Worth 6 of the 30 points for Head - (100 Points Total)
The ears of the Bengal Cat are a combination of domestic and wild traits that come from their wild ancestor - the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC). They can medium to small and rounded tips are desireable. There are 6 main aspects to consider for Bengal ears (These are all listed on the "terminology" webpage):
1. Size (Medium to Small/Short)
2. Shape (Rounded tips)
3. Placement (Base of ear)
4. Direction (this changes the most from kittens to adults from the Frontal View.)
5. Fur pattern - Ocelli/Lighter thumbprint
2016 - 2019 CFA Bengal Standard for EARS:
Medium to Small, with a wide base, rounded tips being desirable. Set far apart, following the contours of the face in frontal view, slight tilt forward in profile view. Light, horizontal furnishings acceptable, tufts are undesirable.
BENGAL EAR SHAPE EXAMPLES
Examples of MEDIUM EARS:
Examples of SMALLER EARS:
Set, Size, Shape and Width
Ears are taller in kittens so these ears are promising for Shape, Set and Size (See next photo for Adult picture of the same cat)
Nice ears came in and are Smaller now that his head has grown. Good placement and shape too.
Examples of TALLER, POINTED, TOO HIGH, TOO CLOSE or not ANGLED FORWARD- These ear traits are less desireable
Too tall, too close, a bit too pointed
Ears too pointed and too tall Good placement.
BENGAL EAR PLACEMENT EXAMPLES
Examples of WIDE EAR SET
Almost too wide set - Bordering on "Yoda" ears.
Examples of FORWARD TILT EAR SET - Side view:
Breed Council Change Considerations:
NOTE: Rose highlight indicates a "Strike-through" of wording in the Bengal Breed standard to be removed. Gold highlight indicates an "underline" which is new wording being proposed to add in to the Bengal Standard.
1. Change "Small" to "Short"
Rationale: Short (vs. Small) is a more accurate description of the desired Bengal ear. We are not looking for tiny ears for instance which have a narrow ear base and also short - This is what describes a truly "Small Ear".
PROPOSAL #7 for the 2019 Ballot. Results: 25 Yes, 44 No - 69 voters needs 42 "yes" votes to pass. Did not pass.
2. We need specific descriptors for ear placement:
Currently have "with a wide base", "set far apart" and "Following the contours of the face in frontal view" but nothing about specifics of which part of the head the ears should be.
Propose: Add in "Ears set as much on top of the side of the head as on top of the head"
A. The current CFA Standard does not address ear placement on the Bengal head. This omission needs to be corrected.
B. We want distinguish ourselves from tall ears set close together & pointed ears set high on the head (Close together) like we see on Servals or Savannah Cats.
C. We want to stay away from "Yoda Ears" where the ears come off to much to the side of the head. This can happen as Bengals mature and if their ears as kittens are set too wide apart, once the skull grows to maturity, the ears move too far off to the side of the head.
PROPOSAL #8 for the 2019 Ballot. Results: Results: 39 Yes, 30 No - 69 Voters needs 42 "yes" votes to pass. Did not pass.
Breed Council Change Considerations for 2019 that did not get on the Ballot:
A. We may want to address the changes in ear direction (from the frontal view) that occur from Kittens into Adults. As a 5 month old kitten, ear direction can be more vertical that we desire in our adults. Since the ear direction moves towards the side of the head as the skull grows, allowances could be made for this in kittens.
Adding a new sentence to the end of the "EARS" description section of:
"Allowance for kittens to have ear placement more on top of the head and ear direction more vertical."
A. In kittens and young adults, ear placement and direction that is more vertical and moves towards the side of the head as they become mature giving a more balanced ear expression-especially in males.
B. It is a subtle way of also addressing the fact that we may not want ears out to the side than on top. If a kitten has more wide set ears when they are young, they get "too wide" and placement and direction comes too far out of the side of head giving the appearance of "Yoda Ears".
NOT CURRENTLY ON THE BALLOT FOR 2019 - MORE DISCUSSION AND CONSIDERATION IS NEEDED FOR THIS SUBJECT. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS FOR INCLUSION ON THIS WEBPAGE.
B. Group of approx. 12 members have sent in this proposal for "EARS":
Medium to small with a wide base, rounded tips being desirable. Set far apart, following the contours of the face in frontal view, slight tilt forward in profile view. Light, horizontal furnishings acceptable, tufts are undesirable. Small to medium. Set as much on the side of the head as the top, almost as wide at the base as tall. Deeply cupped at the base and set as though listening. Uniformity in width, with rounded tips.
A. These changes were made to reflect verbiage used in other CFA breed standards to make a clearer picture of the ideal ear. We also changed the ear size from medium to small, to small to medium, as small is the ideal size (according to the group of 12)
A. Only submitted to BCS on 7/31 with only 2 weeks before the proposed ballot is required to be turned into CFA.
B. No consensus within the CFA Breed Council for this change as it hasn't had time for people to see, read, discuss and suggest changes.
C. describing ears as "almost as wide at the base as tall" is not what 60% of the current CFA Council members want for the Bengal ear.
D. This is being seen as taking away from "Medium Size" ears which many other of the CFA Council members believe is best.
E. The current standard was written to include both small and medium ears so that no one was left out.
CURRENTLY NOT ON THE 2019 BALLOT AS IT WAS ONLY SUBMITTED ON 7/31/19. IT IS CURRENTLY POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE ON 8/3/19 SO THAT THE COUNCIL CAN START TO GET FEEDBACK FROM ALL OF IT'S MEMBERS FOR A POSSIBLE INCLUSION ON THE 2020 BALLOT IF THERE IS ENOUGH SUPPORT.