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Bengal Breed Standard:  ACF
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Copyright The Australian Cat Federation (Inc.)
HEAD (10 Points)
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.
 
EARS (10 Points)
Size  
Placement  
Furnishings  
 
EYES (5 Points)
Shape    
COLOR (10 Points)
    Spotted or Marbled Patterns
Brown Tabby                   Seal Lynx Point Tabby                  Seal Sepia Tabby                        Seal Mink Tabby

Brown Tabby: All variations are allowed; however, a high degree of rufinism, yielding a yellow, buff, tan, golden, or orange ground color is preferred. Markings may be virtually black, brown, tan, or various shades of brown. Light spectacles encircling the eyes and a virtual white ground color on the whisker pads, chin, chest, belly and inner legs [in contrast to the ground color of the flank and back] is desirable. *Rims of eyes, lips, and nose should be outlined with black, and center of nose should be brick red. Paw pads and tail tip must be black. Eye color: Gold to Green.

*DO NOT PENALIZE: Cats with a T shirt white, patterned with markings underside (showing it is not the white spotting factor) if the center of the nose is not brick red and if the paw pads are other than black.

Seal Lynx Point Tabby: Ground color should be ivory to cream with pattern clearly visible. 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. Paw pads and tail tip must be dark seal brown. Eye color: Blue with richness in color. Allowance should be made for incomplete markings in kittens.

Seal Mink Tabby: Ground color should be ivory, cream, or light tan with pattern clearly visible. Pattern may be various shades of seal mink to a dark seal mink. 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 must be dark brown with rosy undertones allowed. Tail tip must be dark seal brown. Eye color: Aqua [blue-green] to Green, the more richness and depth of color the better.

Seal Sepia Tabby: Ground color should be ivory, cream, or light tan with pattern clearly visible. Seal Sepia Tabby Pattern may be various shades of seal sepia to dark seal sepia. 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 must be dark brown with rosy undertones allowed. Tail tip must be dark seal brown. Eye color: Gold to Green, the more richness and depth of color the better.
PATTERN (15 Points)
    Spotted Pattern: Random, horizontal or diagonal. As little as possible like the mackerel or broken classic. Rosettes: Showing two distinct colors or shades are preferable to single spotting, but not required. Shape: Paw print, arrowhead, doughnut, semi circular, clustered, or odd shapes showing pattern distinct from domestic cats. Contrast with ground color should be extreme, giving distinct pattern and sharp edges. Strong, bold chin strap and mascara markings desirable. Necklaces can be broken or unbroken. Blotchy horizontal shoulder streaks desirable. Belly must be spotted. Virtually white underside and belly highly desired. Special Merit given to unique patterning that strikes the eye as being non-domestic.

Marbled Pattern: Markings, while derived from the classic tabby gene, and the horizontal pull of the non-domestic giving a uniquely different pattern with as little "bulls-eye" similarity as possible. Pattern shall, instead, be random giving the impression of marble or the impression of chaining with a horizontal flow when the cat is stretched. Vertical striped mackerel influence is also undesirable. There should be little verticality to the pattern. 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. Strong, bold chin strap and mascara markings desirable. Necklaces can be broken or unbroken. Belly must be patterned. Virtually white underside and belly highly desired. Special Merit given to unique patterning that strikes the eye as being non-domestic.

Special Note: As the interplay of genes, domestic with non-domestic and the interplay of pattern flow coming from the mackerel, classic and non-domestic unique patterns are being created that will not easily be defined as marble or spotted. As the breeders select for these unique characteristics, it is recognized that further clarification will be necessitated in the standard. Until that time, select for uniqueness and non-domestic attributes.
 
CONTRAST (10 Points)
    Contrast with ground color must be extreme, giving distinct pattern and sharp edges. The ground color has agouti banding, the uniformity of this banding gives clarity to the ground coloring. Pattern that lies deep on the hair shaft gives more contrast.
 

GENERAL:  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.

Temperament:
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 to harm. Bengals should be confident, alert, curious, and friendly cats.

PENALIZE:     Spots on body running together vertically, forming a mackerel tabby pattern, circular bulls-eye pattern on marbles, substantially darker point color [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 mousey undercoat.
WITHHOLD:       Belly not patterned. Paw pads not consistent with their color group description, or paw pads not all of the same color (Exception: Cats with a T shirt white, patterned with markings underside (showing it is not the white spotting factor) if the center of the nose is not brick red and if the paw pads are other than black.)

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