The Asian Leopard Cat White Tummy
by Kathy Ward; Leopardstrail Bengals
October 2005 as published in THE Bengal Bulletin Vol 19 issue 4
The White Tummy is a Trait of the Leopard Cat. The Underside of the ALC is White with Black Markings; Tummy, Chest, Inside of the Legs and Under the Tail.
I don’t pretend to know everything about white tummies, but having completed a 2 year search for the foundation cats for our cattery. I‘d like to share some of my observations.
At this writing, ALC white tummies are very rare in the SBT Bengal. It is a very desirable complex recessive.
My experience has been that the best (full) white tummies come from cats bred down from Millwood French Lace and Millwood Midas touch, for example Sutera Labu. In checking pedigrees, the ALC Taro, Noah, and Kabuki have influenced white tummies that remain throughout maturity of the cat.
There may be other lines that I'm not familiar with. My desire is to arm you with information so when you're ready to buy a kitten with an ALC white tummy, you get what you pay for.
Many kittens are born with white tummies but their tummies color over as they grow. The ALC white tummy stays white.
When looking for a kitten, it's important to choose one from a reputable breeder, who has a proven track record of producing ALC white tummies. These breeders are more than happy to talk to you at great length and show you their pedigrees and cats. They'll be interested to know how the kitten develops and how it will be kept.
It's important to study pedigrees. Ask breeders to show you where their white tummies came down from.
If you're looking for a white tummy kitten be prepared to pay. Some breeders have worked for 10 years to get to the point of breeding whited tummy to whited tummy. Such a breeding is the best way to insure a whited tummy kitten.
The ALC white tummy is a special wild trait, it completely changes the look of the Bengal. It's so beautiful and so very “wild” looking! A difficult ALC trait to maintain in a line unless whited tummy are bred to whited tummy. At this writing there's definitely a shortage of fertile white tummy males.
Many breeders with ALC white tummies are often working with wilder cats. I have seen three F-4 boys with beautiful white tummies and one with the glitter coat and rosettes too, but not a one is proven yet.
I hope my experience makes your experience easier. The ALC white tummy is a trait worth perpetuating.