Silver Bengals are one of the rare versions of this exotic and unique breed and are well-liked for their stark and unusual appearance of markings. Although they can be mixed with other Bengal colors, the Silver version can also be melanistic or solid silver. Here, you can learn about the Silver Bengal cat and everything you need to know about it.
Silver Bengals were created in the hybrid breed during the 1990s. They are the result of the cross of a Bengal with a cross of an American shorthair feline. While most people think of Silver as being a separate color, it is considered by professionals to be a lack of color. This is caused by an inhibitory gene.
Things to Consider Before Getting a Bengal Cat
Owning a Bengal cat isn’t for everyone. They are an interesting but somewhat complicated breed that needs attention and training. Here are some things to know about Bengal cats before you buy one.
Bengal cats do not like be left.
Some cat breeds are great for owners who work all day. Those types of cats are aloof and can entertain themselves throughout the day. Bengals are not one of those breeds. Bengal cats require companionship, either from humans or other animals.
This is a persistent breed.
A Bengal cat will let you know what it wants and when it wants it. They are the most communicative cat breed and are highly vocal. They are also persistent in their demands.
This type of cat will continue to bug you until it gets what it wants whether that is food, water, toys, or attention.
A Bengal cat loves routine.
Most animals like a set routine but the Bengal is driven by routine, in part, because of its jungle nature. Feedings, walks, playtime, and other set activities will need to happen around the same time daily.
They will hunt.
All cats hunt to some degree. It’s their nature. However, some are better hunters than others and some are driven to hunt more than others. The Bengal, because of its breeding, is driven to hunt.
You will not be able to “untrain” them to not hunt.
A Bengal can be considered aggressive
This is a bit of a misunderstanding about the Bengal but others may be intimidated by this cat by its looks, size, and manner.
Bengals are no more aggressive than any other cat in their nature. However, those who aren’t properly socialized tend to have more of a wild side in them. They are territorial so they will defend their area against what they perceive to be threats.
What You Need to Know About Bengal Breeders
Bengal breeders exist in both the United States and Canada, as well as globally. However, they aren’t as plentiful as other types of cattiers. After all, Bengal cats are one of the more rare breeds of cats around the world.
Breeders for Bengal cats have strict rules to follow to remain in good standing with important associations like The International Cat Association (TICA) and the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).
Here is a list of things to know and ask when researching and interviewing quality Bengal breeders:
- Good breeders will tell or show you the facilities. Catteries should be proper buildings with heating and cooling and allow cats and kittens to roam in non-caged areas most of the time.
- Some breeders specialize in particular versions of the Bengal breed, like Silver or Snow versions. Others will have a variety of colors and markings.
- Ask how queens and kittens are housed and their care after birth. Some breeders will put them in special areas or even in their own homes for extra security.
- A good breeder won’t release a kitten before 11 weeks, although most won’t release them when they are between 12 to 14 weeks old.
- Look to see if they remain in good standing with at least TIPA as well as other cat associations. Also, check to see if they have any champion cats in their program or if they have earned any awards.
- Be sure the cattery owner willing to answer any questions even after you pick up your kitten. As a new cat parent, you may have some as the kitten grows.
One word of caution is to be careful about scams. Some will try to sell what they call a Bengal kitten “cheap.” They are not pedigreed cats.
Also, most advise not to go with those who advertise in places like Craigslist or similar platforms. While good breeders have websites, quality breeders don’t advertise on social media platforms or advertising sites.
Reputable breeders don’t need to advertise. They have a waiting list for kittens that aren’t born yet.
Ask about what all comes with your payment. Reputable breeders include all vaccinations, spaying, neutering, deworming and some even include genetic tests. Some are microchipped. A kitten should come with a pedigree and a health guarantee.
The Genetics of Bengals
Bengals were created by men more than nature, although both science and nature had a hand in it. All Bengals come from the mix of a smaller wild cat, the Asian leopard, with a domesticated house cat.
However, cat associations will only recognize Bengals that are at least four generations away from their wild ancestor.
The scientific origins of the Bengal are easy to explain. Scientists in New Orleans at Loyola University were trying to develop a cat breed in the 1960s that was resistant to feline leukemia. Their efforts focused on the Asian leopard, known to be resistant. The scientists believed mixing it with a common housecat would create the breed they were seeking.
That didn’t work but the offspring, which had a mix of spots and lines, were adopted out and those cat owners decided to keep breeding the mix to establish a sure lineage.
Across the country, a cat breeder named Jean Mill in California obtained a female Asian leopard.
Although they are exotic animals that wouldn’t be available today, the Asian leopard was a popular breed sold in many pet stores in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Asian leopard is a lot smaller than the jungle leopard most recognize. They are a different species from a house cat but are still felines. Mill never thought her female would mate with a black tom that hung out with her because they are two different species.
The litter intrigued her so she took a spotted female from it and bred it. Mill then obtained some hybrid females from the Loyola University experiment to better the breed.
The length of a Bengal can be between 17 and 22 inches so they are bigger than the average house cat. They are muscular and can weigh up to 17 pounds. Some of the smaller ones weigh as little as eight pounds.
While a tiger can be found with the Bengal name, these cats aren’t related to tigers. The only wild cat they have in their lineage is the Asian leopard. The name comes from the scientific name of the species.
Bengal cats gained a temporary TICA recognition in the 1980s and became fully recognized in 1991.
The Color of Bengals
Bengals come in a variety of colors and shades with different types of markings. The differences come in the vibrance, the contrast, and the details. The standard colors are brown, gray, white, and black.
Within those categories, there are either different varieties and there are more choices within the varieties depending on shading, mixing, and markings. It really depends on the pairings of kings with queens
A potential Bengal owner needs to know some terms when it comes to appearance.
This is a name given to the spots where the marks aren’t perfectly circular. They start with one color on one end of the mark with another contrasting color outlining the other side of the mark.
Marbling is different from spots. It is where there are more lines than spots and some of the lines run together, like marble.
Patina is where your cat has black or dark-tipped ears and they fold naturally into the cat’s marking pattern. You will be able to see this blurring at the cat’s shoulders and down its back.
Ticking is where there is a lack of contrast in the fur, making the patterns look “blurry.” The fur looks kind of faded. Some types of Bengals have more contrast than others. Typically, higher contrast is what people want to see.
Another element to note for a Bengal’s appearance is glitter. Glitter refers to a sparkling effect stemming from the cat’s coat. It shimmers even in low lighting. Bengals were the first domestic cat to have this trait, but it isn’t on all Bengals.
Glittering can be on any coat color. Brown Bengals may have gold glitter while a Silver Bengal will have white or silver glitter.
The Silver Bengal
The Silver Bengal became a TICA championship breed in 2004 so it’s a good version to go with if you are looking for a champion, depending on its pedigree.
Silver Bengals are a cool color with little to no warm colors in the coat. There sometimes can be small bits of yellows or brown, especially around the face or legs but the best versions have little of that.
They have a light gray or almost white background color with distinctive gray and black markings that contrast.
This version of Bengal will always have a black-tipped tail and a red nose. It will have either gold or green eyes.
One of the newest and more interesting breeds of Silver Bengal is the melanistic version. Called the Smoke Bengal, this silver cat has a silver background with silver markings. It is one color with variations of silver within the markings.
The markings are visible but are faint. They can be seen in good light but aren’t highly visible. This is the silver version of the Black Bengal, which is black markings on a black background.
Other varieties like the Blue Bengal, the Charcoal, and even some Snow Bengal mixes can fall within the Silver category, depending on the parents.
The Blue Bengal is a powder blue or gray background color with some light cream mixed in. They can have spots, marbling, or even rosettes that are either dark blue or metal gray.
Charcoal Bengals have a smoky gray background that is a little darker in their markings. They have little to no red or brown colors.
The Black Bengal is black markings on a black background and its markings only show up in good light, hence the term “ghost markings.” These Bengals are one of the rarest.
Then there are the Snow Bengals. There are three variations of these and they are categorized according to their tones and contrast.
Those who like light cream backgrounds with light or dark markings would love the Snow Seal Lynx while the Snow Seal Mink can have a light tan, cream, or ivory ground color along with variations of markings going from light to dark. It will have a dark brown tipped tail.
The Snow Seal Sepia has a similar ground color to the Mink but its markings fade more into the contrasting portions and have a dark brown tipped tail.Most people see the Bengal as the Brown version, as that is the breed standard. Champions have an orange-brown background but the ground color can vary from a bright gold-orange to a light gray tone.
Markings on a Brown Bengal have a color range of reddish-brown to black. Those that have jet black includes in their rosettes are favored because they have more of a wild, jungle look. They will have a black-tipped tail Another preference is a white belly, although all do not have that.
What are Bengals Eye Colors?
Bengal cats can have green, hazel, gold, brown or blue eyes. However, some eye colors are more prone to be associated with certain coat colors. For instance, a Brown Bengal will rarely if ever have blue eyes but hazel, green, gold, copper, or brown eyes are standard with the color.
Only one cat is guaranteed to have blue eyes. That is the Snow Seal Lynx because of the recessive gene involved in the mix. Those who want a version of blue can go with the Snow Seal Mink as they will have a type of blue or aqua eyes.
How Much is a Silver Bengal?
Silver Bengals, because they are rarer, can be more expensive than other versions of the breed. Most Bengal pricing starts at $1,400 and goes up to $3,000. However, some breeders start higher at $3,000 and go up to $5,000 or more.
Those who want to breed the cats will need breeder rights which can cost thousands more.
Why Do Bengal Cats Cost So Much ?
Bengals are a practice in genetics. Breeders must do genetic testing on pairs and kittens to figure out how to get the right colors, markings and to make sure there is solid genetic health.
Breeders only use certain Bengals for breeding to achieve certain results. Cats are fed special organic and raw food diets and must be housed in specific types of catteries. All of this is expensive, accounting for the cost.
Bengal Catteries Canada and the U.S.
High-quality breeders in North America. Below are five.
|Traipse Blue Bengals||Seattle WA||Snow, Brown, Charcoal, Blue,||No prices listed|
|Royal Bengal Cattery||Westminster MD||All colors||$1700 to $3000|
|Alexander Bengal Cats and Kittens||Charlotte, NC||All colors||No prices listed|
|Bengal Laurentides||Quebec, Canada||Silver, Snow, Black, Brown||No prices listed|
|Mandy’s Bengals||Vaughan, Canada||Snow||No prices listed|
Bengal Cat Breeders In US
Traipse Blue Bengals
Traipse Blue Bengals is an award-winning cattery in the Cat Fanciers Association. It has cats that have appeared in magazines. The owner raises champions in Snow, Brown, Charcoal, Blue and Clouded. She also has Melanistic Bengals. There are no prices listed.
Royal Bengal Cattery
Royal Bengal Cattery is TICA registered, registered with TIBCS and WCE.. A feature of its cats is large rosettes.
Prices for kittens start at $1,700 and can go up past $3,000. Royal Bengals provides excellent health guarantees.
Alexander Bengal Cats and Kittens
Charlotte, North Carolina
This small breeder doesn’t constantly have litters so there is a waiting list. However, their kittens have champion lineages and are pedigrees through the breeder’s TICA registration. Each is tested for common cat diseases, vaccinated, and dewormed. They are well socialized.
Bengal Cat Breeders In Canada
Bengal Laurentides cattery is TICA, TBCS registered. It is also registered with the Canadian Cat Association and the Bengal Cat Club.
Its cats are socialized with large facilities that are part of the family home so the cats can always feel like they are a part of the family. They specialize in more unique variations of Silvers and Snows as well as Browns and Black Bengals.
A TICA registered breeder, Mandy’s Bengals are purebreds. Her specialty is Snows although the breeder can provide other colors. The kittens are highly socialized. There is no pricing on the website and kittens are reserved before birth.