Lauren Caba asked in PetsCats · 9 years ago

How do you tell if your cats a Bengal or Tabby?

Adopted him and I don't know too much about cats

13 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    I don't know much about Bengal's but I DO KNOW that a Tabby will have the letter "M" on his/her head. Look at the top of their end in between their ears. Most generally all Tabbys hair on their head shows the letter "M" in with a different shade. I remember reading the story about it one time about how the Madonna owned a lot of Tabbys, and the "M" represented her. All of mine have had them so far.

  • tobias
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Bengal Tabby

  • belshe
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Bengal Tabby Mix

  • 9 years ago

    By the papers from the breeder. With over 97% of the cats on this entire planet NO particular breed and with Bengals being so expensive - it's pretty rare to find one at a shelter. I've volunteered with shelters for over 25 years and only once did we have a Bengal that someone surrendered at 7 years old.

    Post some pics of your cat. I can probably give you a lot of reasons it's not a Bengal since I see them all the time at shows.

    And FYI - "tabby" isn't a breed it's a coat pattern. And the pattern of most Bengals is "Brown Spotted Tabby" but their spots are "rosettes" - quite different from regular spots on a domestic

    • Bethany5 years agoReport

      actually I have adopted 3 bengals from shelters... 2 had their TICA papers... it is not rare to find them in shelters. There are Bengal specific rescue groups too... it is not rare to find any breed in a shelter or rescue... My sphynx is also a rescue...

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  • 9 years ago

    Actually a Bengal IS a tabby! . Tabby is just a very broad category of patterns on cat coats.

    But I'm sure you mean. a tabby Domestic Shorthair -- a random-bred cat of no particular breed.

    The 4 basic tabby patterns are

    mackerel (vertical stripes on the sides)

    classic ( also called blotched) a pattern with swirls, whorls etc.. This is a pattern that seems to have come from British cats and it's quite common there. In the US it is much less common than mackerel.


    ticked (in this one every or almost every outer hair is tipped with darker colour -- most famous example is the Abyssinian breed)

    There are a LOT more domestics than there are Bengals. . In fact the pedigreed cats with all the breeds put together are only about 3% of cats! The vast majority are "domestics". But with Bengals being such a popular breed (which means it's popular with responsible AND irresponsible breeders) it's more likely to find a homeless Bengal or a Bengal mix than it would be in a more rare breed like an Egyptian Mau. That doesn't mean there are a lot of Bengals in shelters .The good breeders will take them back if their home can't keep them. And for the ones who do end up homeless, usually they'd end up in breed rescue. Rescue groups work with shelters to take cats of the breed they focus on, which gives more space for the "regular" cats.

    All of the tabby patterns I listed above are found in non-pedigree domestic cats as well as in pedigrees . So just having a spotted tabby pattern doesn't mean a cat is definitely a Bengal or other specific breed.

    But one thing that WOULD very likely mean Bengal is In Bengals, there is a special kind of spotting called "rosettes" -the spots have a dark outline with a lighter colour in the middle.

    Bengals also have a special version of the "classic" tabby pattern, called "marbled"., they're selectively bred to have a flowing horizontal pattern., and not to have the circular bull's eye sort of shapes often seen in the regular classic tabby DSHs.

    Another sign a cat may have Bengal in it is if it has dark tabby markings with the background color an unusually bright / warm gold., with a glittery look.

    Here's a page showiing some examples of Bengal coat patterns:

    Another page describing characteristics of Bengals

    Congratulations on adopting your new cat! You might never know what his ancestry is but no matter what, he can be a wonderful friend.

  • Ocimom
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Tabby is NOT a breed of cat - its a coat/color pattern only - tabbies come in many breeds and mixes. If you have a Bengal you will have registration papers and pedigree. Otherwise you have a normal domestic shorthair cat with tabby markings.

  • 9 years ago

    If the adoption fee was very high, and you got him from a breeder, the papers will tell you. Otherwise, you have a beautiful tabby. And most cats are tabby cats, and typically that is what you will find at your local SPCA and similar shelter.

    Tabby cats have a "M" on their forehead, and also have many different fur patterns.

  • J C
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    If your cat has papers from a breeder stating he's a Bengal, then he's a Bengal. Otherwise he's a tabby marked domestic short hair.

    Source(s): many years of cat rescue
  • Gary C
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Since Bengal is a registered pure breed, if you don't have papers saying your cat is a Bengal, it's a tabby. ("Tabby" is the general term for any striped cat.)

  • 9 years ago

    Bengals will be spotty rather than stripey.

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