When it comes to feeding your Bengal cat it's important that you give them a nutritious and well balanced diet. This is vital in keeping your cat healthy. There tends to be a constant battle going on regarding whether you should use only dry food, only wet food, or a combination of both. Tough choices, true, but in reality, your cat may want both, so most of the time it's best to have both available to them. Here we'll cover the following topics:
- Cat Food Basics for Your Bengal
- Foods Your Cat Shouldn't Eat
- Our Top Picks for the Best Wet Food for Bengal Cats
Cat Food Basics for Your Bengal
No matter whether or not your Bengal cat is a picky eater or might be a little bit on the pudgy side, they more than likely will let you know just how they feel about what kind of food you put in their bowl.
Bengals can be very opinionated about the food they eat and often these food preferences start in the first year of life. So, if your Bengal is a kitten, now is the perfect time to let them try different types of food to see which one they prefer. It can be wet, dry, or semi-dry. If you can, it's best to let them pick what they prefer. However, always make sure that the food you put down in front of them has all the nutrients that they need to stay healthy.
Make Sure It's a Well-Balanced Food
It's important that you know how to read the label on the cat food. Too often pet owners focus on ingredients, but overlook the nutrients especially protein and fat. It also seems to have gotten quite trendy today to avoid grains and carbohydrates in cat food, but, many experts say that these things are not always bad. Also, foods made with just protein and fat can be pretty high priced. If there are small amounts of carbs in the food, then cats should be able to handle it. Often times carbs are the best thing to use to hold dry foods together.
How does one know if their cat's food is well-balanced? What you need to do is look for a statement on the can from the Association of American Feed Control Officials. It should say something like this:
“This food is complete and balanced, either through a feeding trial or because the recipe meets cats' nutritional requirements.”
Another thing that is important to look for is where the meat, poultry, or fish is located on the ingredients. For the most well-balanced wet food, these ingredients should be at the top of the list of ingredients.
How Often and How Much Should They Be Fed?
For most cats, including Bengals they will prefer to eat their main meal at dawn and around dusk. The reason for this is that if they were out in the wild these would be the normal times they would be hunting and catching their prey. So it stands to reason you might want to go with their natural instincts.
Most Common Feeding Error
The most common mistake that most people make when feeding their Bengal cats is that they over feed them. This of course can lead to obesity and this is the most common disease that is seen in cats. Since a lot of people keep their Bengals indoors, they have a more sedentary life, even though they still are extremely active in the home, just not like if they were in the wild. So, this means that their nutritional needs are lower. Experts say that you should feed your cat between 24 to 35 calories for each pound of weight per day to keep them at a healthy weight.
Foods Your Cat Shouldn't Eat
Just because your Bengal might appear to be a picky eater doesn't mean they don't have interest in foods that could be dangerous to them. You might even be a little surprised to find out what common foods that your Bengal should avoid at all cost.
- Tuna – This is the processed tuna for humans. As much as your Bengal might beg for it, it doesn't have the nutrients they need and too much of it can give them mercury poisoning. A bite or two of tuna now and then is alright, but it should not be a part of the diet on a regular basis.
- Onions, Garlic & Chives – It doesn't matter what form it's in, powdered, cooked, dehydrated, or raw, these items can actually break down your cats red blood cells and can lead to anemia. These items can also cause gastrointestinal problems.
- Dairy Products – That's right, as much as cats seem to love dairy products, especially milk, most adult cats tend to be lactose intolerant. Their digestive systems have difficulty in processing dairy products and this can lead to digestive upset along with diarrhea.
- Alcoholic Beverages – Not that you'd ever give this to your Bengal, but accidents can happen. Alcohol has the same effect on a cat's liver and brain as it does on us. But, it's even far worse, just two teaspoons of whiskey for example can put a five pound cat into a coma and three could cause death.
- Raisins & Grapes – Though it is true that grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for cats and dogs, it really is not a good idea. Believe it or not, these items can cause kidney failure in your Bengal. So, it's best to keep these items off your counters so your cat can't get to them.
- Caffeine – Keep beverages with caffeine away from your cat at all times. Large amounts of it can be fatal and there's no antidote for it. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include rapid breathing, restlessness, heart palpitations, fits, and muscle tremors.
- Chocolate – Most cats really won't eat it on their own, but some pet owners have been known to coax them into eating it thinking they're giving them a treat. However, chocolate can be deadly for cats. The most dangerous types are dark chocolate and the unsweetened baking chocolate. If a cat eats chocolate it can suffer from abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, tremors, and even death.
- Candy and Gum – You can find Xylitol in some candy, gum, toothpaste, diet foods and baked goods and Xylitol is the danger here. This ingredient can increase the insulin in your cat's body and this can cause their blood sugar levels to drop. This ingredient can cause liver failure. The first symptoms include vomiting, loss of coordination, and lethargy with live failure following within a few days.
- Bones and Fat Trimmings – Scraps from the table can often contain fat trimmed off meat and the bones from meat. Both of these items can be dangerous for your Bengal. Fat can cause intestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. Bones can be dangerous because your cat can choke on them. They also can splinter and cause obstructions or lacerations of their digestive system.
- Raw Eggs – There are a couple of reasons why you shouldn't feed your Bengal raw eggs. The first reason is that there's a possibility of food poisoning from salmonella or E. coli. The second but more rare issue is that the protein called avidin in the egg whites can sometimes interfere with their ability to absorb the B vitamin called biotin. This can cause problems with their coat and skin.
- Raw Meats and Raw Fish – These two things can also carry bacteria that can cause food poisoning when raw. Plus, there is an enzyme in the raw fish that will destroy their thiamine and this is another essential B vitamin that your cat needs. Cats that are lacking in thiamine can end up with neurological problems that can lead to convulsions and even coma.
- Dog Food – Although a nibble here and there of dog food won't hurt your cat, it is not a good substitute for cat food. They don't have the same ingredients because they don't have the same nutritional needs. A steady diet of dog food will make your cat malnourished.
- Liver – A small amount is fine, but if they eat too much of it, it can cause vitamin A toxicity. This can affect their bones and can cause deformed bones, growths on their elbows and spine. It can also cause osteoporosis. In some cases it can lead to death.
- Yeast Dough – Because bread before it's cooked needs to rise, the raw dough will do the same thing in your cats stomach if they eat some. As the dough swells it will stretch the abdomen and cause them terrible pain. Plus, yeast produces alcohol and this can lead to alcohol poisoning.
Our Top Choices for the Best Wet Food For Bengal Cats
After doing a little research of our own, we've come up with five of the top wet cat foods that we believe are ones that many Bengals might enjoy eating for a variety of reasons. We've also chosen those that seem to be the healthier ones and contain high nutritional value.
Below you'll find a list of wet cat foods that we feel could be good choices for your Bengal cat.
Muse by Purina Natural Grain Free Hand Fillet Fish w/Topper Wet Cat Food
ABOUT: This cat food is made with good quality chicken or fish and has an additional topping to add a little extra to their mealtime. The food is comprised of real fish or chicken in a broth that is topped with either shrimp or bonito. There are no artificial colors, preservatives or flavors added to this wet food.
FEATURES: This wet food comes as a 10 pack of 2.1 ounce tubs. The fish is hand filleted and topped with shrimp or clams. The chicken recipes don't contain any chicken by-product meal in them making them far healthier. The tubs are quick and easy to open, so there's no waiting for your cat.
PROS: The ingredients are all natural and contain all the essential nutrients cats need. The recipes are gluten free as well as grain free meaning there's no corn, wheat or soy in them. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
CONS: The main concern seems to be that the chunks of food are rather big and for some cats pet owners have to break down the larger chunks before feeding.
SHEBA Perfect Portions Pate Entree Wet Cat Food Trays
ABOUT: This can be purchased in packs of 12 or packs of 24 2.6 ounce servings. They have a variety to choose from that include beef, chicken, chicken & liver, chicken & tuna, salmon, seafood, turkey, poultry variety pack, seafood variety pack, and whitefish & tuna. The portions are ideal for most cats and is fresh tasting. The food is all natural.
FEATURES: All natural ingredients and offers a wide variety of different flavors most cats should enjoy. They come in 2.6 ounce portions which should be enough for one meal for most cats.
PROS: The first ingredient is real meat, fish, or poultry. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives in the food. The serving packs are convenient to use because they are portioned perfectly for mealtime.
CONS: There is concern that picky eaters may not like this particular wet cat food.
Meow Mix Selections Wet Cat Food Variety Packs
FEATURES: These variety packs give you plenty of options for your cat. You'll find poultry and seafood packs, poultry variety packs, seafood variety packs, and several others cats tend to love. The cups are easy to open and keep the food fresh.
PROS: The food is all natural and has all the nutrients cats require. Is good for both kittens and adult cats. The cups the food comes in are sealed nicely to keep in freshness and are easy to open and serve.
CONS: Main concern is that some of the varieties do list that they have wheat gluten in them and some pet owners may not want to give this to their cats.
Purina Fancy Feast Medleys Tuscany Collection Gourmet Wet Cat Food
FEATURES: They offer a variety of collections to choose from such as poultry & beef, chicken, turkey & tuna, tuna & shrimp and several other varieties that cats love. The delicate bites provides picky eaters with the size of food they prefer. Most varieties are covered in a gravy that many cats love.
PROS: The food is balanced and complete and offers the nutrients cats require. There is a nice variety to choose from. The individual cans are a little bigger than some other brands. The bites of food are very small which many cats prefer.
CONS: There is some concern that there is far too much gravy in this particular cat food.
Purina Friskies Cat Concoctions Variety Pack Cat Food
ABOUT: This is a wet cat food that combines foods that cats tend to show to be their favorites. They combine tender pieces of food or pate with savory sauces. The food gives cats the balanced nutrition they require. There are a variety of different combinations you can choose from.
FEATURES: Convenient 24 pack with 5.5 ounce cans. They offer an assortment of flavors that cats tend to like. They have both tender pieces or pate along with a pretty good smell that's enticing to many cats. The food is well-balanced for both kittens or adult cats.
PROS: Good variety to pick from that include beef, lamb, poultry and fish. Easy to open cans. These are larger cans and may be good for two meal or when feeding two cats at the same time.
CONS: There do seem to be some cats that don't like the combinations contained in the variety packs.
After we reviewed these different wet cat foods, we have decided that the one that makes it to the top of our list is Muse by Purina Natural Grain Free Hand Fillet Fish w/Topper Wet Cat Food. The reason why we like this as our top choice is we believe that it's a high-quality cat food and looks to fit most of the criteria for a good quality cat food for Bengal cats.
The food is all natural, contains all the nutrients a cat needs and it seems to be one that even picky cats tend to like. It even should please cat owners who don't want grain or gluten in their cats food.