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Bengal Breed Standard:  CFF

  Cat Fanciers Federation

Bengal Cat

The goal of the Bengal breeding program is to replicate, as nearly as possible, the appearance of cats found in the wild (Asian Leopard Cat, Snow Leopard, and the Marbled Cat), while maintaining 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 temperament of the Bengal must be unchallenging. Any sign of definite challenge shall disqualify. The 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. Temperament should be a consideration when judging lest dispositions tracing to the wild ancestor be perpetuated in breeding stock.

Head 15 The head shape should be a broad modified wedge with rounded contours and should be slightly longer than it is wide. It should be slightly small in proportion to the body, but not to be taken to the extreme. Allowance should be made for jowls in the adult males. The profile shows a gentle curve from the forehead to the bridge. The bridge of the nose extends above the eyes, and the nose has a very slight concave curve. The nose is large and wide with a slightly puffed nose leather. The muzzle is full and broad, with large prominent whisker pads and high, pronounced cheekbones.
Ears 10 The overall size of the ears should be medium. The ears should be short, with a wide base and rounded tips. They should be medium set (i.e., set as much on the side as on the top of the head). The ears should follow the contour of the face in the frontal view, and should point forward in the profile view. Light horizontal furnishings are acceptable, but lynx tipping is undesirable.
Eyes 5 Eyes may be oval or slightly almond-shaped. They should be large, but not bugged. They should be set wide apart, back into the face, and on a slight bias toward the ear. The eyes should be lined in black with light spectacles.
Neck 5 Neck should be thick and muscular. Neck should be long and in proportion to the body.
Body 10 The Bengal should be very muscular, especially in the males. This should be one of the most distinguishing features. The body should be large, long and substantial, but not oriental or foreign. The boning should be large and substantial, never delicate. Tail should be medium in length, and medium-large in size. It should be thick and tapered at the end with a rounded tip. Tail tip color to conform to requirements for coat color.
Legs 5 Legs should be very muscular, like the body. The legs should be medium in length, and slightly longer in the back than in the front. The boning should be large and substantial, never delicate.
Feet 5 Feet should be large and round. Paw pad color to conform to the requirements for coat color.
Coat 10 The coat should be short to medium in length, with allowance to be made for slightly longer coat in young kittens. The texture should be thick, luxurious, and unusually soft to the touch.
Color 10 Accepted colors: Brown spotted tabby, brown marble tabby, spotted sepia, sepia marble. See color and pattern descriptions below.



  • Belly not spotted. Blue or cream-colored paw pads betraying tortie inheritance. Aggressive behavior which threatens to harm. Tail tip red, cream, blue, lilac or white. Solid colors or torbie patterns



Brown Spotted Tabby:   All variations of the brown spotted tabby are allowed; however, a yellow, buff, tan, golden, or orange ground color is preferred. Spots may be black, brown, tan, or various shades of chocolate or cinnamon. A white or near-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. A mousy or grayish undercoat shall not be considered a fault. Rims of the eyes, lips, and nose should be outlined with black, and the center of the nose should be brick red. Paw pads may be dark brown to black. Tail tip must be black. Light thumb print on backs of ears desirable. Any eye color acceptable except blue.

Spotted Sepia:   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 giving the "wild" appearance. Allowance is to be made for slight shading on the face, legs, tail and ears. Eyes may be any color. Paw pads should be dark brown with rosy undertones allowed. Tail tip should be bitter chocolate to dark sable brown to black.

Marble:   Any of the above spotted colors are allowed with eye color, tail tip, and paw pad color all conforming with the ground color.


Brown Spotted Tabby:   Spots shall be large, random, or aligned horizontally when cat is stretched. Rosettes formed by a part circle of spots around distinctly redder center are preferable to single spotting, but not required. Contrast with the ground color should be extreme, giving distinct pattern an sharp edges. Strong, bold chin strap and mascara marking are desirable. Blotchy horizontal shoulder streaks are also desirable. Belly must be spotted.

Spotted Sepia:   Spots shall be random or aligned horizontally. Contrast with the ground color should be extreme, giving distinct pattern and sharp edges. Strong, bold chin strap and mascara markings are desirable. Blotchy horizontal shoulder streaks are also desirable. Belly must be spotted.

Marble:   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 marble, preferable 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. Rosettes, found on the hind quarter, formed by a part circle of spots around a distinct center are preferable. Strong, bold chin straps and mascara markings are desirable. Blotchy shoulder streaks are also desirable.

Rev May 1992  Bengal


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