Bengal brown spotted
Millwood Epitimee
Breeder: Jean Mill, founder of the Bengal breed, Millwood cattery, California, USA
Bengal brown spotted
Millwood Bongoboy of Savannicas
Breeder: Jean Mill, Millwood cattery, California, USA
Owner: Monika Binder, Savannica's cattery, Remlingen, Germany

Colour and patterns of the Bengal

The Bengal comes in two patterns:

  • Spotted
    The spots are quite large, randomly spread over the body, the shoulders down to the legs. The spots shall not be arranged vertically, because they would remember to the mackerel pattern which is undesirable. If the spots form large "rosettes" as seen in the leopard cats, that is desired but not a must. The rosettes are then multi-coloured. The belly must be spotted. There shall be no unbroken stripes on the whole cat, even the necklaces are broken, and the rings on the lower legs are also broken.
  • Marbled
    This pattern derives from the classical tabby blotched pattern, but the pattern is arranged horizontally and shall be flowing, and it shall not remember to the "bull's eyes" of the blotched pattern. The markings are quite large, and mostly appear in three colour tones, the inside of the pattern (large rosettes) has a warmer tone than the lighter ground colour and is surrounded by a very intense darker colour. Also here the stripes on the legs must be broken as well as the necklaces.
Bengal brown marbled
Trollspotting Sixpence
Breeder: Annette Lerche Trolle, Trollspotting cattery, Denmark

The two above mentioned patterns appear in four different colour variants:

  • Brown, sometimes also called Tawny
    spotted and marbled
    The colour of the pattern is a very dark brown, placed on a golden yellow (very rich and warm, almost orange) ground colour.
  • Seal Lynx point
    spotted and marbled
    The colour of the pattern is a very dark brown (called seal) placed on an almost white ground colour. Note: the eye colour is blue (because the cat carries the two Siamese-genes).
    Those Bengals are also called Snow Bengals.
  • Seal Sepia
    spotted and marbled
    The colour of the pattern is the same, the ground colour also. The colour of the pattern is somewhat softer in tone, the ground colour gets more ivory. Note: the eye colour may be golden or green. The cat carries the two Burmese-genes.
    Those Bengals are also called Snow Bengals.
  • Seal Mink
    spotted and marbled
    The term "mink" derives from the Tonkinese. Those cats carry one Siamese-gene and one Burmese-gene. The eye colour is aqua to green. The colour of the pattern is somewhat softer, the ground colour more ivory.
    Those Bengals are also called Snow Bengals.
  • Please note, to see a difference between a Seal Sepia and a Seal Mink, when they are grown up, is almost impossible. This can only be decided through their pedigree.
Snow Bengal Lynx point
CH Lopend Vuur Sneeuwwitje
Breeder: Lopend Vuur cattery, Netherlands
Owner: Annette Lerche Trolle, Trollspotting cattery, Denmark

You will find very good articles about the Bengal, breeding, the colours and heredity at:



Standard ACFA
Standard CCA
Standard FIFe
Standard GCCF
(You must buy the booklet.)
Standard LOOF
Standard TICA
Standard WCF
[What is an Asian Leopard cat ?]
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Breed profile

The Bengal is one of the newer domestic breeds and is very well known for its striking pattern and its "wild look".

The head is rather small compared to the body with a longer almost straight profile extending to an elongated forehead. The nose is broad and straight, cheekbones are high and prominent. The eyes are large and oval. The ears are small and set at the outer corners of the head, broad at their base. And they show the typically "wild spot" (called ocelli) on their backside, thus when sleeping those ocelli look like eyes as if the cat was watching you. The whiskerpads are large and pronounced.

The body is rather long, quite heavy and extremely well muscled, shoulders are pronounced, strong muscled hindquarters. Thus the body shall resemble the wild cat with a "rolling" movement. The legs are strong muscled, medium high with large paws.
The tail is medium long and thick, and mostly carried low to emphasize the long body.

The most striking part of the Bengal is its coat and pattern.
The coat is very soft and short, and shows a "glitter", as if pure gold had been spread over the coat. The pattern shows an extreme contrast to the ground colour. As mostly tabby domestic cats have ticking, the Bengal has no ticking, thus the contrast in the pattern gets so extreme. The facial markings are extreme showing all characteristics known from the wild cat. The pattern is multi-coloured, i.e. shows different colour tones. The throat and the belly shall be almost white, like in the wild leopard cats.



The breed originates from crossing the Asian Leopard cat (Felis bengalensis) with a tabby domestic cat. The founder of the breed, Mrs. Jean Mill (Millwood cattery) started in the early 1980th. In the early state of the breeding program also Egyptian Maus and Burmese were crossed into the new breed. But recently breeders went back to use the Asian Leopard cat for outcrosses and had stopped using Maus or Burmese, because the hybrids resulting from those outcrosses did not resemble the desired wild look, and contrast and colour had diminished. The new breed has been recognized first by TICA in 1986. The breed has become very popular. One of the most recent recognitions of the breed was through FIFe in 1999.

Please note:
If you want to have a Bengal as pet, then you shall not get a F-1, F-2 or F-3 generation.
F ... means Filial generation
The F-1 up to the F-3 generation are considered as foundation cats, and are only for experienced breeders, not for the usual pet owner.
Starting with F-4 or later the Bengal is the same lovely pet as any other domestic cat.



Bengals are active and very affectionate to their owners. Bengals can jump very high, therefore Bengals should have plenty of opportunities to run and climb. Water is specially attractive for them. The cats are quite talkative cats, but they usually do not have a very loud voice.
Bengals are curious about everything and want to know everything what you are doing at any time.
They need company very much, one Bengal is only half a Bengal. It easy to keep them together with other animals, because their character is not dominant and they adapt remarkably quickly.
Bengals can be busy playing hours for hours.



Bengals have an easy going coat, no knots or greasy lumps at all. Brushing them from time to time will keep their coat's lustrous shine.


Eurocatfancy 2005-2012