Bengal cat life expectancy does not differ from the average indoor cat life expectancy of 12-18 years; however, there are steps both your breeder and you can make to extend the life of your cat. We have heard back from people with our cats who are still doing well at 17 years old, and sadly, we have also known cats of ours to pass before age ten. We can share with you, based on our multiple years of breeding Bengal cats, what we believe we can do to lengthen their life expectancy.
Knowing one’s breeding cats‘ genetic diversity is no longer a guessing game based on averages by calculating the inbreeding coefficient. If their response demonstrates an understanding of how they are either adding genetic diversity by differentiating Leopard cat lines, adding domestic outcrosses, or utilizing Optimal Selection’s Genetic Diversity test results or the purposeful linebreeding on older, proven-to-be-healthy-over-time cats, then you have the assurance that the breeder is making the best choices they can to increase the longevity of their kittens’ lifespan.
An independent study conducted by Dr. Kollath of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, discovered that “when young animals were fed cooked and processed food they initially appeared to be healthy.
How long do indoor Bengal cats live?
The typical Bengal cat lifespan is 9–15 years, and they’re a relatively healthy breed. However, as with all cats, they do have a few health issues you need to keep in mind before you purchase a new pet.
Do Bengal cats have health problems?
Bengals have hereditary health issues that can be a concern, especially if you aren’t cautious about who you buy from. They include cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Responsible breeders take steps to identify or avoid these problems.
How old is the oldest Bengal cat?
The lifespan of bengal cats on average is around 12-16 years. Most bengals live over 10 years but rarely live over the age of 20. The oldest recorded bengal was claimed to have lived to the age of 34.
Do Bengal cats get lonely?
How long can Bengal cats be left alone? Probably up to 24 hours is okay, but anything longer than that is really pushing it. However long you do leave your Bengal cat home alone for, it’s important that he/she has access to plenty of food, fresh water and a litter box.
While most may think the cats name is due to its resemblance to a Bengal tiger, it isnt: the Bengal cat is actually a relatively new hybrid breed of an Asian leopard cat (ALC) crossed with a domestic cat.
Welcome to our Bengal Cat facts page where were going to tell you all about the wonderful and exotic Bengal cat! Not only are we going to let you know all about these beautiful felines, well also hopefully bust some of those myths you may have heard about the breed!
Its desirable for Bengals (except melanistic) to have light or white tummies, just like many of their wild cousins! ThumbprintThe ears should have a thumbprint a patch where the fur is very short, in the shape of a thumb!
Adventurous Bengal catBengals are also very vocal and loud they will always tell you when they want something such as food or the litter box to be cleaned out (did I mention they can be fussy over these things?). Although Bengals can be naughty and loud, they are also great fun and love to play with their humans. They love water and many will drink straight from the tap (faucet) and watch their humans in the shower or bath tub!
If you want an active, affectionate, naughty cat who will make you smile and even laugh every single day then a Bengal is for you! Lula Bengals are generally very healthy cats if you have bought from a reputable and registered breeder. But if you go to a breeder who screens for these things, the risk of your Bengal getting them is much reduced, small though it is in the first place.
If you buy from a back yard breeder who doesnt ensure this is done, you may get behavioural problems but this is true for any breed of cat, its not exclusive to Bengals!
Knowing whats best may not be completely straight forward as a myriad of factors can affect the life expectancy of Bengal cats, and indeed, any cat breed.
Genetic make-up can play a significant role in life expectancy due to either susceptibility to disease or environmental conditions. Diversity can be increased further when Bengals are bred with those that come from a different Leopard Cat subspecies.
The Bengal cat breed requires genetic screening for defects that could cause life-threatening health problems later in life. This screening is for , which results in a host of symptoms including anaemia, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) , a degenerative eye condition. Bengal cat health issues may go undetected and can be present long before any symptoms develop.
Regular health checks increase the likelihood of disease or injury being identified early, which is good news for you and your cat. A typical check will include measuring body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and weight with your Bengals eyes, ears, fur, teeth, joints and lymph nodes all being examined. So called core vaccines are common throughout many Western countries and are considered essential.
This may be included as standard although some Bengal owners decide not to immunise for this virus if theirs is to be a house cat. Ask for evidence that the kitten you intend to buy has had the appropriate vaccines for its age and the region you live in. Maintain the required vaccine regimen, particularly if your Bengal roams freely, interacts with cats outside your household and is at greater risk of catching something- a virus, not a rodent.
#5: Neuter Your Cat To Avoid Disease Having your Bengal go under the knife to have its means of reproducing removed may not instantly strike you as a good way of increasing its life expectancy. This is because there is less risk of certain cancer types, sexually transmitted disease and in a male Bengal, castration will lead to less aggressive behaviour (and therefore less fighting with other cats). Unless buying a Bengal for breeding, some breeders will have you sign a contract to ensure your kitten is neutered by a certain age.
Whilst researching this article, I found the age at which it was advised to get a kitten neutered was as little as 8 weeks up to from 6 months old. Cats may gain weight after neutering so ensure they eat a healthy diet and exercise frequently. A good diet will help prevent dietary based disease, maintain a healthy body weight and boost immunity.
Many sites I came across promoted a balanced raw meat diet- one that contains roughly 80% muscle protein, 10% organ and 10% bone, plus essential vitamins and minerals. However, there was no definitive answer as to what the optimal raw diet for a Bengal cat actually comprised of. Some science research papers claim that evidence supporting a raw diet is minimal- see here and here .
A safer compromise is tinned, complete cat food- perhaps supplemented with raw food now and again. The Oldest Bengal Cat : One woman claims hers lived to be 34 years old, which if true, would make it the longest living, coming in at over double the average Bengal cat life expectancy. Some cats can be fussy, so if necessary, vary water temperature, source, and the dish or container they drink from.
Look out for the symptoms of dehydration which include panting, sunken eyes, dry sticky/tacky gums, and a lack of interest in playing and eating . See below for the skin tent test for dehydration (its not a Bengal cat, but youll get the idea) However, dry foods may not be best for your kittys optimal health in terms of nutrients or hydration.
If youre happy to feed your cat raw food, then uncooked meat with bone fed at least once a week is said to act as a natural toothbrush. A regular health check (as mentioned in #3) should catch signs of dental disease, hopefully at earlier, more treatable stages. #9: Regularly Exercise Your Pet With Play Or Walks Photo by Andreas Krappweis
Talking from personal experience, a Bengal kitten is a very active creature, capable of turning your living room into a running track-playground hybrid. A lack of exercise can lead to an increased body weight and associated health problems linked to diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Alongside a good, balanced diet, exercise can help keep your Bengals bodyweight within healthy parameters.
Figures for this vary but roughly range from 6-10lbs (2.7-4.5kg) for a female Bengal, with males between 10-15lbs (4.5-6.8kg), though one site suggested larger specimens could weigh as much as 22lbs (10kg). #10: Avoid Contact With Potentially Carcinogenic Pollutants And Toxins As with humans, cancer is one of the leading causes of death in cats. Environmental pollutants and toxins found in or on plants could prove harmful to your cat and even carcinogenic.
Cats will often eat from the floor and frequently put random bits and pieces into their mouths (especially as kittens). Their cleaning regime makes them prone to ingesting any chemicals that may be on their fur or feet. Ensure your home or garden does not contain plants on this list compiled by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (or keep them out of reach from your Bengal) Warning: it is pretty extensive.
#11: Home Is Where The Heart Is And Where Your Bengal Should Be Reasons for this include road accidents and injuries, fights with other domestic cats and dogs or depending on where you live, wild animals. Although cats that go outside may exercise more and are less exposed to chemicals around the home, the cost of greater freedom may be a shorter life. Keep your Bengal as a house cat (which is not uncommon for the breed) especially if you live near a main road.
Bengals cant talk and tell you they have a problem (although sometimes they give it a ruddy good go) and so its up to you to identify changes from the norm which can often be subtle . Any change in eating or drinking habits, behaviour, stool, or physical appearance for example, could indicate something untoward. If you identify something wrong and cant remedy it, arrange a health check by a professional, as early intervention usually leads to better outcomes.
Its not easy knowing what is best for your Bengal, especially for new owners with no previous experience of raising cats. Longevity and mortality of cats attending primary care veterinary practices in EnglandErythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency mutation identified in multiple breeds of domestic catsThe Royal Veterinary College, LondonRaw diets for dogs and cats: a review, with particular reference to microbiological hazardsRaw food diets in companion animals: A critical review Schlesinger and Joffe 2011
A Very Brief History
The original Bengal cats are a hybrid of the Asian Leopard Cat and domestic cats. They were developed by various people, most notably Jean Sugden Mill, in the 1970s and 80s with the aim of harnessing the beauty of the wild cat, yet maintaining the temperament of the domestic cat. Through careful breeding, this aim has definitely been achieved!
Physical Appearance: The Famous Bengal Markings!
The first thing most people notice about the Bengal cat is the wonderful coat! Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it’s also very soft and sleek and many Bengals also shine in the light with a glitter that permeates through every hair shaft!Bengals have two basic fur patterns: the more common spotted pattern and the wonderfully swirly marbled. Both spotted and marbles are often tri-coloured with various shades forming the unique markings.The tri-colouring is what can give spotted Bengals “rosettes” – where each individual spot has an outline of a darker colour, giving a look similar to that of a Jaguar, for example. Not all Bengals have defined rosettes – they have spots more like a Leopard, with no outline of colour.
Both spotted and marbled Bengals come in a variety of colours: Brown, Snow, Silver and Blue are the most common though newer colours such as chocolate, charcoal and cinnamon (must be something about Cs?) are also becoming more popular.Snows are also known as Seal Lynx Point, Seal Mink and Seal Sepia. Seal Lynx Points have Siamese cats in their ancestry, so will always have blue eyes, whereas the Seal Sepia was derived from Burmese and will never have blue eyes. A Seal Mink has both Lynx Point and Sepia genes so the eyes can be any colour, though they will never be as bright blue as the Lynx Point’s.Just like in the wild with Panthers, you can also get black Bengal cats, these are known as melanistic. They do have spots or marbling, though you may only be able to see their markings in certain lighting conditions.It’s desirable for Bengals (except melanistic) to have light or white tummies, just like many of their wild cousins!
Bengal cats are usually quite large: males weigh on average between 10 – 15 lbs (4.5 – 6.8kg) and females 8 – 12 lbs (3.6 – 5.4 kg). Of course you will get some even bigger than that and a few who are smaller too, so don’t be concerned if your Bengal is outside of those averages.
Other Physical Features
The head of the Bengal should be quite small in comparison to the body, with small ears too, reminiscent of their wild cat ancestry.The ears should have a “thumbprint” – a patch where the fur is very short, in the shape of a thumb! Many tabby cats also have this thumbprint.Also in common with most tabby cats, Bengals have a clear “M” on the foreheadBengals are strong and agile cats and should be slim and athletic. The back legs are slightly longer than the front ones, which give an arch to the back when standing in a certain position.
Bengal (mis) Behaviour!
OK, we admit it! Bengals are not your laid-back lap cat! They are often quite naughty and can be a handful, they are not for the inexperienced or nervous cat owner!The Bengal is also very intelligent for a cat and needs lots of things to keep that brain occupied, lots of interactive play with toys (like the dragonfly you can find in ourBengals are also very vocal and loud – they will always tell you when they want something such as food or the litter box to be cleaned out (did I mention they can be fussy over these things?). The Bengal miaow is not easily ignored!Although Bengals can be naughty and loud, they are also great fun and love to play with their humans. They are affectionate and it’s not unusual for them to form a great loyalty to a single member of the household.Their intelligence means they are easy to train and many react well to clicker training. It’s not uncommon for Bengal owners to train their cats to go for a walk on a harness and leash (we have safe and strong harness jackets for sale in ourThey love water and many will drink straight from the tap (faucet) and watch their humans in the shower or bath tub! Beware! If you’re shy and you close the bathroom door – that loud miaow will soon be heard! There’s no escaping from the curious Bengal 🙂If you want an active, affectionate, naughty cat who will make you smile and even laugh every single day then a Bengal is for you!
Bengals are generally very healthy cats if you have bought from a reputable and registered breeder. The life expectancy is the same as many other cats: 14 – 16 years. In line with other pedigree breeds, there are some diseases that they have a slightly higher risk of – HCM (heart disease) and PkDef (chronic anaemia) being two of them. But if you go to a breeder who screens for these things, the risk of your Bengal getting them is much reduced, small though it is in the first place.