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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:
www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/
www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/
www.petplace.com

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:             

Diarrhea:  Loose 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 more information.

Vomiting:  Again, 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). 

Extreme tiredness + 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.

Scratches and 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.

 

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