Anyone who is looking at Bengal kittens will be wondering about the markings. After all, without being shallow, the stunning coats are one of the most attractive things about these cats. So it’s bound to be a consideration when choosing a kitten. In addition, you might be wondering how soon a Bengal cat gets its true adult spots.
When Do Bengal Cats Get Their Spots?
Bengal kittens start with spots. But their coats will change considerably as they grow into adulthood, which may affect the spots to some degree. The markings and hue will not stay consistent between birth and adulthood. Most kittens have stopped changing around the one-year mark, however, and some earlier than this.
The Bengal cat is a great breed to have. However similar to other breeds such as the Savannah cat, there is a lot to know before deciding if it’s the right breed for you.
Why Are Kittens’ Coats Different?
It’s not always easy to guess why a kitten’s coat does not reflect the one it will have as an adult. But there are a couple of obvious reasons when it comes to Bengals.
Adult Bengals only have a single-layered coat for starters. But the kittens have “guard hairs” on top of their proper coat.
These are long hairs that give them a fuzzy, fluffy appearance and probably help to conserve warmth. The uneven appearance may also help them blend in with grass and foliage, keeping them hidden from potential predators.
The guard hairs will be shed as the kitten grows, leaving a sleek adult coat in place.
A Bengal kitten’s first coat is often referred to as its “camouflage coat,” according to UpgradeYourCat. This makes sense when you remember that Bengal cats are a mix between domestic cats and Asian Leopard Cats.
The wild cats need their young to be camouflaged while they are small and defenseless, and the early coat reflects this.
Young Bengals are almost all sandy or pale, with light coats and light spots. This helps them stay invisible in the scrub and vegetation of their ancestors’ natural environment. And makes it safer for adult cats to leave them while they hunt.
In a youngster’s coat, the markings are often blurry and hard to make out.
Remember that markings will grow more prominent as the cat gets bigger. So even if you can see distinct markings, they are likely to change a little before the cat reaches adulthood. This is not a given, but you shouldn’t assume that spots will stay exactly as they are in kittenhood.
As the cats mature, their coats darken, helping them blend more effectively while hunting and stalking. In addition, their spots will become clearer and better defined. With more distinct markings, they can hide in the long grass or among tree foliage, concealing themselves from their prey.
The different patterns help the adults to hide while they hunt. The rosettes in the fur mimic the dappled light in forests and help to keep the cat hidden even when it is moving as it stalks prey. Young cats do not need to hide their movements in the same way.
When Do Their Coats Change?
Most kittens start to darken at around twelve to fourteen weeks and will do so for up to a year. However, they can change from pale sandy to red or gold in the first twelve months, and you may be surprised by the color your kitten turns out to be when it reaches adulthood.
It’s important to remember that they will also lose their guard hairs as they mature. And they will become sleek and streamlined as they get darker.
It’s rare for a Bengal to change color much after the year mark, but some shift their coloration slightly between winter and summer. For example, many have thicker, darker coats in the winter and become somewhat lighter in summer.
However, their actual color should remain fixed once it is established.
By the time a kitten is a year old, you should be able to see clearly defined markings – whether these are rosettes, spots, or marbling.
What Determines Coat Color And Markings?
A kitten’s color and markings will – like any animal’s – be somewhat random. There is no guaranteeing color or pattern, but the best way to guess is to look at the kitten’s parents. Its color and markings will, to some degree, reflect theirs.
There is no way to tell how a kitten will turn out by looking at it in its early weeks. No matter how many kittens you have owned in the past or how experienced you are with Bengals.
You can’t predict a final coat color and pattern. Some breeders claim to be able to tell, but often, you will simply be guessing.
However, here are some things that may help you if you really want to tell what a Bengal will look like as an adult. Remember, this is a rough guide and may not hold true in all cases.
A marbled Bengal kitten will usually have elongated markings that stretch around and across its body. As a result, the shorter, rounder markings will be less noticeable.
A spotted Bengal kitten is likely to be covered in small rosettes, with these markings appear all over the body, especially on its stomach.
Remember that rosettes can be a variety of shapes, including arrow-headed and circular.
The difficulty is that the markings are often very blurry in young kittens, so even if you use these guides, you may not be able to guess how a cat will turn out.
However, doing this and looking at its parentage will likely give you at least some idea.
What Colors Can A Bengal Kitten Be?
Bengals kittens, as mentioned, are usually pale and grow darker with age. The most common colors are silver, snow, or brown, but you may see some variations on this.
For example, kittens can also be seal mink, sorrel brown, sandy brown, seal sepia, brown-gray, or even blue at times (although blue is rare).
You might wonder if a kitten’s color is linked to the color it will be in adulthood, but this is often not the case. A silver kitten may turn to a rich golden color as its pelt darkens and matures, and a snow kitten might turn brown.
There is no guaranteeing coat color from the baby’s original coat.
Usually, the best indication you’ll have about a kitten’s eventual coloring is to look at the parentage. For example, suppose both parents are silvery. In that case, their kittens are more likely to grow up silvery – although this is not guaranteed, they could mature to be gold or brown or any other Bengal color.
If you are set on having a Bengal of a particular color, you will have to buy or adopt a mature cat that has its full adult coloration.
Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee what a kitten’s final coat color will be, and even once it is an adult, this color may vary a little with the seasons.
Bengal cats start to grow into their proper markings and colors when they are around twelve to fourteen weeks old. But it can take up to a year for them to fully color up, and you might be amazed at how much they can change even once their markings have started to show.
There’s no way to tell what a coat color will be once the cat matures, so all you can do is wait and see what your beautiful feline surprises you with!