Bengal - breed information and advice

The handsome Bengal is a modern breed which has remained true to its origins. Bred from a domestic cat and a wild Asian Leopard Cat, the result is an intelligent breed with a striking spotted coat and a loyal, loving personality. The Bengal's powerful physique is accompanied by endless energy, a mischievous streak and a taste for trouble!
To ensure your Bengal cat is protected in the case of an emergency, take a look at our cat insurance policies.

Breed information

Essentials

Colour: The Bengal’s coat is typically spotted or marbled. The former is the most common, with a beautiful background in a medley of shades (including rust, golden-brown, sand and buff) and dark spots in chocolate brown, charcoal or black.

Coat: Thick, short and dense, the Bengal’s coat feels luxurious when stroked, but requires little in the way of extra care

Life span: Up to 15 years.

Eye conditions

Like all cats, the Bengal can suffer from eye problems such as glaucoma (caused by increased pressure inside the eyeball); cataracts (opacity of the lens); entropion (inward rolling of the eyelids); retinal problems; or conjunctivitis (inflammation of the insides of a cat’s eyelids). Of these, Bengals are most prone to conjunctivitis, which has various causes including infections, scratches to or something within the eye’s surface, a lack of tear production, allergies, or entropion. Treatment of each eye condition depends on the type and severity of the problem, although many are treated using eyedrops.

Fact

We paid £2,662 to treat Marley the cat for an eye condition in 2016

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Infections and abscesses

Infections are caused by viruses and bacteria, and can be transferred from cat to cat through bite wounds. When cats fight (which is common outside of their normal social group) they often bite each other, transferring harmful viruses and bacteria into the soft tissue, which can become infected. Puncture wounds are often not obvious, but can result in fever and lethargy. Antibiotics, pain relief and sometimes lancing of the abscess is required to resolve the infection. Viral infections such as feline leukaemia and FIV (cat AIDS) are not curable, although feline leukaemia is easily prevented by a simple vaccination.

Fact

Abscesses are the most common type of lumps and bumps we see in Bengals

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Gastrointestinal disorders

The Bengal, like all cats, can suffer from problems affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is a long, winding tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus, with various twists and turns along the way. Signs of gastrointestinal disease include vomiting and diarrhoea. These symptoms can be caused by infections (such as campylobacter), poisoning or obstructions (caused by the cat eating something that can’t be digested), although these symptoms can indicate other more serious problems as well.

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Gastrointestinal disorders are the most common illnesses we see in Bengals

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Kidney disease

Cats’ kidneys are responsible for filtering the waste products from their blood into their urine. Bengals may be affected by kidney disease caused by infections, blockages, tumours or toxins (especially licking anti-freeze) as well as age related changes. Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidney function deteriorates gradually over a period of time. Treatment depends on the cause and the extent of damage, but usually begins by flushing the kidneys using intravenous fluids, followed by special diets and medications. Unfortunately kidney disease is irreversible, but with the right support many cats can enjoy a reasonably normal life.

Fact

We paid £3,275 to treat Gizmo the cat for a urinary system disorder in 2016

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Cystitis

Conditions that affect a cat’s bladder and urethra are collectively known as feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), which is more commonly referred to as cystitis. Bengals can suffer from these conditions, which can be caused by stress, not urinating enough, infections and bladder stones or crystals. Cats suffering from cystitis make frequent, painful attempts to urinate, and blood is often found in the urine. Treatment depends on the cause, but cats diagnosed with cystitis will usually require pain relief, access to plenty of water, special diets and perhaps some help to reduce stress.

Fact

Cystitis is the most common urinary problem we see in Bengals

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