COLOURS AND PATTERNS
The bengal cat has two possible patterns: spotted tabby (or just spotted) and marbled, which can appear in two basic colours: brown (also called black) and snow. This means four possible varieties of Bengal cats are possible: brown spotted, brown marble, snow spotted and snow marble.
Snows can really be of three different colours: the "seal lynx", with blue eyes (siamese gene (cs,cs)), which are born white; the "seal mink", with acqua (blue-green) eyes (siamese and burmese genes (cs, cb) or (cb, cs)); and the "seal sepia", with green or gold eye colour (burmese gene (cb, cb)). Both seal mink and seal sepia are born with visible markings.
The larger the contrast between the markings and the cats background, the higher regarded the appearance is. The less ticked the coat is, the better.
The markings should have an horizontal flow as opposed to a vertical one.
Marble and snow genes are both recessive (against spotted and brown). Other colours, not yet admitted for competitions, occasionally appear, such as blue tabby or solid black.
Silver is admitted as a new colour in some associations such as TICA, (but not in FIFe). The background is silvery white and the markings are dark grey-black (in the Black Silver Tabby.) The silver gene is dominant. A cat can be silver and also of any of the snow colours (Seal Silver Lynx, Seal Silver Mink, Seal Silver Sepia.)
Other interesting characteristics are:
"Glitter": A high golden shine on the edges of the hairs of the background colour. It is a recessive characteristic developed in the Bengal highly appreciated by the breeders.
"Rosettes": They are found in some Asian Leopard Cats and other species, appear when the markings are of two colours. Three colours may then be appreciated: the background colour, and two within the markings. They can be of different shapes, such as paw-print, arrow head, doughnuts or half- doughnuts. Rosettes are usually preferred to normal spots, but not necessarily.