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Bengal Standard

The goal of the Bengal breeding program is to create a domestic cat which has 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

Head:
Shape: Broad modified wedge with rounded contours. Longer than it is wide. Allowance to be made for jowls in adult males.

Size: Slightly small in proportion to body, but not to be taken to extreme.

Profile: Gently curving forehead to bridge. Bridge of nose extends above the eyes.

Nose: Has a very slight concave curve.

Muzzle: Full and broad, with large, prominent whisker pads and high, pronounced cheekbones.

Ears:
Size: Medium to small, allowance to be made for larger appearing ears on kittens up to 12 months, with wide base and rounded tips.

Placement: Set as much on side as top of head, following the contour of the face in the frontal view, and tipping forward in the profile view.

Furnishings: Light horizontal furnishings acceptable; but lynx tipping undesirable.

Eyes:
Shape: Oval, may be slightly almond shaped.

Size: Large, but not bugged. Placement: Set wide apart, back into face, and on slight bias toward base of ear. Color: Brown Tabby, Gold to Green; Seal Lynx Point Tabby, Blue; Seal Sepia Tabby, Gold to Green; Seal Mink Tabby, Aqua [blue-green].

Neck:
Size: Thick and muscular, large in proportion to head.

Length: Long, and in proportion to body.

Body:
Shape: Long and substantial, but not oriental or foreign.

Size: Medium to large. Boning: Robust, never delicate.

Musculature: Very muscular, especially in the males, one of the most distinguishing features. .

Legs:
Length: Medium, slightly longer in the back than in the front.

Boning: Large and substantial. Never delicate.

Musculature: Very muscular, like the body.

Feet:
Size: Large. Shape: Round.

Tail:
Shape: Thick, tapered at end with rounded tip.

Size: Medium large.

Length: Medium.

Coat:
Length: Short to medium. Allowance for slightly longer coat in kittens.

Texture: Thick, luxurious, and unusually soft to the touch. .

Glitter: Desirable. Do not penalize for non-glittered coat.

Patterns:
Spotted Pattern:Spots shall be random, or aligned horizontally. Rosettes are preferable to single spotting, but not required. Contrast with ground color should 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.

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 mackerel influence is also undesirable. Preference should be given to cats with three or more shades; i.e., ground color, markings, and dark outlining of those markings. Contrast must be extreme, with distinct shapes and sharp edges. Belly must be spotted.

Colors:
Spotted or Marbled Patterns
Brown Tabby Seal Lynx Point Seal Sepia Tabby Seal Mink Tabby

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 brown. Light spectacles encircling the eyes and a virtual white ground color on the whisker pads, chin, chest, belly and inner legs [in contrast to the ground color of the flank and back] is desirable. Rims of eyes, lips, and nose should be outlined with black, and center of nose should be brick red. Paw pads and tail tip must be black. Eye color: Gold to green.

Seal Lynx Point Tabby: 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, whisker pads, and chin. There should be little difference between color of body markings and point color. Paw pads and 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. Seal Sepia tabby pattern may be various shades of seal sepia to dark seal sepia. Seal mink tabby pattern may be various shades of seal mink to a dark seal mink. 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 body markings and point color. Paw pads must be dark brown with rosy undertones allowed. Tail tip must be dark seal brown. Seal Sepia Tabby, Eye color: Gold, to green. Seal Mink Tabby, Eye Color: aqua (blue green) to 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.

Registration Rule:
ARTICLE IV, Section 5-d: Bengal - Only Bengal cats that are the fifth generation are eligible for Registry. If the parents are not registered with ACFA a five generation pedigree and a registration slip from another association are required. In the five generation pedigree the Bengal cat may have ONLY ONE Asian leopard cat, appearing in the fifth generation. In the fourth generation there may be one unaccepted outcross with another domestic cat.

NOTE: Unregistered Bengals WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENTER A SHOW HALL.


PENALIZE: Spots on body running together vertically, forming a mackerel tabby pattern, circular bulls-eye pattern on marbleds, substantially darker point color [as compared to color of body markings] on Lynx Points, Seal Sepia or Seal Mink. Any distinct locket on the neck, chest, abdomen or any other area not provided for in the standard. Do not penalize for mousey undercoat.
WITHHOLD: Belly not spotted. Paw pads not consistent with their color group description, or paw pads not all of the same color.


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