Why Are My Bengal Cats So Skinny Even Though I Feed Them Well?

Some Bengals can weigh over 15 pounds, but that doesn’t mean that your kitty should look bulky.

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The body shape of a Bengal is a lot different from that of other breeds – it is longer and more muscular; that’s why Bengals might seem skinnier. However, if the cat is failing to gain any weight at all, then a health issue might be to blame.

Why Are My Bengal Cats So Skinny Even Though I Feed Them Well?

  • The Bengal is burning more calories than it’s consuming – these kitties are incredibly active and they actually might end up burning more calories than they’re receiving with food. In such a case, your cat will, of course, be skinny (you might want to consult your vet about providing the Bengal with a bit more food).
  • Your kitty is still very young – some Bengals will fill out completely only once they reach 2 years of age (or even later). Thus, if a 1-year-old Bengal gets compared to a 1-year-old regular domestic cat, the former might seem a lot skinnier.
  • The cat is suffering from health issues – infectious diseases, intestinal parasites, and PK deficiency can lead to weight loss in Bengals.

Why Is My Cat Skinny Even Though He Eats a Lot?

You should always consider the age of your kitty. Young Bengals need quite some time to get into their ‘normal’ shape, but even then, they would seem a lot slender than other domestic cats.

Weight loss in senior kitties is a normal occurrence as well, and as long as the cat eats well and drinks plenty of water, you have nothing to worry about. 

Read: Is a Bengal Cat Good for First-Time Cat Owners?

Why Is My Cat Eating a Lot but Not Gaining Weight?

If your kitty is eating a lot and always seems to be hungry, but, at the same time, is not gaining any weight, then one of the following conditions might be to blame:

  • Intestinal parasites – worms steal a large part of the nutrition from the food that the kitty consumes
  • Hyperthyroidism – if a Bengal has an overactive thyroid, it will always feel hungry
  • Diabetes – in such a case, lack of insulin would be to blame; even though the kitty is eating a lot, it won’t be able to use the sugar from the food to receive energy
  • Cancer – the most common type of cancer that might affect the Bengal is lymphoma

How Skinny Should a Bengal Cat Be?

Even though Bengals are considered to be medium-to-large domestic cats, they will, most likely, end up looking a lot skinnier than other regular kitties.

That is because Bengals have a longer, slender, more muscular body and a smaller head. Moreover, the majority of Bengal cats are simply not predisposed to becoming bulky as they have athletic bodies and a high level of activity.

To sum up, if your Bengal has the same weight as your other domestic kitty, it might actually look smaller, and that is completely normal. 

Read: Can Bengal Cats Live Without Going Outside?

Is It Normal to Be Able to Feel Your Cat Spine?

You should be able to feel the spine, but the backbone should not be sticking out. The spine also shouldn’t feel too knobby.

How Can I Fatten Up My Bengal Cat?

To determine whether your Bengal is underweight or not, you can use special charts. Ideally, you should be able to feel your cat’s ribs (there shouldn’t be excess fat) and when viewed from above, the kitty should have an obvious waist.

Before deciding to fatten up your Bengal, make sure to consult your vet. Here are a few things that the specialist might suggest, in case the kitty doesn’t have any underlying health conditions:

  • Increase the food intake
  • Change the food
  • Make food more appetizing
  • Offer treats and snacks

Read: How to Start to Train a Bengal Cat to Walk on a Leash?

What Can I Feed My Cat to Gain Weight?

The vet can prescribe high-calorie canned foods that are highly digestible and provide the extra calories that your Bengal is going to need to gain weight.  

What Food Is Best for Bengal Cats?

Typically, a nutritionally balanced raw meat diet is perfect for Bengals. This means that there should be a correct ratio of muscle meat to organs and bones.

A commercial balanced raw diet is also a great option for your kitty. Make sure that the food is labeled as a ‘complete diet’ and don’t forget to pay attention to the ingredients. 

Best Dry Food for Bengal Cats

If you want to use dry foods to feed your Bengal, ensure that they are of premium quality and all-natural. A strictly dry diet can result in chronic dehydration, so you would have to make the cat drink plenty of fresh water.

Combining dry and canned food might be a better option.

Read: 3 Ways How to Calm a Bengal Cat?

How Much Food Should a Bengal Cat Eat?

On average, you should be giving your Bengal cat between 3% and 5% of its body weight daily (in case the cat is on a raw food diet). If you feel like your kitty is not as active as other Bengals or if you have a senior, then the total amount should be closer to 3%.

What Should You Not Feed a Bengal Cat?

Here are just a few examples of the foods that you should not be giving to your Bengal:

  • Raw eggs
  • Chocolate
  • Yeast dough
  • Liver (too much of it can be dangerous for the cat’s health)
  • Potatoes and tomatoes
  • Caffeine
  • Candies, gum, and baked goods

What Human Food Can Bengal Cats Eat?

Raw and cooked meat is a staple of a Bengal’s diet. Do bear in mind that they should not consume too much liver. 

You might also want to try giving your cat broccoli, pumpkin, bananas, and watermelon (all in moderation, of course).  A small amount of plain yogurt can also be given to the Bengal every once in a while.

Read: Why You Shouldn’t Own a Bengal Cat?

What Should Bengal Kittens Eat?

Within the first 6 months, a Bengal kitten should double its weight every couple of weeks. Of course, such rapid growth would require plenty of calories.

Bear in mind that Bengal kittens might end up suffering from gastrointestinal problems, if not fed correctly. Kittens need plenty of animal protein and animal fat, as well as minerals and vitamins.

What Kind of Treats Do Bengal Cats Like?

You might want to give freeze-dried meats a try. These kinds of treats made out of fish seem to have the most success among Bengals.

What Is PK Deficiency in Cats?

Pyruvate kinase deficiency is an inherited disease. If a kitty lacks this enzyme, it will develop anemia

Do Bengal Cats Have Digestive Problems?

The majority of owners admit that their Bengals tend to have some sort of digestive problem every so often. The signs usually include diarrhea and vomiting.

Bengal cats have inherited a short intestine which means that their digestive system is very sensitive

How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Worms?

The main symptoms of worms in cats include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Tarry feces
  • Skin lesions
  • Poor body condition
  • A dull coat

What Do Bengal Cats Drink?

Bengals drink water and the best type of water for a kitty is the one that has a small number of minerals and, in case your Bengal is not a huge drinker, chicken broth.Cats seem to prefer to drink running water, so you might want to get a fountain to encourage the kitty to drink.