Bengal Breed Standard: ACFA |
Reproduced by kind permission of
American Cat Fanciers Association ©
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.
||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. The line is a very slight, to nearly straight concave
curve. Special Merit: Overall look gives a distinct head from the
||Chin: Strong chin aligns with tip of nose in
Muzzle: Full and broad, with large, prominent whisker pads and high,
||Nose: has a very slight concave curve. Nose
Leather: Large and wide; slightly puffed
||Size: Overall size medium. Height:
Medium to medium-short, allowance to be made for larger appearing ears on
kittens up to 12 months. Base: Wide in proportion to height. Tips:
Rounded desirable. Placement: Set as much on side as top of head,
following the contour of the face in the frontal view, and tipping forward in
the profile view. Furnishings: Light horizontal furnishings acceptable;
but lynx tipping undesirable.
||Shape: Oval, almost round. Size:
Large, but not bugged. Placement: Set wide apart, back into face, and on
slight bias toward base of ear. Color: Eye color independent of coat
color except in the lynx points. Special Merit: Richness and depth of
||Size: Thick and muscular, large in
proportion to head. Length: Long, and in proportion to body.
||Long and substantial, but not oriental or foreign.
||Shape: Thick, with rounded tip highly
desired. Size: Medium large. Length: Medium.
||Robust, never delicate.
||Very muscular, especially in the males, one of the
most distinguishing features. Allowance to be made for the generally slighter
musculature of the females.
||Length: Medium, slightly longer in the back
than in the front. Boning: Large and substantial. Never delicate.
Musculature: Very muscular, like the body.
Feet Size: Large. Shape: Round. Knuckles: prominent. Boning: Robust,
||Length: Short to medium. Allowance for
slightly longer coat in kittens. Texture: Thick, luxurious, and unusually
soft to the touch. Close lying. Glitter: Comes from a domestic outcross
into the first Bengal cats. It is a simple recessive giving a metallic look to
the hair and a softer texture. While unique to the Bengal cat it is not required
and should not be a considering factor.
||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
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
||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 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.
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
||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.
||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