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10 Things to Know About the Silver Bengal Cat 2024 (With Pictures)

The Silver Bengal cat is famous for its stunning silver coats adorned with mesmerizing patterns, making it a beloved choice among cat enthusiasts worldwide.

If you’re considering welcoming a Silver Bengal cat into your home, congratulations! You’re about to experience the joy and companionship they bring. These cats possess unique qualities, such as hypoallergenic and minimal shedding tendencies.

In this article, we’ll provide valuable information to ensure you’re well-prepared to care for your Silver Bengal cat. We’ll explore the art of grooming, guiding you to maintain their sleek fur and promote optimal health. Plus, we’ll discuss their nutritional needs, revealing the key elements contributing to their overall well-being.

We’ll also touch on some common health problems Silver Bengal cats may be prone to. With this information, you should be able to provide the best possible loving care for your Silver Bengal companion.

Read more: Bengal cats are some of the best family cat breeds.

silver bengal cat
silver bengal cat

Contents

10 Things to Know about the Silver Bengal Cat

1. History and Origin of Silver Bengals

There’s an intriguing history of Silver Bengal cats. These unique felines can be traced back to a combination of wild Asian Leopard cats and domestic cats. The concept of such a mix was first mentioned in 1889 by a British artist named Harrison Weir in his book “Our Cats and All About Them.” However, the term “Bengal” had not yet been coined.

It was in the 1960s that the breed we know today as Bengal cats began to take shape. American breeder Jean Mill played a pivotal role in crossing domestic cats with wild Asian Leopard Cats to create Bengals that resembled miniature jungle cats (Leopard, Cheetah, and Leo are common Bengal cat names). By the early 1990s, Bengal cats had gained immense popularity.

Initially, Bengal cats came in shades of brown and golden, with no Silver Bengals in sight. It was during the 1990s that Silver Bengals emerged through the breeding of Bengal cats with American Shorthairs. Breeder Judy Sugden is credited with producing the first litter of Silver Bengal kittens.

silver bengal cat
silver bengal cat

The captivating beauty of Silver Bengals quickly captured the attention of Bengal cat breeders and cat enthusiasts. People were fascinated by their resemblance to small wild jungle cats. In 2004, the TICA officially accepted Silver Bengal cats as part of the Bengal breed, solidifying their place in the feline world.

2. Formal Recognition of the Silver Bengal Cat

As mentioned, The International Cat Association (TICA) officially recognized Bengal cats as a breed in 1986. Subsequently, in 1997, the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy also acknowledged them. The Cat Fanciers’ Association followed suit in 2016, accepting Bengal cats as a recognized breed.

It was in the 1990s that Silver Bengals emerged. Due to their introduction at a later stage, the acceptance of Silver Bengals into the Bengal breed took some time. It was only in 2004 that TICA officially recognized Silver Bengals as a distinct variation within the Bengal breed.

bengal-brown
bengal brown

Image by Jeannette1980 from Pixabay

3. Are Silver Bengal Cats Rare?

Silver Bengals stand out from other Bengals with their shimmering silver fur. Additionally, they tend to be larger than their counterparts, boasting longer legs and larger feet. 

Finding Silver Bengal cats can be challenging because they are considered rare, like regular brown Bengal cats. Silvers are so uncommon that there is no accurate global population count.

While Silver Bengals are indeed rare, they are not the rarest Bengal color. That distinction goes to the Snow Bengal, with only about one in a hundred thousand Bengal cats having that coloration.

Looking for one of these gorgeous cats? Silver Bengal cat prices can also be intimidating. Owners have reported Silver Bengal kittens for sale at more than $1000.

gray-bengal
gray-bengal

Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

4. Silver Bengal Cat Appearance and Characteristics

Despite being called “silver,” their coat is not actually silver in color. It appears silver because of a particular gene called the silver inhibitor gene. This dominant gene prevents the genes responsible for the usual brown coat color in Bengal cats from appearing.

When a Bengal kitten inherits the silver inhibitor gene from one parent cat and a brown gene from the other,  it will always be a Silver Bengal kitten because the silver gene dominates the brown gene. However, if both parents are Silver Bengals and pass on the normal brown gene to their kitten, it will be a regular brown Bengal kitten.

It’s worth noting that the silver inhibitor gene doesn’t wholly remove warm pigments from the cat’s coat. Sometimes, it doesn’t filter out all the warm pigments, resulting in a tarnished coat with yellow or red pigments on the face, back, and legs.

Other desired variations include Blue Silver Bengal cats and the intriguing Silver Spotted Bengals.

silver bengal cat
silver bengal cat

5. Personality and Temperament

Silver Bengal cats, despite their wild appearance, are actually very friendly and love to show affection to their owners. However, they aren’t fond of staying in one spot for too long and prefer not to be lap cats. 

They are bundles of energy and absolutely adore playing. Being enthusiastic climbers, they might accidentally knock over and break things in your home.

You can provide them with a cat window perch, a cat hammock, or a cat tree to prevent any mishaps. These setups allow your cat to climb and explore different platforms, keeping them entertained while reducing the chances of breaking things.

bengal-cats-duo

Image by 성혁 이 from Pixabay

Before considering bringing a Silver Bengal cat into your home, there are essential factors to keep in mind:

  • Space: Bengals can grow quite large, so ensure that you have enough room for them to move around comfortably. They need plenty of space to stretch their legs and play.
  • Food and energy: Larger cats require more food to support their growth and higher energy levels. Be prepared to provide them with an appropriate diet and engage in playtime to keep them active.
  • Joint health: Due to their size, Bengals may experience strain on their joints. Monitor their mobility and consult a vet if you notice any issues.
  • Health problems: Bengals are prone to specific health problems. Before getting a Bengal, ensure their overall health status is good. If you spot signs of illness, seek prompt veterinary care.

Consider these factors carefully to determine if a Silver Bengal cat fits your home and lifestyle.

silver bengal cat
silver bengal cat

6. Grooming and Care of Silver Bengal Cats

Silver Bengal cats have short coats and don’t shed very much, making them less likely to cause allergies. They don’t require much grooming either—give them an excellent light brush every now and then to remove loose hair.

In the spring, Bengals, like most cats, shed their winter coat. It’s a good idea to brush them more often during this time. Also, remember to regularly check their nails, clean their ears, and brush their teeth with toothpaste approved by the vet if necessary.

To keep your cat healthy, provide them with a high-quality, protein-rich diet. Some cats may have symptoms of intestinal bowel disease, which can sometimes be misdiagnosed. Treating parasites and switching to high-protein cat food often solve these issues. 

If your Silver Bengal cat shows any signs of illness, consult your veterinarian for the correct diagnosis and treatment.

bib-bengal-silver
bengal silver

Image by 성혁 이 from Pixabay

7. Are Silver Bengal Cats Hypoallergenic?

Some people believe that Silver Bengal cats are hypoallergenic because their short-haired coats and minimal shedding define them as less likely to cause allergic reactions. However, it’s important to note that the scientific and commonly accepted definition of “hypoallergenic” is debated among scientists and cat experts.

Nevertheless, these cats are generally a good option for individuals with allergies since they are less likely than long-haired pets to trigger allergic reactions in most people.

8. Silver Bengal Health and Lifespan

Bengals (and Silver Bengal Cats) usually live for 12 to 16 years if they receive the proper care and eat a good diet suitable for their age.

Proper nutrition is vital to keep your Bengal cat healthy and prevent diseases. They need a diet that has plenty of protein from meat. This provides essential nutrients like taurine that they need to stay healthy.

Bengal cats need lots of exercises and mental stimulation. Spend time playing with them and their cat toys every day. They also enjoy going for walks with a cat harness. They might become overweight if they don’t get enough playtime and chances to run, climb, and jump.

Provide toys and designated areas for your Bengal cat to enjoy. They love climbing to high spots, so having cat trees, shelves, and scratching posts in your home is excellent.

Lastly, be aware of foods that are harmful to Bengals. Some substances can be toxic and make them sick or even cause death. Knowing about these dangers will help you protect your Bengal cat’s health.

silver bengal cat
silver bengal cat

9. A Note of Foods That Are Toxic to a Silver Bengal Cat

Several foods humans consume are toxic to pets, so a general rule of thumb is never to feed your pets your food. However, some foods are incredibly toxic to cats, and your precious Silver Bengal kitty, in this case. It’s crucial to keep these in mind to ensure the well-being of your feline friend:

Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to Bengal cats. Even small amounts can cause serious health issues, including heart problems and seizures.

Caffeine

Caffeine is highly dangerous for cats and can be fatal if ingested. It can lead to rapid heart rate, tremors, and even collapse.

Grapes and Raisins

These seemingly harmless fruits can actually be toxic to cats, potentially causing kidney failure and other severe health problems.

Garlic, Chives, and Onions

These ingredients, commonly used in cooking, are harmful to Bengal cats. They can damage red blood cells and cause digestive issues.

Green Tomatoes

Unripe tomatoes contain a substance called Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems if consumed by cats.

Tuna

While small amounts of tuna are generally okay, overconsumption can lead to malnutrition and even mercury poisoning. It’s best to provide a balanced diet specifically formulated for cats.

Fat Trimmings and Bones

Feeding your Bengal cat fat trimmings or bones can result in digestive issues such as diarrhea and vomiting. Bones can also cause choking hazards and mouth or throat cuts.

Raw Eggs

Raw eggs may contain bacteria like Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning in cats. Additionally, consuming raw eggs can lead to skin and fur problems.

Dog Food

Dog food is unsuitable for cats as it lacks the essential nutrients that felines require. It’s best to feed your Bengal cat a diet specifically designed for their nutritional needs.

Liver

While liver can be beneficial in small quantities, excessive amounts can be toxic to Bengal cats. It may cause bone issues and deformities due to an excessive intake of certain nutrients.

Too Many Treats

Overindulging in treats can contribute to obesity and increase the risk of developing diabetes. It’s important to provide treats in moderation and prioritize a balanced diet.

curious-bengal

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

10. Some Health Concerns for Silver Bengal Cats

While Bengals and Silver Bengals are generally healthy, a few health issues can sometimes occur in this breed. It’s important to be aware of these if you’re considering bringing a Bengal cat into your home:

Joint Problems

Bengals may have knee issues called patella luxation. This means their knee joints can move in and out of place. Severe cases may need surgery, but sometimes losing weight can help reduce the strain on their joints.

Anesthetic Allergies

Bengals are very sensitive to anesthesia. Vets need to be extra careful when giving anesthesia for surgery because an allergic reaction could lead to their heart stopping.

Heart Disease

Older Bengals often develop a common heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It makes their heart muscles thicker, so their hearts have to work harder. This can cause blood clots, immobility in the back legs, and congestive heart failure, which can be fatal. Signs of heart disease in Bengals include panting and being tired all the time.

Cataracts

Like people, Bengal cats can get cataracts. This makes their eyes look cloudy and can cause vision loss. Thankfully, cataracts can be removed with surgery to help them see better.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a group of eye diseasesthat gradually damage the retina and can lead to vision loss in Bengals. It’s tricky because some cats can carry the disease without showing any signs themselves, so it’s hard to eliminate it from the breed.

Thyroid Problems

One common health issue in Bengals is thyroid problems, which can lead to either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. These conditions can cause weight issues, changes in appetite, depression, and vomiting in your cat. 

bengal-eyes

Image by Rumeysa Cinar from Pixabay

Final Thoughts on Silver Bengal Cats

Silver Bengal cats are captivating and unique companions that bring a touch of wild beauty into our homes. Their stunning silver coats and distinctive markings make them indeed a sight to behold. 

Whether or not they are hypoallergenic, one thing is sure: their short coats and low shedding make them a more allergy-friendly option for cat lovers. With minimal grooming needs, these cats are easy to care for, allowing owners to focus on the joy they bring to their lives.

Beyond their striking appearance, Silver Bengal cats have vibrant and playful personalities that add excitement and entertainment to any household. Their intelligent and curious nature makes them excellent companions, always ready for adventure and exploration. 

Their active and energetic disposition ensures that they can keep up with any lively household or engage in interactive play sessions with their human family members. 

Additionally, Silver Bengals are known for their affectionate and social nature. They form strong bonds with their owners and often seek out opportunities for cuddles and companionship. 

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