Bengal cats and food questions

Renne

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I don't know much about the breed, but I'm planning to possibly adopt a Bengal kitten. I visited her yesterday at home, and the owner told me that Bengals can only eat food with 70-80% protein, otherwise they poo a lot (?!) and have other digestion problems. Also she said that they eat a lot more than other cats.

I already have a cat, so I need to be sure that my budget is enough for the two of them. I plan to feed them dry food (my cat drinks a lot, and the kitten is also a big drinker, there shouldn't be a problem, pls don't try to dissuade me about it, I have my reasons).

1) Is it completely impossible to feed Bengals kibble like Brit Care and such? Foods like that aren't THE best, but they're very good. Will they upset their digestion, though?

2) How much more do they actually eat than other cats: twice more, 1.5. more? It's very important to know in order to calculate my budget correctly.
 

di and bob

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I would invest in a grain-free hard food. Did you see the parent's registration papers? Many people try to charge a lot of money for look a likes, they may be just large domestic tabbys. Don't pay a lot of money for a nonregistered cat. Good breeders will have the kittens vaccinated and neutered before they leave too. Do you know WHERE the breeder obtained these cats? There are VERY few breeders of purebred Bengals and they DO NOT let fertile kittens go to regular homes. Unless they have papers, I would very much doubt they are legit, much less pay good money out.
Large breed cats do eat more, especially when they are kittens and using so much energy. Maybe twice as much. It is proportional to their size. Bengals are known for chronic diarrhea issues and require a lot of attention to their food. Any time you switch a cat over to a different food there may be digestive problems, I would switch over from what the kitten is eating slowly. You may check over the local shelter kittens too, you would be saving a life, and street kittens are usually a hardy bunch.
 
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Renne

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Thanks a lot for your reply!

The kitten should be legit, both parents live with her (so I've seen them), belong to a club and have the papers. She is vaccinated and soon to be neutered. The owner isn't charging a lot of money, though, she's just looking for kind people who're going to love the kitten. In fact, after talking to her I realized that she's prepared to let the kitten stay at her huge house if she fails to find people whom she deems worthy, haha. She adores her. And maybe she'd have a better life at her house, indeed, that's what I'm trying to decide. I'm not as wealthy as her owner who is obviously wealthy, I've never been to such a luxurious house in my whole life, dammit. And here I'm going to take this kitten into my old apartment? I'm embarrassed.

If she's going to eat twice as much as my cat even as an adult, I very much doubt that I could afford to feed her top-class food. Suddenly having her is like having three cats and not two.

This is so sad, I fell in love with the kitten :( She's so cute and charming, I'll post some pictures but actually she's ten times cuter live, pictures never do a kitten justice.

eka2.jpg
eka3.jpg

Eka Frost
eka and mom.png

With her mom
eka and dad.png

With her dad

I was told that her spots are rather pale, her ears are a bit bigger than ideal, and anyway she's a pet, not a show-class or breed animal. But I don't care for such trivial things, she's soooo cute! It's really sad that apparently I can't adopt her.
 

di and bob

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I'm so sorry.... I wonder if the breeder might help you out with food? I know I would if I thought you would be good to her!
 

goingpostal

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There's really no way to know for sure. I can tell you that in Bengal groups, digestive issues are fairly common. As are picky eaters. But there are people feeding anything and everything. My girl is an early gen and she won't touch kibble and is extremely fussy on canned foods. Fish-no, Chunks, no, In gravy no. The one she liked last time. No. I have never seen her drink water but she'll lap at bloody juice, it's good this kitten drinks water willingly. She'll eat raw meat like a complete maniac, I generally offer 1-3 oz of canned or raw 3-4 times a day plus treats, she will gorge on occasion until her belly is round and stays extremely lean, I manage my Highlanders amounts much more carefully or she would be a tub of lard lol.
 
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Renne

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There's really no way to know for sure.
What do you mean? Is there no way to know what? :) I'm a bit lost ;)

I wonder if an adult Bengal is going to eat twice as much as a normal cat, or only as a kitten? I still have hope that somehow it doesn't eat that much as an adult and so I'll be able to feed it plenty :)

Her mom didn't look very large to me, and the owner told me she was 5kg. The father was 7kg, but male cats are always larger.
 

Maurey

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The kitten should be legit, both parents live with her (so I've seen them), belong to a club and have the papers. She is vaccinated and soon to be neutered. The owner isn't charging a lot of money, though, she's just looking for kind people who're going to love the kitten.
Will the kitten have papers upon sale? If the parents have them, and the kitten doesn’t, it’s a huge red flag. It could mean that the breeder is unregistered as a cattery, that she doesn’t have breeding rights for her bengals, or, perhaps, that she doesn’t really know what she’s doing.
What do you mean? Is there no way to know what? :) I'm a bit lost ;)

I wonder if an adult Bengal is going to eat twice as much as a normal cat, or only as a kitten? I still have hope that somehow it doesn't eat that much as an adult and so I'll be able to feed it plenty :)

Her mom didn't look very large to me, and the owner told me she was 5kg. The father was 7kg, but male cats are always larger.
There‘s no way to know for sure. Ask the breeder how much the parents both eat, how much they ate as kittens, and how much they eat now. Also ask about whether their cats have ever been on any other foods (perhaps before the breeder bought them for breeding stock), and whether they have a history of digestive issues you would expect to manage as an owner. The only Bengal I’ve had personal interaction with was on a raw diet, as he had many issues when previously fed kibble and wet.

Again, this depends. Granted, Jumanji is a Maine Coon, rather than a Bengal, but she weighs around the 6 kilo mark at the moment. She ate anywhere up to 400-450 grams of raw a day (with a few notable days of 600 grams here and there) from 8 months to a year and change, and at 2, despite being mostly grown, she still eats 200-250 grams a day, though she’d be more than willing to eat 400 at a sitting if I let her (she puts on a bit too much weight if I let her eat her fill at this age, so I regulate for her, p much, but Jumanji is a waste disposal machine, which generally isn’t super common in cats). I know other Maine Coon of a similar age to her that are also on raw, and look a bit pudgy despite being on 50-60 grams a day. This difference is down to a combination of bloodline genetics, the individual cat, and overall activity levels, so any Given Bengal will need different amounts to eat to stay at a healthy weight.
 
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Renne

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Will the kitten have papers upon sale? If the parents have them, and the kitten doesn’t, it’s a huge red flag. It could mean that the breeder is unregistered as a cattery, that she doesn’t have breeding rights for her bengals, or, perhaps, that she doesn’t really know what she’s doing.
I was told outright that Eka will have a 'full package' of documents. Honestly I wouldn't care even if Eka had no documents, I'm not into her because she's a Bengal, I just liked the kitten very much when I got acquainted with her. I guess I'm a sucker for kittens. :) Maybe I should go see another kitten to stop thinking of her ;)

Ask the breeder how much the parents both eat, how much they ate as kittens, and how much they eat now.
Good idea, thanks. I hope she knows how much they eat and how much they ate before. Although to be honest I suspect she wouldn't, because she free-feeds them (as she's rarely home), and there are a few cats in the house at once. So far I only know that they're alright with kibble, although they're very picky eaters and have refused to eat many brands of kibble. And Eka in particular had digestive problems every time that kibble was switched to another brand. But I personally don't plan to switch kibble a lot, so it's not a problem for me.

She ate anywhere up to 400-450 grams of raw a day (with a few notable days of 600 grams here and there) from 8 months to a year and change, and at 2, despite being mostly grown, she still eats 200-250 grams a day
Is there a way to convert raw grams of meat into kibble? It should be a few times less in kibble, just like with wet food. In fact, in terms of wet food, adult cats are recommended around 800-1000grams per day afaik.

though she’d be more than willing to eat 400 at a sitting if I let her
I'm worried about overeating now, too... My cat never overeats, but if a new Bengal will eat a lot I'm worried that my cat will lack food and I won't even know that one of them eats too much and leaves little to another. I suppose with two cats, the only way to avoid problems is to start using a feeding schedule.

other Maine Coon of a similar age to her that are also on raw, and look a bit pudgy despite being on 50-60 grams a day.
Wow that's a big difference to your cat!
 

Maurey

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Is there a way to convert raw grams of meat into kibble? It should be a few times less in kibble, just like with wet food. In fact, in terms of wet food, adult cats are recommended around 800-1000grams per day afaik.
Do you mean 80 to 100? A kilo of wet food is a huge amount!

All convention I’ve been told and read dictates that raw food generally requires the least amount of feeding (if you take into account the dry matter basis of the raw food, as that’s where nutrients come from), and kibble the most, due to the increasing level of processing from raw to wet to dry and the Effect of carbohydrates on feline digestion. Also why you’ll commonly need to feed less of a high quality wet or dry food than a low quality one.
Purely based on recommended feeding guidelines (which generally aren’t accurate, in fairness), here are the amounts she “should be” fed, as opposed to what I feed her, all based on chicken formulataions. Please note that I don’t personally endorse feeding Hills outside of temporary veterinary treatments, I just chose it for demonstration purposes as it’s a commonly suggested food by vets, and is in similar price range to better quality food.


150 grams of raw (52 grams on a dry matter basis) [In actuality 200 on average, 70 grams DMB, so 1.3 times more]
226 grams Friskies dry [nearly 300 grams]
100 grams of Hills dry [Would be 130 grams]
~75 grams of Thrive dry (unsure, their guide stops at 5 kilo haha) [~98 grams]
370 grams of Friskies wet (111gr DMB based on average moisture content of 70%) [480 grams, 144 DMB]
275 grams of Hills wet (83 grams DMB based on average moisture content of 70%) [358 grams, 107 DMB]
250 grams Ziwi Peak wet (55 grams DMB) [325 grams, 72 grams DMB]

I'm worried about overeating now, too... My cat never overeats, but if a new Bengal will eat a lot I'm worried that my cat will lack food and I won't even know that one of them eats too much and leaves little to another. I suppose with two cats, the only way to avoid problems is to start using a feeding schedule.
Imo, feeding schedules are beneficial, regardless, as they’re best for the overall health of the cat, according to all the research I’ve read, as well as most of the vets I’ve talked to. You’ll want to feed them a good distance apart from each other anyway, once they’re introduced, to avoid food stealing and territorial behaviour. If it ends up being a large issue, you could feed them in separate rooms or invest in a microchip feeder :>
 
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