ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Arrowhead, Paw-Print, Doughnut: A World Of Bengal Rosettes

Updated on March 20, 2011

Although the initial burst of hype surrounding Bengals has long subsided, today's Bengals are far more advanced in duplicating the look of the original Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) than the examples of even just a few years ago.

One of the most unique identifying factors on a Bengal are its marvelous spots and rosettes, which come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and patterns.

Although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a clear definition to each.

Spots: Spots are one colour on a background coat colour.

Rosettes: Rosettes are spots that have different shades of colour.

Some Bengals have a lot of little spots that make them look a bit like a miniature leopard, and others have but a handful of huge rosettes. I have to admit that the latter is my favorite and it's also considered quite desirable when showing the breed. Bengal breeders for years have been trying to outdo each other in producing absolutely enormous rosettes and some of the effects are definitely striking!

Help! I'm Seeing Spots!!!

Full Rosettes
Full Rosettes
Dual-Tone Rosettes
Dual-Tone Rosettes
Arrowhead Spots
Arrowhead Spots
Doughnut Rosettes
Doughnut Rosettes
Paw-Print Rosettes
Paw-Print Rosettes
The Asian Leopard Cat: Ancestor of all Bengals
The Asian Leopard Cat: Ancestor of all Bengals
A Snow: A lovely cat, but is it an actual "Bengal"?
A Snow: A lovely cat, but is it an actual "Bengal"?
A Marble Snow. Beautiful, but what does it have in common with ALC?
A Marble Snow. Beautiful, but what does it have in common with ALC?
Either the world's greatest Bengal fan or a total nutcase
Either the world's greatest Bengal fan or a total nutcase

There are several major types of Bengal rosettes. The original, "garden variety" spot is solid and somewhat round or sometimes a bit ovoid. That is a very basic type of spot and most breeders these days are trying to achieve the more "wildcat" look of arrowhead-shaped rosettes which differ all the way from simple dual-tone spots all the way to complete rosettes that consist of a partial semi-circle (similar to a crescent moon) of spot around a clearly lighter center section. When the outer circle goes all the way around it becomes a doughnut. The pawprint rosette is quite rare and features several little dark rings around a lighter central spot.

Bengal cat breeders are the natural-born enemies of striping, thus they try very hard to keep the spots as random or horizontal in alignment as possible. After all we're breeding Bengal cats, not Bengal tigers! You can see by the photo of the ALC that the spots in this original ancestor of all Bengals is very random with large and very clearly defined rosettes that are extremely clear and just jump out from the background colour. When the spots line up to form a "striped rib" that is generally known as one of the greatest sins in Bengal breeding and is an automatic express ticket to "pet status" for any Bengal kitty. After all, Bengal breeders are trying to duplicate that very elusive "wildcat" spot look that can come as close to the ALC ancestor as possible.

The Official Bengal Breed Standard, as revised 05/01/2004, states it all officially:

Spots shall be random, or aligned horizontally. Rosettes showing two distinct colors or shades, such as paw print shaped, arrowhead shaped, doughnut or half-doughnut shaped or clustered are preferred to single spotting but not required. Contrast with ground color must be extreme, giving distinct pattern and sharp edges.

Bengal breeding is not only a task to adhere to the standard, but it is a measure of personal preference as well. There are many Bengal breeders and Bengal fans who absolutely adore marbles and snows. Call me a purist, call me an extremist, call me irresponsible, but the only cat I would want to breed is a conventional spotted Bengal. Marbles and snows just don't do it for me. It isn't just a matter of personal preference, but I believe it is backed up by facts. On the snow background it is almost impossible to get enough contrast from the background so that the spots stand out as they should. And the marble is a lovely cat, but to my eye it has no cosmetic marking resemblance to the ALC. If it is the case that the Bengal breed is to attempt to duplicate the ALC's cosmetics with the docility and intelligence of the Bengal cat, then marbles and snows are not true Bengals at all.

Snow and marble fans can send me hatemail now! :)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)