The Bengal cat is an especially attractive animal because it combines all the characteristics of a domestic cat with stunning patterns and colors that resemble those of their wild ancestors. Bengals are lean and athletic breed that generally weigh 8 to 15 pounds. 

Their short, dense coat, which is boldly patterned in shades of brown, silver, and snow, is what make them so desirable. To the touch, their fur feels almost like rabbit hair since it is so soft and luxurious. The most common eye colors found in Bengal cats are green and golden.

Although Bengal cats weigh about the same as a typical house cat, they're usually larger in size because of their long, muscular bodies. 

What distinguishes Bengal cats from other felines is their remarkable coat. In fact, Bengals are the only breed that can have rosette markings, which are a direct descendent of wild Asian leopards. Coats with spots or marble patterns are equally unique and beautiful.


The wide range of colors, shades and unique patterns within the Bengal breed its what makes them so beautiful, interesting and one-of-a-kind. The basic breed-recognized colors are brown, silver, and snow, and each of these colors can be patterned with either marbling, spots, or a combination of both.


There are two main patterns in Bengal cats:

  • spotted
  • marbled
Photo credit: Laurent Jaccard –
Photo credit: Laurent Jaccard –


The most common and recognized pattern variation is a spotted Bengal. The spots are usually small to medium in size, scattered all over the cat's coat, with large, dark spots on a light background being the most highly prized variation.

Breeders have categorized the various colors and shapes of these spots into specific categories.

Single spotted - This spotted Bengal variety is the most simple, yet still very beautiful. The pattern is made up of tiny monochromatic spots that are dispersed on a contrasting base coat, similar to those of wild cat like Cheetahs or non-hybrid spotted cats (Ocicat or Egyptian Mau).

Rosetted Bengal - The most popular spotted coat for a Bengal cat is the "Rosetted Bengal". When the spots are two-toned contrasting shades that stand out from the background color, they are referred to as rosettes. Bengal is the only domestic cat with rosetted spots.

In the early 2000s, when certain Bengal breeders crossed shadow spots with other shadow spots, rosettes started to appear and quickly developed within the breed. 

Today, there are several types of rosettes in Bengals: arrowhead, paw-print, donut, cluster and clouded rosettes.

Photo credit: Laurent Jaccard –
Photo credit: Laurent Jaccard –


The marbled pattern is a series of swirls and stripes that intermingle in a flowing, random pattern made up of two or more color variations. This patterning can be found in a wide range of colors and shapes, which breeders often classify into four distinct groups: 

  • Horizontal flow
  • Reduced horizontal flow
  • Sheeted pattern
  • Chaos pattern


Now that we've exanimated the Bengal cat coat types, let's focus our attention to Bengal cat colors.

Bengal cats can be found in a range of colors, just like other cat breeds. There are about 6 Bengal cat colors, classified as standard and non-standard by The International Cat Association (TICA).

The standard Bengal colors are brown, snow and silver. Non-recognized colors are charcoal, blue and melanistic (solid black).


The brown Bengal comes in a variety of shades including golden, caramel, chocolate and reddish brown, with a light beige or cream as a preferred base color. The background coat should be nicely contrasted with dark chestnut or black patterns, which can be tricolor, usually a dark outline with graduated shades of brown inside. These markings can also be either solid rosettes or marbling.

Due to its striking resemblance to Leopard, this color variation is the most popular among Bengal owners. Brown Bengals typically have solid-black tail tips and green or golden eyes.


The Snow Bengal comes in three different variations, and contrary to their name, their base coat is not entirely white:

  • Seal Lynx Point - These are the lightest of the snow Bengals and they have brown, grey, or tan markings over a creamy-white base coat. These stunning cats are the only Bengals with ice-blue eyes, and they frequently resemble snow leopards.
  • Seal Mink - Mink Bengals typically have a lighter brown, cream, or ivory base coat with a marbling or spotted pattern in a darker brown or caramel color. They typically have blue-green or aqua eyes.
  • Seal Sepia - Sepia Bengals are the darkest of the snow varieties. They have a light chocolate or tan base coat with different shades of sepia brown spotted or marbled markings.


Silver (I, i or I,I inhibitor genes) is more a lack of color. This gene inhibits any warm colors and gives an almost white base coat contrasted with striking dark markings. The silver color was added to TICA championship in 2004 for the Bengal breed and today (2024) is recognized by many other cat associations.

Silver Bengals usually have green or golden eyes and a solid black-tipped tail.

Non-recognized Bengal Cat Colors

  • Charcoal
  • Blue
  • Melanistic

Despite not being recognized by Bengal competition standards, these uncommon colors are just as eye-catching and beautiful.

Photo credit: Laurent Jaccard –
Photo credit: Laurent Jaccard –

Additional Bengal Cat Characteristics


Bengal cats are very unique due to their glittery coats. "Glitter" is a translucent hollow hair shaft that catches the light and reflects it. While Bengals are the first domestic cat to have glitter, not all Bengals have it. 

Glitter can be easily seen by the shimmering, sparkling effect on your cat's coat, even in low lighting.


Bengal kittens frequently go through a special fuzzy stage of development when they are about three weeks old. Similar to what Asian Leopard kittens experience in the wild, this process results in the kitten's coat becoming fuzzy because long hairs hide the rosettes and make the coat appear greyish.

This particular stage of development is supposed to improve the kitten's camouflage during this sensitive time in its development. It normally goes away by the time the kittens are three to four months old but in some cases it can last up to 6 months of age.


The primordial pouch, which is present on both males and females of the breed, is another characteristic that derives from the Bengal's wild ancestry. It looks like a flap of loose skin hanging between the hind legs and is located on the cat's tummy. 

This pouch has a few biological uses despite frequently being mistaken for a cat's weight gain or lactation. It's believed that the fur's purpose is to store additional food, allow for easier movement due to its flexibility, and to protect the cat's internal organs.