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All about your Bengal Cat

Loyal and entertaining, with a cheeky personality.

The Bengal is graceful, loving and energetic, and his sleek fur is patterned with striking leopard-like spots. Learn more about this friendly, smart and playful cat, from his grooming and exercise needs, to the things you can do to keep him happy and healthy.

A Bengal Cat Lays Upside Down Facing Towards You

Breed information & advice

A cross-breed combining the Asian Leopard and the domestic cat, the short-haired Bengal has a wild athletic look. But do not be fooled as he is exceptionally friendly and will follow his owner from room to room when at home.

  • The Bengal is an affectionate breed, said to be more like a dog than a cat due to his fondness for his human owners.
  • It’s a good idea to brush and rub down your cat on a weekly basis, to remove loose hairs and maintain his plush coat.
  • Typically he will weigh between 4.5kg and 9kg, when fully grown.
  • A healthy Bengal will usually live for 10 to 15 years.

Typical size of a Bengal Cat

Large

The athletic Bengal is known for his high energy levels and will find time to blow off steam by racing around the house or garden, scaling obstacles, or entertaining himself with a game. However, he also loves his downtime and once he has fully exerted himself, you will find him crashed out in an exhausted heap.

As one of the more active breeds of cat, try to find time to play with him on a daily basis. Whether you want to play with a feather on a string or teach him tricks – as he is smart – invest time in games, and you will be rewarded as this time will help you form a stronger bond. Kittens and cats have higher energy levels first thing in the morning and late at night.

Thanks to his ancestry, your Bengal will need a diet of mainly raw meat and fish, but you can also feed him pre-packaged cat food too. He will need high-quality meals twice a day, although exactly how much will depend on his size, age and activity levels. Check the food packets or speak to your vet for help with portion sizes.

Intelligent and full of energy

A Bengal is highly energetic and intelligent, and loves to play, so find games that help him to imitate his hunter instinct and stimulate his brain.

Bengal Cat Plays With Yellow And Blue Ball
Brown Grey Bengal Cat Looking Up

Common health problems & illnesses

Your Bengal will need all of the usual vaccinations and check-ups to help protect him against common ailments. There are some conditions which this breed is more prone to though, and you may want to familiarise yourself with the symptoms, so you know what to look out for.

1. Lameness

If you notice your cat walking a bit gingerly, hopping on his hind leg or just generally moving slower than usual, he may have an issue with his joints. The Bengal cat is susceptible to lameness, which could be caused by a number of underlying medical conditions including arthritis – inflammation of the joints – which usually develops in older cats, or a dislocated hip or knee joint. All of these problems can cause issues with your pet's mobility so keep an eye on anything unusual.

2. Wounds

Bengal cats are inquisitive by nature and love to explore, and can get into scrapes whether trying to squeeze through a tight gap, scaling great heights or when encountering a fellow feline. Check his coat when grooming and if you spot a cut or wound, clean it using salt water, and make sure you let it dry out to aid healing and avoid infection. If the cut is much more serious and bleeding a lot, you may need to take him to the vet for treatment.

Almost 6% of all Tesco Pet Insurance claims for this breed in 2015 were related to wounds.

3. Abscesses

This breed may be prone to abscesses, which can commonly occur if bitten by another cat in a fight. Abscesses happen as a result of large swellings of pus gathering underneath the skin due to bacteria in the bite. Your cat may display signs of being in pain if he has an abscess and you may notice him licking it. Antibiotics and strong painkillers might be recommended by a vet.

4. Cystitis

A common condition in cats, cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder that can be caused by a wide variety of factors including stress, bladder stones or bacterial infections. You might notice your Bengal straining to urinate, spotting blood instead of urine, or urinating more often if he has the condition. If you notice these signs in a male neutered cat, then it’s important to seek emergency veterinary attention.

Encourage your cat to drink more water, which can bring relief. Try feeding him wet food, adding water to dried food or even feeding him well-diluted chicken or fish stock. You could also position water bowls around the house. Pain relief or anti-inflammatory drugs may be needed in serious cases.

5. Tumours

This breed can be at risk of tumours and you may come across a lump or bump when grooming your Bengal. Most of the time these are harmless or benign, such as warts or fatty growths called lipomas, but you may want your vet to investigate as occasionally these can be uncomfortable to him, or cancerous. Surgery is only needed if a growth is in an awkward place and hampering mobility, and potentially if it is cancerous and this can help to stop the disease from spreading.

Cat name popularity

If you’re struggling to think of a name for your new Bengal, take a look at the most popular ones at Tesco Pet Insurance for inspiration.

Cat name popularity
Simba
Alfie
Benji
Leo
Nala

Average treatment costs

Wondering whether pet insurance for your Bengal cat is worth it? We’ve put together the top five conditions claimed for by Tesco Pet Insurance customers in 2015, and the average cost of treatment.

ConditionAverage treatment cost
Road traffic accident£954.60
Wound£297.55
Tumour£567.00
Fracture£1003.54
Injury£497.90

Tesco Pet Insurance claims data from paid treatments including excesses from 01/01/15 to 31/12/15.

Considering Bengal cat insurance?

We know your cat is an important member of the family, so give them the protection they deserve with Tesco Pet Insurance.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.

Grooming advice

A Bengal’s unique, short-haired coat is fairly delicate, and will only need to be groomed once a week – any brushing or cleaning should be carefully undertaken. To keep his fur looking fresh, either groom using a wet hand, wipe his fur down with a damp cloth such as a chamois leather or gently brush him from head to tail.

Get into a routine when he is a kitten and not only will this keep him looking his best, but it will also allow you to check for hair loss or skin ailments, while helping you to build a strong bond.

A good dental routine is hugely important to remove any plaque or tartar from his mouth, so try weekly (if not daily) to brush his teeth using a special toothbrush and paste.

Your Bengal will appreciate having a scratching post to keep his claws trim, but you may also have to cut them every couple of weeks. Check his ears for dirt and infection each week, and wipe under your cat’s eyes if there is a build-up of any gooey liquid.

Fun & interesting facts

  • They are so sought after that a British woman once paid £35,000 for her Bengal cat, dubbing the breed the Rolls Royce of the feline world.
  • He is also the cat burglar of the feline world - if your jewellery goes missing you might find it was an inside job, as your cat will love to play with all things shiny.
  • The Bengal is fearless when it comes to water and will enjoy jumping in your bath or playing in a pond.
  • If he goes missing, look up, as this cat is famed for his climbing skills and will scale almost anything.
  • His name is derived from the Latin for the Asian Leopard cat, Felis Bengalensis.

Important information

KEY INFORMATION

The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to pet breeds, but does not constitute expert veterinary advice. If your dog or cat falls ill or has an injury, contact your vet immediately. Tesco Bank Pet Insurance has a partnership with vetfone™ which means that as a customer, you can benefit from their advice as part of your policy.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

All facts and figures were correct at date of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.

WHAT IS VETFONE?

Vetfone™ is a 24/7 helpline that provides expert advice from nurses qualified with the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). If your pet has a medical emergency, or you need reassurance on grooming, feeding or general advice, vetfone™ is there to help.

As a Tesco Pet Insurance customer, you can access expert veterinary advice provided by RCVS registered vet nurses as a standard benefit with your policy, and the service is provided at no additional cost. A quick call could answer any questions you have about your pet, give you peace of mind and could even save you an expensive trip to the vet.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

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