Raising Bengal Cats: Tips & Products to Keep Your Pet Happy and Healthy From the wild to your home- your guide to adopting a Bengal cat!

Raising Bengal Cats: Tips & Products to Keep Your Pet Happy and Healthy

Are you aware of the nuances of raising a Bengal cat? The breed has a unique appearance, personality, and health risks. Follow this comprehensive guide to gain valuable insights into raising a happy and healthy Bengal cat.

If you are a cat lover, you will probably want to check your options when it comes to raising a feline companion. However, you should know the breed-specific requirements and characteristics before bringing your kitty home. That’s even more important when bringing home a unique breed like Bengal cats.

The stunning Bengal breed is a great choice if you want to adopt a pet holding the title of domestic cat royalty. This hybrid breed was created as a cross between domestic cats and Asian leopard cats. With the wild ancestors they have, these pets may pose some challenges to owners who do not know them well enough. 

According to an article published in phys.org, a study offers insight into genetic secrets underlying the unique appearance of this breed. Over the last 60 years, enthusiastic Bengal cat breeders have formed a community to understand genetics and evolution and participate in research.

Fortunately, that means pet parents have a lot of valuable information that helps them give the best care to their Bengal kittens, adults, and seniors. In this article, we will share a few proven tips for raising a happy and healthy Bengal cat. 

Know Your Pet

Bengal cats have been around for less than a century, limiting research studies to understand their appearance and behavior. A 2021 study stated that these animals have some particularities that may influence their relationship with an unprepared owner. For example, they may be more active and fearful than domestic cats, considering their wild ancestry.

Breed-typical health conditions include being overweight, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. On the behavioral front, these cats like climbing, vocalizing, hunting, and playing with water. They may also have problematic traits such as destructive behaviors, aggression toward other animals, and urination outside the litter tray.

According to Allen Cantarow, her kitty is a typical Bengal, wanting her to feed and play with him. He is smart enough to knock things off counters and bureaus when he wants them. However, he isn’t as empathic in the way Ellen’s Siamese cats used to be. At the same time, he gets up on the bed with her when she is sick or in pain. 

Individual cats may differ, making it important to know your pet well. In most instances, Bengal cats require little grooming to stay healthy. They are more dog-like in nature and like to be trained and walked on the leash. Give attention to your cat’s behavior and need to understand it better over the years. 

Focus on the Right Diet

The right diet is essential for active cats, specifically a breed with a wild connection. Cat food high in protein is required since these animals are obligate carnivores. If you look at the Asian leopard cat breed, it derived protein from sources like birds, lizards, and insects. That means you need to choose commercial food with more meat and less carbohydrates. 

Whether you buy quality commercial cat foods or prepare them at home, ensure a nutritionally complete and balanced diet. The Canyon River Feline Dry is an ideal product for an active Bengal cat. The formula is grain-free, with sweet potatoes providing highly digestible energy. Made with wood-smoked salmon and trout, it offers great taste and quality fish protein. It also contains fruits and vegetables as natural antioxidants. 

Vets recommend feeding wet food to cats to increase water intake and lower carbohydrate intake, both significant features in feline nutrition. You may also need to pick specific products for individual needs, such as feline obesity or other health issues.

For example, Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Roasted Vegetable & Chicken Medley Canned Cat Food helps with safe and effective weight loss, showing visible results within only 10 weeks.

Ensure Adequate Exercise 

Being an active breed, Bengals need plenty of exercise. However, it may not be safe to let them roam free outdoors, no matter how much they love their freedom. According to a recent study, road traffic accidents were the major concern driving owners to raise indoor-only cats. However, your pet may miss out on mental well-being by staying confined. 

Fortunately, Bengal cats walk well on a leash and harness. You can take it for 10–20 minutes walks morning and night to ensure enough exercise. Interactive toys such as laser light make an ideal choice for this intelligent and active breed.  Bengals love to get into tubs, showers, and sinks for playtime. Enough activity will keep your pet healthy, happy, and calm. 

Have a Plan to Deal with Aggressive Behavior

Aggression in house cats is a common issue, with studies reporting that nearly 50% of them demonstrate aggressive behavior. Your Bengal cat may have a higher chance of being aggressive because of the inherent breed-specific traits. Redirected aggression is an even bigger concern because it leads the pet to turn away from something that simulates it and refocus its aggression onto another person or animal.

Prioritize aggression control by providing your kitty with different toys to get rid of excess energy. Installing a cat tree is a good idea. Also, ensure balanced nutrition and time the meals optimally. A hungry Bengal cat may emulate the behavior it follows in the wild. Also, do not ignore your pet as it may try to trigger you by scratching or biting. It may even make a mess by opening drawer cupboards and even spraying inappropriately.

Products like Amitriptyline can help cats with behavioral issues like aggression. The medication is a prescription antidepressant that reduces anxiety by altering the brain's chemicals and balancing the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine.

Prioritize a Grooming Routine

Bengal cats are known for their wild appearance, with spots or marbling in various shades, from brown to silver. Their coat is short and single-layered, and they do not shed much. You can bring a Bengal cat home if you want a hypoallergenic pet. Moreover, it requires minimal grooming beyond normal cat care. However, you must follow a regular grooming routine.

Although Bengal cats don’t need regular baths, their love for water makes them prefer being bathed.  Also, brushing your kitty’s coat weekly can reduce shedding and prevent matting. Proper eye and ear care are essential. If you notice changes in vision, take your cat to the vet. Ear infections require vigilance because these pets love water activities.

Four Paws Ear Mite Remedy for Cats is a product you can rely on for killing ear mites and facilitating wax removal. Aloe Vera, the core ingredient of this product, is mild and gentle, but effective when it comes to offering relief. 

Also, watch out for dental diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. Besides being painful, they can lead to serious medical conditions, including kidney, liver, and heart problems. Brush your Bengal’s teeth daily to ensure impeccable dental hygiene.

Be Regular with Vet Visits

Regular vet visits are an integral part of raising a healthy Bengal cat because this breed is susceptible to several health issues. Stay regular with appointments during the first year to ensure monitoring of their development. They should also get the essential vaccination shots like the combination vaccine FVRCP and the rabies vaccine. 

Common niggles in Bengal cats include worms and parasites, diabetes, obesity, and dental disease. Your vet may recommend some preventive measures to avoid them. Genetic diseases like distal neuropathy and hip dysplasia are common in this breed. A balanced diet, exercise routine, and regular veterinary care can delay the onset of these conditions. 

As your cat ages, it becomes prone to medical conditions like erythrocyte pyruvate kinase deficiency, progressive retinal atrophy, and cardiac disease. Timely detection and treatment can be life-saving, so make sure it gets regular checkups. 

According to Marcella Rambo, a former vet hospital employee, a vet visit can help you ensure nothing is wrong when you have an aggressive cat. The vet may refer you to a behaviorist if required.

In conclusion, Bengal cats have specific needs and health risks different from other breeds. Bringing it home requires a proper understanding of these needs and challenges. You should also have a proper cat care plan to ensure your pet lives a happy and healthy life. This comprehensive guide can give you a head start with raising a Bengal cat.

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