What can I feed my Bengal cat? This is the first question many cat keepers have when they just get the Bengal cat or they are thinking about getting one.
In this ultimate guide, I am going to tell you everything you can feed to your Bengal cat.
I will also tell you what foods you should avoid feeding your Bengal cat as well as some common digestive problems in Benga cats.
You can feed raw or cooked meat to your Bengal cat like chicken, turkey, beef, etc.
You can also feed wet and dry cat food to your Bengal cat.
Besides, there are a few human foods like fish pumpkin, banana, etc that are safe for your Bengal cat.
What do wild Bengal cats eat?
The domestic Bengal cat breed is basically a hybrid of Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat and Egyptian Mau.
Harrison Weir, who is also known as the father of the cat fancy, first mentioned the crossbreed of an Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat in 1889 in his Our cats and all about them.
Jean Mill who is also known as the founder of the modern Bengal cat breed successfully crossbred the wild Asian leopard cat with the domestic cat.
And then she backcrossed the offspring through five generations also (F1, F2, F3, F4, F5) to create the domestic Bengal cat.
So basically, there are five generations of Bengal cats.
And usually, the difference between the generations is that F1 is more aggressive than F2 and F2 is more aggressive than F3 and so on…
Till then Bengal cat has become so popular that there are now more than 1979 registered Bengal cat breeders worldwide compared to 125 in 1992.
So overall, there is no such breed as wild Bengal cat but the Asian leopard cat is the ancestor of the modern Bengal cat.
The diet of Asian leopard cat is mostly a meaty diet.
The Asian leopard cat feeds on lizards, birds, insects, and mice.
Do Bengal cats need a special diet?
As mentioned earlier, Bengal cat is a crossbreed of wild Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat.
And the diet of the ancestor of the Bengal cat i.e. Asian leopard cat mostly consists of meat.
So, the ideal diet for modern Bengal cat should mostly contain meaty foods.
And that’s why it is slightly different than the other breeds of domestic cats.
The Bengal cat is a very active and playful cat and it needs a lot of protein for its growth and development.
It burns a lot of calories throughout the day. That’s why its diet is almost double compared to most of the other domestic cat breeds.
What food is the best for Bengal cats?
As mentioned earlier, the ideal diet for Bengal cats should contain mostly meaty ingredients.
And there are a couple of foods that can are best for Bengal cats.
The best food you can feed to your Bengal cat is meat.
The digestive system of Bengal cat is tuned to extract nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals through the meat.
There are two ways you can feed the meat to your Bengal cat.
Either you can feed raw meat or you can cook or boil the meat before feeding to your Bengal cat.
You can feed raw meat to your Bengal cat but you should just make sure that it is high quality and fresh raw meat.
Feeding stale meat can cause food poisoning.
So, you should be aware not to set the raw meat at room temperature for more than 30 minutes.
You can also feed cooked meat to your Bengal cat.
And the best part about feeding cooked meat is that it doesn’t carry any risk of containing internal parasite so the risk of causing food poisoning is very low.
The best way to cook meat for your Bengal cat is to just boil it, let it cool and then feed to your Bengal cat.
Boiling the meat will kill all the harmful parasites from the meat.
2. Wet cat food
Another best food you can feed to your Bengal cat is wet cat food.
While choosing the wet cat food for your Bengal cat just make sure that the first ingredient in the ingredients list is meaty food like chicken, beef, fish, etc.
You should also make sure that it contains a good amount of protein and doesn’t have filler ingredients like grains such as rice, corn, wheat, etc.
Because Bengal cats are not very good at digesting grains and eating excessive grains can lead to digestive problems.
Bengal cats usually don’t drink water and they usually get the moisture from their food and wet food can provide them the moisture they need.
It also helps to avoid diabetes, urinary tract problems, and kidney diseases.
Also, wet cat food has longer shelf life than the raw meat and it is very convenient to store and feed as well.
Can Bengal cats eat dry food?
Dry food is not the best choice for your Bengal cat.
Usually, most of the dry cat foods contain a lot of filler ingredients rice, corn, wheat, etc to bulk up the cat food.
These ingredients are not the natural food for Bengal cats and Bengal cats are not very good at digesting such ingredients.
Excess consumption of these grains can cause digestive issues in Bengal cats.
Besides, due to the filler ingredients, dry cat foods usually contain more carbohydrates and less protein.
As protein is a very important part of the diet of Bengal cat, the dry cat food may not be able to provide sufficient protein to your Bengal cat.
Besides, Bengal cats usually get the moisture that they need from their food, the dry food only contains 10% moisture contents compared to 78% moisture present in the wet cat food.
So dry food will not be able to provide sufficient moisture to your Bengal cat that can lead to dehydration.
But Bengal cat can eat dry food if you feed it in moderation.
And there are some benefits of feeding dry cat food to your Bengal cat.
First of all, dry cat foods are usually more economical than wet cat foods or raw meat.
They also have a very long shelf life and they are very convenient to feed to your cat.
Dry food can also help to remove plaque from the teeth of your Bengal cat and help at preventing dental diseases.
Besides, there are some good dry cat foods that are completely grain-free and are made from real raw meat.
These dry cat foods also contain a good amount of protein.
The dry foods that I recommend for your Bengal cat are as follows:
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken
- Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe Natural Dry Cat Food
What human foods can a Bengal cat eat?
There is a decent variety of human foods you can feed to your Bengal cats.
But remember that Bengal cats are true carnivorous and the ideal diet for them is diet a meaty diet.
You can feed the foods that I am going to mention below to your Bengal cat but you should feed them in moderation.
You can feed raw or canned fish to your Bengal cats.
Bengal cats actually love to eat fish.
While feeding raw fish to your Bengal cat just make sure that it is fresh.
And when it comes to canned fish, ideally, you should go for plain canned fish and avoid flavors like onion, garlic, etc.
These flavors taste good to you but they are not always a good choice for your Bengal cat.
For example, onions can cause gastrointestinal problems in your Bengal cats.
Besides, you can also feed cooked fish to your Bengal cat.
You can also give milk to your Bengal cat.
But you should give it in moderation.
Though milk is commonly fed to Bengal cats or any cats it is not always the best choice.
It is completely fine to feed milk to a Bengal kitten but as Bengal kitten grows older and reaches adulthood they become lactose intolerant which can cause digestive problems like diarrhea in your Bengal cat.
So if you have an adult Bengal cat then you should first give it a little milk and see how it reacts.
If you didn’t notice any bad signs like diarrhea then it doesn’t hurt to continue feeding milk once in a while as a treat to your Bengal cat.
Canned pumpkin is also safe for your Bengal cat.
In fact, canned pumpkin can help with the digestive tract and is a good remedy for a Bengal cat with an upset stomach.
It can help with diarrhea.
Do Bengal cats eat more?
Bengal cats are one of the most active cats.
They are very playful and where other cat breeds like Persian cats get less and less active as they grow older Bengal cats remain very playful even when they get old.
Because of their activity level, they burn a lot of calories throughout the day.
That’s why Bengal cats eat more food than most other domestic cats.
In fact, Bengal cats need almost double the food than other domestic cats.
How much should you feed a Bengal cat?
How much you should feed your Bengal cat really depends on it its weight and age.
An adult Bengal cat needs anywhere between 25 to 30 calories per pound on a daily basis.
Generally, a male Bengal cat weighs anywhere between 10 to 15 pounds and the female Bengal cat weighs anywhere between 8 to 10 pounds.
So, on average, you should feed 350 calories per day to a male Bengal cat whereas 270 calories per day to a female Bengal cat.
Wet cat food
Generally, a can of 5.5 ounces of wet cat food contains anywhere between 120-190 calories.
So if you are going to feed only wet cat food to your Bengal cat then you will need to feed one to two cans on a daily basis to your Bengal cat.
Exactly how much calories you will need to feed to your Bengal cat depends on its weight.
As mentioned earlier, an adult Bengal cat needs anywhere between 25 to 30 calories per pound per day.
So, for example, if your cat weighs 12 pounds then it will need anywhere between 300-360 calories on a daily basis. So, in this case, feeding one and half can of wet cat food is sufficient for the cat.
When it comes to feeding meat to a cat, a general rule of thumb to follow is to feed anywhere between 2% to 4% of the ideal body weight of the cat.
How much meat you should feed to your cat depends on the activity level of the cat.
As Bengal cats are one of the most active cats you will need to feed them meat 4% of their ideal body weight.
Now let’s take an example.
Suppose the ideal body weight for your Bengal cat is 10 pounds then 4% of 10 pounds is 0.4 lbs which are 6.4 ounces.
So you will need to feed 6.4 ounces of meat to the cat on a daily basis.
Generally, a can of dry food contains anywhere between 350 to 500 calories in a single cup.
So, first of all, you should know how many calories your dry cat food contain.
Manufacturers usually don’t mention calories on the packaging.
So you will need to check out their website and see if they have mentioned calories there or you can directly contact the manufacturer.
Once you know the calories your dry cat food contains then you can easily calculate how much you should feed to your Bengal cat.
As mentioned earlier, an adult Bengal cat needs anywhere between 25 to 30 calories per pound per day.
So for example, if your Bengal cat is 10 pounds then you will need to feed 300 calories on a daily basis to your cat.
And if your cat food contains 500 calories on a single Cup then feeding a little more than a half cup of dry food is sufficient for the cat.
Homemade cat recipe for Bengal cat
How often should I feed my Bengal cat?
You should feed two times per day to your Bengal cat.
Once in the morning and once in the evening.
You can download the Bengal cat feeding schedule below.
What foods you should not feed to your Bengal cat
There are some foods that you should avoid feeding your Bengal cat at any cost because they can be fatal for your cat.
And there are some foods that you can feed for your Bengal cat but you have to feed them in very little quantity or else they can lead to health issues.
Maybe you already know that chocolate is harmful to your cat but it still worth mentioning because it can be deadly for your Bengal cat.
Chocolate contains theobromine which is poisonous for cats.
And the excess consumption of chocolate can lead to death.
Avocado contains a substance called persin which is toxic for your Bengal cat.
So you should avoid feeding avocado to your cat.
Feeding liver to your Bengal cat in moderation is perfectly fine.
But excess consumption of liver can cause vitamin A toxicity which affects the bones of your Bengal cat.
Now I know any responsible cat keeper will not let his cat drink alcohol.
But if your cat accidentally sips from the leftover wine in the glass then it can cause brain and liver damage in cats.
5. Potatoes and tomatoes
Potatoes and tomatoes contain solanine which is is a glycoalkaloid poison.
This poison can be fatal to your Bengal cat.
It may take about 8 to 12 hours to occur the symptoms of food poisoning by solanine after consuming the vegetables.
But sometimes it can also be very rapid and the symptoms may occur within 10 minutes.
The early symptoms of food poisoning caused by solanine is gastrointestinal disorder.
Other symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
Consumption of solanine in a moderate amount can even cause death.
Overall we should avoid feeding tomatoes and potatoes to your Bengal cat.
Bengal cats are very curious and they are always interested in drinking or eating whatever their owner is drinking or eating.
So your Bengal cat may sip the coffee from your cup.
Besides, caffeine is not only found in coffee but it is also found in sodas, chocolate, cocoa, etc.
Siping a little amount of coffee may not harm your Bengal cat but if your Bengal cat consumed a lot of coffee then it can be fatal for your cat.
Some of the symptoms your cat may experience after consuming a lot of caffeine are as follows.
- Rapid breathing
- Heart palpitation
If you suspect that your cat is struggling with the symptoms of consuming excessive caffeine then you should immediately take him to your vet.
The longer you delay getting your Bengal cat to the Vet the less will be the chances of his survival.
7. Raw eggs
Raw eggs contain a bacteria called salmonella.
This bacteria is harmful to the cat.
Besides, raw egg white also contains a protein called avidin which restricts the absorption of one of the essential vitamins called biotin.
Consequently, it can cause vitamin deficiency in your Bengal cat that’s why you should avoid feeding raw eggs to your Bengal cat.
8. Yeast dough
Yeast dough produces alcohol when it is consumed by a Bengal cat.
Consequently, that can cause alcohol poisoning.
Digestive problems in Bengal cats
At some point in their lives, Bengal cats will develop digestive problems.
Symptoms of digestive problems are as follows:
- Increased or decreased thirst
- Changes in appetite
- Dull coat
- Weight loss in a chronic situation.
The digestive problems found in Bengal cats can be acute or chronic.
Though acute digestive problems are self-limiting in cats, chronic digestive problems require veterinary examination.
So if you notice symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation for more than a few days then you should definitely book an appointment with your vet so that the underlying cause for the problem can be found and the treatment can be done.
Usually, vomiting in Bengal cats caused due to the consumption of any foreign body such as rubber bands, dental floss, etc.
In the case of acute vomiting, restricting the cat from eating for about 12 to 24 hours and then start feeding slowly a small amount of food usually solve the issue.
But if your cat doesn’t stop vomiting even after 48 hours then you should definitely visit your Vet for further examination.
Diarrhea can be caused due to harmful intestinal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, etc viruses such as feline leukemia, feline coronavirus, etc.
Diarrhea is usually caused due to food allergy.
For example, most adult Bengal cats are lactose intolerant so if you are feeding milk to your cat then it can lead to diarrhea.
In the case of acute diarrhea, restricting the cat from eating food for 12 hours and then start feeding high-quality food slowly usually solves the issue.
If the problem persists then you should definitely take your cat to your Vet.
Constipation usually caused when the cats3 didn’t get enough exercise or if it is not getting a sufficient amount of fiber in their diet.
Consumption of any foreign body such as rubber band can also cause constipation.
If you are only feeding dry food to your Bengal cat then this can also cause constipation because dry foods contain very less moisture.
So adding some water into the diet of Bengal cat can help with constipation.
Besides, you can also feed wet cat food to your Bengal cat.
Or adding a teaspoon of canned pumpkin in your Bengal cat’s diet is also one of the best home remedies for cat constipation.
But if the problem persists then you should definitely visit your veterinarian.
Can Bengal cats eat tuna?
Yes, Bengal cats can eat tuna. But it’s not their natural food so you should feed it in moderation.
There are a lot of commercially produced cat foods that contain Tuna so you can also feed such dry or wet cat foods to your Bengal cat.
Are Bengal cats always hungry?
Bengal cats are one of the most active cats. And they require a lot of calories throughout the day. That’s why they may seem hungry always.
Besides, their diet is almost double compared to other domestic cats.
Can Bengal cats drink milk?
Though you can feed milk to Bengal kitten, as they get older most adult Bengal cat becomes lactose intolerant.
While feeding milk once in a while is fine, you should not regularly feed milk to your Bengal cat because it can lead to digestive problems such as diarrhea.
Can you feed Bengal cats raw meat?
Yes, you can definitely feed raw meat to your Bengal cat.
Bengal cats are carnivorous and their body is designed to extract minerals, protein, and essential vitamins through the meat. So feeding meat to your Bengal cat is one of the best food you can feed.
Can cats eat eggs?
Yes, Bengal cats can eat eggs.
But you should feed cooked eggs to your Bengal cats because raw eggs can contain bacteria called salmonella.
They also contain a protein called avidin that restricts the absorption of one of the essential vitamins known as biotin.
Consequently, this can lead to vitamin deficiency.
Can Bengal cats eat cheese?
Bengal cats are carnivorous and the digestive system of Bengal cats is designed to extract minerals, proteins, and vitamins from meat.
Though feeding dairy products to a Bengal kitten in moderation can be fine but as Bengal cats grow up they become lactose intolerant.
And feeding dairy products such as cheese in excess quantity to an adult Bengal cat can lead to digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, etc.
Can Bengal cats eat fruit?
Yes, you can feed some fruits like banana and melons to your Bengal cat.
Bengal cat needs a little amount of fiber for digestion and these fruits can provide the fiber.
But remember that Bengal cats are carnivorous and fruits should be a very very tiny part of their diet.
Can Bengal cats eat beef?
Yes, Bengal cats can eat beef. Bengal cats are carnivorous and they can easily digest any meaty food whether that is beef steak, mutton, ham or chicken.
Can Bengal cats eat chicken bones?
Yes, Bengal cats can eat chicken bones. Ideally, you should feed raw chicken bones to your Bengal cat because it is rich in nutrients as well as it is easy to digest.
Also, it is safer than cooked bones.
Can Bengal cats eat fish?
Yes, Bengal cats can eat fish. You can feed different varieties of fish like salmon, tuna, etc.
But you should keep in mind that fish is not their natural food so you should feed fish in moderation.
So what can you feed your Bengal cat? – There is a decent variety when it comes to food for your Bengal cat.
You can feed cooked or raw meat like turkey, chicken, beef, etc to your Bengal cat.
Besides, you can also feed high-quality dry food to your Bengal cat.
There are some other human foods like milk and fish you can feed to your Bengal cat.
But these are not their natural foods so you should feed them in moderation.
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