Bengal cats can come in a variety of different patterns and colors, ranging from black to blue to white.
One of the more striking bengal cats in the world is the snow bengal.
Snow bengal cats are less common than brown bengals and get their unique white color from the albino gene.
When a bengal cat is bred with a Siamese or Burmese cat who has the recessive albino gene, the result is an albino bengal – or, snow bengal cat.
How Are Snow Bengal Cats Bred?
Snow bengal cats can either be bred from either a bengal cat and a Siamese cat, a bengal cat and a Burmese cat, or two snow bengal cats.
In order to pass down the recessive albino gene, at least one parent must have the albino allele responsible for the lack of pigmentation.
After a bengal cat is born with this gene, normal pigmentation is reduced, creating a white coat that will often contrast against a darker tail and paws since albinism is temperature sensitive.
What Do Snow Bengal Cats Look Like?
Snow bengal cats can come in three different variations: seal lynx bengal cats, seal mink bengal cats, and seal sepia bengal cats.
Seal lynx bengal cats are fully white and have blue eyes with a dark-tipped tail.
As kittens, seal lynx bengals will have low contrast coats that appear entirely white, then as they age, these bengals will develop markings and a dark “seal tip” on their tail.
Following seal lynx, Seal mink bengals have a higher contrast, cream colored coat with blue or hazel eyes and darker markings on their fur.
Seal mink bengals are a cross between seal lynx and seal sepia, creating a light coat and visible markings.
Lastly, seal sepia bengals are the darkest of the three variations of snow bengals and have a dark cream colored coat with green, hazel, or gold eyes.
Seal sepia bengals are the only snow bengal cats without blue eyes and are sometimes mistaken for brown bengal cats since their coats can take on more of a tan color depending on the time of year and their unique genetic background.
How Much Do Snow Bengal Cats Cost?
While the average bengal cat price is $1,500 – $3,000 for a bengal kitten, snow bengal kittens will typically cost around $2,000 – $4,000 since they are less common.
This pricy may vary due to the age of the bengal, as well as its filial generation, genetic background, coat pattern, and, unique shade.
Of the three color variations of snow bengals, seal mink is the least common and tends to be the most expensive.
History of Snow Bengal Cats
The first recorded snow bengal cat was in the late 1980’s – this cat was bred by Gene Jhonson and Bob Dundon who introduced Burmese cats into their breeding programs.
Together, they bred a brown bengal cat (Warhawk) with a Burmese cat, creating the first ever snow bengal cat.
Once the first snow bengal cat was born, this cross-over grew in popularity, making snow bengals one of the more coveted cats today.
Where To Buy Snow Bengal Cats
If you are interesting in bringing one of these beautiful snow bengals into the family, there are likely several options depending on your region and budget.
If you live in a major city or are willing to travel, it should not be an issue to locate a quality snow bengal breeder, since most catteries will have snow bengals.
Some of the more notable snow bengal catteries in the United States are Wild ‘n Sweet Bengals, Amazon Bengals, and Quality Bengal Kittens.
As always, please do a background check when trying a new bengal cat breeder and ensure you are fully informed on all relevant health information pertaining to the bengal kitten.
Snow bengal cats are a great choice and are sure to bring lots of joy and energy into your home!
Photo attribution: source