Why Is My Bengal Cat So Skinny?

The Bengal cat is a highly active and playful pet, with a gentle and affectionate temperament. It’s the result of a cross between an ordinary domestic cat and a wild Asian leopard cat. Its high intelligence levels, combined with its excellent memory makes it easy to train them and teach them tricks.

For instance, a Bengal cat can learn how to turn on light switches, lift bin lids, or even open doors, among others. On average, a fully grown Bengal cat weighs approximately 6 to 15lbs. However, some people have complained that their Bengal cats are too skinny. If you feel so, here are some possible reasons for that.

Level of Activity

As noted above, Bengal cats are extremely playful and active. They require constant attention to keep them out of trouble and interested. You may even sometimes find your Bengal cat playing with water, which is not common with other breeds of cats. As you may expect, all this playing and running around means that your Bengal cat is burning lots of calories.

Therefore, if your cat is burning more calories than it’s consuming, then it will eventually become skinny. To prevent this situation, you should ensure that your cat is getting enough food. A balanced diet, combined with regular veterinary care should help your cat maintain a healthy weight.

You want to ensue your Bengal is eating the right food in the right quantity. Check out our guide to the best food for Bengal cats for more information on what you should be feeding your cat.

Genetic Reasons

As noted earlier, purebred Bengal cats are a cross between a wild Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat. The Asian leopard cat is almost the same size as a domestic cat. Furthermore, it tends to have longer, slender legs and a smaller head. When you consider these aspects, it’s easy to see why the Bengal cat appears skinny or smaller than most of the other domestic cats.

Body Image

Your Bengal cat may be the same weight as an ordinary cat. However, since its body is slender, leaner, and more muscular than a typical house cat, they may appear smaller or skinnier. And as noted above, the heads of Bengal cats are smaller compared to their bodies, creating the impression of being smaller.

Also, when you consider their genetic makeup, your Bengal cat may never become bulky or too fat. While their bones may be denser than other home cats, their bodies tend to be more muscular and leaner.

Therefore, your Bengal cat may look smaller, compared to an ordinary domesticated cat, even though they may have the same bodyweight. In fact, if you are not familiar with Bengal cats, you may get the impression that they are unhealthy or underfed, due to their slim, lean build.

Late Blooming

Most Bengal cats attain maturity by the age of 2. Before they attain this age, they may not fill out completely. How fast your Bengal kitten will grow, will depend on its breed, feeding habits as well as other genetic traits. On average, Bengals have a slower growth rate, compared to other domestic cats.

Therefore, if you compared a 1-year-old Bengal cat with a 1-year old typical home kitten, the Bengal cat will appear smaller and skinnier. At each stage, your cat’s size will be influenced by a wide range of factors such as birth order, sex, parents’ overall health as well as the number of siblings.

However, it’s almost impossible to determine when your Bengal cat will attain its full weight and height. Until then, you should monitor your kitten constantly, ensure it’s getting adequate food, and make sure it’s getting proper general care.


Bengals are generally healthy, hardy, and vigorous cats. On average, they live for approximately 15 years or so. But despite their hardiness, Bengal cats are also prone to various hereditary illnesses, which may affect not only their size but also their overall health.

The two most common diseases that affect Bengal cats are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and PK deficiency. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes thickening of the muscles while PK deficiency causes loss of appetite, making the cat lethargic and skinny. Also, Bengal cats are prone to other infections and diseases that affect the cat family.

Therefore, if your Bengal cat contracts any of these diseases or infections, it’s growth and development may be affected.

Conclusion – Why Your Bengal Cat May Be Skinny

As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your cat is well taken care of. You should ensure it’s not overfed or underfed, make sure your Bengal cat gets enough exercise and ensure they are checked by a pet vet regularly. With this approach, your Bengal cat will maintain a healthy weight and live a long, happy life.

If you have any questions or queries, then you can leave a comment below.

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