KEEPING YOUR BENGAL HEALTHY
Bengals are cats, so most health issues that Bengal owners deal with
are the same as all other cat owners. Probably the most important part of
keeping any cat healthy is finding a great veterinarian. This person should
be open, honest, and competent. We have found that vets specializing in cat
medicine are more aware of cat illnesses, health, and treatments. Most of
all, you should feel comfortable talking with this person about your pet.
Communication is the key!
You and your cat will also benefit from
educating yourself about cat health. There are some wonderful books and
websites you may want to browse:
And these books:
Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook by Debra Eldredge DVM, et. Al.
ILLNESS, BITES, & BRUISES
Cats are pretty resilient creatures but,
as our vet once told us, “If you want a virus-free household, don’t have
cats.” Just as people do, cats get sick once and a while. Most of the
time, they’ll get over it without consequence. But there are certain things
to look out for:
stool is usually not a problem but call your vet if: it’s bloody, your cat
has a fever or is lethargic, you’ve recently introduced a new cat into the
household, you think your cat got into trash or chemicals. Remember, if
your kitty has a bellyache, she probably won’t eat. But this should not
last more than a day. Talk to your vet if it does.
The most common cause of diarrhea in kittens is
overfeeding. This is especially true with people (and sometimes
cats) who are not used to high-quality foods. Quality,
grain-free diets are very nutritious, and cats are fully capable of
eating more than they can digest. The result is loose stools,
followed by stinky diarrhea! Check out our
diet page for
it is usually not a problem unless accompanied by: severe diarrhea (in
which case dehydration is a concern), fever, lethargy, or seizures. Also,
take a look at what’s in it. Gross, we know. But if it is undigested
food it might be food allergies or from eating too fast. If the food is
partially digested, it could be due to a hairball mass forming in the
stomach or an intestinal blockage (much more severe).
+ fever + diarrhea + distended abdomen + lack of appetite = CALL YOUR
VET! These are pretty serious when all together and is usually (but not
always) a sign of an advanced illness.
Bumps and bites:
First, treat your cat for fleas and ticks all year. Frontline,
Revolution, and Advantage are the most commonly used and effective
products. Be careful of other insect bites as well. Spiders, bees,
wasps, chiggers, and mites all pose a problem. If your cat is scratching
constantly or the bite is large or swollen, call your vet.
bumps: Cats play, often without regard for the other objects in their
environment. Kittens sometimes misjudge a jump or play too rough with
another kitten. Usually, cats shake these things off, but look out for:
oozing scratches, runny or swollen eyes, unsteadiness or limping, and
sudden aggression or fear.
Cats don’t often tell us if something is
wrong. They like to make us happy and not show signs of weakness. So it is
our responsibility to look for the subtle signs of illness and injury and do
what we can to keep our cats well. If you think your cat is sick or
injured, CALL YOUR VET! We are not veterinarians and the information
on this page should not substitute for your veterinarian’s advice!
Fleas, Ticks, and Mites.
These aren't usually a big problem for indoor cats, but sometimes
they make it past our defenses. Bengal cats do fine with topical
treatments like Frontline Plus and Revolution.
Beware: There are some brands that use cheaper ingredients and have
been linked to serious neurological damage. We use and recommend
Revolution because it also treats ear mites and heartworms.