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Bengal Cat Trait Scoring with Chris Kaelin, PhD


Identifying Genetic Variants in Bengal Cat Selection

Chris Kaelin, PhD of Stanford University & Hudson Alpha Institute is a geneticist  specializing in mammalian patterning and pigmentation.  He is a one of the world's leading experts in cat pattern and coloration genetics.  Along with his colleagues Greg Barsh, MD, PhD, Kelly McGowan, PhD and others at Hudson Alpha Institute and Stanford University Genetics Lab, he is at the forefront of the discovery and identification of the mutations, variants, pathways and functions that create the coat variation in feline, canine and equine species.

Since 2008 Dr. Kaelin has worked with the Bengal Cat community of breeders & enthusiasts to identify and understand the genetics responsible for the unique phenotypes in the breed such as rosettes and their relationship to genetic material inherited from the Asian Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).  Collaboration and engagement with the Bengal Cat community has been a centerpiece of Dr. Kaelin's work.  Hundreds (thousands!) of Bengal Cats genetic samples have been voluntarily provided to Dr. Kaelin's lab by Bengal breeders and owners. Dr. Kaelin has visited catteries and cat shows throughout the US to take samples, meet the community and present insights from his ongoing work. 

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Dr. Kaelin is seeking the Bengal Cat community's assistance in identifying currently unknown genetic variants responsible for the different phenotypes in Bengals, that also exist in other felines.   

  • Big Spots to Small Spots

  • High Contrast to Low Contrast

  • Solid Spots to Arrowhead Rosettes to Pawprint Rosettes to Donut Rosettes to Clouded Rosettes

  • White Tummy to Same Abdominal Color as Lateral

  • Acreage to Crowded Patterns

He needs our EXPERTISE & ASSISTANCE.  Instructions for trait scoring session are here: CLICK HERE

Reference Sheets for scoring are below

Sign up for one of the scoring sessions with your name and email address. You will receive an email with instructions. Sign up here:         


Dr. Kaelin and his colleagues published the identification of the blotched tabby variant, which creates marble tabby in Bengal Cats.  Find an article here and quotes from Dr. Kaelin here.  Dr. Kaelin can tell you if any Bengal Cat is recessive for marble (blotched tabby) by submitting a DNA sample HERE

Dr. Kaelinis currently at work on the manuscript for the identification of glitter in 2018, through research on the Bengal Cat breed. 

PLEASE send your Bengal Cat's DNA to Chris Kaelin, PhD by requesting a swab and completing this document (click HERE).   

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