The Snow Bengal can be your very own wild cat. Find out more about this cat’s appearance, personality and health issues here!
The Snow Bengal is a hybrid of the Bengal and Siamese. It’s a medium-to-large-sized cat that looks more like a wild cat than a regular cat. It’s a rare breed that loves to play in the water and spend time with people. It also has a unique and eye-catching coat.
In this article, I’ll discuss all you need to know about the Snow Bengal. First, I’ll talk about the Snow Bengal’s history and how this breed was developed. Next, I’ll discuss what the Snow Bengal looks like and how to take care of one. Then you’ll learn about the common health issues that Snow Bengals face. If you’re interested in having your own Snow Bengal, you’ll find everything you need to know here.
The History of the Snow Bengal
To get to know the history of the Snow Bengal, you have to start with learning about the history of the Bengal. The Bengal is a hybrid of a wild cat called the Asian Leopard and the common housecat. The Bengal that you know today was first developed by a breeder named Jean Mill from California. The first few generations of Bengals weren’t accustomed to being house cats because they were too similar to the Asian Leopard and had wild instincts.
After years of selective breeding, the perfect Bengal was finally born. Some of the earliest kittens were born with white and light-colored coats and they were dubbed as Snow Bengals. The Bengal was officially recognized by The International Cat Association as a certified breed in 1991. Later on, it was also recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the Canadian Cat Association (CCA), and the United Feline Organization (UFO).
Later on, more and more people wanted the light-colored Bengals and so cat breeders began crossbreeding Bengals with Siamese cats. This resulted in white kittens with patterns that are similar to that of the Bengals. Snow Bengals are almost just popular as the Bengal itself. Most Snow Bengals that exist today are born from two Snow Bengal parents.
How the Snow Bengal Looks
For the next following sections, I’ll be discussing what a Snow Bengal looks like. I’ll start by describing this powerful cat’s build and appearance. You’ll also find out just how big a Snow Bengal can get and what influences its size. Finally, I’ll describe the various coat shades and patterns that a Snow Bengal can have. You might have seen a Snow Bengal before but you might not know that this gorgeous cat can have a coat that comes in a variety of shades and patterns.
The Snow Bengal looks like a miniature version of a Snow Leopard. The Snow Bengal has a striking white coat that’s wrapped around a strong and athletic body. Some Snow Bengals can have fur that shimmers in the light, also known as “glittered” fur.
Snow Bengals have wedge-shaped heads that are a bit longer than they are wide. They have large, oval eyes and a strong nose. This breed’s coat is thick and lush and comes in a variety of patterns. Snow Bengals have medium-length legs and their hind legs are slightly longer than their front legs. Their tails are long and slightly tapered at the end. All Snow Bengals have striped tails that end with the markings on the tip.
The Snow Bengal is a medium-to-large-sized cat. Male Snow Bengals are typically a bit bigger than Female Snow Bengals. This breed grows up to be around 8-15 lbs in weight and 13-16 inches tall. It’s normally larger than your typical housecat which also adds to this breed’s popularity simply because there’s more to cuddle!
You might find some variation in a Snow Bengal’s size because how big this cat gets depends on the size of its parents. Since Bengals are typically medium-to-large in size and Siamese are small-to-medium, there’s a chance that your Snow Bengal can turn out smaller or larger than you expect.
You’re probably excited to find out more about the Snow Bengal’s coat. This breed’s coat is easily its most attractive feature. The Snow Bengal has a dominantly white coat with leopard-like markings. Snow Bengal coats have markings that come in two patterns. These patterns are rosetta and marbled.
The two types of Snow Bengal markings:
- Rosetta – Rosetta, also known as spotted, is the type of marking wherein the Snow Bengal’s spots are scattered all over its body. The spots can take different shapes such as arrowhead, donut, cluster, and paw-print. This type of coat pattern is unique to Bengals among all housecats that exist today.
- Marbled – Marbled Snow Bengals have markings in the form of swirls all over their bodies rather than spots. This type of marking is rarer than Rosetta markings because most breeders prefer to produce Rosetta Snow Bengals.
Aside from the two marking patterns, Snow Bengals can come in three different shades of snow. The three shades are known as Snow Seal Lynx, Snow Seal Mink, and Snow Seal Sepia.
The three Snow Bengal shades:
- Snow Seal Lynx – Snow Seal Lynx Bengals have the lightest shade of snow among all three shades. Their coats are pure white and are contrasted by bright blue eyes. They are usually born with pure white fur which develops the famous Bengal markings later on.
- Snow Seal Mink – The Snow Seal Mik Bengal has creamy fur that’s somewhere between tan and ivory white. These Snow Bengals normally have blue-green or aquamarine-colored eyes which are unique to this shade. This shade is produced by crossbreeding a Snow Seal Lynx Bengal and Snow Seal Sepia Bengal.
- Snow Seal Sepia – The darkest shade, also known as the “brown Snow Bengal” is the Snow Seal Sepia Bengal. Their coats are a warm cream color that looks similar to a milky coffee. This shade is named after the sepia photograph filter, which resembles its color.
The Snow Bengal Personality
The Snow Bengal has one the most unique personalities that a cat can have. Unlike most cats, the Snow Bengal is energetic, athletic, and talkative. These cats even defy the stereotype that cats hate water because Snow Bengals love to swim.
Aside from being high-energy cats, Snow Bengals are also sociable. If you have a dog and are worried about them getting along with a cat, then the Snow Bengal is for you. This breed famously gets along with dogs because of its playful personality.
Snow Bengals are extremely chatty and will meow at you about anything. They meow when they’re hungry, want to play, or for no reason at all. Some cat owners find this to be an attractive trait because they love to talk to their cats while others think that their Snow Bengal can be a little too loud.
Your Snow Bengal’s energy can also be a little overwhelming if you aren’t used to having an energetic cat. You can expect your Snow Bengal to run all over your house, climb every surface possible, and jump at anything that resembles prey. Breeders believe that they inherited this energy from their Asian Leopard ancestors.
Take Care of a Snow Bengal
Now it’s time to find out what it’s like to raise a Snow Bengal. Fortunately, Snow Bengals are relatively low-maintenance cats. They can be quite the handful because of their high energy but they’re easy to groom. In the next few sections, I’ll discuss how to take care of your Snow Bengal’s grooming, feeding, dental care, and exercise needs.
Snow Bengals are short-haired cats, so they don’t need much in terms of maintaining their coats. Brushing them once a week is more than enough to keep their coats shiny and healthy. The best type of brush for a Snow Bengal is a slicker brush because it’s gentle and can easily remove dead fur, dander, and redistribute your cat’s natural skin oils.
Although Snow Bengals have bright white fur, you don’t have to worry much about bathing your cat often. They’re great at grooming themselves and will only really need a bath after a messy accident. You might also need to bathe your Snow Bengal if you take them out for a swim or to play outdoors. It’s important that you only bathe your Snow Bengal as needed because bathing them too often can irritate their skin and reduce the quality of their fur.
Like most cats, Snow Bengals will need their nails trimmed once every two weeks. This will help keep your cat comfortable and also prevent it from scratching up your furniture. Be sure to use pet-friendly nail clippers when trimming your cat’s claws.
Figuring out what to feed your Snow Bengal can be pretty tricky. Since this cat has such an athletic body and high energy, it has different dietary needs than most cats. Your Snow Bengal will need plenty of protein in its diet, as well as fatty acids to keep it healthy. This cat’s health can quickly deteriorate if you feed it dry food alone because it doesn’t have enough protein and has too many carbohydrates.
The best diet for a Snow Bengal is a mix of dry food and raw feeding. Raw feeding means that you’ll be feeding your Snow Bengal raw muscle meat, organs, and edible bones. This is the best option for Snow Bengals because their anatomy is closer to a wild cat than most house cats.
You can purchase raw meat from your local grocery. The best amount to feed your Snow Bengal should be between 3% and 5% of its body weight. The ratio of their raw food should be 75% muscle meat, 15% edible bones, and 10% organs. Focus on feeding your Snow Bengal poultry such as meat, organs, and bones from chickens and turkey.
Remember to split your Snow Bengal’s daily raw food intake into two meals a day to prevent overeating or bloating. Snow Bengals prefer to snack on their dry food rather than eat it as a meal. You can supplement their raw food by letting them free eat their dry food.
Best Dry Food: Royal Canin
Since Snow Bengals have similar anatomies to their Bengal parents, they have the same nutritional needs. Royal Canin’s dry food is formulated specifically for Bengal cats and targets the vitamins and nutrients that a Snow Bengal needs to stay fit and healthy. Treat this dry food as a supplement and just top up your Snow Bengal’s bowl whenever you see that it’s empty.
Most cats can suffer from oral diseases when their teeth are left unchecked. Keep your Snow Bengal’s dental health in shape by brushing its teeth at least thrice a week. You can use a pet-friendly toothbrush kit to keep your cat’s teeth and gums clean. Cats aren’t exactly fans of getting their teeth cleaned so you should start brushing your Snow Bengal’s teeth as soon as possible so that it gets used to it over time.
Aside from brushing your cat’s teeth yourself, it’s also good practice to take your Snow Bengal to the vet for teeth cleaning twice a year. Even with regular brushing, your cat can still have plaque buildup underneath its gums. Your veterinarian can take care of it by using dental anesthesia and ultrasonic scalers to get rid of any unwanted dirt.
The most important part of a Snow Bengal’s health is exercise. Snow Bengals require regular exercise every day to keep their muscles in shape and to expend large amounts of energy. You will need to provide your Snow Bengal with plenty of toys, dedicated playtime, and surfaces to climb to keep them at bay.
Snow Bengals don’t fare well in small spaces because they need room to run around. If you live in a small space and want to have your own Snow Bengal, consider installing cat climbing shelves for your Snow Bengal to enjoy without sacrificing floor space. You can also get your Snow Bengal a treadmill for cats because these cats love to run!
Another great way to make sure your Snow Bengal gets enough exercise is by taking it on walks. That’s right, it’s possible to train your cat to go on walks! Snow Bengals are especially easier to leash train than most cats because they love to go outside and explore new places. If you’re looking to take your cat for a walk, you should use a cat harness rather than a leash to prevent choking your cat.
Snow Bengals also love to hunt so toys that simulate the experience of stalking prey are a great investment. They enjoy chasing after teasers, lazers, and ball toys. These toys are sure to keep your Snow Bengal busy and stimulate them both physically and mentally.
When left without exercise, Snow Bengals can quickly become reckless and frustrated. Without a healthy outlet of energy, your cat might turn to destructive behavior such as scratching furniture, chewing on things around the house and even biting people to release its pent-up frustrations. It can also develop weight management problems that can lead to health problems like obesity, arthritis, and diabetes.
Health Issues in the Snow Bengal
Since the Snow Bengal is a hybrid cat, it can inherit the common health issues that its parent breeds face. Both Bengals and Siamese cats are prone to certain diseases because of their genes. However, reputable breeders will produce Snow Bengals without genetic or congenital health problems. They will also be transparent about what health problems that the kittens that they breed can possibly inherit from their parents.
Remember to ask your Snow Bengal’s breeder for its medical history, as well as its parents’ medical histories so you can get an idea of what health problems your kitten might have. The health issues that I’ll discuss here are those that are caused by something else or can be developed with age.
Below are the common health issues in Snow Bengal cats:
- Dental disease
Dental disease is one of the most common health problems that your Snow Bengal can have. Dental diseases are caused by bacteria that build up in your cat’s gums. When the bacteria develop into tartar, it can cause different problems in your cat’s teeth and gums.
The symptoms of dental disease include discolored gums and teeth, swollen gums, and bad breath. Some cats might also cry out in pain while eating when food touches the infected parts of their gums. Diagnosing a dental disease is done through a routine dental exam wherein your veterinarian will assess your cat’s teeth and gums.
You can prevent dental disease by regularly brushing your cat’s teeth and taking care of its dental health. Aside from brushing your cat’s teeth, you can also use water additives which help prevent plaque and tartar buildup in your cat’s mouth.
Preventive measures are important because advanced treatment for dental diseases can be expensive and a stressful experience for your Snow Bengal. The types of treatment for dental diseases include deep dental cleaning and teeth extraction.
Obesity is the abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat in your cat’s body. Snow Bengals can be prone to obesity when they don’t get enough exercise. It can be easy for a cat to put on too much weight when its owner doesn’t put in the effort to provide it with a healthy diet. Obesity is becoming more and more prevalent in house cats because most owners don’t realize that their cat is eating too much or exercising too little.
If your Snow Bengal is suffering from obesity, it can eventually develop more life-threatening diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and hepatic lipidosis. When your Snow Bengal is overweight or obese, its lifespan can shorten as much as 2 to 3 years.
To prevent your Snow Bengal from developing obesity, your cat will need about 1 to 2 hours of exercise every day. Exercise can take the form of playtime or walks. You can also help your Snow Bengal manage its weight by feeding it high-protein and low-fat food.
Cataracts occur when your Snow Bengal’s eye lens gets blurry and loses its transparency. This develops over time and commonly affects senior cats. It can also be caused by blunt injury or trauma to your cat’s eyes.
Symptoms of cataracts behavioral changes including lower activity, bumping into things, and difficulty finding food and litter boxes. The observable symptoms are discolored eyes and tears forming at the tear ducts.
You can prevent cataracts from occurring in your Snow Bengal by making sure that it’s vaccinated against diseases that can increase the risk of cataracts. Unfortunately, the only treatment for cataracts is surgery. The surgical procedure will involve cutting into your cat’s eyes and removing cataracts to clear up its vision.
Snow Bengals are beautiful cats that are closer to their wild side than most cats. I’ve always thought that Snow Bengals are one of the most gorgeous cats that I’ve ever seen. I’m a huge fan of their leopard spots because they’re the only cats that have those markings. It looks even better all over a bright white coat.
I think that Snow Bengals make great family pets but they can be overwhelming for first-time cat owners. These cats need plenty of exercise and attention, and it’s not always easy to satisfy a Snow Bengal’s needs. They seem like the perfect cats for people with active lifestyles and large living spaces. However, I also think that with enough preparation and effort, Snow Bengals can thrive with owners that have never had cats before.
If you’re interested in having your own Snow Bengal, you must be prepared to handle this unique and playful cat. Your Snow Bengal will need you to be its number one playmate especially if it’ll be your only pet. Be sure to have lots of toys and room for your cat because otherwise, you might develop a difficult relationship with this powerful feline.
Hey there! I’m Matt and I’m a content writer from the Philippines. I’ve raised over 10 dogs and 5 cats. I love taking care of my rescue dog Kewpie and my two rescue cats, Misty and Rosy.