ROSETTES: ALC's have small arrowhead shaped rosettes. (AS Shown In The Picture Below). Bengals have a variety of shapes of spots and rosettes. Bengal rosettes can range from very small to huge, fist sized rosettes. (The pictures below show some rosettes on bengals. Some bengals don't rosette, rather they have inky black spots. I personally feel that the bengal coat is superior to the ALC, not in contrast, but in that the size and shapes of the rosettes of the bengal are so unique and spectacular. Bengal breeders have done an amazing job breeding bengals with rosettes and spots that look even better than the ALC.
ALC, small arrow shaped rosettes
COAT CLARITY AND CONTRAST: The ALC coat is highly contrasted with little to no ticking in the background coat. In bengals, we desire to have as little ticking as possible. Ticking looks like dark hairs mixed in with the background coat. All bengals have some amount of ticking but the less the better because ticking causes the pattern to blend into the background and tends to hide the pattern. There is a type of bengal called a "golden" bengal that has very little ticking and a highly contrasted coat like that of the ALC. There are also other colors of bengals that do not have much ticking but the goldens by far have the clearest coats i've ever personally seen. Most goldens come from silver bengal bloodlines and it is thought that somehow the silver gene pushes the ticking off the ends of the hair shaft. It is not really known for sure exactly how these genes work though.
The ALC has a whited belly, the white extends on the inside of all four legs up over the chest to the chin and on the cheeks. There is also white around the eyes and in alternating lines over the forehead. The white on the face is called a "whited expression" the white on the belly and legs is called a "whited belly". The ALC white is very very white, also referred to as t-shirt white by some breeders.
The bengal does not generally carry this whited trait to any great extent in the SBT. Some bengals will have a creamy white coloring or a partially white pattern on the belly in an hourglass shape. This is referred to as "lighted" by some breeders. Most bengal kittens look whited when they are little, however this is not to be confused with a true whited cat. Almost all whited cats color over to a cream color or darker by the time they are 1-2 years old. It is thought that some "lighted" cats do carry for whited and that bred to the right cat they can have whited offspring. It is also thought that whited is inherited as a pattern and that is the reason why it is so hard to breed for the whited trait.
Whited is not to be confused with a locket (a patch of white hair with no pattern) a locket is an undesirable trait that is not to be bred for whereas whited is very desirable and to be bred for.
The pictures below show a true whited ALC and a lighted, almost whited SBT bengal. The bengal in the picture still has a very light belly but it is more of a slight hourglass shape and probably not as white as an ALC if compared side by side to one. This bengal though probably would produce some whited if bred to the right queen. (note: the bengal in the pictures still has the light color undersides at approx. 2 years old)
ALC, true whited undersides
SBT bengal, lighted , almost whited
same SBT bengal, lighted undersides
same SBT bengal, notice the light chest and inner leg
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