The Charcoal Bengal
While charcoal Bengals have been around since the beginning of the breed, occurring naturally in Early Generation cats, these magnificent gems were not highly prized until the last few years. Since the early standard rewarded a highly rufoused (red) color, the color was considered undesirable and was not included in breeding programs. As the development of the breed continues, so does the breed standard, and breeders are now developing this exciting color. There still remains many questions and much research pertaining to the genealogy of this "new trait", and the charcoal color remains rare.
Charcoals can be either spotted or marbled, and occur in all color categories: snow, silver, brown, ect. This "masking" gene is a possible incomplete melanism causing colors in each color category to be darker than the traditional colors that we normally see; but not completely a melanistic coat. In other words, this pattern presents as a darker layer of color over top of the base coat. In addition to the unique color, perhaps the most distinguishing quality of this new trait are the "Zorro markings", dubbed by Terra Sinclair of Packet Leapards, who has been working on this color for many years.