Whoever said “making gains” was just for jocks? Bengal cats are no exemption to the rule.
Nowadays, Bengal cats are the “cool kids on the block” due to their exotic, wild and feral appearance. There are over 60,000 Bengal cats registered with “TICA” (The International Cat Association). Bengals are a product of cross breeding Asian Leopard cats with domestic cats, making them known as ‘hybrids’. As a result, Bengals inherited feral tendencies demanding a Bengal cat diet that is slightly different than their domesticated cousins.
What Do Bengal Cats Eat?
What should you feed a Bengal cat? This question is asked by most new Bengal cat owners. Since cats are obligate carnivores, feeding them cat food high in protein is a must. To understand the dietary demands of a Bengal cat we must look back at its ancestral past where we find the Asian leopard cats.
These Asian Leopard Cats had a diet consisting mainly of protein based foods such as birds, lizards, and insects. Currently, most commercial cat foods contain less meat and more carbohydrates such as corn, rice, and soy. If your Bengal’s diet consists mostly of low-grade commercial foods, one can expect some health issues later on.
A great supplement to a Bengal cat’s diet is raw meat provided that the meat is fresh and not processed. You can make your own Bengal cat food or buy quality commercial cat foods. Either option is fine as long as the food is nutritionally complete and balanced. Please check with your local vet or veterinary nutritionist about optimizing your cat’s diet.
In addition to performing our own qualitative analysis of the brands reviewed here, we submitted samples for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis lab.
We bought the products at full retail price, and the entire testing process was funded by Cats.com without direct input or influence from the companies involved.
Analytical testing in a food chemistry lab gives us the exact macronutrient and micronutrient content of each recipe. The tests also look at microbial content, yeast, mold, and heavy metals, helping you ensure that you’re only putting the best in your cat’s bowl.
At a Glance: Best Cat Food for Bengal Cats To Buy
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Duck flavored food with natural ingredients. It is a grain free product with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- Contains probiotics to aid in healthy digestion and antioxidants for the immune system
- Protein rich food made from animal proteins
- Has a low level of carbohydrates and glycemic index, which is found in numerous other dry food brands
- It also has no artificial additives or non-nutritional ingredients
- Great flavors to choose from
- Suitable to cats of all ages, contains high levels of protein made from chicken and turkey, as well as other wholesome ingredients
- Cooked in small batches to ensure proper nutrition for the animal
- Contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 for the health of the cat’s coat and skin
Bengal Cat Food Allergies
Bengal cats don’t need a specific diet compared to other cats, but they do have some health issues to be aware of. Certain conditions such as pyruvate kinase deficiency, progressive retinal atrophy, flat chested kitten syndrome and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy have been recognised in the breed.
They can also be prone to hip dysplasia so it’s important to make sure that your Bengal cat doesn’t become overweight. Extra weight can make conditions like hip dysplasia worse.
Bengals, like any cat, can also have food allergies. Determining what they’re allergic to is important in treating their allergies. In terms of symptoms, the clearest signs of food allergies in Bengal cats are similar to those of humans. Itchy skin, skin lesions and gastrointestinal upset is amongst some of the symptoms.
As such, if you suspect that your cat might be suffering from allergies, it’s recommended that you try a food trial under the direction of your veterinarian. They might suggest trialling a hypoallergenic diet or novel protein diet for at least 6 weeks before assessing the response.
Once you’ve identified a food that is giving your cat an allergic reaction, the treatment is as simple as removing it from your household and keeping it away from them.
Daily Calorie Intake for Bengal Cats
Dry foods like those found in typical supermarkets may be an affordable means of feeding your cat, but they can sometimes contain unnecessary ingredients like preservatives and other additives. .
This means your Bengal cat’s diet will be considerably less efficient than one that incorporates more high quality wet food. It’s important to have your Bengal on a high quality, nutritionally balanced, meat based protein diet that promotes optimal health.
So how much should you feed your Bengal cat? For a young Bengal kitten, more tends to be better. In order to find the best food for your kitten, you’ll want to weigh your Bengal to get a specific measurement and then check the calorie content of the food in your Bengal cat diet plan.
Most Bengal kittens will eat approximately 40-100 calories per day depending on their weight. Adult Bengal cats roughly weigh between 8-15 pounds. They need to eat approx 2-5% of their body weight daily.
For most adult Bengal cats, a diet of around 25 to 30 calories per pound is sufficient but this depends on your cat’s size and activity level if your cat has a healthy meal plan but is regularly sick, bloated, or dehydrated, then you might want to look at whether or not they’re getting too much food. Check this with your veterinarian if you’re worried.
Try to avoid foods that have complicated ingredients or filler foods. Your Bengal’s diet should be simplistic and nutritious to promote healthy development for a long, happy life.
Raw Food Diet for Bengal Cats
- Fresh turkey is a great source of protein and omega 3 fats
- Lean cuts of fresh meat are rich in protein and fiber
- Chicken and turkey are great sources of protein. Cats in general, prefer turkey over chicken. Try them both and see which works best.
- Keep in mind that protein should not be the sole component in a Bengal’s diet, minerals and vitamins must be included as well.
- Raw meat may cause food poisoning if not prepared properly. The meat must be fresh, and should only be served once per meal. The Raw food should not set at room temperature for more than 30 minutes.
If feeding raw food as the main diet for your Bengal, make sure that the diet is nutritionally complete and balanced. Check the diet with your vet or a nutritionist, particularly if your cat has any underlying health conditions.
For more info on raw cat food, make sure you read the following articles:
What You Should Never Feed Your Bengal?
Bengal cats should only consume cat foods that are consistent with Bengal’s dietary guidelines.
The following foods are known to cause your Bengal cat diarrhea and other health problems
- Chocolate – Chocolate contains theobromine, a type of alkaloid that can be poisonous to cats. If not treated promptly, theobromine poisoning can lead to death.
- Avocado – Avocado leaves, bark, seeds, skin, and pits contain a toxic substance to Bengal cats called persin. It can cause gastrointestinal signs in small amounts but more serious symptoms if larger amounts are ingested.
- Alcoholic beverages – Alcohol can cause fatal brain and liver damage in cats in general as it is highly intoxicating. So, whether it is wine, liquor, beer or any food containing alcohol, it is not good for your cat.
- Yeast dough – Yeast ferments produce alcohol when consumed by a Bengal cat thereby leading to alcohol poisoning.
- Liver – Although Bengal cats can consume small amounts of liver, too much of it could be dangerous. It can trigger a vitamin A toxicity which affects the bones of a cat.
- Macadamia nuts – Macadamia nuts are rich in fats which which can cause stomach pain and discomfort, leading to diarrhea and vomiting
- Foods that contain Xylitol – Candies, snacks, gum and baked goods contain a naturally occurring sweetener that is extracted from fibers of veggies and fruits known as Xylitol. This sweetener causes a rapid blood sugar drop and can be fatal.
- Caffeine – Caffeine is highly toxic especially when consumed in large quantities. It is found in colas, chocolate, and cocoa.
- Raw potatoes and tomatoes – These two contain glycoalkaloid solanine which can cause digestive illnesses in your Bengal cat.
- Bones – A bone can cause a cat to choke, splinter or block its intestinal tract leading to perforation of the intestines.
Bengal cat are becoming extremely popular in across North America, Australia, and the UK. Their jungle-like athleticism combined with their high energy levels, creates a very special cat demanding certain dietary standards consisting mostly of protein.
Raising a Bengal kitten can be challenging. Therefore, understanding Bengal breeding history is key to providing the right Bengal cat diet and lifestyle that your cat deserves.