The domestic housecat has been a companion to humans for millennia. Ancient Egyptians were known to have social and religious relationships with them, and our love and affection for these furry critters continues to this day. So much so, that new breeds are continuing to be introduced.
The Silver Bengal cat was introduced in the 1990s when Brown Bengal cats were crossed with the American Shorthair. The unique silver color of their fur is due to the presence of a dominant gene that inhibits the expression of darker colors, making them much lighter than other Bengals.
But in addition to their short existence and obvious color, what else do we know about these house cats? Let’s look further at everything there is to know about the Silver Bengal cat.
A Silver Bengal cat has lighter fur and dark markings. The reason for this coloring is genetic, since it’s a hybrid breed. It is worth noting that these cats are capable of producing darker offspring which do not possess the inhibitory gene responsible for their coloring.
That said, Silver Bengals are more likely to produce kittens like themselves due to the gene’s dominance. This is due to the fact that the inhibitory gene will always be expressed when it occurs with a gene for darker fur. The only way a darker fur color can be expressed is if the inhibitory gene is absent and another gene for darker fur is present.
It is these Silver Bengals which are carriers of the recessive (non-dominant) gene for darker fur that are capable of producing offspring with brown fur. No other breed is capable of producing a Silver Bengal but these cats alone.
Silver Bengal cats have jewel-like eyes which are often green or gold. Those of the Silver Snow variety may have blue eyes. They also have coats that range from white to gray, and they’re covered with dark patches. These patches may take the form of marbling, rosettes, or spots.
Marbling resembles large splashes of color which run into each other. The exterior of these large streaks of pigmentation is often darker than the interior, which may be monochromatic or a varying combination of colors.
Rosettes are large patches of pigmentation which are often darker on the outside and a slightly lighter different color on the inside. Bengals are the only breed of domestic felines that possess this coat pattern, and it’s similar to that of jaguars and leopards.
Jaguars and leopards aren’t the only wild cats that Silver Bengals resemble, however. If one such cat comes with spots, they’ll likely resemble cheetahs, as the monochromatic dots of pigmentation are similar to those found on cheetahs‘ coats.
Some Silver Bengals have a yellowish tinge to them. Referred to as a “tarnish,” this is the result of a recessive gene for darker fur which has not been fully suppressed or inhibited by the dominant gene for silvery fur. Felines which do not possess this gene are considered to be more aesthetically pleasing compared to those that do, and the former are highly sought after as a result.
Because of their distinct coloration, Silver Bengals can actually be distinguished by their coats. There are a variety of coats that make this breed of cat distinctive.
These Bengals have pale peach undertones typical of those of the Blue variety. They are produced by the manifestation of the silver and blue genes.
These felines often have a marbled coat with darker splashes of color against a background which is darker than your average Silver Bengal’s. They also share the thicker, dorsal, dark line which other Charcoal Bengals have, as well as the unique pigmentation on their faces.
The silver variants of a melanistic Bengal, they possess a lighter hued coat unlike the darker fur of a black Bengal. They can be distinguished from Silver Charcoal Bengals owing to the absence of the unique pigmentation which the latter possess.
The palest of all Silver Bengals, these felines owe their coloring to the presence of genes for albinism from Siamese cats. There are even further divisions within the Silver Snow category.
Snow Seal Lynx Bengals are Seal Lynxcats with the silver gene. Ordinarily, these Snow Bengals are known to be especially pale in comparison to the other two types. They also always have blue eyes.
Snow Seal Mink Bengals are Seal Mink pets with the silver gene. Normally, Seal Mink cats have a slightly warmer hue compared to seal lynx felines, with base fur which is often ivory. While these Snow Bengals may have blue eyes, it is also possible for them to have aquamarine-colored eyes as well.
Snow Seal Sepia Bengals are Seal Sepia felines with the silver gene. Compared to the other two subcategories of Snow Bengals, these pets have the warmest fur of all. Unlike the other two, their eyes are never blue but are rather golden or emerald.
The personality of a Silver Bengal cat is similar to all other members of the breed in terms of their behavior. Energetic and inquisitive, they are the polar opposites of more sedate breeds such as Birmans, Himalayans, Ragamuffins, or Ragdolls.
As a result, Silver Bengals love to climb and will clamber to the top of shelves, window ledges, and other lofty spots from which they can observe the entire room in comfort. Because they are especially energetic, you will need to ensure you provide them with plenty of exercise to keep them out of trouble.
These pets are highly interactive and talkative like Abyssinians, American Bobtails, and Burmese cats, for example. They also require a great deal of attention from their owners and are an excellent option for individuals who work or run a business from home. They are highly intelligent too, and they can be taught a number of tricks such as giving high-fives, fetching, jumping, or sitting.
But their intelligence also means that they are quite mischievous and are not above watching you perform simple tasks and imitating them later on. Because they have a high prey drive, you will need to keep any furry little pets you have such as chinchillas, hamsters, or rabbits out of their reach.
Silver Bengal cats are somewhat hypoallergenic. But there is no feline which is completely hypoallergenic. Every pet of the furry variety produces dander, or minute particles of skin. This feline or canine dandruff is considered one of the most common allergens.
However, the main allergen associated with pet cats is the protein Fel d 1, which is produced by the salivary and sebaceous glands of cats. The amount in which it is produced varies depending on a cat’s age, gender, and breeding status.
Adults produce greater quantities compared to kittens, and males produce the most of all. Neutering them reduces the quantity they produce so that it is similar to that of female cats.
It is worth noting that spaying makes no difference in terms of the quantities female pets produce.
Silver Bengals, like all other members of their breed, are less likely to cause allergic reactions in individuals who suffer from them. As a result, theymay be suitable in certain instances. But it all depends on the unique circumstances of each individual.
While a certain person may suffer allergic reactions as a result of being in close proximity to them, another may not. You may need to seek the advice of an allergist to find out whether they are suitable for you if you are interested in purchasing one.
Bengal cats come with a set of unique traits all shared by Silver Bengals, and prospective owners will need to be aware of a number of key points surrounding grooming, behavior, and recreation.
Silver Bengals have the same short, soft fur as other members of their breed. This makes them relatively low maintenance and an excellent choice for pet owners who prefer a cat which does not shed a lot as opposed to a Persian, which requires regular grooming. While Silver Bengals like to keep themselves clean, they also need to be brushed at least weekly and bathed every six to eight weeks.
Trimming their nails is also important, since these felines have a reputation for being somewhat destructive and have no compunction about taking their claws to your furniture.
Doing so may also prevent you, other family members, and even pets from getting scratched too. You should not declaw your Bengal though.
Silver Bengals share the same tendency to be affectionate that is the hallmark of breeds such as Abyssinians, Birmans, Maine Coons, and Scottish Folds. As a result, they are likely to get along with other feline and canine housemates.
It is, however, a different issue for those of the feathered variety, or small, cuddly, and furry creatures like hamsters and gerbils. As noted above, pets in this latter category will have to be kept away from them for their own safety.
Another noteworthy behavioral quirk is their fondness for water, a trait shared by Abyssinians, Maine Coons, Savannahs, and Turkish Vans. Hence your Silver Bengal might love to keep you company while you take a relaxing soak. It is also less likely to put up a squabble when bath time comes around.
Silver Bengals are known for their agility, inquisitiveness, and for being rather energetic. You will need to provide them with interactive toys and a scratching post for those claws (and for the sake of your furniture).
Some owners of Silver Bengals keep their pets indoors. This is due to the fact that their trademark curiosity and wild instincts may lead them further afar and cause them to act with less caution. As a result, they could end up engaging in fisticuffs with another cat, but as long as you take the right precautions, Silver Bengals can go outside.
Silver Bengals can cost a lot of money. Kittens are the most expensive at anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000. Older cats, on the other hand, are usually cheaper, and their cost may range from $750 to more than $1,000. This will usually depend on the area in which you are buying your Silver Bengal.
Bengals are still a relatively rare breed, and those with silver coats are rarer still. As a result, they happen to be one of the priciest cats around. In general, the amount you will be required to pay depends on their age as well as the color and pattern of their coat.
Silver Bengals are prized for their unique fur. Because of their rarity, they are very pricey. They possess the intelligence and curiosity of their breed and could be excellent companions for many other pets. Overall, Silver Bengals are ideal if you have the time to give them loads of attention.