The Snow Bengal Cat Ultimate Guide


Snow Bengal cats possess remarkable athleticism, agility, and elegance. These magnificent felines exhibit an inquisitive nature, complemented by the captivating allure of their Asian Leopard cat ancestry. For those seeking the allure of an exotic companion, the snow Bengal cat proves to be an ideal choice.

Adorned with a resplendent coat adorned with radiant spots, they bear a striking resemblance to their majestic snow leopard counterparts in a charming miniature form.

This guide reveals everything you need to know about snow Bengals. Let’s get started!

History and Origin

Bengal cats are a captivating domestic breed resulting from the hybridization of the Asian Leopard cat and the common house cat. Among their various colors and patterns, the white variant is known as the ‘Snow’ Bengal.

Recognized as an official breed by TICA in 1983, Bengals gained popularity worldwide, with snow Bengals emerging in the 1980s and 1990s through selective breeding by Gene Jhonson and Bob Dundon. These snow Bengals exhibit light brown or white patterns reminiscent of snow leopards.

Snow Bengals owe their exotic coloring to the infusion of Siamese cats into the breeding process. The albino gene within the Siamese gene pool imparts their distinct appearance. Initially wild in nature, subsequent generations were selectively bred for domestic suitability.

In summary, Bengals are a captivating hybrid breed, with snow Bengals boasting alluring colors akin to their wild counterparts, the snow leopards.

Physical Characteristics of Snow Bengals

Snow Bengals are an incredibly rare and endangered breed of wild cat. If you can’t own a fascinating snow Leopard, you can at least get a snow Bengal.

Within the Bengal cat population, the recessive and exceedingly scarce snow gene can be found. Possessing stunning coats adorned with mesmerizing markings, these felines are a sight to behold.

Snow Bengal Coats

Snow Bengals can display various colors and patterns. Their shades range between soft amber and white. You can classify all Bengals as either rosette or spotted. Here are the three main categories of snow Bengal coats:

Snow Seal Lynx

Snow seal lynx Bengals have the lightest shade of all snow Bengals. They have pale cream or ivory coats with beautiful blue eyes. They get this physical trait from their Siamese ancestors. The seal lynx coat is pure white at birth and develops markings with age.

Snow Seal Mink

The snow mink Bengals have a darker pattern than the seal lynx. They have a warm, creamy tan color and aquamarine eyes. These snow Bengal cats are unusual and carry a combination of seal lynx and seal sepia genes. Snow seal mink Bengals are expensive and difficult to find.

Snow Seal Sepia

They are also known as “brown snow Bengals” because they have the highest contrast in their coats. These Bengals appear as if they have a light filter on their coats (think of a sepia effect on a picture). Unlike other Bengal variations, they can have green or gold eyes.

Snow Bengal Markings

Snow Bengals have lighter markings than other Bengals, giving them softer contrast against their base coats. However, their markings have the same shapes and patterns as other Bengals. These include rosettes (spotted) and marbled markings.

Rosettes

Rosettes are exclusive to Bengals, which is part of the appeal of these gorgeous cats. You can find rosettes in different shapes and patterns, including paw-print, donut, arrowhead, clouded, and cluster.

Some snow Bengals are born with no rosettes at all. These Bengals start to show their pale, creamy rosettes as they grow older.

Arrowhead Rosettes: Arrowheads are the easiest rosette type to identify. They have a triangular shape and are sought-after by Bengal cat breeders and owners.

O Donut Rosettes: O Donut rosettes feature a dark outline around a pale center. It took years to achieve doughnut-shaped rosettes by selective breeding. They are one of the most popular rosette types in snow Bengals.

Paw-print Rosettes: Paw-print rosettes are shaded spots with smaller and darker spots on the edges. A paw-print rosette is open on one side and enclosed by a darker color on the other side. They look like tiny paw-prints on a cat’s coat.

Clouded Rosettes: Clouded rosettes are large spots that fit together like a puzzle.

Inspired by the clouded Leopard’s coat, this spotting has a snake-like appearance.

Marbling

Marbled Bengals are another striking variety of these gorgeous cats. Marbled cats have symmetrical swirls on their back and sides. Breeders prefer leopard-like spots, so marbling is rarer than spotting in snow Bengals.

Other Markings

All Bengals have similar markings on their coat patterns. Most snow Bengals have tummy spots, striped legs, and a striped tail with a darker tip. They also have darker markings on their faces.

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Owning a Snow Bengal

Bengals are an energetic breed that requires considerable care and attention. They are very athletic and love playtime with their humans. Sometimes they will wake you up in the middle of the night. If you’re adopting a snow Bengal, you are in for a big surprise! Knowing the personality, temperament, and traits of snow Bengals can help you with the adoption process.

Here are a few characteristics of snow Bengals:

CharacteristicDetail
Life SpanSnow Bengals can live up to 15 years of age.
WeightSnow Bengals can weigh from 6 to 15 pounds.
SizeMale snow Bengals are larger and heavier than females.

They Are Very Athletic

Snow Bengals love climbing up on strangers. They are athletic, agile, and graceful creatures. The Bengals have high energy and require ample space to play. You need to have tons of interactive toys to keep Bengals active and busy. They can become anxious and destructive without healthy stimulation.

They Are Playful

The snow Bengals have a playful personality, so keep your cat entertained. They enjoy playing a good game of fetch. They also love challenges and learning new tricks. You can challenge their intelligence by giving them a good puzzle toy. Reward them with treats when they learn a new trick or master a puzzle game. Snow Bengals also love the attention they get from clicker training.

They Love Water Play

The snow Bengal cat will jump into the tub or shower with you, or swim alongside kids in the swimming pool. A snow Bengal loves a running faucet. They love dipping their paw into the water when drinking from the water bowl. They also enjoy a nice pet drinking fountain and splashing water everywhere. Be wary of having a fishbowl or an aquarium with a snow Bengal cat.

They Are Friendly

The snow Bengal cat can be an affectionate breed if raised properly. They are not lap cats, but they enjoy human company and will stay close to their owners. Snow Bengal cats love people and enjoy constant attention from them. They are also fond of children and love interacting with them.  

They Are Talkative

Snow Bengal cats like to make their voices heard and be a part of the conversation! They make various noises, including meows, chirps, yowls, and trills. This breed is very vocal and loves to talk to their parents.

They Love Long Walks

Snow Bengals enjoy taking long walks outdoors on a leash. Leash training from an early age is helpful in achieving this. Once training is complete, your Bengal will want to take long walks around the block!

They Are Great With Dogs

Unlike most cats, snow Bengals get along well with their canine counterparts. If you introduce a snow Bengal to your dog, they will become fast friends. Bengals and dogs are both very energetic and have great fun playing together.

Bengals Can Be Trained

You can also train snow Bengals like any other dog. They are intelligent cats and understand what their owners want. Don’t forget to give them the right reward and incentive.

Snow Bengals Are Loyal

Many people adopt dogs in search of a loyal pet. Snow Bengals are the perfect alternative for people who can’t house a dog. They are very loving and protective of their human parents. Some snow Bengals will follow their human around the house all day. They want to guard you and stay close to you.

Snow Bengals are Curious

Snow Bengals are more curious than the average house cat. They are incredibly inquisitive and love to explore unfamiliar places. You should always keep an eye on your beloved snow Bengal. They can’t help but poke around and inevitably find their way into trouble!

Caring For Your Snow Bengal Cat

Snow Bengals need a caring and attentive pet owner to ensure their health and safety. Bengals have the same needs as regular housecats.

Dietary Requirements

Snow Bengals are obligate carnivores like most cats. They rely on essential nutrients found only in animal products. Snow Bengals require high amounts of protein and other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids.

A raw food diet is a great option for snow Bengals. Bengals also love cooked chicken every once in a while!

A Mix of Dry and Wet Food

Snow Bengals enjoy food variety in their diets. Dry food is more economical and energy-dense. It won’t spoil if you leave it out for your cat. It contains more carbohydrates, so your snow Bengal will consume ample calories.

Wet or canned cat food has up to 78% moisture content and is ideal for fussy eaters. It contains more protein and fat and fewer carbohydrates than dry food. Giving your snow Bengal a mix of dry and wet food will ensure their best health.

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Cat Food Ingredients to Avoid

You should avoid cat food that contains meat by-products, chemical preservatives, and carbohydrate fillers.

Meat By-Products

Meat by-products, defined as secondary products by the AAFCO, offer inferior protein quality for cats. Their origin and animal species are often unknown, making them unreliable. Opt for a high-quality protein diet for your Bengal cat to ensure their well-being.

Another concern is meat meal, a concentrated and processed by-product. It lacks natural enzymes and proteins, making it a low-quality protein powder. Choose pet food options without such questionable ingredients.

BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin

Chemical preservatives like BHA and BHT effectively preserve dry cat food but may pose cancer risks. They are commonly found in oils and fats and have been linked to kidney and liver damage in rats, as stated by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Another concerning preservative is ethoxyquin, which is banned in human foods in the US. It is highly harmful when ingested or in contact with the skin. Many pet food manufacturers have shifted to using “natural” alternatives like Vitamin E and C as preservatives.

Corn Meal and Carbohydrate Fillers

Snow Bengals require protein-rich diets and should avoid excessive carbohydrates. Grain-free options with limited carbs are recommended. Wheat gluten, a cheaper alternative to whole-grain and muscle meat protein, can be problematic. Some cat food may contain melamine, which, combined with cyanuric acid, can cause kidney stones and failure.

Other Ways to Keep Your Snow Bengals Healthy

Fresh Water

Snow Bengals prefer water fountains over stagnant bowls, as it encourages their hydration and provides entertainment. Ensuring a constant supply of fresh water helps keep them hydrated, especially in hot weather when they require more water to regulate body temperature. It’s important to note that adult snow Bengals need an equivalent amount of water (in milliliters) to the number of food calories (in kilocalories) they consume to prevent dehydration.

Schedule Regular Vet Visits

Like any cat, snows Bengals need regular veterinary care for optimal health. They require vaccines and annual wellness checks. If your snow Bengal enjoys outdoor walks, you need to vaccinate them to prevent diseases. Your vet will also provide flea, tick, and heartworm medication for your snow Bengal’s well-being.

You should also spay or neuter your Bengal cat. Otherwise, your snow Bengal may develop behavior problems like spraying and yowling.

Keep Your Snow Bengal Busy

Snow Bengals, being highly intelligent, require stimulation to prevent boredom-induced destructive behaviors. They may attack cords and blinds or exhibit irregular patterns like furniture scratching and inappropriate urination.

Offering climbing structures and interactive toys, as well as engaging in playtime, helps keep them busy. Considering adopting a companion cat is another option, as some shelters promote adopting in pairs rather than solitary kittens.

Give them Love and Affection

Some snow Bengals may appear cold and aloof, but they need your love and attention. Touching, massaging, and petting your cat is crucial. Learn to understand what your snow Bengal is trying to tell you with her meows. Treats are a great way to express your love and affection for cats. Find something your snow Bengal loves and buy it.

Final Verdict – Is a Snow Bengal Right for Me?

Knowing the personality, temperament, and dietary requirements of snow Bengals is critical before you adopt a new furry friend. Some first-time pet owners struggle with owning Bengals because of their feisty wild-cat temperament. The key to raising a happy Bengal is giving the cat everything she needs! If you’re ready to be a devoted cat parent, then snow Bengals are an ideal choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do snow Bengals like snow?

Like other cats and dog breeds, your snow Bengal will develop a thicker winter coat. You might even find your snow Bengal cat enjoys snow days! It is not uncommon to have a snow Bengal cat that enjoys being outside playing in a fresh snowfall.

Do snow Bengal cats bite their owners?

Snow Bengal cats, due to their high energy and intense playfulness, may accidentally bite or scratch during play. They may also exhibit defensive behaviors if they feel fearful or confined at home. It’s important to be aware of and address these tendencies when caring for snow Bengals.

Are snow Bengals high maintenance?

Snow Bengals are high-maintenance and demanding cats. They bond strongly with their owners and can beg for their time and attention.

How much do snow Bengals cost?

Most snow Bengal kittens are more expensive than adult Bengal. You can expect to pay up to $1000 for a Bengal kitten. But they can range anywhere from $400 to $10,000. The cost depends on their location and breeder.

Are snow Bengal cats jealous?

Snow Bengal cats can get jealous of other pets. If you have many pets, you need to divide your time smartly.

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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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