Worth 6 of the 30 points for Head - (100 Points Total)
The eyes of the Bengal Cat are like no other cat due to the genetics that we have brought down from it's wild ancestor the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC). They can have large rounded eye size/shape that comes from this wild ancestor who is a nocturnal hunter.
2016 - 2019 CFA Bengal Standard for EYES:
Shape is round to oval. Large, but not bugged. Set wide apart, with a slight bias toward the base of ear, when oval in shape. Eye color independent of coat color, except in Lynx Points, where Blue is the only acceptable color. Richness and depth of color is always preferred.
In the sections below, I've separated out eye examples based on a few important aspects - Shape and then Color are the first sections done. Some CFA Breeders prefer the rounded nocturnal eye (similar to the ALC ancestor) while other breeders have a preference for the more oval eye (Similar to most wild big cat species). Our current CFA standard gives no preference as our breed is a mix of wild and domestic traits. If we were to all focus on too many wild traits, then we can unintentionally bring in more wild personalities. I have personally experienced this.
BENGAL EYE SHAPE EXAMPLES
Examples of LARGE AND ROUNDED EYE SHAPES set farther apart:
Examples of OVAL EYE SHAPE with slight bias towards base of ear:
Examples of Bengals with - Eyes too small, too close together and head too large and wider than narrow (All less desirable traits):
EYE COLOR EXAMPLES (Based on coat colors)
Examples of Brown (Black) Bengal - EYE COLOR (Gold and/or Green color variations:
Examples of Snow/Seal Lynx Point - EYE COLOR:
Examples of Snow/Seal Mink Bengals - EYE COLOR:
Examples of Blue Bengals - EYE COLOR:
Examples of Charcoal Bengals - EYE COLOR:
Examples of Silver Bengals - EYE COLOR:
EYE PLACEMENT EXAMPLES
Examples of Bengals with WIDE EYE PLACMENT:
Examples of Bengals with - CLOSE EYE PLACEMENT (Not Desirable):
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. Housekeeping Item: Remove "Eye color independent of coat color, except in lynx points"
A. The Gold variations of eye color are not independent of coat color for Brown Bengals - they coordinate with the coat color.
B. Brown Bengals have two possible ring colors - Shades of Green and Shades of Gold. Most Bengals have one ring of each. Do we want to penalize these Bengals?
C. The gold coloration can come from the wild ancestor and is in alignment with their eye color. Do we want to consider this trait less desirable than the Green/Green eye colors (The Green/Green would be the only color considered independent of coat color for the Brown Bengals)?
D. The majority of Bengals do not have "eye color independent of coat color".
E. Shortens this section of the standard.
1. Many Breeders may prefer the Green/Green eye color in a Brown Bengal. If this eye coloration becomes "ideal" for our breed (by 60%), then this part of the standard can stand as currently written.
A PART OF PROPOSAL #9 for the 2019 Ballot. Results: 28 Yes, 41 No - 69 voters needs 42 "yes" votes to pass. Did not pass.
2. Remove the word "always" from "Richness and depth of color is always preferred".
Rationale: Removing the word "always" allows for light eye coloration from the Seal Lynx Point Bengal where the white/ghost coloring in one or both blue rings of eye color beautifully complements the subtle beauty of a Lynx Point Bengal as it's consistent with their ghost patterning in their coat.
A PART OF PROPOSAL # 9 for the 2019 Ballot. Results: 28 Yes, 41 No - 60 voters needs 42 "yes" votes to pass. Did not pass.
3. Add in verbiage regarding their eyes being "expressive and communicative" or "Large and expressive" to effectively communicate the unique quality of the Bengal eye expression.
a. This works for all eye shapes
a. We may not be a necessary part of our standard if we are trying to shorten the standard.
PROPOSAL #10 for the 2019 Ballot - adding the word "Expressive". Results: 33 Yes, 36 No - 69 voters needs 42 "yes" votes to pass. Did not pass.
4. Change the word "bugged" to "protruding"
A. it is a more professional term with the same meaning.
A. People are very used to the term "Bugged".
PROPOSAL #11 for the 2019 Ballot. Results: 29 Yes, 40 No - 69 voters needs 42 "yes" votes to pass. Did not pass.
5. Add Eye color to the "Head" section under "Eyes" in regards to where we see points allocated. Transfer the points for "Eye color" into "Contrast" as suggested in the 2018 ballot which seems to have the support needed.
COAT & COLOR (25) (20)
PATTERN (25) (30)
Pattern-Specific Point Allocation…………15
Rosetted/Spotted Pattern: Two Tone Markings
Marble Pattern: Two Tone Markings
Charcoal Pattern: Mask, Goggles, and Cape
Snow Pattern: Two Tone Markings
1. Its can also be seen as part of the head.
2. If we decide for the "Coat, Color & Pattern" to be changed to only reflect the Bengal Pelt/Coat, then the eye color portion of the current standard could be moved up to this part of the standard as it may be a better fit. Wording does not need to be changed as it is already addressed in the "Eye" portion of the Bengal Standard (That is under "head")
3. This was already suggested by the 2018 vote which had 49% support.
NOTE: See the POINT SCORE Page to see possible changes to the point score wording and point allocation.
4. Because "Clarity" is most often considered to be a part of "Contrast", having these combined aspects be worth 15 pts. (vs 10 pts.) could be appropriate.
1. CFA has many standards with "COAT AND COLOR" as a separate division which includes eye color. We may want to keep this within this section because of this.
2. This would make the all the physical aspects of the eye worth only 5 points. We may want to make increase the points on "Eye" vs. "Contrast" because of the importance of the Bengal Eye. I would like to get everyone's feedback on this.
PROPOSAL #12 for the 2019 Ballot. Results: 26 Yes, 42 No - 68 voters needs 41 "yes" votes to pass. Did not pass.
6. Should we add a preference for Bengals to have the lighter fur "goggles" around their eyes?
Proposal: Add the following sentence to the EYE description section: "Preference for lighter colored spectacles or "goggles".
A. It's not just for charcoals - Charcoals just have more of a dramatic look because of the white and black coloration's.
B. A Brown Bengal with distinct lighter rings around the eyes has more of a wild look.
C. Some Snow Bengals also have a distinct whiter goggles.
D. Many Bengal Breeders find this a desirable trait.
E. While it's an aspect dealing with the Pattern or Coat/Pelt of the Bengal, it seems to set off the eye so we may want to include it in the "EYE" section.
A. Many tabby cats have a lighter ring of fur around their eyes. This may be better left to the Charcoals at this time and let breeders who like this trait work on it individually.
B. This could be covered within either the Coat/Pelt section or the Pattern section of our standard.
C. It may not be a trait that most CFA Bengal Breeders care enough about at this time. Perhaps in the future?
PROPOSAL #38 for the 2019 Ballot (IT IS CONSIDERED PART OF "PATTERN"). Results: 38 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. Group of approx. 12 members have sent in this proposal for "EYES":
Shape is round to oval. Large, but not bugged. Set wide apart, with a slight bias toward the base of ear, when oval in shape. Shape: walnut, oval on top and round on bottom, with the outside edge slightly biased towards the base of the ear. Set: Placed near the outside of the face with one eye width in between, surrounded by prominent boning that holds the eyes at a parallel angle to the nose bridge in profile. Size: Moderately large, neither protruding nor deep set. Eye color independent of coat color, except in the Lynx Points, where Blue is the only acceptable color. Richness and depth of color is always preferred.
A. These changes were made to reflect verbiage used in other CFA breed standards to make a clearer picture of the ideal Bengal eye should be. We also changed the eye shape to what we feel is the correct description of the ideal eye and used more specific wording on proper set and size.
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, provide written feedback for a written discussion.
C. Walnut shape is not a common term in Bengals. It may be a good way to describe the eye shape, we just need to discuss.
D. This does not simplify our standard. It is wording that is detailed and needs to be fully read through/absorbed and implemented. Sometimes simpler is better.
CURRENTLY NOT A SEPARATE QUESTION FOR THE PROPOSED 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. PLEASE SEND ME YOUR FEEDBACK IF YOU LIKE THIS PROPOSAL.
I AM REASONABLY SURE THAT THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SUPPORT FOR THIS TO PASS AS IT IS WRITTEN. MORE TIME FOR WRITTEN DISCUSSION IS NEEDED AND SOME ADJUSTMENTS WOULD MOST LIKELY BE NEEDED.