TICA Bengal Standards
RECOGNIZED CATEGORIES/DIVISION/COLORS:
Traditional Category – Tabby Division: Brown Spotted Tabby
Brown Marbled Tabby
Sepia Category – Tabby Division: Seal Sepia Spotted Tabby
Seal Sepia Marbled Tabby
Mink Category – Tabby Division: Seal Mink Spotted Tabby
Seal Mink Marbled Tabby
Pointed Category – Tabby Division: Seal Lynx Point Spotted or Marbled

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:
The goal of the Bengal breeding program is to create a domestic cat which was the 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.

CONFORMATION:
The conformation gives the Bengal cat a basic “feral” appearance. It is medium to large, sleek, and very muscular with hind-quarters slightly higher than shoulders. The head is a broad modified wedge with rounded contours, longer than it is wide, with a large nose and prominent whisker pads. The ears are medium set, medium small, short with a wide base and rounded tips.

PATTERNS:
The Spotted Pattern: Spots shall be random or aligned horizontally. Rosettes formed by a part-circle of spots around a distinctly redder center are preferable to single spotting, but not required. Contrast with ground color must be extreme, giving distinct pattern and sharp edges. Strong, bold chin strap and mascara markings desirable. Blotchy horizontal shoulder streaks desirable. Belly must be spotted.

The Marbled Pattern: Markings, while derived from the classic tabby gene, shall be uniquely different with as little “bulls-eye” similarity as possible. Pattern shall, instead, be random giving the impression of marble, preferably with a horizontal flow when the cat is stretched. Vertical striped mackeral influence is also undesirable. Preference should be given to cats with three or more shades; i.e., ground color, markings, and dark outling of those markings. Contrast must be extreme, with distinct shapes and sharp edges. Belly must be spotted.

COLORS:
Brown Tabby: All variations are allowed; however a high degree of rufous yielding a yellow, buff, tan, golden, or orange ground color is preferred. Markings may be virtually black, brown, tan, or various shades of chocolate or cinnamon. Light spectacles encircling the eyes and a virtually 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. Rims of eyes, lips, and nose should be outlines with black, and center of nose should be brick red. Paw pads and tail tip must be black.

Seal Lynx Point: Ground color should be ivory to cream. Pattern can vary in color from dark seal brown, light brown, tan, or buff, with the light spectacles, whicker pads, and chin. There should be little difference betweeen color of body markings and point color. Tail tip must be dark seal brown. Eye color: blue.

Seal Sepia Tabby/Seal Mink Tabby: 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. There should be very little or no difference between the color of the body markings and the point color. Paw pads should be dark brown with rosy undertones allowed. Tail tip should be bitter chocolate (dark seal sepia/mink). Eyes may be gold, to green, to blue green.

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.



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