One of the prettiest and most interesting Bengal cats is the Blue Bengal. Its background ranges from gray to blue and its markings are various shades of blue and that is included in information on the Blue Bengal cat: everything you need to know. It retains the exotic quality of its jungle cat influence, yet has the sophistication of something like a British shorthair.
The Blue Bengal is one of the eight shade varieties of the Bengal breed. The breed was first created in the 1950s and 1960s through both scientific and accidental breeding of an Asian leopard with common domestic shorthair cats.
What to Think About Before Getting a Blue Bengal Cat?
Purchasing a Blue Bengal cat is a big decision, as getting any pet is. However, the Bengal breed has some unique qualities that require potential cat owners to put some extra thought into their decision.
The Blue Bengal doesn’t have any unique personality quirks in comparison to the rest of the breed, so concentrate on the breed characteristics to see if the Bengal breed is a fit for you and your lifestyle.
Here are the key points you should think about.
It is a 16-year commitment.
Most Bengals, including the Blue Bengal, live for about 16 years. They are loyal to their families and could have a difficult time readjusting to a new family if they are re-homes. It’s important to understand this is a major commitment of money, time, and energy.
Bengals are high-energy cats.
They are particularly energetic as kittens but their energy doesn’t wear down much as they become adults. Remember, they have a jungle side so that wild hair can come out at any time.
If left untrained, they will jump on several things from countertops to entertainment centers. They will seek to hide in cabinets. closets and anywhere there is a small space. They can be destructive if they are bored.
Most people get Bengals because they are exotic and have such unusual beauty. However, many also find they can be a challenge, and, unfortunately, many end up in rescues. Be sure you are willing to put in the time for training before you get one.
Bengals require a lot of time and energy.
Bengal owners must be prepared to play with their cats for between one and two hours a day. They should also take extra time to leash and harness train them to walk them every day similar to a dog.
What Are the Advantages of Having a Bengal Cat?
Bengal cats make for great companions. The bond with people is more like dogs than cats. They are also highly intelligent and trainable, although it will take some time to work with them.
This type of breed is good with children, although they must be trained not to accidentally bite or scratch because some may not know their strength. They also make for good companions to other animals as long as they are socialized early.
The Bengal is loving but isn’t the type of cat that will sleep on your lap. They rule the kingdom and tend to act like it. Those who like the jungle vibe will love a Bengal.
How Did Bengal Cats Come to Be?
A Bengal cat has a jungle look, which gives a hint to its genetics. It is also larger than most cats with a length of up to 22 inches, not including its tail. That is the size of some dogs!
A Bengal cat can weigh as much as 17 pounds, depending on length but some of the smaller versions can weigh as little as 8 pounds as adults.
A true Bengal has an Asian leopard in its heritage, although the domesticated Bengals must be at least four generations away from the leopard to be recognized. The Asian leopard is smaller than what most think of like a leopard.
They were once very popular as exotic pets in America and were sold in numerous pet stores throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
The Bengal has two origin stories that have roots in both California and New Orleans. It’s hard to tell which came first as both stories collide in breeding the cats.
Jean Mill, a cat breeder in California, acquired a female Asian leopard. She didn’t intend to breed it but it matted with a black tomcat, producing spotted kittens. She kept a spotted female, bred it to produce both spotted and solid cats.
Meanwhile, scientists at Loyola University in New Orleans were trying to develop a cat breed that was also resistant to feline leukemia. The Asian leopard had resistance, so it made the perfect choice in the breeding program that included common domestic cats.
The scientists never developed a breed that was feline leukemia resistant but the cats born became the original Bengals. Mills adopted some females from the study and began a breeding program.
Bengals were fully recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1991 with other well-known cat organizations following suit.
How Do You Pick a Good Breeder?
You will be paying a lot of money for a true Bengal cat, so you must take your time to research and interview potential breeders. Here are some things you need to know:
- Reputable breeders will have a waiting list and will require a reservation with a deposit to get a kitten. Kittens are reserved before they are born.
- Some breeders specialize in certain types of Bengal cats, such as the Blue Bengal. Others offer a variety. Those who want a special type of Bengal should search for breeders who specialize in that type.
- Good breeders don’t advertise in places like Craigslist or online ads. They don’t need to advertise that way because there is always a waiting list.
- Expect to be screened as potential cat parents. Good breeders care about where their kittens go.
- Good breeders will show you pictures of the cat’s parents. Many have pairings posted online with pictures of the previous offspring so you can pick the exact pairing you want.
- Breeders will be TICA members and likely members of other cat associations as well. Find out if they are in good standing and if they have won any awards.
What Are The Color Differences?
The basic colors of Bengal cats are the same as many domestic cats. Bengals come in brown, white or cream, gray and black. However, the markings and variations within those colors are what make the Bengal breed interesting.
Bengal cats can have two types of markings. One is a spotted marking where the cat has darker spots rather than lines. The second is called a “marbled” marking where the cat has darker lines than spots.
The Blue Bengal is one of the rarest forms of Bengal. Some breeders are working with Blue versions to develop the type into a more recognizable version of the breed and even have it become a championship titled cat.
The ground color, or overall background color, of a Blue Bengal, is a gray or powder blue intermixed with cream tones. The markings can be either spotted or marbled and are either a metal gray or dark blue color
Since this cat is created using recessive genes, both of its parents must genetically carry the blue gene to create a Blue Bengal. That is one reason for its rarity.
Some things to look for in a Blue Bengal are some peachy undertones in the steel-blue ground color, blue markings that won’t turn black and have no black, and a dark gray tipped tail.
A Blue Bengal will have either hazel, green or gold eyes.
Its face won’t look that much different from an ordinary house cat. It will have while goggles on its eyes and some warm tones on its face, particularly nose and ears with its blue markings starting at the eyes and nose.
The Blue Bengal is part of the Charcoal or Silver Bengal category. Here is a look at the different characteristics.
The Silver Bengal has almost a white base color and has highly contrasted fur with distinctive dark markings. It has been part of the TICA championship breed since 2004.
The Silver Bengal does come in various shades and backgrounds. Backgrounds can also go as dark as a steel color. The silver can be in several color combinations including the Snow, the Charcoal, and the Blue.
Charcoal Bengals are darker than others with a smoky color as a background. There is little “tarnish” or red/brown coloring and it has an incredibly dark marbled or spotted pattern.
Charcoals also has darker masks on their face.
The Black Bengal is striking with its golden eyes. It resembles a mini black panther! The black patterns are on a black background, so they are subtle and called “ghost markings.” They are faint and often unnoticed to someone not looking for them, although you see them in good light.
The Snow Bengals are loved for their snow leopard look with blue or green eyes. They come in a range of colors from cream and ivory. They are albinos that stem from Siamese and Burmese cats. There are three types of Snows, including the Seal Lynx, the Seal Mink, and the Seal Sepia.
The Snow Seal Lynx is a light cream with dark to light markings.
The Snow Seal Mink can be ivory, cream, or light tan in a background color. It will have various shades of markings from light to dark but will have a dark brown tip tail.
A Snow Seal Sepia Bengal will also come with ivory, cream, or light tan background color. However, its markings will be different from the other Snows. They come in light or dark but fade more into the contrasting portions.
The Brown Bengal is the standard color of the breed, is also the most popular, and was the first that TICA recognized as a breed.
The ground color on a Brown Bengal can range from a bright orange-gold color to a grayish/pewter tone. Browns can include a variety of tones but TICA looks for orange-brown as the preferred background color.
Markings also have a range from reddish-brown to black. The jet-black portions of the markings are what make it look like it came from the jungle. Those who want pure forms of this breed will also want a white belly.
A Brown Bengal will have a black tip tail and a red nose.
What Color Eyes Do Bengals Have?
As you can see from the above descriptions, Bengal cats can have a variety of colors although some variations are more prone to certain eye colors than others. For instance, the Snow Seal Lynx is the only version of Bengal guaranteed to have blue eyes.
The Snow Seal Mink will have either aqua or blue-green eyes.
Other colors will have gold, green, hazel, or brown eyes, depending on the exact type. You can also get eye color variations like copper.
Bengal Cat Health
Bengals are generally healthy, like other cats, but could have some genetic problems. That is why a breeder needs to have genetic testing available. They can get the same diseases as other cats, like feline leukemia, so it’s important to keep up with vaccinations.
How Much Does a Blue Bengal Cost?
Bengal cats can cost between $1,400 and $3,000. Some of the rarer forms will cost more than that, especially if they are championship cats. While there isn’t a set price for a Blue Bengal, you can expect it to be on the higher side of price because of its rarity and exclusivity with some breeders.
Why Are Bengal Cats So Expensive?
Bengal cats are hybrid, designer cats that breeders must carefully produce to keep the breed up to standards. Most breeders do genetic testing before selecting pairs to breed and not every cat is allowed into the breeding program.
That makes this cat more expensive than other breeds.
Breeders in the U.S. and Canada
Several good Bengal catteries exist in North America, including the United States and Canada. Here is a list of five.
|Alexander Bengal Cats and Kittens||Charlotte, NC||All types, champions||No price listed|
|Registered Bengals||Kalama, WA||Brown||$3,200 to $3,400|
|Traipse Blue Bengals||Seattle, WA||Blue||No pricing listed.|
|Wild N Sweet Bengals||Quebec, Canada||Snow, Blue||$3,000 to $4,800|
|Bengal Laurentides||Quebec, Canada||Snow, Silvers, Brown Black||No price listed|
Alexander Bengal Cats and Kittens
Charlotte, North Carolina
This is a small hobby breeder who has just a few breedings yearly. They are TICA registered. Alexander’s Bengal Cats and Kittens produces kittens with champion lineages that are show quality as well as pedigreed. Their cats have been in the South East show circuit.
Each kitten is tested for PRA, PK Deficiency, feline leukemia, and HCM. They are also vet checked, vaccinated, and dewormed. They are raised with dogs and children. No prices are listed.
This cattery is certified by TICA and the Cat Fanciers of America. It is also in good standing with The International Bengal Cat Society. This cattery specializes in Brown rosetted Bengals that are purebred.
Their kittens are tested for feline leukemia, PK-Def and are negative for all known Bengal Genetic issues. They are guaranteed against HCM for two full years.
Prices are $3,200 for a male kitten and $3,400 for a female and those wanting one need to reserve them with $350 before they are born or before they are 4 to 5 weeks old. After that, the price can go up to $5,000 depending on markings and colors. Breeding rights will cost another $1,500.
Traipse Blue Bengals
Traipse Blue Bengals won the 2019 Cat Fanciers Association award for Cattery of Excellence. One of its blues was featured on the cover of Bengals Illustrated. The owner has championed more than 15 Bengal cats over the past three years that are or were in her breeding program.
This cattery also has Snow, Brown, Clouded, Charcoal, and Melanistic Bengals. No pricing is on the website.
Wild N Sweet Bengals
Magog, Quebec, Canada
That has international delivery. While they have all the cat colors, they specialize in Snow and Blue versions. This cattery is family-owned and has been breeding Bengal cats since 2010. All of their cats and kittens are registered purebreds with TICA.
They adopted two Bengal cats that were silver and black, so their preferences have been for the more unusual colors.
The cattery owners also contribute to Projet O’Poil, a non-profit that seeks to save and help cats in need and to reduce feline overpopulation.
Prices for their kittens run between $3,000 and $4,800 USD. There is a $500 deposit required to be on a waiting list.
This cattery is TICA, TBCS registered as well as a part of the Canadian Cat Association and the Bengal Cat Club.
Its cattery is licensed and the cats have a calm and healthy environment. They are socialized with other animals and children and are raised in a caring environment as they live with the family. Pregnant females have their own room while males live in an adapted space.
This cattery specializes in the Snows, Silvers, Browns, and Black. The cattery can have more possibilities depending on the parents’ genes and you can contact them for details.