How to Feed a Bengal Cat
There are so many questions that people seem to have about Bengal cats and one of the more frequently asked ones would be how to feed a Bengal cat. Because of their exotic heritage they tend to be misunderstood a lot and often it’s forgotten that they are domestic cats. Special domestic cats, but still that’s what they are. When it comes to a lot of things, including their eating habits, they do sometimes tend to have some quirky little likes as well as dislikes. They are also known to be a tad stubborn and single-minded as well. But once you work those out, you’ll be able to figure out just what your own Bengal prefers and doesn’t prefer. In this article we’ll cover the following:
- Feeding Your Bengal Kitten
- How Much and What to Feed Adult Bengals
- Feeding Them Raw Meat
Feeding Your Bengal Kitten
No matter what breed of kitten you have, it’s really important that they are given the right kind of food they need to grow up to be healthy adults. Quite often people will just stick with the diet their Bengal kitten was eating at the breeders. However, this doesn’t mean that this is what you are required to do. If you want, you can switch them over to a brand you prefer.
If you do decide to find a different brand for your kitten it needs to be a really high quality of kibble that’s just for kittens. Once you find one they really like, you need to make sure they are kept on this diet until they are at least a year old.
When looking for a good kitten kibble make sure you look at the ingredients. The very first thing that should be at the top of the list is meat. This means you are going to have to spend more money on the food, but your kittens well-being depends on it. When you go with a cheap brand of cat food the first ingredient you’ll see will be something like corn, by-product or corn gluten.
Cats in the wild never eat corn and neither do their domestic cousins. When your Bengal kitten’s food is filled with those fillers, it means that they have to eat more of their food to try and get the nutrition they need.
Remember, your Bengal kitten is part of your family and you know you wouldn’t feed your other family members food that has nothing but fillers in them with no nutritional value, so it’s doubtful you’d want to do the same to your little kitten.
Probably the best place to find the higher quality foods for your kitten would be a pet store that sells a variety of different products to choose from. It’s best to try and stay away from the grocery store because too often they don’t offer the same variety. Even at a pet store, always make sure that you read the label before deciding on what food you finally end up feeding your Bengal kitten.
How Much and What to Feed Adult Bengals
Usually around one year or a little older is when you want to switch your Bengal over to adult foods. This can often turn out to be a trial and error type of thing because now they’re getting into their own and will have different likes and dislikes that are going to stand out more.
There is no reason why you can’t start feeding them cat food right from the can, it’s just that if they don’t like the way it smells or tastes, they’re just going to turn their nose up at it and walk away. When first trying to find what they like you should buy several different brands and flavors and try giving them samples of them to see which ones they tend to like.
When you are experimenting with finding what they like, always make sure that you read the ingredients and that the first ingredient is always meat, poultry or fish. As adults they need the same high quality of food just as they did when they were a kitten.
When you and your Bengal finally decide on what pleases them, it’s important to realize that your Bengal cat is far more active than most other domestic cats. Because of their high activity levels they are going to burn off a lot more calories than say a cat who does nothing but lounge around in the sun relaxing all day.
A lot of domestic cats only need about a half a can of food a day to maintain their healthy weight. However, with a Bengal cat that could be a lot different. When it comes to your Bengal you may need to feed them an entire can of cat food in order for them to stay healthy. Yes, that might sound like a lot but it’s not really. It’s a good amount to keep them at a good weight and to keep them happy.
If you don’t want to feed your cat can food you can try to put them back on dry food like when they were a kitten, however, you need to remember that this breed in particular prefers more of a meaty meal than something that resembles biscuits to them. They might like to munch on kibble every once and awhile, but times than not, this is not going to keep them happy.
So, if you still want to try to keep them on a dry food diet, then you might want to offer them some fresh meat as a treat every once and awhile. Another thing you might consider doing is to have a little bowl of kibble out for them during the day and then once a day give them about a half a can of can food to satisfy their taste buds.
When it comes to human foods, there are some they should avoid at all cost and here’s a list of them you should never give to your cat:
Onions & garlic
Grapes & raisins
Spinach & Swiss chard
Here’s a list of what’s considered safe human foods for your Bengal:
When it comes to milk products, this actually will depend upon the individual cat. Even though cats love milk, including Bengals, some grow up to be lactose intolerant. However, if your cat insists upon having some, try a little at a time and see how they react to it. If they don’t have any negative digestive problems with it, then there’s no reason why you can’t give them a little milk or other milk products as treats every once and awhile.
Instead of feeding them any human food at all, our recommendation is to feed them high quality cat food. These are the dry food brands that we recommend to Bengal cat owners, and here’s a list of wet cat food we recommend.
Feeding Them Raw Meat
One thing that does tend to be a little different about Bengals as compared to other domestic cats is that they do seem to have a much stronger craving for more meats. When we say meats, we’re talking about raw meats. Domestic cats will eat raw meat but they don’t seem to have a craving for it like Bengals do. This is why, it’s important that you consider adding some raw meat to their diet. There are some owners that actually only feed their Bengals raw meat. This is simply a personal preference of owners.
If you do want to feed your Bengal cat raw meat, there are precautions you still need to make sure that you take. Realize that raw meat can cause food poisoning even in cats. You need to be extremely careful that the raw meat isn’t sitting at room temperature for too long. Also, make sure that you throw away any leftover raw meat your Bengal didn’t finish after about 20 minutes. This way you know for sure that your Bengal is safe. Here’s a video showing two Bengals enjoying a plate of raw meat.
When it comes to beef that you might want to feed your Bengal, the best types would be ground round, beef hearts or ground sirloin. Regular hamburger that is high in fat content really isn’t the best because it can actually cause an upset stomach in your Bengal, so you will want to stay away from the cheaper ground beef.
One thing a lot of owners have discovered about their Bengals, is they they all tend to have a great love for chicken. They love it raw but also love having it cooked as well. Often times this can become a Bengals favorite meal. Just by cooking up some unseasoned and boneless chicken could make your Bengal the happiest kitty on earth. You can serve it to them alone as their sole food or it can be easily combined with some canned cat food. This not only will help them get all the nutrition they need, but could help a picky Bengal eat more of their canned food if you add some cooked chicken to it.
You can also read this article https://www.purina.com/breeds/bengal-cat#:~:text=Because%20of%20their%20energetic%20nature,Nature%20dry%20and%20wet%20food.