Pet cats are much like children.
You must feed them properly, look after their allergies, and cater to all their needs to ensure a long lifespan.
In the case of Bengal cats:
This is a tad bit trickier.
So, do Bengal cats drink milk? No, Bengal cats are not supposed to drink milk. They naturally don’t have enzymes in their digestive systems that can digest the milk’s sugars.
So, if they can’t have milk, what else can you feed them?
This guide will inform you of the required diet as well as health issues in Bengal cats.
Why can’t you give milk to Bengal cats?
Kittens of all breeds love milk when they’re young. But it’s not the regular milk that most of us think.
They solely feed on none other than their mother’s milk for the first few weeks of their life.
Gradually, as cats grow, they become lactose intolerant.
The problem is the same for Bengal cats although, the cause is different.
The problem is:
They can consume meat but they cannot digest the amino acids in milk.
In the case of milk, it is completely useless for Bengal cats.
Have you bought a Bengal cat? If you have, then you should check out our Bengal cat checklist to ensure that you have everything your cat needs.
The point is:
Even if Bengal cats drink milk, it will be useless for them.
It will make them sick and all the consumed milk will be removed from their body in the form of waste.
Food that can be fed
Bengal cats have slightly different dietary needs than regular cats.
If you look into the ancestral habits of Bengal cats, their diet in the wild would include:
This has genetically made it an obligation for Bengal cats to have a high protein diet.
Most cat foods you find in the market fail to fulfill this requirement.
They are high in carbohydrates.
Feeding raw meat to your Bengal cat is the best option.
It fulfills the high protein needs and is a food option that cats love in the wild.
You must provide your cat with food that is most similar to what it’ll consume in the wild.
Never opt for processed meat.
Raw meat is the only food you should consider.
Whenever you’re buying cat food for your Bengal cat, look at the ingredients.
Your cat’s diet should be at least 50% to 80% protein.
Any more than that is also harmful.
The rest of their diet should contain fiber, vitamins, and other important nutrients.
These cats also love canned pumpkin.
Just monitor the amount to minimize risks of diarrhea.
This is what an ideal diet for a Bengal cat looks like:
Want to know our top choice for a commercial Bengal cat food? Head on to our Bengal cat checklist.
How much should I feed my Bengal cat?
To compensate for things your cat cannot eat, you may want to feed it other things in higher quantities.
However, that shouldn’t be done.
The thing is:
Overfeeding cats is a disease in itself.
Here is how much your Bengal cat needs.
For kittens, heavy diet isn’t required.
But it should be enough to encourage their growth.
A Bengal kitten needs 5 oz. of wet food.
There isn’t a specific amount for dry food but it is suggested to keep it under 4 oz.
However, if you notice their dish is empty, refill it even if it hasn’t been 24 hours.
Since this is a growing age, you shouldn’t allow any hindrance in their food intake.
For older cats, you’ll have to keep a calorie count.
Include the main meals as well as the treats you feed them.
25 to 30 calories per pound are sufficient for adult Bengal cats. So, if your adult Bengal weighs 14 pounds, you’d have to feed it 25 x 14= 350 calories every day.
If you’re consistently feeding your cat this amount but she always seems sick, bloated, tired or hungry, you should consult a vet.
This could be a sign of a bigger health risk.
Foods that should never be fed to Bengal cats
Milk isn’t the only harmful food for Bengal cats. There are many more foods that seem normal but are poison for your cat.
You may be wondering:
How are they so harmful to a cat when humans can consume them without a worry?
Here are the details you need to know.
The first toxic food is fish.
It’s ironic, isn’t it?
All cartoons depict cats as fish and milk lovers yet both these things are toxic for them.
You can get processed tuna which is specifically made for cats.
That is totally fine but the fish that is sold for humans cannot be digested by cats.
This fish can cause an inflammatory condition called steatitis.
This is what it is:
Steatitis is a disease caused due to excessive unsaturated fatty acids in the digestive system.
In fact, cats’ enzymes can react with fish and cause seizures, coma, and even death.
Alcohol is a definite no as well.
Do not let cats get near alcoholic drinks or food items even accidentally.
Weak livers in Bengal cats make them incapable of digesting any alcoholic particles.
Not only does alcohol remain undigested, but it also damages the liver, poisons the body, and leads to death.
Nuts are high in phosphorous.
Bengal cats are poisonous to phosphorous so stay away from any high phosphorous foods.
Grapes and raisins should be avoided too.
They can lead to kidney failure in Bengal cats.
Avocados, garlic, onions, and mushrooms are all toxic for these cats.
These food items also increase the risk of heart diseases in Bengal cats.
Health risks in Bengal cats
Cats are usually associated with milk.
If such a simple thing is harmful to Bengal cats that must mean that they need a lot more attention and care than another cat breed.
Keeping an eye out for health risks will:
- Help diagnose issues early on
- Increase the chances of cure
- Prevent the situation from getting worse
Bengal cats have genetic health risks.
This means that such genetic issues can surface no matter how much you try to prevent them.
The first of these health risks is cataracts.
In this condition:
The cat’s vision is compromised.
The lens of the eye loses its transparency which leads to blurred vision.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is yet another eye disorder.
In this case, the cat loses sight completely.
Although it is painless, the cat does become blind for life.
Distal Neuropathy is a neurological condition.
It affects cats around 1 year of age.
If your cat develops this health problem, it is likely to go through paralysis.
A treatable disease is Entropion.
The cat’s eyelids invert in this condition.
It is hereditary but can be treated if diagnosed in its early stages.
Immediate treatment is recommended or else your cat could itch and scratch the eyelid.
Cats can develop Psychogenic Alopecia.
It is a disease in which the cat suffers mentally.
It will over-groom itself which eventually hurts it.
The only issue may be bald patches on the fur, Psychogenic Alopecia is much worse than that.
This condition is developed due to excessive stress on the cat.
Proper treatment and medication can help ease the cat’s stress levels.
Heart diseases are also common in Bengal cats.
The muscles of the cat’s heart thicken which hinder the proper flow of blood.
Heart-related health problems can cause muscular damage in the entire body.
Prevention of health risks in Bengal cats
The truth is:
Prevention is always better than treatment.
These care tips will keep your Bengal cat in the best health possible.
The first thing to keep in mind is that Bengal cats are a unique breed.
Their necessary preventative measures are also different than those for other domestic cats.
When getting a Bengal cat, make sure you’re trusting a well-reputed breeder.
This breed of cats comes with a number of inherited diseases.
The risks can be minimized only if you ensure that its breeding was hygienic and safe.
Schedule regular visits to the vet.
The best way to treat even the worst of health issues is by diagnosing them in the early stages.
Make sure you’re offering the best diet.
Steer clear of unhealthy and toxic food options at any cost.
In case of any accidents, major or minor, immediately visit a professional vet for help.
Do Bengal cats eat a lot? Bengal cats are an exotic species.
This does cause a difference in their eating habits than a regular domestic cat.
The exact amount of how much they eat depends on their age and body size.
A Bengal cat should be fed 25-30 calories per pound of its weight.
How long are Bengal cats pregnant for? Bengal cats stay pregnant for 63 days, give or take 2 days.
They can give birth to 2 to 5 kittens, however, usually, they give birth to 5 kittens.
How big do Bengal cats grow? Generally, Bengal cats are slightly large in size.
The females can weigh 8 to 12 pounds on average.
Males are usually bigger with an average weight between 10 and 15 pounds.