Feeling a little lost when you hear terms like SBT, ALC, and F1? What about barring, marbling, and fuzzies? We’re here to shed some light on some of this Bengal lingo!
ALC = Asian Leopard Cat
The Bengal breed was created by breeding an Asian leopard cat (ALC) to a domestic tabby. The goal of the breed is to resemble the structure and look of the ALC within a domesticated cat, and some breeding programs still use ALC’s.
F1, 2G, 3G = The Level of Generation
This describes how closely a cat is related to an ALC. For example, an F1 cat would be the immediate offspring of an ALC and another cat.
F1 or 1G – 1 generation removed from the ALC. Would be 50% or more Asian leopard cat.
2G – Second generation (an F1 bred to a domestic)
3G – Third generation (an F2 bred to a domestic)
These Bengals are all referred to as Early Generation Bengals, or EG’s.
A note about “F2” and “F3” Bengals: It is improper to reference 2G or 3G Bengals as “F2” or “F3,” as you may see done at times. Even high generation Bengals are domestic backcrosses, created from breeding a domestic cat to an EG. Scientifically speaking, they are not considered “F2” or “F3.”
The generations are easier to explain with a chart!
EG’s are more expensive and generally don’t have the predictable temperament of an SBT.
SBT = Stud Book Tradition
SBT Bengals are what you’ll normally find when looking for a Bengal. They’re the result of breeding Bengals to other Bengals, and are at least four generations removed from an ALC. Your average Bengal has only a small percentage of Asian leopard cat, with the desirable looks and temperament that everyone loves.
TICA = The International Cat Association
The most popular registry of purebred cats.
A Bengal with a good “type” would share many physical traits and have a similar body structure to the ALC.
Marbling vs. Rosetting
Bengals have one of two coat patterns: marbled OR rosettes/spots. We love this visual guide to Bengal coats by BengalCats.co!
Rib Bars or Barring
This refers to the vertical spots or stripes that a Bengal may have at the front of his torso. Because the ALC has a horizontal flowing pattern and the domestic tabby has a vertical pattern, the goal is for Bengals to have a horizontal pattern. The rib bars are a trait the tabby brings in.
Glitter refers to the unique way some Bengals’ fur glitters like gold in the sunlight. This isn’t a trait inherited from the ALC and therefore is not a goal of most breeding programs, but many pet owners like it.
When kittens are 4-7 weeks old, their fur gets fuzzy and looks somewhat dull. This is what happens with cubs in the wild too, to better hide them from predators during the age where they’re starting to explore. Don’t worry if you see pictures of a young kitten with a fuzzy coat! The fuzzy stage only lasts a few weeks.
Still confused by something? Leave us some feedback and we’ll add to this resource as requested!