One thing that many Bengal cat owners remark on is how much their cats like to eat.
The “running costs” of a Bengal cat can make owning a sports car seem like child’s play, simply because of how much Bengals often like to eat.
If you’re wondering “why does my Bengal cat eat so much”, then keep reading.
In this article we are going to look and the ins and outs of why your cat likes to eat so much food:
What You Consider Eating Lots May Just Be Normal
The first point to consider is that what you may think is excessive eating on the part of your Bengal could actually just be normal behaviour.
For example, if you have a Bengal kitten, he/she is likely to eat an enormous amount.
If you’ve read our guide to how much to feed a Bengal kitten, then you’ll know that your growing pet needs to eat a prodigious quantity of food to get the energy required to grow and develop.
If you have a juvenile/growing Bengal cat, then it’s important to bear in mind that they are going to want to do a lot of eating. In fact, insufficient eating is generally a far bigger problem in a growing Bengal kitten than eating too much.
Even with an older cat, it may simply be a case that what you consider to be excessive eating is not really a problem at all.
What you need to do is look at the instructions on the packaging of the food you are feeding your Bengal (check out our guide here to the best food for Bengal cats for more information on what to feed your Bengal) and determine how much he/she should be eating.
If you are feeding the recommended amount and then a whole lot more due to your Bengal demanding more food, then you need to keep reading on.
However, it’s not uncommon to discover that what you think is excessive eating is actually just normal behaviour!
One other way to look at the problem is to determine if your cat is gaining weight, losing weight, or simply maintaining weight.
If your Bengal cat is eating a large quantity of food and gaining weight, then there is likely to be an issue.
If your Bengal cat is eating what you consider to be too much but is maintaining a fairly steady weight, then there is unlikely to be a problem.
If your Bengal is eating lots but is actually losing weight, then this could indicate health problems too.
Feeding The Right Food
If you are concerned that your Bengal cat is eating too much, then one of the first steps to take is to ensure that you are feeding your Bengal the right food.
The wrong type of food is not going to provide your cat with the nutrients he/she needs to survive and thrive.
Remember that cats are obligate carnivores, so they need to eat a protein-based diet.
The best way to achieve this is through a combination of wet and dry cat food (read our guide here to the best food for Bengal cats).
It may be that the food you are feeding your Bengal is simply not the right type for optimal health, and that your Bengal is “compensating” by eating more to try and get their required nutrients.
Take a look at our Bengal cat food recommendations, and also consider talking to your vet to ensure that you are definitely feeding your Bengal the right food for his/her requirements.
Other Reasons Why Your Bengal Cat Is Eating So Much
Once you’ve determined that your Bengal definitely is eating too much, and that it’s not due to the type of food you’re providing, the next step is to move on to identifying if the cause of the excessive eating is behavioural/psychological, or physical.
Basically, the distinction here is whether your cat is eating too much because something is mentally wrong, or physically wrong.
Excessive eating can be caused my mental/psychological issues, or by some kind of physical illness or problem.
Here are some possible physical causes and treatments:
- Your cat has worms – If your cat has worms, this can cause them to eat excessively as they do not get the right nutritional benefit from their food. If you haven’t de-wormed your cat in a while, then this could be a good first option to test.
- Your cat has diabetes – Feline diabetes can cause excessive eating; this will require a veterinary diagnosis so consult your vet if you suspect this might be the problem.
- Your cat has hyperthyroidism – As with feline diabetes, hyperthyroidism can cause excessive appetite. Once again, this problem requires professional diagnosis.
And on the mental/psychological side of things:
- Your cat is bored – cats can sometimes eat out of boredom. If your cat is frequently left alone for long periods of time, or does not have access to much in the way of stimulating activity (e.g. good toys – check out our guide to the best toys for Bengal cats here). Try to entertain your Bengal cat more and see if this reduces their desire to eat.
- Your cat is lonely – Cats can sometimes eat excessively out of loneliness. If you suspect your cat is lonely, then look at trying to spend more time with him/her if possible and see if this results in an improvement to the situation.
If you’re sitting there wondering “why does my Bengal cat eat so much?” (maybe even tearing your hair out at the frequency of feeding and the cost of it all) then hopefully this article helps you to understand why this might be happening.
To recap, the first step is to determine whether or not the excess eating you are perceiving is actually just normal behaviour. If you have a young Bengal cat, this is very likely to be the case – Bengal kittens require a large amount of food to fuel their rapid growth. Even for an adult cat, you might be feeding the right amount even if it feels like a lot; check on the packaging for what is recommended, or consider consulting your vet (most packaged food options will have feeding quantities on the packaging).
The next step is to ensure you are feeding your Bengal the right type of food. Not all foods are created equal, and the wrong type of food (NB: ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ aren’t necessarily based on price either) could result in your Bengal feeling hungry and wanting to eat more. Make sure you review our guide to the best foods for Bengal cats here for more information.
Once you have established that you are feeding your Bengal cat the right type of food, then it’s time to look at psychological and physical causes of excessive eating. Consult the section above for more information on this.
Finally, if you are still struggling at this point with your Bengal cat eating too much, then we recommend you consult your vet as they should be able to provide professional advice.