In the Bengal cat breed today, there is such a situation that too many, even those who have been professionally breeding this breed for several years, are moving in the wrong direction, losing the correct reference point for breeding. Where does the conscious purchase of a Bengal kitten begin? From visiting a cat show. But visiting Russian shows and observing expert assessments that are awarded to Bengal cats will not help beginners navigate the right direction for further breeding. At the exhibition, one can hear the statement “Bengals have no type! The main thing is the rosettes!”. The type that is most often seen at shows is accepted as correct by both spectators and experts, and it does not matter which type is actually described in the breed standards. Why? Because a cat show is just a show. Where is it more profitable to show a bright color? And in general, it turns out that everyone agrees with this state of affairs, that “preferable” Bengal cats with a “good” color. For some breeders, this is where breeding ends and the business begins. Buyers, choosing a pet for themselves, pay attention to a brighter Bengal kitten with larger rosettes. For experts, this is part of the show organization. The large rosettes are memorable. New breeders buying their first Bengal cat from a Bengal cattery have no reason, they believe, to doubt that a breeder with many years of breeding practice is reproducing the right type of Bengal and is able to give them the right advice. Unfortunately, in many cases, this is not the case. Most breeders breed the cats they have and keep what they get. And what they get is mediocrity.
In my opinion, today atypical Bengals (Bengals that do not correspond to the type of Bengal breed, have a simple type) are a global problem for breeders all over the world. Too many of them, paying mainly attention only to the rosettes , get cats that are excellent in color, but completely devoid of the typical Bengal type, their general appearance. Let me remind you, referring to the history of the breed, the purpose of its creation is to obtain a cat with the appearance of an Asian Leopard Cat with a docile character of a domestic cat. Now a Bengal cat of not the best type with a contrasting color with large rosettes may well become the winner of the show, although its type is simple. The biggest drawback of Bengal cats today is their atypical and mediocre type.
However, in any breed, nothing is more important than the correct type. For the breeder – the ability to recognize it as the main element of quality, without which not even the largest rosette can serve as a serious basis for breeding Bengal cats.
The benchmark for Bengal breeders is the Asian Leopard Cat. What do we see now? Bengal cats with a bright coat texture and huge “sparble” rosettes like an ocelot. Ocelot is handsome, I don’t argue, but he’s not ALС. The ocelot is a different “cat” and the founder of a different breed.
What is the superiority of the Bengal F1 over the Bengals SBT – the winners of today’s cat shows? Bengals F1 carry the breed type and essence. Bengal F1 – has a perfect silhouette and balance, perfect head, profile and ears – this is the essence of the Bengal breed. Without a perfect head and a cool profile, there is no Bengal in a great breed type. It is easy to get a beautiful in-line breeding head from an F1 Bengal cat. And there are absolutely no problems with the type of the first generations of hybrids, but only, the more generations separate from the Asiatic Leopard Cat, the less the similarity with it, and to obtain Bengals of an excellent breed type, you should always have an Bengal F1.
I am building breeding on the best type. I am trying to concentrate the maximum “wild” type in the pedigrees of our Bengal cats. A distinctive feature of today’s Bengals is the “sparble” rosettes – rather large (3-4 cm in diameter), with clear edges, two-color. The color “in the style of sparble” Bengals are now far from uncommon. But the “irony” of breeding Bengals is that you will never get the perfect breed type of kitten by using atypical “sparble” Bengals in breeding. Pay attention to the paradox – a pair of “simpler” colored Bengals often produces offspring with the color of large and closed rosettes. After all, who is a Bengal? This is a muscular, solid cat with a memorable “wild” head and a good color, the value of which I do not want to belittle. But good color alone does not make a Bengal. Now the atypical “Sparble” Bengals are quite widespread in the breed, although in my opinion, the type is of paramount importance.
The Bengal F1 is a true cornerstone of any breeding program. You can become a great breeder and build an international reputation for yourself with just two or three cats. I think the first generation Bengals are a good start for getting good type kittens. Having a first generation Bengal female, you can try your luck and mate her to a male with a large rosette. In any case, to feel like the founder of a new family line of Bengals is both “cool” and responsible at the same time. The main thing is not to forget that the purpose of breeding is to create high-quality kittens by identifying and consolidating the characteristic features in the breed by selecting cats and matching pairs. The pedigree value of the Bengal cat is determined primarily by the breed type.