The Ultimate Guide to Caring for your Bengal Cat or Kitten
Congratulations on adopting your new Bengal cat or kitten!
We Bengal cats make great family members. You’re going to love life with your active, relational, and intelligent feline friend!
The Ultimate Guide to Caring for your Bengal Cat or Kitten is intended as a guide to give your new Bengal cat a great life and to be a resource for ongoing information about your zany and beautiful companion.
When you adopted your Bengal cat, you should have received pedigree information, certificates for vaccinations, and if they were done, microchipping and spaying or neutering information.
These are important documents and should be stored in a safe location as part of your Bengal cat’s health record. When you take your cat to the veterinarian for the first time, they will take copies of all of the information except the pedigree.
About Bengal Cat Care:
BengalCatCare.com was founded by our humans, Katie and Debbie Russell. They are a mother and daughter team that share a passion for Bengal cats and take really good care of us Bengals. While they do not breed Bengal cats, they do have a lot of knowledge to share that we Bengals have taught them about loving and caring for us. This guide is written by Squidley and Butter, but there have been two other Bengals in our family in the past that have trained the humans on how we want to be taken care of as well:
Squidley. A Silver marble female.
Butter: A Seal Sepia Silver Spotted female.
Dukey. A brown spotted Male. He passed away of a stroke.
Cheddar A Brown Rosette female. She passed away of cancer.
Written from our purr-spective, feel free to skip around to the section you need the information about the most. If you chose to pick up some of our favorite Bengal cat supplies below, we may earn a small commission from Amazon.com. This is how we pay for the web hosting of this site and are able to provide high quality information for Bengal cat owners.
Recommend Bengal Cat Basic Supplies
The list below contains all of the basic items you need to care for your Bengal cat as well as suggestions for specific items that we have found to be high quality and helpful.
These are items that you will need to have when first bringing your Bengal cat home. Later on, we’ll suggest optional items and specific items to address specific behavioral issues.
Basic Bengal cat care items needed for your new arrival:
Food bowl – It’s not necessary to buy a cat-specific bowl, A dishwasher safe ceramic bowl is best. We’ve included our favorite food & water bowl combo below:
Water bowl – While they look cute a connected combo food and water dish is not preferred by Bengal cats. The modern-day Bengal cats feline ancestors would not contaminate their water source with prey they killed. Instinctively, we Bengal cats would prefer our water and kibble dishes to be separate and placed at least a few feet apart from each other if not further. For that reason, completely separate bowls rather than a combo cat dish is preferable. We’ve included our favorite bowl below:
Like the food dish, a dishwasher-safe ceramic bowl is best. Our water dish needs to be cleaned and refilled daily as it gets contaminated easily. Our mom gives us a clean bowl every morning and puts the other one in the dishwasher. She says it’s easier than cleaning the water bowl every day. Since the only thing we drink is water we love the fresh fill every morning. Truthfully, we don’t really care whether the bowl is plastic but mom is sensitive since Cheddar died of Feline lymphoma at an early age and says ceramic has fewer chemicals. Find our 2nd favorite food and water bowl here!
Kitten or cat food – Your breeder or Bengal Cat rescue will provide you with some of the kibbles that your new kitten or cat is currently used to eating. Once you decide on a cat food, you will need to mix the kibble together slowly to change over your new kibble if you are going to make a switch. We Bengal cats, like all other felines, can have our stomach’s upset by a sudden change of foods. It’s best to mix the old food and the new for a few weeks if you are going to make a change. Check out our article on the best foods for Bengal cats here. We’ve included our favorite food below:
Litter box – Most Bengal cats do everything with gusto and potty time is no exception! We have a great article on the best cat litter boxes here but our number one advice on selecting a Bengal Cat litter box is: The higher the sides the better. Even Bengal kittens can jump into and out of a tall litter box with ease. We Bengal cats like to dig and are fastidious about covering up our waste. Unfortunately, that leads to a lot of cat sand on the floor instead of the potty box if you do not have a high sided cat box, which the humans hate. Despite being ladylike in almost every way and being spayed, I (Squidley) pee like a boy and I spray. A high sided cat box contains the sand and the spray, ensuring no accidents for mom to clean up. Here’s the cat box that I have used since I was 12 weeks old. Find our favorite Litter Box here!
Cat Bed – To be honest, we don’t recommend a store bought cat bed. A cardboard box with a blanket is what we really want. Flat cat beds offer no visual protection from the back. High sides make us feel safe and ensure no one can sneak up on us. Honestly, for the most part at night, we are going to want to sleep with you. During daytime naps, we will feel safer in an enclosed space rather than a low sided cat bed. We will also use the couch and your lap far more than we will use a cat bed. We recommend you use a free cardboard box and save your money for more cat toys or a cat tree. We’ve included our favorite bed below:
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Toys – Bengal cats are agile, athletic, and strong! We LOVE to play chase! Wands are a must! But not all cat wands are durable and safe. My mom was so frustrated spending 10 dollars for a wand that we would easily break that she has tested them all. Here are a few that we love and have good durability.
Bengal cats like to chase lasers, enjoy puzzle toys, and catnip stuffed toys. We especially love to play with drinking straws.
Cat scratchers – Mom has tried them all out over the years. We have an article here detailing the different types of cat scratchers but for your convenience, we have also listed the top to favorites of ours below for your convenience. We know your Bengal will thank us. Find our favorite cat scratchers here!
Cat claw nail clipper – We hate to have our Bengal Claws clipped but mom says it is a must. Here is an article on how to clip your Bengals claws. If you start to clip our claws every week to 10 days we will get used to it. Mom says the vet charges 12 dollars each to clip our claws plus the office visit so we have to do it at home.
Flea control. We live in something called the United States of America but mom orders our flea products from a veterinarian in somewhere called New Zealand? She says it arrives in 10 days and it costs 75 percent less than buying it at the veterinarian in the town we live in. Even though we are indoor Bengal cats mom says we still have to have flea treatment. She says the humans can bring fleas in on their clothing from outside or from contact with other animals. Dukey was allergic to flea bites and would break out in a rash if a flea bit him so mom says “No fleas!” Your human will determine if you will have a cat enclosure or other outside time. If you share a home with a dog you will have to have flea treatment because they will bring fleas in when they go potty outside.
Not all flea treatments are safe. Even if you order online, make sure it is a reputable brand and spot test it first.
Bringing Your Bengal cat or Kitten Home
Most veterinarians today do not use stitches that need removing and most reputable breeders will have had the stitches removed if necessary prior to your bringing your Bengal cat home. However be sure to inquire when you pick your Bengal cat up if any post-surgical stitches due to spaying or neutering need to be removed.
Leaving its mother and kitty cat siblings can be traumatic. Your home will have new sights and smells and can be very lonely for a kitten or a cat who is used to having others to play with. This is one reason why adopting Bengals in pairs is something to consider. Bengals are very relational cats. They love to play and do get lonely when you’re away.
Be aware that your new Bengal cat or kitten may be very needy while it’s adjusting to his or her new home. Bengal cats with high intelligence have a heightened awareness of their surroundings. This can make them curious and adventurous but also fearful.
A little extra love and reassurance when first brought home can go a long way. Be patient with your new Bengal cat during the ‘settling in’ period while it adjusts to its new home. Your Bengal cat has just experienced a period of change, uncertainty, and possibly surgery, which may require time to overcome. This fear could be expressed as stress purring or hissing if you startle them, this is common.
The ‘settling in’ period may take longer for some Bengal cats than it will for others.
It could take a day or two, or it could take a month.
When you first take your new Bengal cat home, isolate it to one small room for at least the first 24 hours (possibly up to one week). A bathroom works great!
Make sure your Bengal has access to a clean litter tray, food, water, and a warm bed. Some Bengal cats do not enjoy change, so this arrangement gives your Bengal cat time to adjust to its new environment and feel secure. Even though your home may feel small to you, the size may be overwhelming to a new Bengal cat at first.
It is fine to leave your Bengal cat alone during this time, giving it a chance to explore the room at its own pace.
You will need to Bengal cat-proof your home. Lock up toxic and dangerous materials, such as cleaning solutions, antifreeze, and medications. Close small holes or gaps in heating, vents, and floorboards. Remove small objects like paper clips, coins, rubber bands, staples, thread, earrings, needles, and thumbtacks, as like these can choke animals if swallowed.
Keep the toilet lid shut, as Bengal cats love water! Bengal kittens can drown or die from ingesting toilet bowl cleaners. And it’s no fun bathing your new Bengal because they decided to play in the potty!
Young animals have the instinct to chew, so cover electric cords with rugs or plastic cord guards available from hardware stores. They often perceive cords as toys or “snakes” and will bite down hard.
Remove poisonous plants such as azalea, daffodil, rhododendron, oleander, mistletoe, hydrangea, morning glory, Easter lily, stargazer lilies, and wandering jew plants.
If your Bengal cat is happy and confident after the initial 24-hour period, it might be ready to explore a little bigger space. So if you have brought them home and set them up in the bathroom, the next step is letting them into a bedroom. Make sure your Bengal cat knows where the food bowls and litter trays are to prevent any accidents. Give your Bengal cat a safe place to retreat, like under the bed, if it does become a little anxious.
Don’t proceed to this step if your Bengal cat is nervous, not eating, or hiding when you enter the room they are now in. This will only overwhelm it more and slow the process further. Socialize with your Bengal cat in the separate room and leave it until its ready to come out and explore.
Do not force your Bengal cat to interact before it is ready. It is natural for your Bengal cat to feel overwhelmed and unsure in its new environment.
Once your Bengal Cat has mastered the second room and is confident, it should be ready to explore the rest of the home.
My mom did this with me and I was ready to explore! My sister, Butter took a little more time. She was really nervous about people walking around and coming in and out of doors. Even though she was playful, she was just a bit timider than I was when I came home for the first time.
Introducing Your New Bengal Cat to Your Resident Bengal Cat
Some Bengal cats are more welcoming than others, so please have patience when it comes to introducing two Bengal cats. Bengal cats are territorial animals and need time to get used to each other before there is a face-to-face introduction. The slower the introduction, the more you can prevent fear and aggression problems from developing. That being said, most Bengal cats will easily accept a new Bengal kitten. They seem to know that the new kitten is a Bengal baby and treat them well. Introducing an adult Bengal to another Adult Bengal cat is a little more tricky and requires some planning.
Confine your new Bengal cat for up to a week in a medium-sized room with litter tray, food, water, and a warm bed. Initially only allow your resident Bengal cat to smell underneath the door. There may be some hissing or your Bengal cat may retreat. This is normal behavior and it may take some time before this ceases. Hissing usually isn’t a sign of aggression, it’s a sign of fear. It isn’t an attack, it’s a warning.
You can feed both Bengal cats on either side of the closed door to this room, which will help them associate something enjoyable with each other’s smell. This work especially well with feeding them wet food.
If the Bengals cats seem like they are not upset or are adjusting to the idea of a new Bengal buddy, you may then want to use a doorstop to prop the door ajar, just enough to allow the animals to see each other, but not enough to feel like they are in each others space.
Switch sleeping blankets or beds between your new Bengal cat and resident Bengal cat so they become accustomed to each other’s scent. Rub a towel on one animal and put it underneath the food dish of the other animal. This associates the new Bengal cat’s scent with the pleasant experience of eating. Be aware that your resident Bengal might yowl in protest when you pet the newcomer and then pet him without washing your hands. Let the resident Bengal yowl, having the smell of the new cat on them won’t kill them, they just think it will.
Once your new Bengal cat is using the litter tray and eating well while confined, let it have free time in the house while confining your resident Bengal cat to the new Bengal cat’s room. This switch allows the animals to experience each other’s scents without a face-to-face meeting. It also gives the new Bengal cat time to become familiar with the new surroundings. Introduce your Bengal cats to each other gradually so that neither Bengal cat becomes afraid or aggressive.
You can expect mild forms of these behaviors, but if either animal becomes fearful or aggressive, separate them and start over with the introduction process as outlined above.
Bengal cats are smart. They can get jealous. It’s their intelligence that can cause them to either accept or reject another Bengal cat. Squidley was the most pleasant Bengal cat ever. But When Dukey and Cheddar passed away within weeks of each other she adjusted to life as an only cat. After three months of being the top cat, she was not pleased when Butter came to live with her. Butter was a retired breeder and very sweet but Squidley would have none of it. It took three months for Squidley to accept Butter was now part of the family. Mom had to work with us very carefully and let us know that SHE was top cat and fighting would not be tolerated. She spent a lot of time giving us individual attention and play time.
Introducing your new Bengal cat to your dog
The positive interaction of a Bengal cat and a dog is completely possible.
The following techniques may assist in introducing your new Bengal cat to your dog. You will need to work on basic dog obedience so your dog knows what is expected of it. A delicious treat will help motivate your dog to perform what is necessary for the presence of such a strong distraction as a Bengal cat. Confine your Bengal cat to a medium-sized room when your dog is inside the house. This way, both animals may smell each other’s scent underneath the door. Feed the animals on either side of the closed door so they can associate something enjoyable with each other’s scent.
The majority of Bengal cats love dogs. If introducing a Bengal kitten and a dog, the Bengal kitten may be timid at first but will quickly get over its fear and embrace its new canine friend. If Introducing an adult Bengal cat to a dog follow the procedure outlined above, just as if you were introducing another Bengal cat.
Dogs usually want to chase and play with Bengal cats. +The cat will either want to join in or will quickly show the canine who is boss.
After you have gotten through the steps above for introducing a new cat and have switched rooms several times, it’s time for the face to face meeting.
Make sure introductions are made after feeding time because a full belly is a happy belly. Keep the dog controlled on a leash and promised a treat so they will not chase the Bengal cat as soon as they are in the same room. Let your Bengal catwalk around the room and explore without your dog chasing it. This will help to build your Bengal cat’s confidence.
Do not allow your dog to chase your Bengal cat, as this will cause the Bengal cat to feel scared and uncomfortable in its new environment.
Your Bengal cat has had vaccinations. Many municipalities require Bengal cats to have a rabies vaccination kept current. Some municipalities require you to register or license your cat. Where I live I am required to have a rabies vaccination. My mom only allows me to have a Purevax brand rabies vaccine because she feels it is the safest for purebred Bengal cats.
Many vaccines contain an adjuvant. This is a substance that irritates the injection site so the Bengal Cat’s immune system is triggered. But my mom said that when I, Dukey, and Cheddar had a three-year rabies shot, we all developed a tumor at the injection site that lasted more than two months. Now we still get our rabies shot but one year, not a three year and she requests a non-adjuvanted vaccine like Puremax. Since Dukey and Cheddar went from perfect health to cancer and stroke within 6 months of having a 3-year rabies vaccine with an adjuvant she is extra careful.
She still makes us get our shot but she is just careful with what brand we get. We recommend you check with your veterinarian and be informed prior to booster shot time. Be sure to keep your Bengal cat’s vaccination certificate so you can show that you are complying with all local laws.
Besides rabies, there are other vaccines you can have us get. Decide for yourself with your veterinarian what additional vaccines are necessary. Your breeders is also a great resource for determining which vaccines your lovable Bengal cat may need to keep him or her healthy.
Microchipping Your Bengal cat
Has your Bengal cat been microchipped? If yes, fill out the registration and make sure that the company knows the new owner info. If not, consider having your Bengal cat microchipped the next time you are at the veterinarian. If your Bengal cat is ever lost and ends up in a shelter, the first thing they will do after checking for a collar tag is to scan your cat for a microchip. If your cat is ever stolen, it is definitive proof of your ownership (even though we both know that Bengal cats own you!). Make sure your Bengal is returned to you by keeping the company updated with your current address if you move.
Indoor Only or Allowed Outside?
We recommend that you keep your Bengal cat indoors only. This is the only way to keep them truly safe.
If we insist on outside time, how about a compromise? A Bengal cat enclosure will make both of us happy. A cat enclosure is not a cage, but a safe and enjoyable area where your Bengal cat can play all day and night without danger to itself or wildlife, or of being cat-napped. There are many companies that build both custom and flat-pack enclosures, which are easy to set up and maintain.
If you insist on letting us roam, we recommend you keep your Bengal kitten indoors until it is at least eight to 10 months old before allowing it to go outside alone. This keeps it safe from cars, other animals, disease, poisoning, or becoming lost. It also helps your Bengal kitten bond with its new family, making it less likely to stray too far away from your house.
We recommend that if you adopt an adult Bengal cat, it should be kept indoors for approximately eight to 12 weeks. This will give your Bengal cat time to adjust to the new sounds and smells around it and grow accustomed to its new family and territory. If you let your Bengal cat outside before it has fully adjusted, it may run away. You can allow your Bengal cat supervised visits outside during this initial period. Watch it closely at first and only allow it out for short periods of time.
Our mom wants us to remind you that she does not approve of letting Bengal cats out freely in the neighborhood. We are so pretty and friendly that we risk being stolen. Many Bengal cats will climb freely into a strangers car. If you have to let us outside please set up an enclosure to keep us safe and cat-napped free.
If you want to let us outside, why not take us for a walk? We love to walk on leashes! It is fun for both of us!
Feeding Your Bengal Kitten or Cat
Your breeder has a preferred brand of food your new Bengal cat or kitten has been eating. They will always give you some to take with you to start you off. Bengal cats just like all other Bengal cats can experience stomach upset if their food is switched without a transition period. So if you decide to switch, add one-third of new food to the old food. After that has been eaten add two thirds new food to the old food and after that has been eaten switch to 100 percent new cat kibble.
Some Bengal cats experience stress from all of the changes that occur during the adoption process and consequently may stop eating or conversely may stress eat and consume more than a typical amount. You may need to offer a range of foods to encourage their eating.
Correct feeding of a Bengal kitten is critical, as it is at this stage that bones and joints are growing and forming. All Bengal kittens should be fed a growth formula. Both dry and canned Bengal kitten foods are available and we recommend that you use BOTH types of food for maximum well being. Kittens should be fed three to four times a day, for up to four months of age; after this age, Bengal cats should be fed once or twice a day.
Dry foods are convenient, provide taurine which all Bengal cats need they may help to keep your Bengal cat’s teeth clean because they are hard and require crunching of those fabulous Bengal chompers to digest. We’ve included our favorite dry food below:
However, wet food is not only loved by your Bengal cat, but it can also help a cat stay hydrated and some studies show that feeding your cat a diet of wet food can help with obesity. We’ve included our favorite wet food below:
There are many, many canned food varieties on the market but this one is our paws-down favorite. We wake our mom up every morning and loudly yowl until she gives us each a package. The Amazon delivery person brings it right to our door. Mom says it’s cheaper than buying at a discount store and it comes to us. When the box arrives we know it and we meet the Amazon delivery driver at the door and jump into the box as soon as our mom opens it. However, You can see our post on the different canned foods we have tried here.
Raw meat. We love raw meat but our mom doesn’t let us have it. She is too worried about parasites, salmonella, and petting us after we have eaten it and licked ourselves. She says “No!” We say ME-OWWWW! For those of you who want to try a raw food diet, she recommends you speak to your vet before making a decision.
Cooked meat. We love cooked meat and fish. Our mom cooks fairly healthy and she lets us eat bites of the protein and vegetables that she eats. We love skinless boneless cooked chicken. Mom says the bones could choke us or perforate our intestines so no bone of any kind for us. We eat all kinds of cooked fish, beef, pork, eggs. Cut up in tiny bits meat, fowl and fish are great for us.
People food. Do not put your cheeseburger down and get up to get a napkin or drink because it will be our cheeseburger upon your return. The same goes for nachos, sandwiches, grilled cheese, mac and cheese, cupcakes, muffins and well, any people food at all. We try everything. Bengals are adventure eaters and unlike most cats, Bengal cats have a sweet tooth. Dukey used to be called a blueberry muffin hussy by my mom. And he would get mad if his bite of cupcake didn’t include frosting. Mom tries to limit our people food intake to cooked meat and fish but we confess, we like it all. Unless you want your food to become our food, don’t leave it unattended.
Some food is dangerous for us and can make us really sick. Bengal cats cannot eat grapes. They are poisonous to us. Grapes are fun to chase if they are accidentally dropped on the floor but mom makes sure she takes it away from us. Here is a post about people food Bengal cats shouldn’t eat.
Water. Make sure your Bengal cat always has access to clean, fresh water. This is especially important if your Bengal cat is fed only dry food. Try not to put the food and water dish in the same location. Their primal instinct is not to eat their kill by their water source so as to not contaminate it. At least place the bowls a few feet apart.
Water bowls must be washed and fresh water replaced daily. If you backwashed into you water cup during dinner would you want to drink that same cup of water with breakfast? Yuck!
Obesity. Bengal cats have long athletic bodies; they are not meant to be obese. Obesity in Bengal cats can shorten their life and cause disease. Follow the feeding guidelines on your kibble package, do not free feed and give them plenty of exercises and you will not have a Bengal cat obesity issue.
Litter Training Your Bengal Kitten
Bengal cats are fastidiously clean animals and are constantly grooming. Inside the house, place the litter tray in a quiet location away from the food bowls. An inside laundry or bathroom is ideal. Once set up, carefully place your Bengal cat into the litter tray to ensure it is aware of its location and leave the tray in the same place in your house to avoid confusion.
If you have more than one Bengal cat, the general rule is one tray per Bengal cat plus one spare. We’ve pointed out our favorite litter tray (we use this one) below:
Bengal cats may have a preference for an open or covered litter tray because they like their privacy. Your Bengal cat may prefer a larger- sized tray. It is helpful to know that your Bengal cats may prefer a certain type of litter and may refuse to use the one you are offering it.
The most common behavioral problem reported by Bengal cat owners is urination and defecation outside of the litter tray. You can help to prevent this by providing the correct number of trays, placing them in appropriate locations, offering litter that your Bengal cat prefers, and cleaning any trays at least once daily.
Possible Health Issues All Cats Can Have
Cat Cold or Flu
Cat flu is a contagious respiratory disease in all cats as well as Bengal cats and kittens. It is caused by several infectious agents. This usually involves any combination of two separate viral agents and one bacteria. These infections are not transmissible to dogs or people. Flu is spread directly by infected cats, from food bowls, and passively on human hands. Up to 80% of cats, not just Bengals may be carriers and the virus is most frequently spread when under stress due to change.
Cat flu generally lasts around two weeks in most cats. Take your Bengal to the vet if they won’t eat for more than 24 hours after being offered a selection of foods such as canned, dry, home-cooked chicken breast or canned tuna. If your Bengal cat exhibits, foamy drool, open mouth breathing, red, or watery eyes, excessive sneezing, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, or green or yellow discharge from the eyes or nose. If your Bengal cat gets sick, take them to a vet.
Bengal cats with the flu may not be eating well. Warming their food or offering a selection of extra tasty food, such as cooked chicken or fish may benefit. Putting a dab of wet food on their paw may entice them to eat because they will want to clean their paw. Cat flu is similar to the common cold in humans and this may help you understand the condition better.
Feline AIDS is a viral disease of cats similar to HIV in humans. It only occurs in cats and cannot be transmitted to humans or other animals. Like all cats in general, it is mainly contracted via the saliva of Bengal cats and transmitted by Bengal cat bites during the fighting. Please seek advice from your vet if you are intending to allow your Bengal cat outdoors.
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus that infects cats. FeLV can be transmitted from infected cats when the transfer of saliva or nasal secretions is involved. If not defeated by the animal’s immune system, the virus can cause diseases which can be lethal.
The signs and symptoms of infection with feline leukemia virus are quite varied and include loss of appetite, poor coat condition, anisocoria (uneven pupils), infections of the skin, bladder, and respiratory tract, oral disease, seizures, lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes), skin lesions, fatigue, fever, weight loss, stomatitis, gingivitis, litter box avoidance, pancytopenia, recurring bacterial and viral illnesses, anemia, diarrhea and jaundice.
Asymptomatic carriers will show no signs of disease, often for many years. There is a vaccine but as with ALL vaccines, mom recommends the brand Purevax with no adjuvant. Check with your veterinarian for more information.
Just like other cats, Bengal cats can become infected with intestinal worms, especially Bengal cats that are allowed outside. There is a range of intestinal worms including roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. Some of these intestinal worms can affect humans and your Bengal cat should be wormed regularly throughout its life. Squidley and Butter get wormed by the vet using a topical treatment at their yearly checkup whether there have been any signs of worms or not. Our mom has never, ever had one of her Bengal cats get worms but she has always wormed us yearly as a preventative. Ask your own veterinarian.
Fleas can occur on the cleanest and healthiest of Bengal cats and their homes. They are the most common external parasite and can be easily treated. Flea bites can cause a very marked allergic reaction in much the same way as mosquitoes can affect humans. Fleas suck blood when they bite and heavy flea infestation can result in significant blood loss. The irritation from flea bites can result in Bengal cats scratching or biting at themselves severely. This results in skin damage and secondary infection, however, a Bengal cat that exhibits excessive grooming should be checked with a flea comb. Owners frequently mistake this excessive grooming as a Bengal cat that is particularly clean and fastidious. As fleas only spend a limited period of their life cycle on the Bengal cat, owners frequently under-estimate the significance of fleas.
There is a large range of products available for the treatment and prevention of flea infestation and this should be discussed with your own veterinarian.
Owners should pay particular attention to the state of their Bengal cat’s teeth.
Tartar often builds up on the teeth, which results in gingivitis and subsequent periodontal disease. These conditions may have a very marked impact on the long-term health of your Bengal cat and are easily addressed by providing appropriate food, namely hard kibble in addition to wet food.
Rabies is most often transmitted through a bite from an infected animal. Less frequently, it can be passed on when the saliva of an infected animal enters another animal’s body through mucous membranes or an open, fresh wound. The risk for contracting rabies runs highest if your cat is exposed to wild animals. Vaccinate your Bengal Cat for rabies as required by most municipalities and keep your Bengal indoor or in an enclosure if outside.
Possible Health Issues Bengal Cats Can Have Specific To The Bengal Breed
The Bengal cat is generally healthy and lives until they are 18 years old. However, like all purebreds, they do have a few genetic conditions to watch out for. Before acquiring a Bengal, make certain the breeder offers a health warranty.
A heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, prevails in Bengals. This disease of the heart muscle mass usually happens in the older pet cat. The heart muscle mass thickens, so the organ has to function a lot harder, creating a variety of troubles. These may include blood clots, or thrombosis, providing the back legs immobile. The disease also brings about congestive heart failure, causing a fatality. Early indicators of cardiomyopathy consist of panting as well as lethargy. A good breeder will screen for this and it will not be an issue for you.
One disease that breeders can not screen for is progressive retinal degeneration, as no test exists for the carrier gene. This condition creates the deterioration of the retina’s poles and cones, ultimately creating a loss of sight. Due to the fact that the carrier Bengal cats might be asymptomatic, never ever experiencing vision problems, removing this defect out of the genetics pool by breeder observation of is not presently possible. That suggests even if the breeder gives you a wellness warranty, it will not cover this eye disease. The Bengal might also struggle with cataracts, however, your veterinarian can carry out surgery to remove them.
Bengal Cat Behavioral Issues
Inappropriate soiling outside of the litter box
Inappropriate soiling can be peeing or pooping outside of the litter box. Bengals are fastidious when it comes to using a litter box. Abnormal urinating, If it does occur, it’s essential to make a veterinary appointment to have your Bengal cat’s health assessed.
There are several health issues that may be the cause, for example, urinary tract infections, diabetes, renal disease, constipation, diarrhea, and senility. If there appears to be no medical reason for the problem then there are many possible environmental factors:
Litter box avoidance due to:
Soiled or smelly litter so keep the litter box clean.
They don’t like the litter. Try something new.
Wrong type of litter box. Try something different.
They don’t like or feel fearful or insecure about where the litter box is located.
Try a different location.
You can also try a litter box attractant to make the box more inciting.
Try playing with them to wear off anxiety, remove stressors. The absence of an owner. When mom was hospitalized suddenly for three weeks Dukey began to pee by the front door. He had always used his potty box. When she came home from the hospital he got better.
Veterinarians agree that when inappropriate peeing becomes a problem it is essential to address it immediately. The sooner the issue is detected the greater the likelihood of resolving the problem.
Aggression can be a problem in a Bengal cat. Most People who adopt Bengal cats are adopting a SBT or “Stud Book tradition” cat that is at least five generations away from the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC.) Foundation cats, F1, F2, F3, F4, and F5 cats are closer in a generation to the Asian Leopard Cat and tend to have more aggression issues than a typical stud book tradition cat. However, all Bengal cats are smart and want to be the boss even if you if you let them.
Like a dog, they need to know who is the master.
Play aggression is a normal part of a Bengal cat’s social development. It only becomes a problem when they play too rough and you do not correct them. Biting you, even in play, is not acceptable. Tell them, “No” firmly and stop playing with them. The rougher you are, they rougher they will be. Set boundaries in the way you play with your Bengal for both your safety. Using toys instead of your hands can help playtime stay safe and non-aggressive.
Fear aggression occurs when Bengal cats lash out because they are afraid. The first sign a Bengal is aggressive due to fear is a hiss. If you hear a hiss, back away, help them feel safe. Fear aggression may be triggered by noises, human approach or being stared at by other Bengal cats. They can have fear aggression when you try to clip their claws or bathe them. That is why Butter always gets wrapped in a towel before having her claws clipped. Besides hissing, Fear reactions include: teeth bared, ears back and lowered body posture. This requires time and reassurance to reduce the fear and consequent aggression.
Predatory aggression occurs in Bengal cats of either gender. They usually stalk a moving target and attack. You rarely see true predatory aggression in Bengal cats. More so you are likely to observe play predatory aggression.
Overstimulation induced aggression
This occurs when petting or stroking a Bengal cat and it suddenly becomes aggressive. The Bengal cat often seeks out the attention and exhibits the aggression when it becomes overstimulated and wants you to stop. Just be aware when your Bengal cat has had enough. You can progressively increase the time of the petting but always let the cat’s behavior be your guide.
Territorial aggression is frequently seen when a new animal enters another Bengal cat’s territory. This may be within a home or in an outside area. Male and female Bengal Bengal cats exhibit territorial aggression. The territory claimed by males tends to be larger than for females.
Pain-induced and irritable aggression
Pain-induced and irritable aggression may be the result of an underlying health issue, such as arthritis, dental disease or a Bengal cat bite abscess. It may also be a reaction to pulling of the hair or standing on the tail. If your Bengal cat is aggressive and crabby for a long time, take them to the veterinarian for a quick check-up.