How to Take Care of Bengals

Bengal cats are not your run-of-the-mill domestic shorthair cat breed. Aside from their amazing coats, both pattern and texture, they also have personalities that largely differentiate them from their cousins in the cat world.
 
Let’s dive a little deeper into what makes them unique and how to take care of Bengals. We’ll capitalize on these differences and create a successful environment for your current or future feline friend!
What to know about Bengal Kittens
The Bengal cat breed was originally established as the result of a pairing between an Asian Leopard cat and a domestic shorthair cat. As a result, Bengal cats are a lot closer to their wild ancestors in temperament than a lot of cat breeds that you may be familiar with and this is extremely important to know as you consider whether they are the right breed for you.
 
Bengals are known for being highly active and energetic cats. They excel in environments that give them lots of room to run and play and jump. Bengals are often referred to as doglike, as they usually pick one person to bond with most strongly, play fetch, can enjoy the water, and can be fairly easy to harness train if you teach them young enough.

Bengals almost always want to be involved in whatever activity their humans are engaged in. Expect them to continue to keep their “kitten personality” a lot longer than the average house cat. Every Bengal is unique, however, so if you are looking for specific personality traits in your Bengal, it is important you relay those to the breeder you are working with, as they will better be able to direct you to certain kittens that display those traits.

What do Bengal Kittens Eat

When we talk about the diet of a Bengal cat, we need to first remember that they are carnivores. If they still lived in the wild, they would feed first and foremost on animal matter. So as a responsible Bengal owner, the goal is to replicate that for our furry friends. This means lots of protein and fewer carbohydrate fillers.
One option would be a raw diet and there are a lot of Bengal families out there, who would tell you that this is the only way to get your Bengal the nutrients they need. However, there are a lot of drawbacks to feeding raw: Getting your ratios of meat to the bone to organ right can be time-consuming and tricky, and if not done right can affect the health of your cat. Another issue can be feeding it in a safe manner so that your house isn’t covered in raw meat by the time they are finished with their meal, which could ultimately affect your family’s health. There are some companies out there that sell pre-made raw and many of them are definitely a good option if this is the route you want to take!
 

Ingredients Matter

One company that I would recommend would be Darwin’s Natural Pet Products as they balance their food properly. Another option is to feed a mix of canned and dry food. Canned food is very important as it contains a lot of moisture. Hydration is very important to any animal’s quality of life. Think about how awful you feel if you don’t drink any fluids in a day! There are a lot of good wet canned foods out there and there are a few that aren’t so good.

The important thing is to do your research on ingredients. Because of their carnivorous nature, high protein and low carbohydrates is a great options. This can be tricky as cat food companies try to hide the carbohydrates.
bengal cat diet
what do bengal cats eat

TikiCat as a High Protein Canned Food Diet

I personally have chosen Tiki Cat as it has a very high protein content that comes from actual animals as well as good moisture content. This is by no means the only good wet cat food out there, but it is what works for my cats and myself.

Feeding dry food (and even wet food) to Bengals can often be tricky. Bengals can be one of the pickiest cat breeds when it comes to food, and I have found this to be especially true for dry food. There are hundreds of choices out there, so I am going to limit myself to talking about the two I feed my cats. Why two? You ask… as mentioned above, some of my Bengals are picky eaters!

Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

The first dry food I want to talk about is First Mate. First Mate is a Canadian-based company that produces a Grain Friendly Cat food. This means that while they do use Brown Rice and Oats, they steer clear of the Gluten, Potatoes, and Peas that are commonly found in Grain-Free cat food formulas (Although they do have a grain-free line as well). They also limit the number of ingredients that are in their food and have a very high protein content.

 
The second dry food that I feed to my Cats is Purina Pro Plan. Again, this is a very high protein food source with all the necessary nutrients for a cat and less of the fillers that animal food companies often put in. I would like to note, that it took a lot of trial and error with many different dry foods coming through my house before I settled on these two, and the foods that I went through, were not necessarily bad for all cats, they just weren’t right for my cats.

Feed a Diet that Makes Your Bengal Cat Happy

This leads into the most important rule… make sure when you are choosing your cat’s foods, that you base it on YOUR cat’s dietary needs. Every cat is different with different needs. If you find that one cat food is disagreeing with your cat’s stomach, then try a different brand. Read up on the nutrients that cats typically need and then make the necessary changes to ensure that your cat has the best chance at a healthy life. Just like humans, some cats can exhibit allergies and intolerances to certain ingredients that are perfectly fine for other cats.

Toys for Bengal Kittens

Now for the fun part…. How to keep your Bengal kitten happy in their new home! As mentioned above, Bengals are very high-energy pets. So the key to making sure they are stimulated enough, is to have plenty of toys around. While there are some high dollar toys that can make a huge difference in their lives, there are also some very cost effective options. We’ll talk about a couple of each.

Let’s start with the big one… a cat wheel. While your cat is very dissimilar to the hamsters that animal wheels were originally designed for, the cat wheel is a great way for your Bengal to release some of the endless energy that they have stored up in their little bodies, and best of all, this is a toy they can utilize themselves without you needing to be a part of the fun.
 
You may have laughed at the videos of cats running on them on Instagram, or TikTok, but these wheels truly do help to keep your Bengal from turning to more mischievous and possibly destructive behavior. I recommend  ZiggyDoo as one of the sturdiest and longest lasting wheels on the market!
 
how to take care of bengals
Brown Rosetted Bengal on a Ziggydoo Cat Wheel

A Cat Tree is a Must Have for Bengals

Another toy, and this one is a must have, even if it doesn’t seem like a traditional toy, is a cat tower (monetized). Cats love to be up high, and let’s remember that Bengals are even closer to their wild ancestors than most house cats. Very recently removed from climbing trees, they love to be on top of things. So unless you want your Bengal regularly jumping to the top of your fridge or cabinets, I highly recommend getting them their own tower or even making a wall of shelves for them to climb. Disclaimer, they may still find the fridge to be a fun perch!

Bengals Love Playing Fetch

Bengals love playing fetchThis can be with something as simple as a hair tie or a little fabric mouse like they sell at the grocery store. Bengals can also have a great time chasing around plastic springs and will play fetch with them also. It is a good idea to keep a number of these toys around as they tend to find their way underneath the furniture and don’t get found until vacuum day!

For people who like to be outside and want to play with their Bengals while out there, in a safe way without risking harm coming to their Bengals, a leash and harness is a great way to do this. While there are many different harness sets on the market, I like the Surfercat harness and leash set. The harness is escape proof, and the leash is retractable and doesn’t pull on your cat. It also has a feather trainer on it that you can use to teach your cat how to walk the way you want.
bengal cat diet

Adventure Awaits the Both of You!

While I could talk about cat toys for days, the final cat toy I am going to mention today is the teaser wand. There are all sorts of teasers out there and just about all of them are great. Bengals love to interact with their humans, so toys that include both of you are a must. The teaser wand is a stick with a string and some kind of toy at the end that your Bengal will chase around as you move it. Bengals have strong hunting instincts, so being able to “hunt” with their human will keep you both occupied for hours.

In Conclusion… The Bengal Breed is ideal for the high-energy home; expect your Bengal to want to be involved in whatever activity you are engaged in, whether that is cooking dinner, playing a board game, or writing a blog post!
 
They are very people oriented and very action oriented. While they will often curl up to sleep with you at night, they are just as quick to wake you up early in the morning when they deem that playtime should begin!
 
Researching your Bengals nutritional needs, and making sure you have plenty of toys to keep their minds and bodies occupied, will go a long way towards creating a happy house for you and for them! It’s easy to learn how to take care of Bengals, and it’s even more fun actually doing it.
 
If you’re ready to add a Bengal Kitten to your home, Buckaroo Bengals is the right breeder for you.

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