In this short article we are going to look at whether or not Bengal cats are fussy eaters.
Bengals seem to have picked up a bit of a reputation for being fussy and demanding in terms of food and what they prefer to eat.
But is this truth? Or is it more “urban legend?” Are Bengal cats really high maintenance when it comes to the food they like to eat?!
Let’s find out!
No Fussier Than “Normal” Cats
To start, there is no scientific evidence that Bengal cats are any fussier or pickier in terms of eating habits than “normal” domestic cats.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that Bengals can be demanding in terms of what they eat.
However, there is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that domestic cats of all breeds and types can be fussy in terms of their food.
Being picky when it comes to food just seems to be one of those things that cats like to do!
Why Are Cats Fussy Eaters?
That begs the question – why are cats (including Bengals) often fussy eaters?
There must surely be a reason for it, right?
Why can’t cats be like dogs and eat everything in sight? That would be much easier and probably less expensive (as anyone whose cat as a predilection towards premium food will tell you!)
Basically, evolution is to blame for your cat’s eating habits. Cats have evolved to be fussy eats for a couple of key reasons:
Cats have evolved to prefer food that provides them with the right balance of protein and fat. In fact, finding food that meets this balance (1: 0.4 ratio of protein to fat, or 50/50 energy from protein/fat calories) is more important to your cat than the flavour/texture. You can read more about this study here.
What is even more interesting though is that cats have been shown to demonstrate ‘neophobia’. Long story short, this is a fear of anything new. Cats show neophobia towards new food.
Once again, this is for biological and evolutionary reasons. Your cat’s instincts tell him/her that eating something new might actually be dangerous. In the wild, trying new food could lead to stomach upset, illness, or even worse. This neophobia towards food also helps to explain why your Bengal might appear to be a fussy eater if you try to change the food you regularly feed them.
On a related note, cats can also display neophobic tendencies towards other situations (not just in terms of food choices). For example, if household routines change, this can cause stress and even illness in your cat!
Best Food For Fussy Bengal Cats
If you find your Bengal is a bit of a fussy/picky eater, then this probably isn’t anything to worry about. As explained above, there are no biological/scientific reasons why Bengals would be any fussier than regular cats (if anything they should be less fussy, as wild cats – which Bengals are closer to in some respects than normal domestic cats – are generally not picky eaters because they can’t afford to be!)
The food you choose for your Bengal cat does make a big difference, however. So if you find your Bengal refusing to eat what you provide, then you might want to look at changing food type.
For example, our Bengal (Kala) does have preferred food. She will eat other types of food if we run out of her favorite and have to use the “emergency food”, but generally she much prefers what we usually give her.
Check out our guide to the best food for Bengal cats to find the right option for your cat.
Remember that once you find a food that your Bengal loves (and that meets his/her nutritional requirements) it’s important to try and keep feeding the same food to them. Otherwise you might discover first hand just how fussy your cat can be!
To conclude, Bengal cats aren’t fussier eaters than normal cats. In fact, cats have good biological reason to be picky when it comes to what they eat. This occasionally irritating behavior helps to keep your cat safe and healthy, by reducing the risk of him/her eating something that may be harmful!