Getting a Bengal kitten is a lot of fun, but it also raises a lot of questions for new owners, including: do Bengal kittens change color?
Bengal kittens go through a lot of changes when they are young as they are growing and developing, so it should be no surprise that yes, Bengal kittens do change color.
In this post we will cover the following:
Here, you can see a Bengal kitten meeting an older Bengal cat. It’s not only cute to see these two interact, but it’s also a good way to see the difference in color between them even though they have the same coloring:
Because much of what makes up a Bengal cat comes from their wild ancestors, the Asian Leopard Cat, we have to look to these for clues about why Bengal kittens change color. When kittens first start to venture away from their mother, they are extremely vulnerable to predators. As a result, when kittens are young, they have what’s known as a camouflage coat.
A kitten’s camouflage coat is not as well-contrasted as adult Bengal cats because it is meant to help them blend in well with their surroundings. Part of what makes Bengal kittens not as contrasted as older cats is that they have long “guard hairs” that stick out beyond their regular fur. This is what makes kittens look fuzzy in addition to taking away from their contrast.
As a Bengal kitten matures, it will lose its guard hairs and often begin to get darker, especially in its background color. In some cases, a kitten that has a tan or light brown background will develop an orange background as it matures. Since every Bengal kitten looks different, it can be hard to know for sure what color they will be as an adult.
Typically, the best way to have a good idea of what a Bengal kitten is going to look like as an adult is to look at their parents and even further back when possible. A good Bengal cat breeder will be able to provide you with information and pictures of a Bengal kitten’s ancestry for several generations. This will help you get an idea of what to expect as your Bengal kitten gets older.
Knowing the history of a Bengal kitten is especially important if you are getting one with the intention of showing or breeding it. This is because there is no way to know for sure what a kitten will look like since they will go through a color change as they get older. If you are simply looking for a great pet, then coloring will not matter as much to you as personality and temperament, though it can still be fun to know what your kitten may look like as they get older.
The first change in color that Bengal kittens go through is around 12 weeks. Before 12 weeks of age, they have their camouflage coat with which they are able to blend in with their surroundings. After that, they will begin to get their adult coloring. This process happens over a period of months, but they usually have their adult coloring by the time they are 8 months old.
Other color changes that Bengal cats may go through during their life include lightening or becoming duller as they get older. This is completely normal and is a part of the natural aging process. Much like humans start to get grey and white hairs as they get older, Bengal cats will do the same which leads to their coat getting lighter and duller.
Bengal cats may also change color seasonally. In warmer temperatures, Bengal cats tend to get lighter in color. This can lead to such a loss of color contrast in silver Bengal cats that those who show them refrain from doing so during the summer. In the winter, Bengal cats will have a darker coat, which can make those with darker backgrounds lose contrast in their coats.
Another change that Bengal kittens go through is in the color of their eyes. This change happens as a kitten’s eyesight develops and is usually completed around 3 to 4 months of age. When most kittens are born, they have dark blue eyes. These will start to change and eventually become a mixture of dark blue and the color they will have as adults before permanently becoming their adult color.
As you can see, Bengal kittens do change color as they mature, both in their coat and in their eyes. However, it doesn’t change their personality or the fact that Bengal cats make great pets.