Extremely sought after, Silver Bengal cats are the rarest among Bengal cats. Bengal cats have the look of their wild relatives—ocelot, margay, and leopards. Looking like miniature snow leopards, Silver Bengal cats have the size and temperament of domestic cats.
The shimmering golden tabby coat of Bengal cats has been popular among feline lovers. However, in recent decades, it seems as if the Silver Bengal cats have soaked all the limelight—silver has become the most desired Bengal cat variant. Perhaps, you are looking for a silver Bengal cat as well.
Silver Bengal cat is not only unique in its coat color and pattern but in many other ways. If you want to home a Silver Bengal cat, let’s learn a few things about this fascinating wild-looking Silver Bengal cat.
Silver Bengal Cat
Weight: 6 to 12 pounds
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Eye Color: Green or yellow/golden
Coat Color: Silver base with black or grey spots or marbling
Suitable for: Families with children and other pets
Temperament: Highly affectionate, friendly, and chatty
What Is a Silver Bengal Cat?
A Silver Bengal cat is a Bengal cat with a silver-colored coat—it’s a relatively new addition to the Bengal family. They have a pure white to Steel-silver, charcoal, or blue shade base coat that is contrasted by black and grey spots. Like other Bengal cats, Silver Bengal cats have two variants—silver-spotted and silver-marbled. They not only attract viewers with their silvery-stripped coats but also bewitch them with their enchanting green or yellow/golden eyes.
Bengal cats also come in other colors:
|Standard Bengal Cat Colors||Non-Recognized Bengal Cat Colors|
|Silver||Melanistic (solid black)|
History of Silver Bengal Cat
The Bengal cat is a hybrid and was created by a cross between Asian Leopard cats with a domestic cat—Egyptian Mau, Abyssinian, Burmese, or American Shorthair—by Jean Sudgen Mill in 1960. The process of crossbreeding was started in the 1960s, but the Bengal breed was accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) only in 1986, and by 1991, the Bengal cat breed had also gained championship status. In the initial years, Bengal cats came only in the shades of brown and golden—there was no Silver Bengal cat.
The silver color was introduced into the Bengal cat breed by Judy Sudgen in the 1990s by crossing a brown Bengal cat with a silver cat, which was probably an American Shorthair or an Egyptian Mau. Later, in 2004, Silver Bengal cats were accepted by the TICA into the Bengal breed.
How Does Silver Bengal Cat Get Its Coat Color?
Genetically speaking, silver is not an actual color. Rather, it is a result of the presence of silver’s inhibitor gene, which inhibits the genes that give the usual brown base coat to Bengal cats.
This inhibitor gene that gives Silver Bengal cats their unique coat color is a dominant gene. Meaning that if it was paired with a gene that infers brown coat color, the inhibitor gene would inhibit the latter.
If a child cat receives a sliver’s inhibitor gene from one parent cat and a normal brown gene from the other cat parent, the child will always be a Silver Bengal kitten because the inhibitor gene is dominant. Given that silver’s inhibitor gene is dominant, no brown Bengal cat can carry it, which means that two brown Bengal cats can never have a Silver Bengal kitten in their litter.
That said, two Silver Bengal Cats can produce normal brown Bengal kittens only if both parents pass the normal brown gene to the child.
It is important to note that the silver’s inhibitor gene only inhibits the production of warm pigments on cats’ coats—it is not entirely removed. When the inhibitor gene fails to filter out all warm pigments, the cat coat is tarnished. It has yellow or red pigments throughout the coat—on the face, back, and legs.
How Are Silver Bengal Cats Bred?
It may seem as if breeding Silver Bengal cats is an easy thing as silver’s inhibitor gene is dominant. But it is not the case. Whenever breeding Silver Bengal cats, the following three basic rules must be followed to get the desired results:
- Always cross silver with silver for generations
- Always select away from tarnish—keep tarnishing to the minimum
- Always select for better contrast colors.
How to Remove Tarnish in Silver Bengal Cats?
Getting rid of tarnish from a silver coat is not an easy task. The only way to do it is to breed a Silver Bengal cat with a Silver Bengal cat for generations while selecting away from tarnish. Selecting away from tarnish means not using those Silver Bengal cats in the breeding that has warm tones in their coats.
If no Silver Bengal cat is available for breeding, we can cross it with cool browns or Snow Bengal cats. But it should be used as a short-term alternative until you find a Silver Bengal cat for breeding.
Are Silver Bengal Cats Hypoallergenic?
Due to their short-haired coats and little to non-existent shedding, Silver Bengal is considered a hypoallergenic cat breed. Thus, the Silver Bengal cat makes an excellent pet for people with allergies. You won’t even have to worry about the grooming of a Silver Bengal cat like other Bengal cats. Brushing their coat once a week would be enough for them to maintain a healthy shimmering coat. However, more brushing would solidify your bond with your cat.
Silver Bengal Cat Personality
Don’t be misled by their wild appearance and ancestry. Like other Bengal cats, Silver Bengal cats are easy-going cats. They love to show affection to their loving parents.
That said, do not take them as lap cats—they do not like to sit in one place for a long time. They are highly energetic cats and love to play around. They are extraordinary climbers and would love to climb on bookshelves and doors, etc., in the house. They will consider your home as a jungle. So don’t be surprised when they knock over and break some things.
If you want your Silver Bengal cat not to break things, you can get her a cat window perch, a cat hammock, or a cat tree. Arrange these in a way to allow your cat to climb from one platform to another.
Are Silver Bengal Cats Rare?
Silver Bengal cats are hard to find. Many even consider normal brown-colored Bengal cats rare. In comparison to brown Bengal cats, Silver Bengal cats are certainly rare. Keep in mind that silver is a new color pattern in Bengal cats—it was only recognized into the Bengal cat breed in 2004, as said earlier.
In Silver Bengal cats, one carrying both silver’s inhibitor genes will be the rarest.
How Much Do Silver Bengal Cats Cost?
Given that Silver Bengal cats are rare, they are quite expensive. While you can get an adult or senior Silver Bengal cat for a few hundred dollars, getting your hands on a Silver Bengal kitten would cost you up to or even more than three thousand dollars.
How to Determine if a Cat Is a Silver Bengal Cat?
Did you just bring home a Silver Bengal cat? Or you are about to purchase a Silver Bengal cat, and you are not sure if it’s a silver Bengal cat or otherwise. Well, here are a few factors that will help you determine if what you have is a Silver Bengal cat.
- Base coat is white to steel grey
- Grey to jet black spotting or marbling
- Black-tipped tail
- A brick-red nose
- Green or yellow/golden eyes
- It may have a little tarnish