Bengal Cats are a relatively exotic looking cat breed that descend from the Asian Leopard Cat. As they tend to be very active and energetic cats, they need food that supports their metabolism, and this is often in the form of a high protein cat food. There are many different types of cat foods available for your Bengal Cat, and there is no one size fits all approach to cat foods. Discuss your cat food options with your veterinarian to help determine what kind of food is best for your Bengal Cat.
Picking a Food for Your Bengal Cat
For many people, the easiest way to pick a food for your Bengal Cat is to stick with the diet that your cat’s breeder was already feeding them. Most of the time, your cat’s digestive tract would be used to this food, meaning that the chances of developing an upset stomach are less than if you tried to change the diet. That said, some breeders might be feeding a lesser quality food, causing you to want to switch up the diet.
The best way to pick a food for your Bengal Cat is to find a food that has the AAFCO seal of approval. The Association of American Feed Control Officials regulates standards for what goes into a bag of food. If a food has the AAFCO guarantee on it, it meets basic nutrient requirements and is considered complete and balanced.
You definitely want to read the label on any food you are considering giving your cat as some will specifically outline that they are not complete and balanced and must be fed as part of a complete pet food.
Some highly regarded brands of cat food include Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet. These food companies test their foods rigorously before they go on the market, and they even have colonies of cats whose life is dedicated to being spoiled with regular attention and brushing and taste-testing different food choices.
Many foods come in dry food and canned food formulations. Many experts recommend feeding a mixture of canned and dry foods, as canned foods will give your cat extra moisture which may be essential to healthy gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. Many cats find canned foods to be highly palatable, although they also tend to be more expensive than dry foods. As part of reading the label, you can determine what the primary ingredients are. You want to choose foods that have animal products as the primary sources, as these are a good source of essential fatty acids and amino acids.
Raw Food Diets for Your Bengal Cat
Some people elect to feed Bengal Cats a raw diet. These diets may be beneficial to the Bengal as they are directly descended from the Asian Leopard Cat, whose diet is largely carnivorous, eating things like rodents, birds, and lizards. If you choose to feed a raw diet, you should have a diet formulated by a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that your cat gets all of its nutritional requirements.
Raw diets have the advantage that they are largely protein-based, which is important for your Bengal Cat to eat. Many commercial pet foods are high in filler material and carbohydrates, which the digestive tract of cats, particularly Bengal Cats, is not designed to metabolize readily. If you feed a raw diet, you will likely need to supplement your Bengal Cat with vitamins to ensure they get all of their essential requirements, something you need to discuss with your veterinarian.
There is a distinct disadvantage to feeding your Bengal Cat a raw diet, and that is that the food has the potential to be hazardous to their health. Raw diets have the increased risk of exposing both you and your cat to potentially pathogenic bacteria, like Salmonella and E. coli. If you choose to feed a raw diet despite these risks, you need to practice good hygiene, washing your hands after fixing food and even after petting your Bengal Cats.
Important Considerations for Your Bengal Cat
Regardless of what you choose to feed your Bengal Cat, there are certain dietary requirements that need to be met. One of these is the essential amino acid taurine, which generally needs to be supplemented into a food to reach high enough amounts. Without this essential nutrient, cats are prone to developing health issues such as heart disease.
If you decide to feed your cat a homecooked or raw diet, you need to make sure that it is completely balanced, which often means that the diet is exactly the same day after day, after a nutritionist has given you a recipe that your cat needs to eat.
In Summary – What Do Bengal Cats Eat
It can be difficult to decide what type of food to feed your Bengal Cat. Generally, feeding a high-quality commercial cat food is best for your Bengal Cat, to ensure that they get all of the essential nutrients and high enough levels of protein. Once you have narrowed your choices to a selection of balanced diets, generally chosen by making sure they have the AAFCO guarantee, you can determine what to feed your Bengal cat by what they like the taste of. Just remember that anytime you need to change your cat’s diet, you should make the transition gradually to minimize the risk of them developing stomach upset.