Bengal cats are an exciting cat breed. They were bred from crosses between domestic cats and the wild Asian Leopard Cat. You can learn more about where bengal cats come from here.
These fun felines typically feature a coat filled with rosettes, similar to the coat pattern of a panther. What really makes the Bengal cats stand out is that many of them have a hair coat that seems to glitter in the light, a feature that was introduced to the breed by Jean Mill, one of the major breeders of the Bengal cat.
While Bengal cats have an exotic look, they’re similar in many ways to your everyday domestic house cat. If you’re thinking about getting a Bengal, one of the questions floating through your mind is probably how long they live. Read on to learn more about
Bengal cats and the things that can affect them.
Average Lifespan of a Bengal Cat
Bengal cats tend to live an average of 12 to 16 years, although you can certainly have some cats that are outliers and live shorter or longer than that. Because the breed is a relatively young breed, largely established between the 1970s and 1980s, researchers and cat breeders don’t have all of the information on Bengals that we do for other cat breeds that have existed for many more decades.
Bengal cats have a lifespan pretty similar to that of other domesticated cats. When you purchase or adopt your Bengal it’s important to keep in mind that they will likely be with you for many years, potentially causing mischief with their curious ways.
Factors Influencing the Lifespan of a Bengal Cat
There are many factors that can affect the lifespan of a Bengal cat, including health issues that they are predisposed to, as well as their diet and exercise. Physical activity is just as important as mental stimulation, and providing both to your Bengal may just help them lead a longer, healthier life.
Diet is a major factor that affects your Bengal cat’s health. A complete and balanced diet is essential to helping your Bengal stay in tip-top shape. If they are fed a diet that is poorly balanced, you may find your cat develops health issues. One such example is taurine, which all cats need to have supplied in their diet.
If you don’t feed a balanced pet food to your Bengal cat, it’s possible that they may develop heart disease from a lack of having taurine in their diet. When your Bengal cat is growing, it’s also important to have them on a balanced growth formula, which will help supply all of the nutrients that they need to grow big and strong. Some foods may also predispose cats to gastrointestinal problems or even allergies, such as too many carbohydrates, raw fish, or toxic foods like onions.
Activity is important for your Bengal cat. They tend to be active pets naturally, in large part to their genetics related to the Asian Leopard Cat. Regular exercise will help keep your Bengal fit and trim, which helps minimize the risk of them developing other diseases such as obesity or diabetes mellitus.
Make sure you read our guide to how big Bengal cats get for more information about keeping your cat in shape.
If your cat is willing, you can try taking them on a walk around the neighborhood, something that can help keep their interest and let them enjoy the outdoors. Regardless of whether or not you take your Bengal outside, it’s important to make sure that you play with them regularly. Good preventative health care is another great way to help prolong the life of your Bengal cat. Your veterinarian should examine your cat at least every six months in an effort to identify problems sooner that might crop up, such as periodontal disease or heart disease.
Regular dental cleanings will help keep your Bengal’s mouth healthy, which can in turn help prevent heart disease, kidney disease, and other health issues.
Vaccinations also help keep your Bengal cat healthy. Meanwhile, keeping your pet well-groomed will also minimize the chances of them developing health issues. Keeping their nails trimmed will prevent them from growing into the paw pads, while brushing their teeth helps prevent periodontal disease.
Health Issues that Bengal Cats May Develop
Bengal cats are prone to a few different health issues. The main one is something that can affect any cat, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. This heart condition features the muscle of the heart thickening, which in turn prevents the heart from beating properly. Bengal cat breeders should routinely screen their cats for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and remove any affected cats from the breeding population.
Other health issues that can affect Bengal cats include progressive retinal atrophy, which leads to blindness but doesn’t generally affect your cat’s lifespan. Another Bengal cat health issue is Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency, which can lead to hemolytic anemia in your Bengal. The good news is that your breeder can test their breeding cats for these health issues relatively easily to minimize the chances that your cat will develop them.
Conclusion – How Long Do Bengal Cats Live For?
Bengal cats tend to live about as long as other domestic cats, usually living until their “teen” years. There are a variety of factors that can influence how long they live, such as their diet and preventative veterinary care. Providing your cat with a high-quality diet, while exercising them and taking them to visit their veterinarian regularly, can help your Bengal cat live a long, healthy life.