Bengal cat
HEALTH

Bengal cat
HEALTH

How to Keep a Bengal Cat in Good Health _

 How to Keep a Bengal Cat in Good Health _

To promote the Bengal cat’s health, we must provide him with an optimal environment for his development. Whether they are a pet or a breeder in a breeding program, all Bengal cats have the same needs:

  • A good diet
  • A clean and stimulating environment
  • Access to sunlight
  • Moments to move around and play
  • A good contact with humans
  • Minimized sources of stress

Prevent diseases, viruses and parasites

Another important element for a Bengal cat to stay healthy is to prevent diseases, viruses and intestinal parasites. Like all breeds of cats, Bengals have certain weaknesses regarding their health.

For example, we know that the HCM (heart problem) affects several bloodlines of Bengal cats and other breeds all over the world. Unfortunately, the result is often death. Since this problem is hereditary, it can be avoided most of the time if all breeders would have their cats tested before breeding them.

Breeders must have their breeding Bengal cats tested for hereditary and viral health problems. This greatly contributes to better health of the entire feline population.

If you adopt a Bengal kitten as a companion, these tests will never be required unless your kitten is sick. So it’s best to choose a reputable breeder; it will save you a lot of hassle.

At Wild N Sweet Bengals, health is a priority. We do everything we can to keep our Bengal cats and kittens as healthy as possible. All Bengal kittens adopted from our cattery come with a complete health guarantee.

Prevent diseases, viruses and parasites

Another important element for a Bengal cat to stay healthy is to prevent diseases, viruses and intestinal parasites. Like all breeds of cats, Bengals have certain weaknesses regarding their health.

For example, we know that the HCM (heart problem) affects several bloodlines of Bengal cats and other breeds all over the world. Unfortunately, the result is often death. Since this problem is hereditary, it can be avoided most of the time if all breeders would have their cats tested before breeding them.

Breeders must have their breeding Bengal cats tested for hereditary and viral health problems. This greatly contributes to better health of the entire feline population.

If you adopt a Bengal kitten as a companion, these tests will never be required unless your kitten is sick. So it’s best to choose a reputable breeder; it will save you a lot of hassle.

At Wild N Sweet Bengals, health is a priority. We do everything we can to keep our Bengal cats and kittens as healthy as possible. All Bengal kittens adopted from our cattery come with a complete health guarantee.

We also help the non-profit organization, PROJETS O’POIL, give stray cats in need a second chance. This organization greatly contributes to improve their health condition. To learn more.

We are proud that our cattery has tested negative for the following diseases and parasites :

  • HCM (heart)
  • FiV / FeLV (Immunodeficiency / Leukemia)
  • PK-Deficiency (anemia)
  • PRA-b (progressive retinal atrophy of the eyes)
  • Trichomonas (intestinal parasites)
  • Giardia (intestinal parasites)
  • Coccidiosis (intestinal parasites)

As you can imagine, all these health tests are quite expensive. The lack of knowledge is also a reason why some Bengal cat breeders do not do these tests. So we decided to share a little summary of how to do these tests. If this can help anyone with the health of their Bengal, it would make a big difference for us.

 

We are proud that our cattery has tested negative for the following diseases and parasites :

  • HCM (heart)
  • FiV / FeLV (Immunodeficiency / Leukemia)
  • PK-Deficiency (anemia)
  • PRA-b (progressive retinal atrophy of the eyes)
  • Trichomonas (intestinal parasites)
  • Giardia (intestinal parasites)
  • Coccidiosis (intestinal parasites)

As you can imagine, all these health tests are quite expensive. It is often because of the lack of knowledge,  that some Bengal cat breeders do not do tests. So we decided to share a little summary of how to do these tests. If this can help anyone with the health of their Bengal, it would make a big difference for us.

How is the presence of these diseases or parasites detected?

The Pk-Def (anemia) and PRA-b (progressive retinal atrophy of the eyes) tests are done genetically in a laboratory. You only need to take a saliva sample from your cat on a cotton swab and send it to UC Davis Genetics Laboratory for an analysis. It is the same way that we test the Bengal cat color genes.

Other diseases such as FIV/FeLV (Immunodeficiency/Leukemia) are viral and sometimes fatal. The test is done by taking a blood sample at your veterinary clinic.

Intestinal parasites (tritrichomonas, giardia, coccidiosis, etc.) are also viral. The test called PCR is done with a stool analysis in a laboratory, through your veterinarian.

HCM in Bengal cats is only detectable by a specialized cardiologist who performs a cardiac ultrasound.

Here is a summary of these diseases, viruses and intestinal parasites.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) causes the body the inability to develop a normal immune response. Because of this immunodeficiency, most infected Bengal cats are prone to developing certain types of cancers and other infections that affect their health. Although it is a virus, some cats have no symptoms and have a normal life expectancy.

Feline Leukemia Virus Infection (FeLV)

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a disease that attacks the health of Bengal cats by altering the immune system and causing certain types of cancer. This viral infection is responsible for the majority of deaths in domestic cats, affecting all breeds. Although it is a virus, some cats with this virus have no symptoms and have a normal life expectancy.

Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK-Def)

Pyruvate kinase deficiency is an inherited health issue in Bengal cats. Pyruvate kinase is an important red blood cell enzyme in the energy metabolism of red blood cells. Therefore, if this enzyme is lacking, anemia may result.

This health problem is inherited as a recessive gene, so only cats with two copies of the defective gene will have their health affected. Carrier Bengal cats are clinically healthy, but can transmit the defective gene to their offspring.

Bengal Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA-b)

The Bengal progressive retinal atrophy (PRA-b) causes recessive blindness in Bengal cats. This inherited disease attacks the health of the eyes and causes the destruction of cells that record light. The loss of cells begins around the age of 7 weeks and progresses slowly until the cat vision becomes compromised around the age of 2 years. However, blindness can develop at different rates.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a fairly common inherited cardiac condition which affects the Bengal cats health. The heart muscle thickens, so the organ has to work much harder, causing several health problems. Blood clots or thrombosis can ensue, making the back legs motionless. This important health problem can also lead to heart failure, resulting in death. The first signs of cardiomyopathy include shortness of breath and excessive fatigue in Bengal cats.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease that affects the health of Bengals and other domestic cats. It is caused by a mutation of a virus called coronavirus, which tends to attack the cells of the intestinal wall. FIP manifests in both “wet” and “dry” form. Signs of both forms include fever, anorexia, weight loss and lethargy. Fortunately, this serious health problem is very rare, only 3% of coronavirus positive cats will develop the FIP. 10 to 40% of cats carry the coronavirus in them. It is important to specify that the coronavirus alone is not problematic; it only is when it mutates into FIP. Do not mix the two scenarios. Many cats that have the coronavirus are asymptomatic.

Tritrichomonas foetus Infection in Cats

Trichomonas foetus (T. foetus) is a unicellular protozoan that lives in the colon of Bengal cats. The symptoms are diarrhea and long-lasting smelly stools, sometimes mixed with blood or mucus. This health problem is viral and is transmitted by stool. It affects kittens much more strongly than adult Bengal cats.

Giardia Parasitic Infection in Cats

Giardiasis is an intestinal infection caused by the protozoan parasite called giardia. This parasite can also affect the health of humans and other animals. Contamination can come from direct or indirect contact with the infected Bengal cat. The infected cat will usually have a soft, greasy diarrhea with a strong smell, sometimes accompanied by excessive mucus.

Coccidiosis Parasitic Infection in Cats

Coccidiosis is a parasitic infection caused by the parasite Coccidia. Coccidiosis is particularly dangerous for the health of kittens because their immune system is still underdeveloped. The infected Bengal cat will usually have the following symptoms: watery, bloody or mucous diarrhea, weakness and fever, vomiting, weight loss and dehydration. This health problem is viral in Bengal cats.

Feline Herpesvirus infection or Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis in Cats

Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) is an infectious disease caused by a feline herpes virus. This virus attacks the health of the Bengal cat by causing infections in the upper respiratory area, nose and eyes. It can infect cats of all ages, but it is more common in kittens because they have a weak immune system. The most common symptoms of an infected Bengal cat are sneezing, runny nose, eye discharge and conjunctivitis. This virus is extremely viral and is transmitted by direct or indirect contact between cats. It’s enough for one cat to sneeze near another, and the damage is done. A cat can also develop it after experiencing physical or psychological stress.

As a preventive measure for the health of our Bengal cats, all our kittens are vaccinated against rhinotracheitis from the age of 8 weeks.