Do Bengals Have an "M" on Their Forehead? - Bengal Cat Club
Do bengal cats have an M on forehead

Do Bengals Have an “M” on Their Forehead?

Part of identifying a Bengal stems from the patterns on its coat. Bengals come in coat patterns consisting of rosettes, spots, and marbling. But the important coat distinctions of the breed are what make these coat patterns so significant, different, and uniquely apart from other tabby cats’ coat patterns. An owner favorite of these coat patterns and distinctions is the characteristic “M” on Bengal and tabby foreheads. Let’s look further into why this coat distinction is so memorable with these topics:

  • The Forehead “M”?
  • What about the different Bengal coat patterns?
  • Why does it matter to the Bengal breed if it isn’t unique to Bengal cats?

The Forehead “M”?

This “M” isn’t just seen on Bengals but on tabbies of all breeds. It is a specific coat quirk that is easy to identify when the shape and presentation of the forehead “M” is understood.

Just remember, tabby cats are not a breed, they are a distinctive coat pattern present in many cat breeds. Tabby refers to the pattern of the coat, the distinct and characteristic stripes present on the cat, regardless of the color or breed. Any cat of any breed can be a tabby, it’s just unique to the Bengal breed that all Bengals are tabbies. If it helps, just remember, all Bengal cats are tabbies but not all tabbies are Bengals.

Dark lines in the grain of the fur across the cat’s entire body are also present on the forehead. According to Gato Bengali, it is there that they connect to form an “M” shape just above of but also between the eyes. The “M” stretches across part of the forehead but is only as wide as the space between the eyes.

The dark shape reaches down to just about touching the inner most point of the eyes while connecting at the top with two other angled lines.

Bushveld Bengals adds that lightly colored speckles can frequently border the vertical and near vertical parts of the “M”, adding some flair to the already interesting design on the coat.

Check out the video below for a close up look at a Bengal cat who shows the distinct “M” pattern on its forehead:

What about the different Bengal coat patterns?

The “M” shows up on the forehead of any and all Bengal cat coat patterns, adding this trait to all Bengals, not just some or a few Bengals like other coat traits do. This is because, for the most part, the forehead pattern on Bengal cats, whether it has rosettes, spots, or marbling, ends up presenting the same way for every coat pattern.

And because this pattern is present in tabbies of other breeds and not just Bengals, the pattern can’t be attributed to the Bengal’s coat. This trait is therefore inherited from the domestic cat ancestry, not the Asian Leopard Cat in a Bengal cat’s family line.

And since the coat pattern doesn’t signify whether the forehead “M” pattern will be present on a specific Bengal cat’s forehead, it can then appear on Bengals of any coat color, even Bengals with coat colors that come with blue eyes.

Why does it matter to the Bengal breed if it isn’t unique to Bengal cats?

It may not be unique to Bengal cats, but it is still a distinct and interesting trait present in tabbies and Bengals alike. It can also help in identifying a Bengal by its coat. If the coat has the typical Bengal coat characteristics such as color, pattern, tone, and glisten, fits the average Bengal cat weight and height, the infamous Bengal temperament, while also having the “M” on its forehead, odds are pretty good that the cat in question is in fact a Bengal.

The “M” pattern on a Bengal’s forehead is also important because it shows what other breeds could have been used in the breeding of a specific Bengal. A tabby could have been the parent or grandparent of a given Bengal in order to pass down the forehead “M” gene present in the Bengal.

Just because it may not be specific or unique to the Bengal breed doesn’t diminish the interesting coat pattern that is the tabby forehead “M”. Each and every breed has their specific quirks and unique traits but many other just as important traits are shared by many breeds, such as Bengals and other tabby breeds share the forehead “M”.

So, what do you think about Bengal’s forehead “M”?  Do you agree with what was said here?  Comment below to let us know!

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