TheCatSite.com › Forums › Cat Breeds, Breeding and Showing › Showing and Ethical Breeding › Question about Bengal coloring/breeding...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Question about Bengal coloring/breeding...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am not a breeder, in fact have been resucing for several years. But the Bengals are so very amazing. I have begun to tease myself with the idea of "someday" breeding Bengals. So this is my initial question...

How do you get the coloring?!? I realize the wonderful spots come from the wild Bengal, but I am guessing most "casual" Bengal breeders are not breeding from the wild cats...but are the initial wild cats bred to moggies or purebreds? Because I look at my orange Garfield, and think his orange beneath a Bengal stripe or spot, would be a fabulous kitty!

If you are breeding for several generations, do you experiment to get the gray kitties, or do you know based on the color of the parents? Are Bengals bred to an orange kitty (like Gar) to bring out the orange color, or a tabby like Festus, to keep the brown stripes going? Or are moggies totally out of the picture?

Like I said, this is very early, and I'm not sure I have the dedication to be a breeder...but I do consider it. If I did it, it would be what I consider a casual breeder. I would want good bloodlines, but would only have a few litters then retire. But for now, I'm mainly interested in color. If it goes any further, I'll have to learn a LOT more about choosing good stock, etc.

Thanks in advance for the info!
post #2 of 23
the glitter in the coat come s from the asian leopard cat if I got that strait( hence the way I figured Zoey is a bengal cross she has the glitter )

the snows come from outcrossing to siamese and mau I think.,..


abbys siamese and maus were used as the outcross to help with color and pattern ... a moggie wouldnt work since you cant tell its gene pool and could get a white background with orange spots..

If I understood orange is being worked on in the Toyger lines.. usually bengal crossed with I aint sure..

ps I aint a breeder either but the ones here have taught me a lot
post #3 of 23
I believe that the base color also has to do with the sub species of ALC used in the initial breeding. Some ALC have a more gray base color and some more orange coloring.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Very interesting. I like the genetic piece of animal breeding. And I love the look of the "toygers", too, but not the fact that many of them look like my Festus...which to me is a common moggie barn cat. I wouldn't want to breed something that is already over-supplied! LOL! Although she is a great cat...the only kittens she will ever have are the adopted fosters!
post #5 of 23
Good question. The orangy color you are referring to is termed "highly rufoused." Its not really orange but sort of seems that way as the contrast is pretty high. A lot of it has to do with selective breeding. I'm breeding my highly rufoused girl with a stud that has no rufousing and is very dark in color. The kittens could have any degree thereof. Originally a barn cat with broken stripes was used (you know like a spotted stripe) to breed with the ALC. Nowadays no outcrosses are allowed as there are plenty of bengals to choose from. There is still a lot of breeding from ALC's to bring in new lines though (I'm working with the Taro and Leopole lines).

What makes bengals different from the barn cat is the desire for the spots to be in a horizontal flow instead of teh traditional vertical. When a marble bengal is produced the best ones have horizontal stipes and no bulls-eye in the pattern as you see with a classic tabby.

Purebreed outcrosses were used to achieve snow and silver coloring, as well as the marble pattern. These included Egyptian Mau and American Shorthair. I think snow was recessive in these lines? I'm not sure on that yet.

You can breed pure bengal to bengal and still end up with a kitten that shows a recessive trait not accepted to standard. These traits were passed down from the original moggies used in teh program who essentially carry for everything . You can get a long-haired bengal, melanistic (black - later used in the Pantherette program), blue, red, and others. If one of these traits occur they are usually petted out at a lower price, but they are still fabulous in their own way, just not to standard. Even the best breeders could end up with one of these traits.

I can't remember where glitter came from but I"m pretty sure its not the ALC. I think it was a mutation or a trait introduced from an outcross. You usually see glitter in high-rufoused cats. It is a welcome addition to the bengal lines.
And most SBT bengals will have glitter. The glittered pelt also makes them feel mink soft!

The wheat coloring is becomeing a lot more popular and has come around using very selective breeding. It is a very sharp contrast with an almost golden or wheat colored undercoat with bold colored rosettes.

Then there are different kinds of rosettes, open, donut, paw-print, falling-out, all kinds. Again this is selective breeding. Some bengals have nicer patterns than their ALC counterparts. Usually ALC's are a bit duller in color, with a ticked coat, and small densely packed rosettes, so early generation bengals look pretty similar. If you look at teh picture of my girls rosettes (click link in siggy, I juse put up new pics under queens page), they are considered very early generation, small and dense. They don't look like modern day huge rosettes you see. However, she has a lot ot offer to a breeding program as do the EG programs that are still in development.

Also the white tummy expression is hard to maintain in a breeding program. It usually goes away by F4 or earlier. Wheat bengals usually have a white belly but its not quite the same as the true white from the ALC. Its a trait that seems difficult to hang on to and even if the kitten has the white tummy expression its usually gone by the time they are adults. My girl has kept hers but I'm doubting it will be passed to the kittens (I can hope!)
post #6 of 23
The white belly is recessive, which means that you need parents that either both have a white belly, or carry the gene for it. I'm assuming the white belly is similar to that of mice and rats (but I may be wrong), which is recessive in those species (I work in genetics).
post #7 of 23
Good question, but there is so much involved in genetics that it would be impossible to completely answer you here. Basically, if you breed a moggie to a bengal you will get anything and everything. You don't know what recessives the moggie carries so you can get an indefinate number of combinations. You may not get a cat that looks like a bengal at all! Maybe never! If you do, it will be a very low quality cat. It will not have the contrast, rosetting, color and most importantly TYPE that bengal breeders are spending so much time to achieve. A cat is NOTHING without TYPE!
The ALC was bred to a moggie at the very beginning of the bengal breed development by accident. Then Egyption Mau's and other spotted breeds were used. Now bengals are bred back with ALC's to get early generation bengals, however this is not nessacery. We no longer need to breed early generation bengals because the bengal breed is an established breed. Therefore, no wild cat needs to be used in bengal breeding programs to get a high quality, typy bengal. We are now, by selective breeding, trying to rid the bengal lines of any domestic traits (ticking that came from the abysinnian and mau, ect.) If you breed anything but a bengal to a bengal you are helping the bengal breed to take a huge step backwards in it's development. It's easy to get recessives in a bloodlines and recessives are forever. It takes a VERY looooong time to selectively breed undesirable traits out though. If you take 2 steps forward you will be taking 10 steps backward!
To answer a few other questions brought up in this thread- Glitter did NOT come from the ALC, it came from a domestic. This is one domestic trait that bengal breeders wish to keep. Yes, snow is a recessive gene (another domestic trait bengal breeders wish to keep). Dominant genes are "wild" genes. They are what cats originally carried. Any gene that is not dominant is a mutation.
The whited belly /undersides/expression is not simply a recessive gene -it is a polygene meaning that it takes a combination of a number of genes to get the trait. That's why it's so hard to get the true whited. If it was simply a recessive gene we could just breed two carriers together and get the whited every time. But since we don't know the combination responsible for the whited, we don't know which cats to breed to get it. Sometimes a whited to a whited will make whited kittens, but not always. (when I say "whited" I mean a whited belly/expression / undersides)
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Oh, this is just fascinating! Honestly, it is what makes me consider breeding. That makes sense, that they no longer breed to moggies. And the orange never shows in moggie kittens, unless they are orange.

Two new questions...what is glitter? And what does ALC stand for? I'm guessing a cat registration.
post #9 of 23
glitter is something in the coat .. it kinda shimmers ... if Zoey would ever allow a pic to be taken I could show you.. I bet some of the breeders have lovely glitter coat picture s of there cats,,,

ALC asian leapord cat
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
glitter is something in the coat .. it kinda shimmers ... if Zoey would ever allow a pic to be taken I could show you.. I bet some of the breeders have lovely glitter coat picture s of there cats,,,

ALC asian leapord cat
These photos are of my queen "Ami" they were not touched up in any way.
It is the high shine that catches light like a prism. It looks like gold or crystal glitter sprinkled on the coat. Sometimes the glitter on my cats actually catch other colors like red, and blue! Just like a prism.


post #11 of 23
When Simba was a kitten, he had a whited tummy, but now it's kind of a light wheat colour.

Has anyone ever heard of Bengal's the colour of an orange tabby, like Morris the cat? I saw a breeder that had Orange spotted Bengal's, and they were papered. The were trying to convince me that they were higher quality Bengal's than Simba, who is the most common brown spotted Bengal. That Breeder was trying to tell me that the orange (Morris coloured) Bengal's were so rare, and so much more valuable than the common Bengal. Although I didn't buy for show, I still felt that they didn't really look like a Bengal, but more like a Moggie.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
When Simba was a kitten, he had a whited tummy, but now it's kind of a light wheat colour.

Has anyone ever heard of Bengal's the colour of an orange tabby, like Morris the cat? I saw a breeder that had Orange spotted Bengal's, and they were papered. The were trying to convince me that they were higher quality Bengal's than Simba, who is the most common brown spotted Bengal. That Breeder was trying to tell me that the orange (Morris coloured) Bemgal's were so rare, and so much more valuable than the common Bengal. Although I didn't buy for show, I still felt that they didn't really look like a Bengal, but more like a Moggie.
I have heard of them ... if it was an ethical breeder I would imagine they are aiming for a Toyger... for a bengal it is not good to be orange as the standards dictate otherwise....
post #13 of 23
I don't know if I have any good glitter pics but what an incredible trait it is! Good pics bengalbabe .

Heres the development path of a bengal from the beginning:
F1 = Asian Leopard Cat x SBT Bengal (early on outcrosses were used) 50% wild
F2 = F1 x SBT Bengal ~25% wild
F3 = F2 x SBT Bengal ~12.5% wild
F4 = F3 x SBT Bengal ~6.25% wild
F4 = SBT
Each generation thereafter are called SBT. It denotes a purebreed bengal that is considered domesticated where early generations (F1-F3) are considered hybrids. Most bengals nowadays are SBT. The breeder I work with has F1 to SBT. I'm starting with an F3 so her kittens will be first generation SBT or purebreed. Bengals are not allowed to show unless they are SBT as well. Those percentages are very rough as many factors come into play.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
When Simba was a kitten, he had a whited tummy, but now it's kind of a light wheat colour.

Has anyone ever heard of Bengal's the colour of an orange tabby, like Morris the cat? I saw a breeder that had Orange spotted Bengal's, and they were papered. The were trying to convince me that they were higher quality Bengal's than Simba, who is the most common brown spotted Bengal. That Breeder was trying to tell me that the orange (Morris coloured) Bengal's were so rare, and so much more valuable than the common Bengal. Although I didn't buy for show, I still felt that they didn't really look like a Bengal, but more like a Moggie.
This is not to standard. A red bengal could occur under the right circumstances (thus its true that its rare) but they should not be used in a breeding program. Now there are some colors that migth look reddish but are actually a rufoused brown. That is ok and very pretty. Those are not rare though but desired by certain breeding programs (everyone has their own goals).
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarityBengals
This is not to standard. A red bengal could occur under the right circumstances (thus its true that its rare) but they should not be used in a breeding program. Now there are some colors that migth look reddish but are actually a rufoused brown. That is ok and very pretty. Those are not rare though but desired by certain breeding programs (everyone has their own goals).
These kittens were definately not rufoused. They were the colour of Morris the cat. The breeder wanted $2000 for the kittens, because she kept trying to tell me they were so perfect, to standard. I had done quite a bit of research on Bengal's before I bought Simba, and nowhere did I see that colouring as being an accepted colour. I told her, they looked too much like Morris the cat, to pay a lot of money for a kitten. Although know Simba isn't perfect, he is wild looking, and he extremely glittered, and I know he's the most common colouring of a Bengal. In fact Simba has a lot of rufoused colouring.
post #16 of 23
Hope this doesn't sound silly but do Bengals have any distinctive behavior and/or body make-up...ex: love or water, outbursts, jumping ability, long body, large or small heads, anything along those lines?
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesali
Hope this doesn't sound silly but do Bengals have any distinctive behavior and/or body make-up...ex: love or water, outbursts, jumping ability, long body, large or small heads, anything along those lines?

Well, they are extremely active and playful. They are very fast, at least Simba is. He climbs and jumps a lot, and nothing is too high. You really can't put anything out of reach from a Bengal. I know Simba has a long slender, though muscular body. His fur or pelt feels differently than any other cat that I've known, same with Angel. It's soft like a mink coat. Simba doesn't care for water, except to play in the cats water dish, but Angel seems to be more interested in water. Simba likes to play fetch like a dog.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wow, that glitter is amazing! Interesting about the orange color like Garfield not being accepted...I guess if you could combine his orange with black spots or stripes everyone would be in love. But that just doesn't happen.

I have seen some reddish bengal pics, so that must be the rufoused color. I like that coloring, because it looks tigerish. But it is totally different than Garfield!
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
When Simba was a kitten, he had a whited tummy, but now it's kind of a light wheat colour.

Has anyone ever heard of Bengal's the colour of an orange tabby, like Morris the cat? I saw a breeder that had Orange spotted Bengal's, and they were papered. The were trying to convince me that they were higher quality Bengal's than Simba, who is the most common brown spotted Bengal. That Breeder was trying to tell me that the orange (Morris coloured) Bengal's were so rare, and so much more valuable than the common Bengal. Although I didn't buy for show, I still felt that they didn't really look like a Bengal, but more like a Moggie.
Almost all bengals have the whited tummy as kittens. It's the coloring over that breeders are trying to prevent by selective breeding. My boy Harley still has a very whited tummy/undersides at a year old. He came from a whited breeding program so im hoping that he will keep it. Chances are very good now that he's a year old and it hasn't faded to a cream/pale brown/wheat color.
There are quality bengals with the true orangy color but only the background color was orange, not the markings, they were the darker color and the cat still looked nothing like a "morris type" of cat. An orange background is accepted in the bengal standard but it must have a black tail tip and paw pads, in this case it would not be considered an orange it would be considered a brown.
Heres an example: (note: this picture is of a bengal from Wildfire bengals. I hope Wendy dosen't miond me posting this picture. if you do Wendy, please let me know and i'll remove it asap)

The bengal above is a high quality, and an accepted color for a bengal.
There is a tremendous amount of variation in the brown category, ranging from a cat with almost zero roufesing (charcoal - see Metallic Miss in my siggy below) to a very hot cat (sorral). Even toygers have the deep reddish orange brown color-not like an orange moggie which is more like a pale orange. Not true that any color would be more valuable then another. It is the type, clarity,contrast, and quality in whole of a bengal that would make it worth more or less then other bengals.
Consider that a charcoal colored brown bengal is not often seen in the SBT generation because the gene that makes a charcoal brown is a polygene (again a number of genes in combination). However, a charcoal brown bengal would not be worth any more or less then any other color bengal. It would depend on the overall appearance of the cat -type, clarity,contrast, quality- 9 times out of 10 if a breeder is advertising a 'rare' trait, the trait is not exactly that it is rare, it is not often seen because it dosen't fit the breed standard, therefore breeders try and eliminate that trait from their lines. So common sense would tell you that because most breeders don't want that trait it would not often be seen.
Just beware of any breeder touting a "rare" trait as more valuable so they can charge more for the animal. Look at the entire package, not just the one trait.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
I have heard of them ... if it was an ethical breeder I would imagine they are aiming for a Toyger... for a bengal it is not good to be orange as the standards dictate otherwise....
Not true. Orange would just be another variation of a brown. However, there are certain strandards that must fit. The cat must have a black tail tip and paw pads. See my post above for an example and a better explaination.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengalbabe
Not true. Orange would just be another variation of a brown. However, there are certain strandards that must fit. The cat must have a black tail tip and paw pads. See my post above for an example and a better explaination.
you definition cleared it up for me... I had the morris look in my head
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Bengalbabe, I would like to see what your Ami and your Harley Red would produce. The rosetted, reddish orange, with the white bellies and glitter is my guess.

How exciting to have so many choices, and so many beautiful cats. I do not envy the noise of queens in heat, and the smell of toms, though! LOL!

Thanks everyone for the great info. For now, I'll just keep dreaming and looking at the bengals here at TCS!
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Bengalbabe, I would like to see what your Ami and your Harley Red would produce. The rosetted, reddish orange, with the white bellies and glitter is my guess.

How exciting to have so many choices, and so many beautiful cats. I do not envy the noise of queens in heat, and the smell of toms, though! LOL!

Thanks everyone for the great info. For now, I'll just keep dreaming and looking at the bengals here at TCS!
Not exactly. They would probably produce some of those but it would also depend on the recessives they carry. For instance, Harley and my charcoal girl just produced a litter with a marble snow, a melenistic, and a reddish brown spotted one like Harley (but with awesome rosetting already).
As you can see from that, you can get a huge variety even when you breed two bengals together. I can't imagine what would happen if you breed a bengal and a moggie. There are 96 genetic combinations you can get with bengals alone!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Showing and Ethical Breeding
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Cat Breeds, Breeding and Showing › Showing and Ethical Breeding › Question about Bengal coloring/breeding...