Many of us are aware that cats can come in all different types. They’re different breeds, different shapes and sizes, different colors and some have fur and some are hairless.
But whatever cat you have, you love them unconditionally all the same. The thing is, there are certain cats that require slightly different treatments and different things to think about if you own them.
For example, you’d treat a house cat differently from a tiger and there are plenty of reasons for that (even though we’d love to be able to stroke them!).
Today’s guide looks at an exotic, unique and rare cat known as the silver Bengal cat. If you own or are thinking of owning one of these gorgeous felines, it’s vital you read what we have to say!
Additionally, if you’re interested in different cat breeds and all things kitty – please read on too.
We’ll look at everything an owner will need to know and hopefully answer anything you were unsure of! So, sit down and relax. Let’s get straight into it.
What Is A Silver Bengal Cat?
Silver Bengal cats are among one of the rarest, unique and exotic breeds of cat that are distinguishable by their appearance. They have a different look to them with markings that resemble an Asian leopard cat with a shine of silver.
Many people believed that the silver overtones to the Bengal kitty was a completely separate or additional color, but many experts believe that it’s the opposite. They suggest that it’s in fact a genetic trait which is a lack of color, rather than an addition to it.
These cats were originally hybrid breeds that came into being in the 1990s. The hybrid formula was your usual brown Bengals and an American shorthair feline.
They are certainly unique, and cat lovers will have their heart melted by the initial sight of them. So, if you’ve seen one, and you just have to have one of these to be your furry friend, we’re about to show you the key things that you’ll need to know before you own one.
Considerations Before Getting A Silver Bengal Cat
Owning a cat is a huge commitment and owning a silver Bengal cat is probably an even bigger one. Ownership of this feline friend is not something that will suit everybody – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The thing is, you have to be sure that you’re ready for the challenge, and you’re the right person to give them the love and care they need and deserve.
Therefore it’s crucial you think of these points before you go straight out and find one. We’ll start with points regarding the cat itself and later, we’ll get more general with information regarding breeders and their genetics.
Silver Bengal Cats Despise Solitude
One of the main things you have to consider before getting one of these unique cats is your working and lifestyle patterns.
Many of us have to work all day from early morning to late evening and this does not match well with these types of cats.
Silver Bengal cats don’t like to be left alone. They crave company from either their human or another animal, preferably another silver Bengal cat.
If you do work all day, you’ll need to have a partner, friend or family member that can stay in the house for the rest of the day, or you’ll own another cat. So, think about this very carefully before you decide on ownership.
Leaving them on their own can cause psychological damage to them, and they may run away in search of companionship.
You Work For Them
Silver Bengal cats are highly persistent, and they will keep telling you what they want and when they want it until you give in.
It’s not wise to ignore them because they can be very loud. In fact, they’re one of the most communicative and vocal cat breeds out there.
Until you give them their wants, they will cry and meow and generally bug you until you do it! That could be food, drink, toys or attention – so heed the warning that you are their assistant!
They Have An Itinerary
This cat breed loves to have routine, and it operates best when this routine is set out and adhered to. Yes, they’re your feline friend but because it’s in essence, a jungle cat, it needs to have a completely consistent routine.
This is inclusive of feeding, drinking, exercise and play time. Remember, if you don’t stick to this routine – they’ll definitely let you know they’re not happy about this!
They Love To Hunt
Any of our favorite cats love to go out at nighttime and hunt, it’s simply part of who they are. But when it comes to silver Bengals, they hunt much more than your average cat.
It’s impossible to train them otherwise, and it’s not good for them if you try to stop them, they need to be their primitive self. Just be wary that they will go hunting, and you may have a gift return with them!
They Have Aggression
Okay, so this point is a little contentious. Some silver Bengal cats are considered much more aggressive than others and in theory, they’re no more aggressive than your typical house cat.
However, when it comes to territory disputes with other cats, they have been known to be much more aggressive than other cats.
This is a point to think about if you do have other cats on your property. Generally, they should be okay – but if it comes to a fight, your Bengal will give a battle of fury!
Breeders: Key Information
Due to their rarity, silver Bengals can be difficult to find – but many countries will have people who claim to be breeders of this type of cat.
Reputable breeders need to follow a strict code of conduct when it comes to breeding and selling different breeds of cat and due to these restrictions, there are ways you can tell the difference between a genuine breeder and a fraud.
Here are some things you should consider.
If you were in the market for a new TV, you’d probably go to a reputable TV seller. Perhaps you’d go straight to the store. You wouldn’t buy a TV from someone in an alley when everything looks and feels a little shady, would you?
The same thought processes should be taken when it comes to buying a specific cat. Genuine breeders will usually have a cattery which will be properly maintained, thoroughly heated and cleaned and be large spaces inside and outside for the cats to be comfortable.
If your prospective seller does not show you their overall setup, they might be trying to hide something – and this should be a massive red flag as a potential buyer.
If this happens, ensure you leave the area as quickly and safely as possible – and contact authorities immediately to report your suspicions.
The most reputable breeders will have a good relationship and possibly accreditation from associations like The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) or The International Cat Association (TICA). If they can provide evidence of this, they’re likely genuine.
However, it wouldn’t be unheard of for somebody to falsify these credentials, so if you’re worried – you can contact the association before you hand over any money to check.
They may also have champion cats – and these can be checked too.
Many breeders will specialize specifically in Bengal breeds, which include the silver Bengal and snow Bengal. If this is the case, you’re likely to be in the right place.
Never trust a breeder or seller that claims their cats are cheap. These types of cats aren’t cheap and shouldn’t ever be. If they’re being sold for a cheap price, you should never buy them.
They’re either not a genuine Bengal cat or they’ve got bad illnesses or injury, or they’re involved with crime like theft. If you suspect mistreatment or criminal activity, you should contact law enforcement with your findings as soon as possible.
How Old Is The Kitten?
Bengal kittens should not be let out of a breeder’s custody until at least 11 weeks have passed, but even then – they’re likely to wait a few more weeks just to be safe.
If the kittens are too young, you should never accept them because the breeder is untrustworthy and irresponsible.
Questions And Answers
Good breeders will always be able to answer questions and will always be happy to have questions. In fact, the best breeders will be examining you to see if you’re a good fit for the cats too.
If your prospective seller is apprehensive to answer questions, cannot answer questions or utterly refuses to – you should walk away.
You should always head to a reputable breeder anyway, but if you’ve come across an ad or heard from a friend about somebody selling Bengals – try to do your research on them first. The best breeders will be open and transparent with their information.
If you’re struggling to find anything, or you find bad reviews, you should avoid that breeder.
Is The Cat Healthy And Ready?
Genuine breeders will provide you with a Bengal that is vaccinated, neutered, spayed, free from fleas and worms, and may be able to provide their family tree or genetic information. They could also be microchipped, but they don’t always do this.
Your Bengal should be a pedigree with a guarantee of good health. If these are not obvious or are absent, you should not go ahead with the deal.
Bengal Cat Genetics
As we mentioned, silver Bengal cats are a man-made cat through hybrid genetics. Having said that, although man was the biggest hand in the making of the cat, nature did play a role too.
Every Bengal cat is an amalgamation of the Asian leopard, a small wild cat and a house cat. But when it comes to breeding, the associations that we previously mentioned will only recognize a genuine Bengal if they can have evidence of four successive generations of their ancestry.
The origins of this type of cat are pretty basic in the overall scheme of things. In the 1960s, scientists were attempting to breed a cat that would be biologically and genetically resistant to feline leukemia, which is a type of cancer.
Scientists were already aware that the Asian leopard is resistant to this illness, so they honed in on using them as the primary group.
The resulting young were unfortunately not resistant to this illness, but they were very attractive among cat loving humans and the breeding continued which established a lineage.
Further breeding was accidental. In the US during the 1950s and 1960s, it was common for exotic pet stores to sell Asian leopards and there were reports that these leopards were breeding with other groups of cats.
After a black Tomcat and Asian leopard bred, they had a resulting litter with one that had black spots. The owner decided to breed this kitten when it was able and asked nearby Universities to help with hybrid breeding.
The Bengal cat breed became an officially recognized breed in their own right in the early 1990s after having temporary recognition prior to this.
Typically, Bengal cats are slightly bigger than your other average house cats and weigh between 8 and 17lbs.
What About The Bengal Tiger?
You’d be right in thinking you’ve heard of a Bengal “cat” before with the well known Bengal tiger. However, the Bengal tiger has no connection to the Bengal cat.
In fact, the only big cat that has genetic ties to the Bengal cat is the Asian leopard. However, it makes sense for people to make this connection as they are both technically cats.
Do All Bengal Cats Look The Same?
No, at least not in color as such. Many Bengal cats have varieties of different markings and coloring. Take a look below at some different types of appearances of Bengal cats.
These types of markings are basically lots of lines that blend into the cat’s fur. They have more lines than spots.
Patina refers to the ears of the Bengal cat that appear black tipped but then slide right into the rest of the cat’s markings.
These markings are effectively black “circles” but they do not form full circles and in some ways blend into the rest of the cat’s color.
You could also refer to this type of marking as a blur or blend. The fur looks less colorful and almost as if it has faded.
This is when the Bengal’s coat sparkles or shines even in the dark. This can occur on lots of Bengals but not all of them.
This is the cat we’ve focussed on today. The silver Bengal are light colored gray or silver. They are distinct and became a champion breed in the early 2000s.
However, there are a few different types of silver Bengal, or at least types that fall into this category. These include the following:
- The charcoal Bengals
- The snow Bengals
- The snow seal-lynx
- The snow seal-mink
- The snow seal sepia
- The black Bengals
- The blue Bengals
- The brown Bengals
What About Their Other Colors?
If we’re talking about their eye colors, most Bengal cats do not come with a specific eye color, in the same way that humans don’t. Genetically, they might be more likely to share their parents eye color, but not definitely.
The only time you could almost guarantee an eye color is with an albino or with the snow seal-lynx because of their genes. Snow seal-lynx have a recessive gene which means their eyes will always be blue.
Are Silver Bengal Cats Expensive?
Yes, but this is the price you pay for the best in terms of breed and pedigree. The same logic applies to any other animals, such as dogs for example.
It’s important that you’re aware of the general price range in your area and nationally before you go and hand over your money and this is why we mentioned the tips with breeders earlier in this guide.
How To Protect Yourself When Buying A Silver Bengal Cat
There are a few things you need to do to protect yourself from scrupulous sellers and criminal breeders.
Take Someone In The Know
If you have a friend, family member or someone else who might be a breeder or even an expert in this field, you should consider taking them along with you to the breeder’s cattery. They will know the signs to look for when it comes to genuine and legal breeding.
Do Your Research
You should always do prior research on the breeder and on the animal itself. The more you know, the better off you will be in your purchasing.
Check The Cat And The Seller
Keep an eye out for the location, the seller (including credentials and price) and the cat itself. If the cat is too young, has no vaccinations and no guarantee of health – you need to walk away.
The silver Bengal cat is such a majestic cat and needs to be respected. If you’re in the market, and you’re ready to own this adorable furry buddy, you need to be aware of what we’ve mentioned.
If at any time you suspect mistreatment or illegal activities with breeders – call the authorities as soon as possible.