A Blog for Bengal Breeders

Jon and I have learned a lot from studying small wildcats.  We use them - above and beyond any standard,  to guide our breeding.  By making collages of wildcats and comparing small forest dwelling wildcats, especially the southern species of Asian Leopard cats, with ground dwelling wildcats and then seeing where our Bengals fit in the spectrum between the small tree dwelling wildcats and the ground dwelling wildcats, we have been able to make better selections of kittens.  In order to help other Bengal breeders who may share a similar goal, we've created a Blog where we plan to post these collages and explain what we are learning from them.  This page will grow as we have the time to put on thoughts in an article with the pictures to match.  We hope you find it helpful.

Eyes shape

Bengal Eyes

Bengal eye shape is a current hot topic due to the Bengal going through the process of becoming a championship breed in CFA.  The submitted standard was basically an old TICA standard with a few changes, but one thing that was left unchanged was the convoluted eye description.  CFA judges, rightfully so, are quick to point this out. 

What is the problem with both the CFA and the TICA standard description of Bengal eyes?  They allow for three eye shapes - round, oval, and almond - none of which are an…

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Aby and alc

Bengal Ear Set and Size

When we hear from breeders about what they are looking for in a Bengal kitten or see their comments in public forums, it seems that most people feel ear size is a top priority.  Everyone is trying to reduce the ear size - or people are complimenting ear size, or they're hoping a kitten will grow into their ears.  We're sorry to burst the ear size bubble, but ear size really should be the least of your worries when dealing with the three major aspects of the ears, shape, set, and size.

It is nearly impossible…Read more
Alc vs ginger

Bengal Ear Cupping and Forward Tilt

The Leopard cat relies on its ears.  Yes, those large nocturnal eyes do catch movement in the dark shadows of the night, but, often, before the movement has been spotted, a sound has been captured directing the eyes to the source of the sound.  While your household cat never misses the opening of the refrigerator, the sound of the drawer that contains the can opener, or your "here, kitty, kitty" call at dinner time, the demand on the ears isn't quite the same as the sound of a mouse scurrying over a moss…Read more
Kitten body shape

Selecting for the Ideal Bengal Body Shape

Last week we wrote about the Bengal Body and explained what the ideal adult Bengal body should be, but as a breeder, how do you select a Bengal kitten with this great body shape?

One can start to see the general ideal shape of a Bengal body quite young.  Since we don't have a Leopard cat ourselves, finding pictures can be a challenge, but typically one can see the ideal body shape even in a less than ideal picture.  In the picture of two Leopard cat kittens, one can already see the arc in the back and the…Read more
Img 6536

Bengal Body Shape

When you look at this picture, what draws your eye?  The head shape, the open mouth, the strong mascara?  

For me, what makes this picture so stunning is how it shows off this cat's incredible body. 

The body of a Bengal cat is an amazingly complex structure that is difficult to produce with consistency. When all the elements come together correctly, the Bengal moves like a fox and looks like no other domestic breed of cat.

There is one telltale feature to indicate a Bengal has a good body that is easy for…Read more
Small cat vs large cats

Rule of Thirds - The Front Third

The first third of on the head of a small forest dwelling wildcat is the most important third of all.  The front third of the head distinguishes this group of cats from all other wildcats on the planet. 

On the left side of the collage above, there are three different species of small wildcats and on the right, the are three different species of larger cats.  The cats on the left all hunt small prey: mice, birds, lizards.  The cats on the right all hunt larger prey.  The lion on top loves zebra and buffalo…Read more
Rule of thirds

Rule of Thirds - The Middle Third

The middle third of the Rule of Thirds is likely the most difficult section to write about because in the middle third, it is more about what you do NOT want to appear there than what you do want to appear there.  Notice in the picture of the ALC, the eyes are in the first third and the ears are in the last third.  That is exactly as it should be, but it doesn't leave any obvious facial feature for the middle third.

The Bengal standard states the the head should be longer than it is wide.  I often see people…Read more
Rule of thirds

Rule of Thirds - The Back Skull

The Rule of Thirds was originally taught to me many years ago by Les Hall from Junglebook Bengals.  Les was known for breeding Bengal cats with wild essence.  Her cats looked like the small forest dwelling wildcats.

The Rule of Thirds helps one understand where the features of the face should belong when looking at the cat in profile.  In order to make it easier to visualize, I rotated this Asian Leopard cat's profile picture to make his back skull and his muzzle be straight up and down.  If you apply the…Read more

Tail Set

For cats who survive on their own hunting ability, the tail is a very important feature - especially for cats who primarily live in trees as they are jumping, climbing, and sometimes free falling in order to get where they need to go.  The tail must function as a counter balance in order to give the cat precision in its movement.  For domesticated cats who get their meals handed to them by their human servants each day, that tail is not quite so important.  Thus, domestication has moved the tail placement…Read more
Alc and swc

Bengal Nose Set

The Bengal Standard doesn't say anything about where the nose should be set, but a study of small forest dwelling wildcats leads to only one answer -   the nose should set low in between the whisker pads - not above them.  In the collage above, there is a Scottish Wildcat on the left and an Asian Leopard cat on the right.  Notice the whisker pads are below the nose of the Scottish Wildcat.  The nose sits on top of them.  In contrast, the nose of the Asian Leopard cat is set in between the whisker pads -…Read more
Quality Bengal Kittens is the combination of Solana Ranch and Wildernesswell Bengals.  We are TICA registered, Northern California Bengal breeders with a combined experience of over 20 years. Our passion is the Bengal cat.

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