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What Is A Snow Bengal Cat? (Full Guide)

In addition to being a distinct and unique breed, Bengals can be further divided into different subcategories based on the colors and the patterns of their coats. One of these is the Snow Bengal cat, but you may be wondering what exactly a Snow Bengal cat is.

A Snow Bengal cat is a cross of a Siamese or a Burmese cat with a Bengal cat. This pairing may then produce offspring with a distinct pale coat, which is a result of the presence of the albino gene. Snow Bengal cats tend to be energetic, sociable, intelligent, and mischievous.

There is so much more to these gorgeous cats than just genetics. In this article, we will explore how they are bred, their coat variations, their personality, what to know about owning one, and the health conditions they are prone to suffer from. Read on for your full guide to the Snow Bengal cat.

What Makes A Snow Bengal Cat?

A Snow Bengal cat is made by crossing a Bengal cat with a Siamese or Burmese cat that has the albino gene. As the albino gene is recessive, both parents of the cat must possess the albino gene to produce a Snow Bengal, which will be noticeable by its white coat and light-colored eyes.

Because of this recessive gene, snow Bengal cats are quite rare. However, snow Bengals are some of the most sought-after Bengal cats, partly because of their rarity, but largely because of the way they look.

What Do Snow Bengal Cats Look Like?

In addition to the unique coloring of their coats, Snow Bengals also share several characteristics that can be found in other members of the Bengal cat family. They will have black tail tips, an “M” marking on their foreheads, and marbling, spots or rosette patterns on their white coats.

The “M” marking on their forehead is thought to have served their ancestors in the wild by making it easier for them to hide in surrounding vegetation while hunting. It is not unique to Bengal cats and appears in many other breeds.

Their coats also have distinctive patterns. In the case of spots, they are simply darkened solid dots, while rosettes tend to be patches of pigment that are darker around the periphery compared to the centers. Marbling on the other hand refers to patches of pigment that seem to flow into each other.

Different Coat Colors Of Snow Bengals

Although Snow Bengals possess their trademark pale coloring in comparison to other cats, different gradations in shade can be found. As a result, they are divided into three main categories.

Seal Lynx

The palest of Snow Bengals, Seal Lynx Bengals start out life with an all-white coat, unlike those in the other two categories. Their markings become more prominent as they get older. Seal Lynxes always have blue eyes and a reddish nose both as kittens and as adults. They are the offspring of Siamese cats and are considered to be the most common type of Snow Bengals.

Seal Mink

These Snow Bengals come in a cream-colored coat. In some cases, their coats may be considered warm ivory or even a very pale tan. This coloration is due to the presence of both Seal Lynx and Seal Sepia genes. Unlike Seal Lynx cats, their patterns are present at birth. Like Seal Lynxes, they may have blue eyes although they can also have blue-green eyes as well.

Seal Sepia

The warmest toned of all Snow Bengals, Seal Sepias are known for their ivory coats. Their eyes are often green or gold.These cats are a result of breeding a Bengal with a Burmese. Unlike other cats belonging to this category, they never have blue eyes and are the rarest of all Snow Bengals.

What Is The Personality Of A Snow Bengal Cat?

Snow Bengals are energetic, curious, and intelligent. This makes it hard to train them to do tricks. They enjoy high up places in your home and can be taken for exercise on a leash. Snow Bengals are very affectionate and love attention, they are also one of the few cat breeds that like water.

Snow Bengals have temperaments very similar to those of a normal Bengal cat. They will be quite demanding on you as their owner, but in an affectionate way that just requires a bit of attention and play time every now and then. Giving your snow Bengal adequate space to call their own, and plenty of toys, is key to letting them live a happy and healthy life.

Are Snow Bengal Cats Hypoallergenic?

Snow Bengals come with a lower risk of causing allergic reactions than some other breeds of cat, but no cat is completely hypoallergenic. This makes them a more suitable option for cat-loving individuals who wish to make a feline a part of their household but suffer from allergies.

Allergies in cats are more common than those of dogs. Scientists believe they are caused by the presence of a biochemical in the cats’ hair, dander, or saliva. This substance can be found in different quantities depending on the breed of cat.

They can be especially potent and can linger on any surface a cat has come in contact with even long after the cat has lived there. Even small quantities can kick off an allergic reaction, as can something like a scratch from your cat.

What To Know About Owning A Snow Bengal Cat

They Are Mischievous And Love Attention

As noted above,Snow Bengals are especially playful and energetic. As a result, they are best suited to an owner who works from home. This is because they require loads of attention and will ask for it if they feel they are not getting enough. If their active minds aren’t kept busy with toys or attention, you may find their boredom results in them unleashing mayhem in your home.

They Are Noisy

Bengals are considered one of the most talkative breeds of cat. They might ask for your attention with a short meow or let you know their displeasure by drawing it out. If their feline nemesis saunters into the vicinity they may hiss instead, showing their anger or even that they feel in danger. Depending on the circumstances, your Snow Bengal may even growl at the enemy, or just while eating.

They are just as open when it comes to signaling their comfort or satisfaction and will often purr contentedly to let you know all is right with their world. They love to issue orders and have them obeyed.Your Bengal may meow at a door they want opened or demand you feed them lunch when they want it.

They love having their surroundings clean and may need you to clean that litter box more than once daily. They also enjoy ‘talking’ for hours on end and they do expect you to reply. It’s by no means one-sided since they’ll respond to you when you speak with them as well.

They Love To Scratch And Have A Strong Prey Drive

If you have a Snow Bengal or are planning to get one, you will also need to purchase a scratching post. Failing to do so may result in claw marks in all the wrong places, i.e. your walls and your furniture, and shredded soft furnishings.

Bengals also have a strong prey drive. In other words, they enjoy hunting, pursuing, and capturing smaller animals. This means that, although they are likely to get along with your Ragdoll or Beagle, leaving your hamster or parrot within reach is another matter. Any small resident will have to be kept safely away to prevent them from feeling distressed and frightened, or getting hurt.

They’re Relatively Easy Going And Quirky Too

If you want a breed that will get along with your family members, a Snow Bengal will be an excellent choice. They also earn extra brownie points in the compatibility category for being able to get along with other furry residents as well,just not prey sized ones.

They can also play fetch and have a lower risk of obesity due to being agile and energetic. However, it is worth noting that they are attracted to shiny, colorful objects and may attempt to take them and keep them for themselves.

What Health Issues Do Snow Bengals Have?

Pyruvate Kinase (PK) Deficiency

This illness refers to an absence in sufficient levels of pyruvate kinase, an enzyme responsible for ensuring the longevity of red blood cells in your cat. It most commonly affects Abyssinian and Somali cats. Its presence is the result of a recessive gene and will mean that your Snow Bengal’s red blood cells may not live as long as they are meant to under normal conditions. This may cause anemia.

However, it is worth noting that the symptoms of this disease are often mild and may only become pronounced when your pet gets older. These symptoms include:

  • Decrease in appetite
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Labored breathing
  • Lethargy

That said,yourSnow Bengal may also be at risk of suffering more serious symptoms that may be life threatening as a result of the disease.

Luxating Patella

This condition refers to the displacement of the patella or kneecap out of its joint as a result of it being too shallow, the cat being bow-legged, or as a result of trauma involving the bones of the pet’s limbs. Over time, the tissues around the knee become swollen, resulting in the increased mobility of the patella.

The issue makes itself known by bouts of limping. You might see your Snow Bengal struggling to walk, and avoiding putting pressure on the affected limb, and then see it walking normally after some time.

Depending on the severity of the condition, an affected cat may be able to bear it for a long time. However, the onset of old age and arthritis may make it very difficult for them and it is best to seek the advice of your vet as soon as possible.

This health issue has four stages:

  • Stage 1: In a cat affected at this stage of the condition a bit of pressure would be all that is required to replace the kneecap.
  • Stage 2: It would be necessary for the cat to stretch out its leg to the fullest and to also rotate it to get the kneecap to return to its groove.
  • Stage 3: It will take manual manipulation to get the patella back into the groove. It is also worth noting that the patella at this stage will tend to remain outside the groove more often than not.
  • Stage 4: Refers to the stage at which it is no longer possible to manually restore the kneecap to its original position, resulting in it remaining outside the groove.

Hip Dysplasia

Although commonly associated with domestic canines, hip dysplasia also occurs in cats. It occurs as a result of the hip joint failing to develop properly. This may result in it being especially loose. Hip dysplasia can cause the hip joint to degenerate and may also cause arthritis.

Renal Failure

This illness refers to a condition in which your Bengal’s kidneys cease to function normally. There are several underlying causes of renal failure:

  • Trauma
  • Cysts
  • Fractured pelvic bones
  • Dehydration
  • Ingesting of toxins
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Antibiotic medication

There are two kinds of renal failure, acute and chronic. Acute kidney failure is the term used when your pet’s kidneys stop functioning over the course of weeks or months owing to the ingestion of toxic materials, or the use of medication such as antibiotics, for example. The condition may be resolved if diagnosed early.

Chronic kidney failure will take longer for the organs to stop functioning, and it may even be a matter of years. It mainly affects older cats and only very rarely occurs in those younger than 36 months.

Symptoms of feline kidney failure include:

  • Excessive drinking
  • Emaciation
  • The presence of blood in stool and vomit
  • Disinterest in food

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

This illness occurs when a cat’s heart muscle thickens. As a result, the amount of blood the organ is able to contain and to pump out is reduced, it is the most common form of feline heart disease. HCM also causes additional health risks such as the obstruction of blood vessels or heart failure. Cats that have two of the recessive genes linked to the illness will suffer from it.

How Much Do Snow Bengals Cost?

Quite a lot goes into determining the cost of a Bengal cat. In general, Snow lynx and Mink kittens are the cheapest and can cost $2,000 to $2,500, while Snow Sepia kittens are more expensive. First generation (F1) Snow Bengals are the most expensive with the price decreasing with each generation.

Additional factors that will influence the cost of a Bengal include their status as being suitable for raising as pets, for breeding or for shows, and their age. Their health screening status can also influence their cost as well as the rarity of their coat colors. As far as this last criterion goes, Snow Bengals are pretty rare and are expensive as a result.

Final Thoughts

Snow Bengals are the result of crossing a Bengal cat with a Siamese or Burmese cat that possesses the recessive albino gene. They are known for their pale coats and for being very active and friendly. They can be a good choice for cat lovers who have allergies, but they are rare and expensive.