We don’t know why this is true – but we are constantly begging owners to bring their cat to their Veterinarian, when there is ANY unwanted behavior or change in habits (eating, sleeping, playing, etc.). Medical issues are often the reason why your cat isn’t acting right! So many people do not include regular Veterinary care in their routines – and that is a mistake.
Cats do a tremendously good job of hiding pain and discomfort. For those of us who have decades of experience, we could tell you hundreds of stories where the cat was “slightly off” and turned out to be in dire need of medical attention.
We ask all of our clients to please establish regular Veterinary care for their cats. Establish a partnership with your Veterinarian. They are there to support you and most especially, your furry family member. They will not only help you resolve medical issues, but they can also help you ensure that your cat lives it’s longest and healthiest life.
That said – even the most revered Veterinarians will tell you that they lead a hectic life, and that they can’t know everything. That’s one of the reasons why it’s important to us here at Bengal Rescue, to help you get the answers you need to resolve whatever issues are going on. We look at the cat holistically, and really hope that you choose a Veterinarian that has experience with hybrid cats. They are definitely different than your average Domestic cat.
Basic Care Recommendations
At minimum in the life of your cat, you should expect to provide the following routine medical care for your cat:
- Vaccinations. Please read this informative article “Vaccines for Cats: We Need to Stop Over-Vaccinating” by Dr. Lisa Pierson DVM.
- Spay and Neuter
- Annual Examinations
- Dental Cleanings
If your cat is having litter box issues, please read our Litter Box Issues article and make an appointment with your Veterinarian for a wellness check! That important step will likely bring to light the medical issues that are impacting your cat, and will lead to good heath and resolution of the issues.
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Common Medical Issues with Bengal Cats
All breeds of cats can experience medical issues, over the course of their lives, however there are several known medical issues that are more common with Bengal Cats.
These conditions include:
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder (FLUTD)
This is the most pervasive condition we see in Rescue Bengals. Learn more about this cunning, baffling, and SOLVABLE issue on our Litter Box Issues page. This issue is the #1 reason why ALL cats are surrendered to Shelters, not just Bengals.
Irritable Bowl Disease (IBD)
It is unknown what causes IBD (sometimes referred to as Irritable Bowel Syndrom), but IBD is one of the most common issues that Bengals face. In most cases of Lymphoma, the cat was previously diagnosed with IBD. We believe that diet heavily influences whether or not a cat is prone to or develops IBD, and also may also lessen the risk of Lymphoma. To learn more about IBD, we recommend reading the article Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Nature and Treatment. To learn more about dietary guidelines, please read our Feeding Your Cat page.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
This is a heart condition that is common in Bengal Cats and other breeds, including Maine Coon, Persian, Ragdoll, and Sphinx Cats. Today’s breeders are expected to test for HCM in their lines – good breeders do. For more information on HCM please read this article from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Rhinotracheitis (Herpes Virus, FVR)
Herpes is an extremely common virus, for all cats. Usually it presents with sneezing and runny eyes. This is generally a treatable condition, and can flare up due to stress or allergies. For more information, please read the article Rhinotracheitis (Herpes Virus, FVR) by Meghan Waals.
Bilateral Luxating Patellas
Patellar luxation is a rare condition in which the patella (the ‘knee cap’) dislocates or moves out of its normal location. For more information, please read this informative article about Luxating Patellas
Lymphosarcoma (cancer in the lymphoid tissue)
Lymphosarcoma is one of the most common and baffling conditions, in all cats. It is very difficult to diagnose. For more information on Lymphosarcoma, please read this article Lymphosarcoma in Cats
Chronic Renal Failure (kidney disease)
Kidney disease is another ailment that we believe is heavily influenced by diet. Please learn more by reading our Feeding Your Cat page.
Sensitivity to Ketamine (anesthetic)
Bengal cats are extremely sensitive to the Ketamine, a commonly used Anesthesia. With Ketamine, hybrid cats can suffer from a number of reactions, including but not limited to extreme hallucinations. Ketamine is widely used because it is an inexpensive Anesthesia. Ask your Veterinarian to us other methods of sedation. Please read this article Ketamine in Cats by Meghan Waals for more information.
Bengals are highly succeptible to allergies. Yet again, we strongly believe that proper diet is the key to avoiding this condition. Please learn more on our Feeding Your Cat page, and you can also read this article “I’m Pullin’ My Hair Out! (Feline Alopecia), by Meghan Waals.
Pain Scale in Cats
Throughout the course of your time with your Bengal, there is the chance that you will need to learn to observe and interpret pain in cats. It could be due to an unexpected injury, or it could be due to illness as a cat ages.
This chart is so well done and should act as a great tool for you to know when it’s time to go to the vet, and when it’s time to eventually say goodbye
© Bengal Rescue 2021