Bengal Colors and Patterns

Bengals have three accepted divisions for Championship competition. These are Brown, Silver and the three Snow colors, (Seal Sepia, Seal Mink, and Seal Lynx Point). Within each color division are two accepted pattern types, Spotted and Marble.


Brown Spotted Bengals (leopard spotted) have dark spots on a lighter ground color ranging from a creamy gold to beige, tawny to rufoused (red tinged brown/orange). The spots or rosettes also range in color from browns to sorrel or mahogany into black. The Asian Leopard Cat (ALC), is considered a brown spotted tabby and ranges somewhat in color by species and geographic location.

Fire, our marble stud is intensely rufoused with deep mahogany outlined patterns.

Spots are different from rosettes, in that spots are a solid color whereas rosetting is multi-colored. Rosettes can be circular spots outlined in a darker color (doughnut rosettes), or a medium color surrounded by darker spots (pawprint rosettes), or even shaped like triangles with dark on the pointed side opening to a lighter color on the other side, (arrowhead shaped rosettes). Any of these shapes are desirable, providing that their spots/rosettes are laid out in a horizontally flowing or random pattern. These traits are desired because they are more like the Asian Leopard Cat, and less like the vertical striping or circular pattern from the domestic Tabby.
Even the space between the spots (acreage) is valued and contributes much to the drama of the bengal pattern!



The Silver Bengal is not actually a new colour that has been introduced; it is reached by working with the I Gene (Inhibitor Gene), which is a dominant gene that if present suppresses the yellow pigment production in full color cats.


Marble Pattern Bengals are one of SierraGold’s special interests--we LOVE them! We endeavor to produce incredible marbles! Their pattern should exhibit a strong horizontal flow, showing the influence of the wild Asian Leopard Cat's genepool--and as little influence from the domestic tabby as possible. There should be an overall random appearance of the markings, and little or no circular "bulls-eye" markings or vertical spots running together as in a domestic mackerel tabby pattern. Just like the spotted Bengals, the best marble Bengals have extreme contrast and definition in their markings with distinct shapes and sharp edges. Some marbles are even exhibiting a "chaining" effect, which adds an exciting chaotic appearance inside the patterns.

TICA Bengal standard gives preference to "Tri-Colored Marbles", i.e. having three or more shades--a background color, the marble markings, and another color outlining the markings.

This lovely queen, CH SierraGold Praline Delight, is our granddaughter of the spectacular SGC RW SierraGold Mtn. Tapestry (aka Mischief!).


Snow Bengal coloring is broken down further into actual colors recognized by the cat fancy: Seal Lynx Point, Seal Sepia and Seal Mink.

The first type of Snow Bengal developed is known as the Seal Lynxpoint Snow Bengal. This type of Snow Bengal has the bright blue eyes that comes from the colorpoint gene often found in the Siamese genepool.


All Snow Bengals are derivations of the same albino gene often found in Nature, which can show up in many wild species.

Snow Bengals of all three types can be either spotted or marble pattern!



TGC StonehengeTitanium of SierraGold , (above), is a nice example of a cool-colored brown spotted bengal with a whited belly and arrowhead shaped spots/rosettes...

While RW SGC GogeesCalypso of SierraGold , (below) is a very warm golden colored boy with nice black-outlined rosettes.

Silver Bengals have a silvery-white background with grey to inky black markings. Ideally there is no hint of brown. This is an exciting “new” color for breeders; it has been approved for Championship status beginning May 1, 2004. There are limited ‘Silver Bengal’ genetics to work with and still so much being perfected in the silvers! SierraGold even developed its own “line” of silvers to expand the gene pool in this color. We are now happy to present spotted/rosetted, glittered silvers as well as tri-color silver marble patterns! Below is our SierraGold Silver Dream.

According to Jean Mill, the first Marble Bengal appeared in 1987. This first marble kitten was a female whose coloring was very soft and rust colored, with a pattern described as looking like "drizzled caramel". At right is our Wildlove Creme Cache of SierraGold.


Our newly-retired stud, QGC RW Earth Wind and Fire of SierraGold, (pictured above), has given us such incredible kittens-------his babies have really brought our marble program to life!

This young stud is our own SGC SierraGold Phoenix Rising, he

is the chosen son of  "Fire", shown above.


In the late 1980’s, about a decade after the Seal Lynxpoint Snow was developed, Bengal breeders, Gene Johnson and Bob Dundon began introducing the Burmese domestic cat genepool; thus began the Seal Mink Snows and the Seal Sepia Snows. "Nola Kotton Pickin of Gogees" is recognized as the foundation sire for the seal mink and seal sepia snows.

A seal mink snow bengal is usually born light beige in color, with the markings developing to be a medium brown color. They may have green or an aqua blue eye color, but never bright blue, as in the Seal Lynx Point Snow. A Seal Sepia Snow bengal eye color is usually gold to green, and born medium to dark brown in color, with the markings becoming even darker as they develop.

These wonderful snow bengals were bred by other catteries; we thank them, Aluren Bengals, Tobysden Bengals, Affectionate Bengals, Wildvision Bengals and Chalkmountain Bengals for producing great examples of the breed!


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