Adelhills Bengal Cats 
 

What is a Cashmere

Photo: Adelhills Sansas Aslan

Longhair Bengals, where do they come from?

The Cashmere or Longhair Bengal is exactly that, a bengal with long hair!  Bengals originally developed from crossing the wild cat/s (Asian Leopard Cat, Margay, Ocelot) with domestic cats to create a spotted wild pattern domestic breed.

When you introduce a hybrid the offspring of that joining will carry genes from both parents forward onto the next generation like spotted patterning and even longhair. Some genes are what we can visually see as attributes called phenotype.  Like spots, you can see the generations of spotted cats come through from those original wild cats, but some genetics genotype while present from a great-grand parent may be sitting in the "background" of their genetics unseen for generations and without DNA testing we don't see the fact that the gene is there by their "looks" (phenotype). 

This is what has happened with the longhair gene in Bengals, the gene has been sitting there in the background of the cats genetics for many generations but only will the phenotype of a longhair appearance arise when it matches up with another longhair gene in the offspring.  What that means, if you want to have a longhair or Cashmere bengal they require 2 copies of the longhair gene to be present from both sides of their ancestors. This is called a double recessive trait.

So while we might not be seeing many longhair Bengals that doesn't mean they aren't carrying the gene that enables them to produce longhair, it just means that 2 copies of that gene haven't matched up together in the same offspring.  

DNA testing for the Longhair gene

These days with genetic DNA testing it has given breeders a "window" view to what genetics our cats carry and we are now able to DNA test for longhair genes and so we are able to track the lines that carry Cashmere Longhair Bengals.  This means when it comes to breeding and selecting pairings we are able to decide to or not to have the chance of creating a Cashmere. 

Here at Adelhills we have had four Cashmere Longhair Bengals born since 2015, so with knowing that, I have DNA tested for the longhair gene in all our lines to better track which cats carry the genes to produce Cashmeres for us here at Adelhills.

The gene we're looking for is any of the the following M1/M2/M3/M4 as they are all longhair genes.  The majority of Bengals that have the longhair gene carry the M4 gene.  If you review our cats profiles you will find those that are M4/N (which means they have one copy of the longhair gene, so that makes them a short-hair Bengal carrying the ability to have a longhair offspring if mated to another carrier).

When you breed a carrier M4/N x M4/N you will likely get the following break down of coat/genetic types in the litter:
50% Carriers M4/N
25% ONLY short-hair N/N 
25% Cashmere (Longhair) M4/M4 
This means that having a cashmere kitten born even from carrier parents is rare and only has a 25% chance of happening.

Cashmere Kittens

Since 2022 we have been purposefully breeding our Longhair carrying cats together with the results of 15 kittens born since that time till Jan 20204 and we've have 0% Cashmere kittens arrive!  So while the "odds" are 25% arriving that doesn't always mean 25% is what you'll get, it means each kitten has a 25% chance of those genes both being present from each parent.

We will keep working towards our goals with the Longhair Bengals but availability will be limited while we proceed with their development in our program. Depending on what arrives in the near future we will likely need to retain any Cashmere kittens to help perpetuate the future in our program.

Because they are hard to come by we have priced the Cashmere kittens based on their rarity and the fact that we are the only breeder in the country currently with breeding pairs, so we are limited to accessing further longhair genetics which is costly. 

If a Cashmere kitten is available, we are accepting applications without booking fees atm and will notify any interested families when a kitten is available but we are not accepting paid bookings until we know we have an available kitten to assign a client at this stage. 

If you have your heart set on a Cashmere then you'll need to be prepared for the possibility of a long wait and once achieved a cost of $5000+gst for desexed kittens due to their rarity and the expense in developing them.

Coat Type

The Cashmere Longhair Bengal still retains the "Allergy friendly" coat due the the low level presences of the Fel d 1 allergen in the genetic make-up of the Bengal breed coming down from their wild ancestors.  While they are a longhair cat they are still considered low allergen in regards to other domestic breeds.

They do require a weekly brush of their coat and notably maintaining their sanitary areas and under arms to ensure matting doesn't occur.

So if you prefer a low maintenance cat, stick with their short-hair Bengal version as your longhair cats do require extra care to keep their coats mat-free and flowing.

Their coat is also more noticeable with loss of hair in the seasonal shedding as it's longer! So remember more hair on them equals more hair on you!

The texture of a Cashmere is luxurious, like the texture of Angora Cashmere, which is why they have gotten the term "Cashmere".




How do I apply for a Cashmere?

Our Kitten Applications are located on the Kitten Page, which has further info about what you can expect from an Adelhills Kitten and us as your breeder.  Currently while we are accepting applications for Longhair Kitten we are not processing them with booking fees as we are unable to give any reliable time frame for availability.  If you are set on a Cashmere kitten then please feel free to apply and we will notify those families interested once we have an available kitten.

2019 Adelhills Flames Nala