Breeding for Better Bengals since 1987 

Producing Top Quality Kittens for sale
for Pets ... Breeding...and Show

Holly in the early days Holly Showing a Bengal in the 80's.
 Back then who knew this cat with intense color, black pattern and Whited Undersides would have been the most desirable  Bengal around... if he were around in the 2000's

Today in 2005 Bengal Breeders are working to bring out the whited undersides. 
Most Bengals today that have this dark rich rusty color don't have this intense Black pattern.  Show Cat  backgrounds are getting lighter gold so the pattern is more intense in contrast.
My goal, and that of other conscientious Bengal Breeders is Combining the old genetics and the new information in a continuing effort to achieve purrr-fection.

Examples of BENGAL CAT
COLORS and PATTERNS

Trendar's Trendar's Eureka rosetted male bengal cats Eurekabutterflies
1907

Trendar's rosetted male bengal cats High Interest
2006

Trendar's colors and patterns on rosetted male bengal cats DreamWeaver
2010


Conscientious Breeders are working to improve Bengal cats.
Genetics for HEALTH and TEMPERAMENT and BEAUTY are top goals.

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Colors and Patterns
Commonly Found on Bengal Cats

Gold gold and copper / brown spotted Copper
Bengal kittens go through a lot of changes in their coloration and pattern during the first 5 months of their life.
The pattern change is most evident on the Marbled Bengals. The same principals apply to spotted patterns. The dark pattern gets further apart as the kitten grows. It takes an experienced eye to guess how a pattern will develop. Often some of the dark hair will shed, showing a lighter background shade and warmer shade inside the rosettes.

marble 5 days old

marble 2 weeks old      marble, 8 weeks old
This is one of my kittens at 5 days old, 2 weeks old and 7 weeks old
Want to see more evidence of how the pattern well develop?

I do not advise shaving to see what will come... but
colors and patterns on bengal kittens
I was so surprised to see the horizontal flowing pattern and spots 
beneath the baby fuzz when this kitten was shaved for spay.


 

  Most Bengals go through a fuzzy camouflage stage.
This is likened to their wild ancestors.  This happens when Bengals are starting to explore their surroundings. The Muted color and pattern on the fuzzy coat acts to hide the kitten from potential predators. This is most evident on tail and body, where the hair is a bit longer.
To the dismay of breeders, this occurs at the time we want to show and sell the kittens :-)  The kittens look their worst between 7 and 12 weeks old. fuzzy kitten update 2012, better quality coats now have very little fuzzy baby hair.

 Looking at a new baby, there may be very little rich coloration visible.
The first place you will see a hint of future background color is between the eyes and ears, on the forehead. As the kitten ages this warm color shows on the short hair of the legs and down the spinal area. Eventually this warm background tone will spread to the rest of the body.

 

On TICA Registration Papers you will see few color descriptions This is because TICA is a genetic registry and the color name used is genetic or Genotype, not the shading you are seeing or Phenotype.

  • These are Most of the TICA color names used for Bengals;
  • Brown Spotted Tabby
  • Brown Marble Tabby
  • Seal Lynx Point Spotted Tabby
  • Seal Mink Spotted Tabby
  • Seal Sepia Spotted Tabby
  • Silver Spotted Tabby
  • Blue Spotted Tabby

Brown spotted and marbles colors
include many warm tones
F2 Starla
notice the white tummy, inside of  her legs and underside of her tail
Gold
Brown Spotted Tabby
Trendar F2 Starla, born 2001 

Brown to Black pattern on warm light gold tones.   Starla has a perfect Bengal head with wide puffy whisker pads, Large round eyes and Smaller rounded ears. Head is small in proportion to her body, with nearly straight profile and large rounded back-skull. Starla has lots of white accents on her face and chin, and the undersides of her legs and tummy.  She also has a wonderfully short plump tail, that is usually carried low. 

ChaltenLight Gold  Fabiolala Medium shade  Eureka Copper/sorrel

Camera settings and lighting make a BIG difference in the way a cat looks in photos,
especially when using a digital camera.

copper / brown marble Bright Copper
Brown Marble Tabby
Trendar Male Kitten, 3-2001

Marbled Bengals should have horizontal flowing pattern in irregular shapes. They should not have a Bulls Eye pattern. Notice the outlining around different shades of background color. The pattern continues to change for several months as the black hair sheds out into more intricate designs. He has the desired long lean body type with back legs slightly longer than front legs. 

charcoal / brown spotted Charcoal; Trendar's F2 Cinderella
This is a very cool colored Bengal,
Genetically it is a Brown Spotted,
this look is often referred to as Charcoal. If you push the hair back and look at the roots they will be more Rufus (red) than the outside coat, or they will be gray. If hair roots are 'white' it is not brown, it is a "genetically Silver" color.

People often mistake Charcoal color for Silver.

 
gray roots photo by Rebecca Palmer, Foundations Bengals

gray/brown hair roots means Genetic Brown 

 

white hair roots means Genetic Silver

white roots / silver genetics

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TICA and ACFA Registered Genetic Colors
for Lighter Shades of Bengals



A mixed litter of "Snow Leopard Colored Bengal Kittens"
Seal Lynx Point, Seal Mink and Seal Sepia

 

mink / sepia kittens

3 week old Mink / Sepia spotted and marble kittens.

mink marble

Trendar kitten born 1998
Many breeders think Mink and Sepia are so similar, they should be lumped together as one color.

The Lighter Warm Shades of Bengal. 
often referred to by the.... slang term ....
'Snow Leopard'

Seal Lynx Point:
Spotted or Marble Bengal

  • born pure white, spots come later
  • often get darker Points with age
  • blue eyes, only on Lynx Point
Seal Mink and Seal  Sepia:
Spotted or Marble Bengal
  • born off white with brown markings
  • Spots get darker with age
  • Mink, med brown pattern with
  • adult eye color aqua or green.
  • Sepia, darker brown pattern with
  • adult eye color yellow to gold.
  • Eye color on Mink and Sepia can be reversed.

Snow gene is recessive to Brown;
Marble genes is recessive to spotted.
Both parents must be, or must carry Snow and / or Marble to produce them.

for more detailed snow color info please visit
http://www.snowbengalkittensforsale.com/

Bengals in the above brown and snow colors can be crossed
producing nicely colored kittens in both colors.

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Rosettes
make the Bengals Pattern different

from all other spotted domestic cat patterns

Asian Leopard Cat

This is a Rosetted Asian Leopard Cat
  1. Rosettes are not round spots
  2. Rosettes have many shapes and sizes
  3. Rosettes must have more than one color or shade of color different from the background color and the spot color

Often different types of rosettes are found on the same cat.

   rosettes    sample of a rosette     sample of rosettes   sample of rosettes
 Paw Print Rosettes, more than one dark spot with brighter richer color in between
rosettes    sample of rosettes   rosettes
rosettes on Trendar 2006 cats 
 Champion High Interest
Champion Securities  Baby from Champion Desiree
Arrowhead or Shaded rosettes, a single spot with different color shade Most rosetted cats have more than one type and size of rosette

Above patterns are cut from
cats produced or owned by Holly Borchard
 Look for more exciting patterns to come!

Development of Rosettes

Judging how a pattern will develop can be extremely difficult for a novice.

Coloration does intensify while a Bengal Kitten grows and develops.


about 2 weeks old


about 5 weeks old    "showing minimal baby fuzz"


about 9 weeks old


about 3 months old... this is a male kitten from Amulet and Comstock

 

in this shaved area you can see the difference in skin pigmentation 
that leads to the black outlining with redder centers in the rosettes

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Other Colors

found on Bengals

black or melanistic white locket on back, 2001

Black; Melanistic
Black spots on a black background like on the full size wild leopard, Black Panther.  This Black coloring is called Melanistic, and is found in all species of cat, wild and domestic. 
Pattern is evident only in bright, direct sunlight. The different texture of pattern and background hair is what makes pattern visible, the textures reflect light differently, producing More or Less shine.

Locket 
These are examples of lockets, or a white spot.
A locket is an undesirable color gene. It can be found anywhere on the body, most often on Throat, Groin or Arm pits.
    The lower photo shows a locket on the back of a kitten, this is not a bald patch and kitten was never injured.

More n Lockets Below....

silver smoke Silver Smoke,
This is the Melanistic form of Silver, called Silver Smoke.
This Bengal has a white undercoat with black spots, and black Smoke Screen covering the body.
The cat's pattern is more evident on Smoke than on Melanistic. To many, it is difficult to tell a cool charcoal brown spotted from Silver Smoke. The truth lies in the genetics, and in the color of the undercoat.

BLUE color kitten Blue

no matter how dark, this pattern will not look black, they are Blue. Usually Blue has a peachy color on background or face. This peachy is the brown gene showing through. Blue is a dilute color and it is recessive. Both Parents must carry or be blue to produce blue kittens.

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SILVER BENGALS
Bred and / or owned by Holly Borchard
"SPOTLITE Bengal Cattery"

silver bengal

Silver Bengals are becoming more widely accepted in 2000 and 2001. Many are being shown. They have not yet achieved Championship status.

This is "Spotlite" the First Silver that I produced. Spotlite is a cross between Euptilura ALC and Silver Egyptian Mau. She is an F1, but has the purr-sonality of an SBT.  Spotlite never made kittens but she is my lifelong friend.

She gave me the Cattery name for my Silver Bengals.

Some breeders are slow to accept Silver because it may be difficult to identify.
As the above examples of charcoal, smoke and melanistic show.

Below are photos of Spotlite's Izzy Silver.
Until he was about 4 months old we kept asking...
Is He Silver or Is He brown? what IZZY ?? It was well worth the wait to see!
Usually they do not change this drastically, but still can create confusion.

silver bengal  silver bengal

Below are photos of some of the Silvers I have worked with.

F1; A1T Spotlite Silver Sabbath
F2; B2P White Lightning of Spotlite
F3; Spotlite Gracilyn Jayla
sbt; Exotica Charisma of Trendar

      silver bengal silver bengal silver bengal  

 

 
A bit about Color Genetics
by Cathy Potter
January 2011


When we DNA our cats UC Davis gives us a pair of letter on 4 different loci.

You get a pair of A's, B's , C's, and D's
A- is agouti it means you will have a pattern that you can see where "a" is
non-agouti so the background is the same color as the markings making the
cat appear solid. Cats are not really solid but a black cat with black spots or stripes looks that way. So if your DNA comes back AA your cat doesn't carry non-agouti (melanistic) if it is Aa it carries and aa means it is a non-agouti/ melanistic.

B- stands for black which is genetically what our bengal that are brown are.
If you get a BB your cat is a black (this is why TICA papers say brown (black) when you register a brown. Bb means that they carry chocolate (b) and if they cat carries cinnamon it is written (b1) I have finally found a cat that is a true cinnamon.

C- is the letter for a cat that doesn't carry snow. So a CC means your cat will not produce snow. Cc means it carries. Since there are two kinds of snow the lynx (from the Siamese) and the sepia (from the Burmese) they are separated this way. Lynx=cs and Sepia=cb so a cat DNA that comes back as Ccs is a lynx carrier and a Ccb is a sepia carrier. A cscs is a lynx and a cbcb is a sepia and the mink is a combination of the two so cscb.

D-means full color so if your cat is DD it has full pigment. Dd means the cat carries dilute (or blue) and a dd means the cat is a blue.

Words like melanistic and blue are not actually genetic terms, we should be saying non-agouti and dilute instead of melanistic and blue.
This becomes more important in a situation like this.
Let say you send in DNA on your cat that appears to be a snow with blue
eyes. If the results are Aa BB cscs dd it is actually a lynx blue that carries for melanistic. Since the cat will not appear blue in color it is less confusing to call it a dilute lynx that carries non-agouti.

The only time a cat actually appears blue when it carries the dd genes is when it is not a snow or a melanistic. I believe a blue melanistic looks like a solid colored blue/grey cat. When you have a cat that should have been born brown but carries the two dd genes the brown is diluted to blue.
So, our blues are really just brown cats. If you ever see a really nice looking blue, always remember you can use it in any brown program and it will give you beautiful brown kittens if the mate doesn't carry for blue too. The best blues come from browns with dark markings. Sorrel colored cats that produce blues are usually blah since the contrast isn't there.
 

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Lockets
A locket is a cosmetic fault that is still very misunderstood.
*There are many CH and even SGCH cats with lockets, and other faults.
*A locket does not hurt the health or function of a cat, it is just an     undesirable hair color.
* It can appear anywhere on the body, but is most commonly found on the neck, therefore called a locket.
* Lockets are also very common in the arm pits and groin area.
* A locket can be 1 or 2 hairs or a Very large patch. It can be round or an irregular shape. 
* A locket can be evident at birth or develop at ages up to 8 months old.

In my quest to learn more I clipped with scissors then shaved a locket that appeared in a whited area of a neck.
* Whited is the desirable color of the undersides, belly and inside of legs of wild cats and is being developed in some Bengals.
* Whited and White are genetic terms for hair color. Whited is very light but not completely devoid of color.
* I feel the Inhibitor gene may come into play here since the locket hair root is devoid of color, like on a silver Bengal.

Below is what I learned when I 

* clipped a locket that I found inside a whited area.
* clipped and shaved a locket found on the colored area.
*  clipped the lighter chin of a cat with no locket. the third cat has very light hair roots. 

3 cats do not constitute a scientific finding. This showed me that a locket is devoid of color to the skin. When in doubt, clip the hair. If anyone else wants to try it, I would like to know your findings....

I selected this third cat for my breeding program because I thought she would produce kittens for me with whited undersides. Her Father is whited. Her hair has time to grow back before she is shown.

 

 

The dotted lines show Whited hair, Colored hair and White / Locket hair.
The base of the hair, approximately 1/4 inch from the skin is where I saw the big difference!
The nearly unseen locket popped out like a flashing beacon when clipped!

I wanted to see if the skin was a different color, so I shaved the hair.
Disposable razor is not recommended for this job. Luckily my cats were cooperative. :-)

the skin can be the same color under locket and colored hair.

 

Sample Cat #2 with an irregular shaped Locket in Colored area of groin.

   
This  locket area is clipped then the top part was shaved to show the skin better.
Again locket roots are white, colored roots are darker.

 Sample Cat #3, no locket
This kitten has no locket. 

Her root hair is lighter in color than above cats, but still has color.  I clipped a large area to show the roots of whited area, background color and  pattern areas.

The red is razor burn...ooops.

A locket is of absolutely no concern to a pet owner.

The importance of  locket in a breeding cat should be taken into consideration After selecting for....

** structure faults that cause problems such as loose knees, flat chest, unsound mouth  etc.

** genetic health problems such as Cataracts, heart, lung and immune problems.  

Each person must decide where they draw the line on selecting a cat for breeding ? 

 There is no PERFECT BENGAL ..........Yet  :- )

 

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Frosting

frosted kittens

Silver and Brown Spotted Kittens born with " Frosting".
Mother and Kittens; Normal and Healthy in every other way.

     kitten kitten kitten

Frosted baby hair sheds gradually showing intense
" True Colors " underneath. This is Very Rare and cause is unknown.
I have seen it twice in 15 years of breeding Bengals.

below at a couple days old..... then about a month and 7 weeks
 
then 7 weeks old
 

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Normally kittens are born with eyes sealed closed. At 7 to 10 days old the eyes start to open. At this time the eyes will be nearly black, gradually become a light blue. Around 8 to 10 weeks old you can see the adult color starting to develop.
Young kittens can not judge distance. This makes them vulnerable to falling off things. Their play should be closely supervised to avoid accidents that could cause serious problems.

for more on eye color see http://www.bengalspot.com/05evaluate.htm 

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If you have more questions about colors on Bengal Cats,
Please feel free to contact me.

Holly@BengalSpot.com

 

Lots of information about Bengals
Holly's online book.....
Read about Bengal Cats
as I share my 20 plus years
of knowledge and  experience Raising, Breeding, Showing and Selling Bengal Kittens.

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