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Breed Outcross Program

Lots of you are in love with pure breed cats. But you must realize that almost every cat or dog breed is a mixed from others. An Outcross Program is going back to the mixing process with a purpose. Actually, selecting traits from other domestic cats (or even wild cats) are not only a help to take bigger and secure steps to the breed maturity, they are crucial to guarantee healthier blood lines. We are going there a bit later.

As we know, Bengals were created mixing Asian Leopard Cats with a variety of domestics shorthair cats. At first, they selected them with the warmest coats (ruffused) to duplicate the ALC vibrant color. When the silver variety was created, they used American Shorthairs (ASH) to add that domestic gene ("I"). So if that traits are already into the Bengal Breed, why go back? Well, for many reasons. The most important to me is that we are still persuing that Bengal unique look.

The focus on rosettes, may made us loose some other ALC traits as structure, rounded top skulls, back skulls, thick tails, etc on many lines. Some breeders are back breeding to ALCs to recover those. Despite the controversy of that practice, it is natural to think that going back for other domestic traits is not only possible but very important. 

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The Reason

Bengal cats are very popular, but you can trace in their pedigrees almost the same lines and cats. So there is no that much diversity in their genetic pool (the sum of a population's genetic material). This affects health. That's because we are dealing with almost the same problems that uncontrolled inbreeding can cause. Having a lot of common ancestors made it possible to pop some serious diseases. The first sight of these problems is always fertility issues. Silver Bengals have even worse scenery, cuz is a still new variety and there are not enough breeders focus on them, and these few catteries are using even a more limited universe of bloodlines. Why? one of many reasons is the fear of tarnished coats after mating silvers with brown Bengals. Of course, you can try to avoid tarnish using cold brown cats but let's be honest, there is not a lot of them out there. Some use Snow Bengals but in my opinion, this is a bit tricky cuz snow genes hide the real color behind it. So if you can't use any no silver Bengals to improve diversity, then outcross doesn't sound that bad. In fact, ASH breeders have done an excellent job preserving contrast and pure silver color. Use ASH genes not only would help us to increase our genetic pool and prevent health issues but it can also be used to fight against tarnish as well.

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ASh

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BG

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why

ASh

?

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Cleaner untarnished silver color

 

Rounded ear tips

 

Large eyes

 

Strong chin

 

Thick tail

 

Heavy bone structure

 

Amazing personality

The process

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A: Generation "A". From two cats from different breeds
O: Outcross
N: Non-permissible

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B: G. "B". Al least one non-Bengal grandparent
O: Outcross
N: Non-permissible

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C: G."C". At least one non-Bengal great grandparent
O: Outcross
N: Non-permissible

An outcross program requires planning, commitment, and patience. At the same time, you are bringing traits to your new Bengal line, you are losing others. So you should be extra careful cuz you are adding and losing precious features all the time. On The International Cat Association (TICA), an outcrossed kitten will no have the SBT status code (Stud Book Traditional) on its pedigree. They will have AON, BON, or BON code depending on which generation they are. AON is a mixed between two breeds. On a second generation, you should reintroduce a Bengal so you can get BON status. You need one Bengal more for CON. Of course, you can mix AON with AON, CON with BON, or even add a new breed, but let's keep this post not that complicated. Don't be fooled by the phrase 'Non-permissible', an outcross can be registered, but it cannot be shown. When you reach the fourth generation you recover your SBT status, so you are breeding pure breed Bengal cats again. Hopefully healthier and evolved.

 

For our Outcross Program we had chosen Magik, an amazing ASH that is already givin us many satisfactions. We've just begun this journey with our first AON litter. I don't know if I'm gonna achieve any of my goals, but at least outcross may guarantee healthier cats which is a victory itself.

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Our first AON litter. Magik Cosmo, Magik Moon & Magik Mike.

AON kittens

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