Do Bengal Kittens Change Color?

Being a crazy Bengal kitten fan I think, I have all the accurate information about the breed, particularly on whether they change color or not.

Do Bengal kittens change color? Yes, Bengal kittens do change color but only until a certain age. Bengal kittens change color as they are a cross between the Asian leopard cat and the domestic cats. That is why they have a “camouflage coat”.

There are multiple reasons for Bengal kittens to shed and change their coat. Let us explore this topic in more detail.

Why do Bengal kittens change color?

I have been a proud owner of multiple cat breeds. However, of all the other types, Bengal kittens are my favorite as, apart from their wild yet domestic appearance, the transformation that they go through is incredible.

There are only a few breeders who would be able to tell you the final color and appearance of a Bengal kitten after the age of around 7-8 months.

This is due to the reason that Bengal kittens are naturally born with skin that is meant to protect them in the wild.

The camouflage coat, as they call it, is the answer to all the confusion regarding Bengal kittens changing their color. The exciting spectacle of this beauty change into more of a wild jungle animal is amazing.

If you are more interested in the transformation of a Bengal kitten from its birth to 8 months of age, then your best bet is to know its different levels of shifting from a furry coat to a shiny and clear one with a distinct pattern.

The early stage

Regardless of what they look like, there is no doubt that everyone absolutely loves and adores their pet. Especially with cats, you seem to get so obsessed with their innocence and furry coat.

Having said that, the early stage of a Bengal kitten is more like an uneven layer of fur that pops out from here and there. That is the point where you get an idea of its changing color and skin type.

The changing color and pattern

My love for Bengal kittens has helped me a lot in gaining some accurate facts and information that help conclude whether they actually change color or not.

Here are some of the primary noticeable changes/factors in the early life of a Bengal kitten:

  • Fading of spots
  • Bigger rosettes
  • A color transformation from dark to light
  • Development of a clear, shiny, and sharp pattern

Reasons why Bengal kittens change color

The popular opinion is that Bengal kittens change their coat because new-born Bengal cats need to change the following two things:

  • Their fuzzy hair
  • Their blurred pattern

Changing the fuzzy hair

If you have ever had a Bengal kitten or even witnessed its early months at a friend’s place, then the first thing to notice besides their cuteness is their fuzzy hair.

Of course, every newborn animal has skin that is meant to change permanently but with cats and particularly Bengal kittens, the case is a bit different.

The hair of a Bengal kitten is very uneven and does not look very cute at first glance. It is naturally structured to protect the animal from the environment as well as predators.

This is exactly why it changes color as with the hair falling and becoming smooth, the color combination becomes lighter and shinier.

Ridding the blurred pattern

The pattern on the skin of a new-born Bengal kitten is not clear. Whether it is the rosettes or spots, it is very difficult to distinguish between the two and also figure out what it will look like in the final stage.

This means that with growing age and subsequent coats, not only does the pattern on the kitten become evidently clearer and bigger, but it also becomes a valid reason for the Bengal kitten changing its coat as well as color.

The camouflage phase

The term ‘camouflage coat’ is used for the coat of wild animals. This coat helps them hide from predators. Their coat appears similar to the surrounding because of which they “camouflage” and remain safe from attacks.

The camouflage phase of a Bengal kitten is exactly for the same reason. During the early weeks and months of a Bengal kitten, the camouflage coat remains there and begins to change once it’s time for the pattern and color to change.

From a fuzzy, hairy, unappealing, and tangled look, the kitten amazingly transforms into a beautiful small cute animal.

Moreover, the guard hair on a Bengal kitten is a bit longer on the lower body including the tail. All of it gets naturally reformed into an attractive, radiant, and clean coat pattern that later becomes the X factor of this magnificent breed.

When does the coat stop changing?

Well, for a clear cut answer, it takes around a year’s time for a Bengal kitten to fully grow and that is the time when its color finalizes and does not change anymore.

However, this whole process of shedding and the transformation of the camouflage coat does not happen overnight.

It all starts when the kitten is around 14 weeks. That’s when you will notice how it’s been shedding a lot and also how the pattern is getting evidently bigger.

After that, the next 9-10 months are somewhat when you will notice the skin getting darker/lighter depending on its birth color.

Also, the rosettes tend to grow bigger along with the kitten’s physical structure. So, the final look of a Bengal cat after a year is:

  • Changed color
  • Bigger spots/rosettes
  • Glossy skin
  • A clear pattern

Types of patterns of Bengal kittens

The most common and obvious part of a Bengal kitten’s pattern is the rosettes. Often people mistake rosettes as spots as they are smaller in size in the early weeks. When in reality, rosettes are the type of spots you see on leopards and jaguars and are different from spots.

That is also what distinguishes the breed from a domestic cat.

There is a definite possibility of a Bengal kitten having a mixture of both rosettes and spots. However, a clear picture of how the rosettes actually look and what they will turn out to be afterward is defined below:

  • Rosettes are of different shapes like paw, circular, and arrow-head
  • Chain rosettes form a chain, making the pattern appear marbled
  • Cluster rosettes are tiny spots combining together to create a cluster around



What are the different color combinations of the Bengal kittens?

The most common colors of the Bengal kittens include brown, snow, and silver. There are various color combinations that Bengal cats are naturally born with. Some of them are:

  • Brown-gray
  • Sandy brown
  • Sorrel Brown
  • Seal sepia
  • Seal mink

Apart from all of this, blue is an uncommon color found in very few of the Bengal kittens. However, whatever the color of the kitten is at birth, it is definitely not meant to last for more than 12-14 weeks.

Is it easy to predict the final color of a Bengal kitten?

No matter how many Bengal kittens you have owned, you cannot just predict its final look by having a detailed look at its current state. The reason for this is very obvious; the combination of colors that the Bengal kitten is born varies and does not resemble any other cat of the same breed.

Whereas, some breeders who have been in the business for years claim to possess a deep knowledge about the Bengal breed. They somehow connect some dots and patterns that help them anticipate what the kitten will actually look after a year.

Other than this, one can’t really distinguish, for example, if a Bengal kitten is brown-gray or sorrel gray.

How to distinguish between a spotted and marbled Bengal kitten?

Although some animal lovers might not really care what their pet looks like or wouldn’t want to go into details about their distinguished patterns. Yet, Bengal kitten lovers are known to give importance to such things.

If you actually wish to study the breed and gain precise accurate knowledge about it, then here are some facts:

  • A spotted Bengal kitten has smaller rosettes all over the body, including a blur shade of pattern on the belly.
  • A marbled Bengal kitten has different patterns that resemble those of a wild leopard cat’s but without rosettes.
  • The pattern of a marbled Bengal kitten is elongated whereas a spotted beauty is easy to recognize with its distinct and clear rosettes of different shapes.

Bengal kittens and their color changing nature are simple to understand once you get a hold of the idea that mainly involves its camouflage coat and guard hair.

Nevertheless, it is best to personally witness the conversion of the kitten’s color and get one more reason to fall in love with the wild yet most attractive cat breed.

Photo of author

Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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