Bengal cats are some of the most beautiful, exotic-looking, intelligent and playful breeds out there. As such, they deserve special treatment – lots of playtime, cuddles and, of course, good food. Although Bengals, like all cats, thrive on protein-rich, good-quality cat food, they have their unique needs and preferences and it’s wise to stick close to them to ensure your cat is being properly nourished.
The only problem is that the market is oversaturated with different cat foods. Sure, they all promise excellent quality, high palatability and good prices, but unsurprisingly, not every brand and product delivers in all aspects. To help you find the best cat food for Bengals, we researched what the proper nutrition for this breed looks like and read literally hundreds of reviews of cat foods, both dry and wet. Finally, we created this Top 10 list of what we think are the best cat foods for Bengals – check it out, as well as our buying guide and FAQs to find the right product for your feline companion.
Best Cat Food for Bengals Buying Guide & FAQ
Like all cats, Bengals need proper nutrition to live a happy and long life. And just like other breeds, Bengal cats have their unique needs, as well as tendencies to develop certain health problems, so it’s wise to feed them only good-quality, nutritious foods that will support and maintain their well-being, not work against it. Of course, this is easier said than done – with so many different cat foods on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right product.
To help you in your quest for good cat food, we’ve put together this little buying guide and answered some of the frequently asked questions. Be sure to check out all the chapters out so you can be aware of important facts and recommendations when it comes to Bengal cat diet.
Characteristics of a Reliable Bengal Cat Food
Although Bengal cats are a special breed, they’re the same as other domesticated cats when it comes to their diet – they thrive on a high-protein diet that doesn’t contain a lot of – or even better, any – fillers. That is not to say you cannot spoil your kitty from time to time – like all living beings, cats deserve to be pampered a little and enjoy their food, so don’t be scared to offer treats or those delicious gourmet cat foods from time to time – just make sure the rest of their diet is in tip-top shape.
Speaking of which, what does a great diet for Bengal cats look like? Here are the most important characteristics of a reliable cat food:
- Named meats: as mentioned, Bengals thrive on high-protein diets, so it’s best to look for cat foods that have meat listed as their first ingredient. Better yet, look for named meats (i.e. real turkey, chicken, salmon, etc.)
- No fillers: if you want only the best for your Bengal, it’s best to avoid cat foods that contain a lot of fillers. Some fillers are actually fine in a cat food, but that’s only if the filler is of good-quality, meaning it’s better to go for grains if your cat doesn’t have digestive issues, than it is to go for a bunch of synthetic additives that may cause health problems in the long run.
- No artificial preservatives, flavors or colors: similarly to the “no filler” advice, if you want the best of the best, avoid cat foods that contain artificial preservatives, flavors and colors. Still, some added flavor or color is fine from time to time, but that’s only if you’re using such foods occasionally or as treats.
- Fortified with vitamins and minerals: to provide a balanced and nutritionally complete meal, all cat foods, whether they’re Bengal kitten foods or cat foods for adults, need to be fortified or enriched with important vitamins and minerals.
Nutritional Needs of Bengal Cats
No matter the breed of your cat, her diet should mainly consist of lots of protein, moderate amounts of healthy fats and low levels of carbohydrates. Saying that, it’s not wise to avoid carbs completely – after all, vegetables and fruits are all high in carbs as well but they’re super-healthy because they contain a wide array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber – things your Bengal cat needs in order to be healthy.
So, focus on:
- Good-quality meat: in wild, cats get most of their calories through small prey animals, so look for foods that are high in protein and contain real meat as their first ingredient.
- Healthy fats: Bengals need plenty of healthy fats to be healthy and have a nice-looking, shiny coat and healthy skin. Look for foods that contain salmon oil, animal fat, fish oil, etc., as well as a good ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids.
- Fiber: for good digestion, Bengals need some fiber in their diet. Whole grains, fruits and veggies are all welcome in a Bengal cat food, although you may want to avoid processed grains if your kitty has digestive issues.
Ingredients To Avoid Feeding Your Bengal Cat
Every cat owner is familiar with the following scenario: you open the fridge, start eating something and suddenly, your cat appears in front of you, meowing and demanding a piece of your food. Naturally, you want to share your meal with your furry feline pet because you love him, and that’s fine from time to time, but did you know there are certain foods you should never feed your cat?
Avoid giving the following foods to your Bengal:
- Chocolate: because it contains a substance called theobromine, an alkaloid that can cause digestion problems, heart problems, muscle tremors, seizures and even death, chocolate should never be offered to a cat.
- Alcohol: this should be a no-brainer, but in case it isn’t – alcohol can cause liver and brain damage in cats.
- Raw meat, fish or eggs: these foods can contain bacteria like E.coli or salmonella and can interfere with the absorption of biotin.
- Onions and garlic: all forms of onion and garlic can lead to blood problems and even anemia in felines.
- Avocado: this fruit contains persin, which can cause digestive issues, vomiting, respiratory issues, heart problems and even death.
And this is just a short, most important list of foods you should avoid giving to your cat. With so many no-nos, you may be wondering “what to feed Bengal cats?” Our advice? Stick to cat foods from reputable brands and you and your kitty should have no problems.
Common Bengal Cat Health Problems
Like all breeds, Bengal cats have their own health problems, most of which can be avoided with good diet and plenty of exercise, but two biggest health issues (PRA and HCM) are genetically linked.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
PRA is a serious health problem that makes the rod and cone light receptors slowly deteriorate and can lead to blindness. Although there are no tests to detect PRA in breeding stock nor cures per se, you can at least make sure your Bengal has enough Taurine in his diet.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
This is the disease of the heart muscle and the most common heart disease of all cats, including Bengals. Like PRA, HCM is thought to be hereditary but the condition can be worsened by hyperthyroidism and hypertension. HCM can be diagnosed by an echocardiogram.
Like all cats, Bengals can become overweight, especially as they age. Some older, indoor cats that are not particularly active are at a higher risk of obesity, so make sure you feed your Bengal properly – not too much or too often – and ensure plenty of play time.
Q: What is a Bengal cat?
A: Developed by crossing Asian leopard cat with domestic cat, the Bengal is exotic-looking and muscular but fully domesticated. Although it may look like a wildcat, rest assured all Bengals are friendly and affectionate but also highly active domesticated felines.
Q: How often should I feed my Bengal cat?
A: How often should you feed your Bengal depends on a few factors:
- Life stage: kittens should be fed more often than adult cats (typically 3 times a day, or 2 a day for adults)
- Activity level: active cats may be able to eat even three times a day if fed small meals, but sedentary cats should eat once or twice a day.
- Health status: diabetic cats should be fed after they have received insulin (so every time), while stressed out cats (surgery, nursing, etc.) should be fed 3 times a day. However, it’s always best to talk to your veterinarian.
Q: How much should I feed my Bengal cat?
A: There is no black and white answer here – you can ask your vet who should be able to give you the best advice, or follow the feeding guide on the cat food label. But generally speaking, 10 lb (4.5 kg) Bengals should eat around 3/8 cup (45g) to ½ cup (65g) of food a day, depending on their activity levels.