnal look, and stunning markings give the breed a wild appearance. The coat is like no other: short, soft, silky to the touch, luxurious, and preferably glittered. Bengals are alert and active, with inquisitive, dependable dispositions. Males are generally larger than females.

HEAD: Broad, modified wedge with rounded contours, longer than wide, with high cheekbones. Slightly small in proportion to body, not to be taken to extreme. Top of skull flows back into the neck, with visible back skull. No flat planes. Allowance for jowls on mature males.

PROFILE: Gently curved forehead to nose bridge. Nose may have a slight concave curve.

NOSE: Large and wide, slightly puffed nose leather. Bridge of nose extends above the eyes.

CHIN: Strong, substantial, aligns with tip of nose in profile.

MUZZLE: Full and broad, with prominent whisker pads.

EARS: Medium to small, with a wide base, rounded tips being desirable. Set far apart, following the contours of the face in frontal view, slight tilt forward in profile view. Light, horizontal furnishings acceptable, tufts are undesirable.

EYES: Shape is round to oval. Large, but not bugged. Set wide apart, with a slight bias toward the base of ear, when oval in shape. Eye color independent of coat color, except in the Lynx Points, where Blue is the only acceptable color. Richness and depth of color is always preferred.

NECK: Thick and muscular, long in proportion to the body.

BODY: Long and substantial, muscular, particularly the males. Hindquarters slightly higher than shoulders.

BONE: Substantial, never delicate.

LEGS: Medium long, slightly longer rear legs. Muscular.

PAWS: Large and round, with prominent knuckles.

TAIL: Thick, tapered at the end with rounded tip. Medium in length, in proportion to body.

COAT: With qualities unique to the breed, the Bengal coat is short, close lying, soft, silky, luxurious, and ideally glittered. Allowance for slightly longer coat in kittens.

ALLOWANCES: Smaller size, in balanced proportion, in females. Jowls in mature males. Slightly longer coat in kittens. Slightly larger ears in kittens. Eyes slightly almond shaped. Incorrect paw pad color.

PENALIZE: Rosetted/Spotted Tabby Pattern – Rosettes or spots running together vertically forming a mackerel tabby pattern. Marble Tabby Pattern – Circular bull’s eye pattern. Snow Tabby Pattern – Substantially darker point color as compared to color of body markings.

DISQUALIFY: Rosetted/Spotted Tabby, Marble Tabby, Charcoal Tabby, Snow Tabby Patterns – Belly not patterned. Any distinct locket on neck, chest, abdomen, or anywhere else. Kinked, or otherwise deformed tail. Cow hocking. Crossed eyes.

BENGAL PATTERNS AND COLORS

BENGAL PATTERNS

ROSETTED/SPOTTED TABBY PATTERN: Rosettes and spots shall be random, with a horizontal flow to their alignment, and a pattern like no other breed. Ground color should be clear, and free of ticking. Contrast with ground color must be extreme, showing distinct pattern with sharp edges. Rosettes are two toned, with dark outlines, and a lighter center. Rosettes can be many different shapes, such as round donut, open donut, pancake, paw print, arrowhead, or clustered, and are preferred to single spotting. Strong, bold chin strap and mascara markings desirable. Backs of ears have a thumbprint. Color on chest and belly should be lighter than ground color. Blotchy horizontal shoulder streaks, spotted legs, and spotted, or rosetted tail are desirable. Belly must be spotted. Allowance for spotted pattern without rosettes. These cats are not required to have two tone markings.

MARBLE TABBY PATTERN: The Marble pattern is full of swirls, with a pattern like no other breed. Ground color should be clear, and free of ticking. Contrast with ground color must be extreme, showing distinct markings with sharp edges. Markings are two toned, having a horizontal or diagonal flow. Side pattern symmetry not required. There should be no resemblance to the Classic Tabby pattern, and a circular pattern or bullseye is undesirable. The more random the pattern, the better. Additional color tones inside the pattern, giving a “stained glass” effect is desirable. Patterned shoulder markings, and multi-toned markings on legs and tail desirable. Rosettes and spots can be present, particularly on the legs. Strong chin strap, mascara markings desirable. Backs of ears have a thumbprint. Color on chest and belly should be lighter than ground color. Belly must be patterned. Allow for maturity for “stained glass” or full coloration to appear.

BENGAL COLORS

BROWN (BLACK) TABBY: All variations of brown are allowed as the ground color, ranging from buff, tan, honey gold, to orange. Markings may be various shades of tan, brown, and black. There should be extreme contrast between ground color and markings, with distinct shapes, and well defined edges. Markings should be two toned. Lighter color spectacles enhance the eyes. A much lighter to 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. Nose leather: Brick red, outlined in black. Paw pads: From pink, to brick red, with allowances for black or brown. Eye color: Gold to green.

BLACK SILVER TABBY: Ground color ranges from clear silver white to pewter gray. Markings are medium gray to jet black, with good contrast to ground color. Minimal to no warm tones present on face, back, and legs. Tarnish is undesirable. Color on chest and belly will be lighter than ground color. Area around eyes, temples, and muzzle are lighter than ground color. Skin pigment around eyes, and lips is black. Nose leather: Brick red, or black. Paw pads: Black. Eye color: Any color other than blue.

BLUE TABBY: Ground color is pale blue gray to slate blue gray, with markings being medium blue to darker blue. There should be good contrast between ground color and markings. Warm fawn tones can be present on face, back, and legs. Underside and chest will be lighter in color than ground color found elsewhere. Area around eyes, temples, and muzzle are lighter than ground color. Pigment around eyes, and lips is dark blue. Nose leather: Rose, outlined in dark blue. Paw pads: Aubergine/purple. Eye color: Any color other than blue.

BLUE SILVER TABBY: Ground color is light blue silver with blue-gray markings. Nose leather: Rose to dark gray. Paw pads: Blue/gray. Eye color: Gold to green. Tail Tip: Blue.

CHARCOAL TABBY PATTERN: There should be definite contrast between ground color and markings, with distinct shapes, and clearly defined edges. Pattern should have a horizontal flow. Preference will be given to very dark markings, with clear outlines, and well contrasted to the ground color. There must be white, or nearly white spectacles or “goggles” encircling the eyes. A dark mask runs all the way from the nose bridge to the nose, and connects from the mascara lines all the way to the nose bridge. A wide, dark, “cape” running down the length of the back is desirable. Color on chest and belly should be lighter than ground color. Kittens are sometimes rosetted, adults are usually spotted. Charcoals can be Spotted, or Marble Pattern.

CHARCOAL TABBY COLORS:

BROWN (BLACK) CHARCOAL TABBY: Same as Brown (Black) Tabby except the Charcoal brown colors are cold browns, with no warm gold, or amber tones and with the addition of Mask, Goggles, and Cape.

BLACK SILVER CHARCOAL TABBY: Same as Black Silver Tabby with the addition of Mask, Goggles, and Cape.

BLUE CHARCOAL TABBY: Same as Blue Tabby with the addition of Mask, Goggles, and Cape.

BLUE SILVER CHARCOAL TABBY: Same as Blue Silver Tabby with the addition of Mask, Goggles, and Cape.

SNOW TABBY PATTERN COLORS

SEAL LYNX POINT: Ground color can range from ivory to cream, with color on chest and belly being lighter. Markings may vary from light tan to dark seal brown, and be clearly visible. Points vary from warm brown to brownish black. Markings are distinct and separated by lighter ground color. Color around the eyes, temples, and muzzle is light. The point color should not be significantly darker than the body markings. Tail tip should be dark seal brown. Ears warm brown with lighter thumb print in center. Nose leather: Pink to brick red. Paw pads: Black. Eye color: Blue.

SEAL MINK TABBY: Ground color can range from cream to light tan, with color on chest and belly lighter. Markings may vary from medium tan, to chocolate, to dark seal brown, and be clearly visible. The point color should not be significantly darker than the body markings. Color around the eyes, temples, and muzzle is lighter. Tail tip should be dark seal brown. Nose leather: Pink to brick red. Paw pads: Black. Eye color: Aqua (varies from blue-green to turquoise).

SEAL SEPIA TABBY: Ground color can range from cream to tan, with color on chest and belly lighter. Markings may vary from dark seal brown to rich dark brown, and be clearly visible. The point color should not be significantly darker than the body markings. Color around the eyes, temples, and muzzle is lighter. Tail tip should be dark seal brown. Nose leather: Pink to brick red. Paw pads: Black. Eye color: Green gold.

BLUE LYNX POINT: Ground color can range from ivory to cream, with color on chest and belly being lighter. Markings may vary from light blue to dark slate blue, and be clearly visible. Points vary from warm blue to slate blue. Markings are distinct and separated by lighter ground color. Color around the eyes, temples, and muzzle is light. The point color should not be significantly darker than the body markings. Tail tip should be dark slate blue. Ears blue with lighter thumb print in center. Nose leather: Pink to brick red. Paw pads: Slate blue. Eye color: Blue.

BLUE MINK TABBY: Ground color can range from ivory to rich cream, with color on chest and belly lighter. Markings may vary from medium blue to dark slate blue, and be clearly visible. The point color should not be significantly darker than the body markings. Color around the eyes, temples, and muzzle is lighter. Tail tip should be dark slate blue. Nose leather: Pink to brick red. Paw pads: Slate blue. Eye color: Aqua (varies from blue-green to turquoise).

BLUE SEPIA TABBY: Ground color can range from medium tan to medium blue, with color on chest and belly lighter. Markings may be various shades of darker blue with warm fawn overtones, and be clearly visible. The point color should not be significantly darker than the body markings. Color around the eyes, temples, and muzzle is lighter. Tail tip should be dark slate blue. Nose leather: Pink to brick red. Paw pads: Slate blue. Eye color: Green gold.

SEAL SILVER LYNX POINT: Ground color ranges from icy white to pale cream, shading to lighter color on belly and chest. There should be very little or no difference between the color of the body markings and point color. Points silvery gray to brownish black barring, distinctly separated by silvery ground color. Seal coloring will be colder than non-silver seal lynx point. Underside of base of tail silver white. Ears silver toned with lighter thumbprint in center. Nose leather: Pink to brick red. Paw pads: Dark seal brown. Eye color: Blue.

SEAL SILVER MINK TABBY: Body color ranges from ivory to light tan. Tabby pattern ranging from cold bitter chocolate to brown. Ivory or cream whisker pads and chin desirable. Tail tip dark brownish-black. Underside of the base of the tail silver white. Ears, nose bridge, and extremities grayish brown with lighter thumbprint in center of ear. Nose leather: Brick red. Paw pads: Dark brown with rosy undertones. Eye color: Aqua (varies from blue-green to turquoise).

SEAL SILVER SEPIA TABBY: Body color ranges from ivory to medium tan. Tabby pattern cold brown. Ivory or cream whisker pads and chin desirable. Tail tip dark brownish black. Underside of the base of the tail silver white. Seal coloring will be colder and duller than in the non-silver sepia tabby. Fur on ears can have a silvery gray cast. Ears cold brown with lighter thumbprint in the center. Nose leather: Brick red. Paw pads: Dark brown with rosy undertones. Eye color: Gold to green.

BLUE SILVER LYNX POINT: Ground color is ivory to light silver gray. Markings may be various shades of blue gray to light caramel. Underside and chest will range in color from silvery white to light cream. Pigment around the eyes, temple, and muzzle is silvery white. Silvery blue-gray hues are most detectable on face, legs, back of ears and tail. Nose leather: Pink to brick red. Paw pads: Blue-gray with rose tones. Eye color: Blue.

BLUE SILVER MINK TABBY: Ground color is cream to silvery blue. Markings may be various shades of blue-gray to caramel. Underside and chest will range in color from white to cream. Pigment around the eyes, temple and muzzle is light cream in color. Blue silver hues are most detectable on face, legs, back of ears and tail. Nose leather: Pink to brick red. Paw pads: Blue-gray with rose tones. Eye color: Aqua (varies from blue-green to turquoise).

BLUE SILVER SEPIA TABBY: Ground color is cream to light brown, or silvery blue with warm fawn undertones. Markings may be various shades of blue-gray to chocolate, with warm fawn overtones. Undersides and chest will be lighter than background color. Pigment around the eyes, temple, and muzzle is cream to fawn in color. Blue silver hues are most detectable on face, legs, back of ears and tail. Nose leather: Pink to brick red. Paw pads: Blue-gray with rose tones. Eye color: Green or gold.

AOV PATTERNS/COLORS/COAT LENGTH

AOV PATTERNS:

MELANISTIC PATTERN: The term “Melanistic”, when describing a hybrid cat, is a Solid, but not in the sense of a Solid in a non-hybrid breed. In the Bengal cat, the Melanistic shows ghost tabby markings. They can be either Rosetted/Spotted, Marble or Snow. The Pattern is more visible in kittens. As adults, most appear more solid

MELANISTIC PATTERN COLORS:

BLACK MELANISTIC: Ground color is jet black, with sound color throughout coat. Underside and chest will be jet black as the ground color. No warm tones should be present. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Color around the eyes, temples, and muzzle is black. Skin pigment around eyes, nose, and lips is black. Nose leather: Black. Paw pads: Black. Eye color: Green, gold, or hazel.

BLUE MELANISTIC: Ground color is an even blue, ranging from blue-gray to deep slate gray. Underside and chest will be uniform to body color. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Color around eyes, temples, and muzzle is blue. Skin pigment around eyes, nose, and lips is blue to slate gray. Nose leather: Dark blue, or rose. Paw pads: Dark blue to slate gray, may have rosy undertones. Eye color: Green, gold, or hazel.

SEAL POINT MELANISTIC: Ground color ranges from ivory to creamy beige to tan, with chest and belly being a lighter shade of ground color. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Point color ranges from warm seal brown to brownish-black. Nose leather: Brownish-black. Paw pads: Brownish-black with rosy undertones. Eye color: Blue.

SEAL MINK MELANISTIC: Ground color is tan to a warm medium brown, with chest and belly being a lighter shade of ground color. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Point color ranges from dark chocolate to sable brown. Nose leather: Brownish-black. Paw pads: Brownish-black with rosy undertones. Eye color: Aqua, varies from blue-green to turquoise.

SEAL SEPIA MELANISTIC: Ground color is rich, warm, sable brown, with chest and belly being a lighter shade of ground color. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Point color will be slightly darker than body color. Nose leather: Brownish-black. Paw pads: Brownish-black with rosy undertones. Eye color: Green or Gold.

BLUE POINT MELANISTIC: Ground color ranges from ivory to creamy blue to soft blue-gray, with chest and belly being a lighter shade of ground color. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Point color ranges from warm blue to slate blue. Nose leather: Blue. Paw pads: Slate blue with rosy undertones. Eye color: Blue.

BLUE MINK MELANISTIC: Ground color is blue to a warm medium blue, with chest and belly being a lighter shade of ground color. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Point color ranges from dark warm blue to dark slate blue. Nose leather: Slate blue. Paw pads: Slate blue with rosy undertones. Eye color: Aqua, varies from blue-green to turquoise.

BLUE SEPIA MELANISTIC: Ground color is rich, warm blue, with chest and belly being a lighter shade of ground color. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Point color will be slightly darker than body color. Nose leather: Blue. Paw pads: Slate blue with rosy undertones. Eye color: Green or Gold.

SMOKE PATTERN: The smoke Bengal has ghost tabby markings, which have a horizontal flow to their alignment. All colors of Smoke have a whitish undercoat. Smokes can be Rosetted/Spotted, Marble, or Snow.

SMOKE PATTERN COLORS:

BLACK SMOKE: Black with a silvery white undercoat. Chest and belly may appear gray, shading down to silvery white at the roots. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Color around the eyes, temple, and muzzle is smoky gray. Skin pigment around eyes, nose, and lips is black. Nose leather: Black. Paw pads: Black. Eye color: Green, gold, or hazel.

BLUE SMOKE: Medium to slate blue with a bluish-white undercoat. Chest and belly lighter blue shading down to bluish-white at the roots. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Color around the eyes, temples, and muzzle is smoky blue. Skin pigment around eyes, nose, and lips is dark blue to slate gray. Nose leather: Dark blue, or rose outlined in blue. Paw pads: Dark blue to slate gray. Eye color: Green, gold, or hazel.

SEAL SMOKE POINT: Ground color is pale fawn to creamy beige, with a white undercoat, which alters the appearance of the point color. Point color will appear lighter, and this is not a fault. Where fur is long enough to part, a white undercoat will be seen. White roots are most apparent in a fully mature cat, but should be detectable on and between kittens’ toes. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Nose leather: Brownish-black. Paw pads: Brownish black, with rosy undertones. Eye color: Blue.

SEAL MINK SMOKE: Ground color is grayish light brown, with a white undercoat, which alters the appearance of the point color. Point color will appear lighter, and this is not a fault. Where fur is long enough to part, a white undercoat will be seen. White roots are most apparent in a fully mature cat, but should be detectable on and between kittens’ toes. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Nose leather: Brownish-black. Paw pads: Brownish-black, with rosy undertones. Eye color: Aqua, varies from blue-green to turquoise.

SEAL SEPIA SMOKE: Ground color is grayish, smoky, sable brown, with a white undercoat, which alters the appearance of the point color. Point color will appear lighter, and this is not a fault. Where fur is long enough to part, a white undercoat will be seen. White roots are most apparent on a fully mature cat, but should be detectable on, or between kittens’ toes. Markings will be faint, and ghost like. Nose leather: Brownish-black. Paw Pad: Brownish-black with rosy undertones. Eye color: Green or gold.

BLUE SMOKE POINT: Ground color is pale cream to creamy blue, with a white undercoat, which alters the appearance of the point color. Point color will appear lighter, and this is not a fault. Where fur is long enough to part, a white undercoat will be seen. White roots are most apparent in a fully mature cat, but should be detectable on and between kittens’ toes. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Nose leather: Blue. Paw pads: Slate blue with rosy undertones. Eye color: Blue.

BLUE MINK SMOKE: Ground color is grayish light blue, with a white undercoat, which alters the appearance of the point color. Point color will appear lighter, and this is not a fault. Where fur is long enough to part, a white undercoat will be seen. White roots are most apparent in a fully mature cat, but should be detectable on and between kittens’ toes. Markings will be faint to ghost like. Nose leather: Blue. Paw pads: Slate blue with rosy undertones. Eye color: Aqua, varies from blue-green to turquoise.

BLUE SEPIA SMOKE: Ground color is grayish, smoky blue, with a white undercoat, which alters the appearance of the point color. Point color will appear lighter, and this is not a fault. Where fur is long enough to part, a white undercoat will be seen. White roots are most apparent on a fully mature cat, but should be detectable on, or between kittens’ toes. Markings will be faint, and ghost like. Nose leather: Blue. Paw Pad: Slate blue with rosy undertones. Eye color: Green or gold.

AOV COLORS

The following colors, come in the Rosetted/Spotted, and Marble Patterns:

CHOCOLATE TABBY: Ground color is a rich caramel, with underside and chest being a warm nougat color, lighter than ground color. Markings are chocolate to dark chocolate. Color around the eyes, temples, and muzzle is lighter than ground color. Skin pigment around eyes, nose, and lips is dark chocolate. Nose leather: Burnt rose. Paw pads: Chocolate, warm rose, or salmon pink. Eye color: Any color other than blue.

CINNAMON TABBY: Ground color is a warm honey, with underside and chest being lighter than ground color. Markings are a rich cinnamon brown. Color around eyes, temples, and muzzle is lighter than ground color. Skin pigment around eyes, nose, and lips is pinkish tan. Nose leather: Pinkish tan. Paw pads: Pinkish tan. Eye color: Any color other than blue.

LILAC TABBY: Ground color is pale, frosty, lavender-pink, with underside and chest being lighter than ground color. Markings are dark lavender. Color around eyes, temples, and muzzle are lighter and brighter than ground color. Skin pigment around eyes, nose, and lips is pinkish tan. Nose leather: Pink. Paw pads: Lavender pink. Eye color: Any color other than blue.

FAWN TABBY: Ground color is pale ivory, with underside and chest being lighter than ground color. Markings are pinkish beige to taupe. Color around eyes, temples, and muzzle is lighter than ground color. Skin pigment around eyes, nose, and lips is dusty rose. Nose leather: Dusty rose, with no blue or lavender tones. Paw pads: Dusty rose, with no blue or lavender tones. Eye color: Any color other than blue.

AOV COAT LENGTH

LONGHAIR BENGAL (CASHMERE): The Longhair Bengal can come in any described color/pattern combination. Coat is semi long haired, with a fine texture, and luxurious, not cottony or wooly. The coat should create an all over harmonious impression with the longer parts flowing gently into the shorter ones. Long hair sticking out on any part of the body is undesirable. Coat shall lay close to the body. Silky coat and satin glitter are desirable, but not required. Pattern shall be clearly visible, with a horizontal flow to its alignment. Hair around head and neck may be slightly longer. A slightly fuller coat on the back of neck is accepted, but not required. A corona of hair around the head, extremely thick, full coat on back of neck, or a ruff, is undesirable. Ears shall not be tufted, but slight ear tips are allowed. Strong ear tufts, spoiling the rounded impression of the ear are not desirable. Tail shall be slightly longer haired creating a plumed impression.

The following information is for reference purposes only and not an official part of the CFA Show Standard.

Bengal Color Class Numbers

Brown (Black) R/S & Marble Tabby92029203
Snow R/S & Marble Tabby
(Lynx Point R/S, Marble & Charcoal Tabby [includes all colors] Mink R/S, Marble & Charocal Tabby [includes all colors] Sepia R/S, Marble & Charcoal Tabby [includes all colors])
92609261
Other Bengal Colors & Patterns
(Remaining Charcoal R/S & Marble Tabby)
All other accepted Colors & Patterns not listed above.
92109211
AOV
(Melanistic & Smoke patterns, AOV colors and Longhair)
92989299

Bengal allowable outcross breeds: none.

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