Keep scrolling down for a list of Do's and Don'ts...
I REALLY DON'T FEEL WELL!
First, review this information on the best diet for a Feline.
A quality diet for your Bengal will help to insure a long, happy life for your feline friend. Cats derive their energy and nutrition from protein, so a diet of almost all protein is what will keep your Cat healthy. As an obligate Carnivore (rather than an Omnivore, or Herbivore), felines require mostly meat with a small percentage of bone, organ meats, and fat for the best health. Felines do not eat grains, vegetables, or dairy. In fact, Cats are lactose intolerant - they may like it, but that doesn't mean that it is good for them and it will upset their tummies due to their inability to digest the cow's milk proteins. Basically, a mouse is the perfect food for a Cat. Sometimes Cats will nibble on grass (or some possibly poisonous plants), which is most often because they are self-treating a sensitive or upset tummy - their purpose is to expel the contents of their stomach. We feed and recommend a diet of high protein and no grain. Corn and wheat are detrimental to your Cat's health.
We feed our Foundation Cats and our SBT Bengals a Raw Diet of freshly ground Natural or Organic whole chickens and/or turkeys, chicken hearts, beef hearts, and beef stew meat - that means bones and all are ground with the meat for a healthy mixture close to their natural diet. To this "tartare" we add "Apperon for Exotic Felines" vitamins, taurine, probiotics, and calcium. Foundation Cats usually will only eat raw food. Our SBT Bengals like the raw tartare twice a day along with their Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry food. You may feed your Kitten the "Wilderness" dry food, along with Evo 95% chicken/turkey wet food and raw beef stew meat and/or cooked turkey or chicken as treats. We are also now trying the Blue Buffalo wet food for our Cats and Kittens.
At Santa Fe Bengal Cattery, we feel a responsibility to feed our Cats only the best possible food available to be able to produce the best possible Bengals. Our pet SBT Bengal owners should continue with a high quality diet of dry and wet food and we use and recommend Blue Buffalo brand. For our Foundation Cat owners, they do need to continue feeding the raw diet.
New Studies have shown that dry Cat food with grain-fillers is very detrimental to a Cat's teeth as grains turn to sugar, become lodged between teeth, and cause tooth decay. There are dry Cat foods that are almost all protein with food based vitamins and no grain-binders/fillers. Canned wet food that is 95% protein (like Evo 95% Protein turkey/chicken canned food) is healthy for a Cat, but what is even better is a raw diet. The work that it takes to chew a piece of beef stew meat is good for a Cat's dental health. But remember, feeding raw must be done in the correct proportions and with the correct additives, as well as being handled properly.
Next, review the list of "Do's and Don'ts" shown below, which covers many different Feline health issues. And don't forget to review our "Health Alerts" page for important information!
• Do use pine, wheat, corn or paper based cat litter. Click HERE for more information.
• Do use glass, stainless, or food grade ceramic food and water bowls.
• Do feed high-grade food for maintaining good health – it is easier to stay healthy than to get healthy again! We feel that 50% quality dry Cat food and 50% quality wet Cat food is the healthiest combination for most Cats. Click HERE for more information.
• Do wash and rinse water and food bowls with dish soap daily to prevent giardia or other contaminents from tainting the standing water – Cats systems are more sensitive than dogs.
• Do keep food and water bowls away from the litter box to limit contamination.
• Do keep the litter box clean on a daily basis and change the entire box of litter every week to two weeks – cleaning the inside of the litter box with disinfectant and rinsing well with clear water, dry thoroughly and add new fresh litter to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. If using Feline Pine Pellet Litter, do purchase and use their sifting two-part litter box system - your home will always smell clean with use of this litter and litter box system!
• Do clip you Cat’s nails every four to five weeks as needed. Only use a specific cat nail clipper; the guillotine variety seems to function the best. See the "How to clip a Cat's nails" article to be posted soon.
• Do provide your Cat with appropriate toys, scratching posts, attention, and healthy food treats. Santa Fe Bengal Cattery is now a dealer for Cat-Man-Doo extra-large dried Bonita Flakes. Contact us to find out how you can get some for your Cat!
• Do keep your Cat inside your home, unless on a leash or in a Cat “stroller.” Free access via a Cat Door to a Cat Habitat can help to give your Cat the fresh air and sunshine for the best health. Make the habitat safe for your Cat (and with a top - Cat's climb very well!) and keep them safe from the other animals outside.
• Do be aware of poisonous items often in a home. Many household plants can be poisonous, such as chrysanthemum, weeping fig, creeping fig, and poinsettia, as well as aspirin or other human drugs, petroleum products such as kerosene and gasoline, antifreeze, all types of mouse or rat poison, plus snake, toad, salamander bites, and rarely food poisoning from garbage. (Cats are much more particular in their choice of food than dogs, so this would be more often for a stray cat outside.) An extensive list of potentially poisonous plant is currently being researched.
• Do live in harmony with your feline friend. We began the process of teaching them how to be "good" Cats; continue to teach them how to live happily with you. Bengals are very intelligent and will quickly learn how you would like them to act. Check back for tips on how to correctly discipline your Cat.
• Above all, enjoy and love your Cat! The rewards are many.
• Don't use clay based cat litter. The clumping clay can cause respiratory problems and intestinal problems. Very young kittens can even die from ingesting clay litter.
• Don't use plastic food or water dishes. They can harbor bacteria and odors, which can be harmful and unappetizing to your Cat. Did you know that Cats' interest in a food is first by smell, then by texture, and last by taste?
• Don't place food, and especially water bowls, directly on radiant heated floors as this can cause bacteria to form very quickly. Place a teacup saucer under the bowl to raise it or purchase a raised bowl stand to prevent direct contact with the floor.
• Don't change food type abruptly – add 10% of the new food to the current food, then next day 20%, etc., until changed over. Abrupt changes can cause loose stools and be unpleasant for both of you. Cats do not need the same variety as humans. Extra "Treats" don't count as a "food change."
• Don't feed your Cat “grocery store” brands of cat food. They do not have the correct amount of protein or other nutrients in them and your Cat’s health can suffer from poor nutrition. Also, don't feed your Cat "table scraps" with sauces and other human food mixed in. You may feed cooked chicken or turkey or raw beef stew meat in chunks to supplement their diet. One of the supplements that we advise adding is from Apperon, or a more commonly found brand is "The Missing Link" super food supplement, to ensure the proper amount of Taurine and other essential nutrients and vitamins.
• Don't feed your Cat tuna fish. There is too much mercury in common tuna fish. Most canned tuna is from a large and long-lived species of tuna, unless specified different. The longer the fish lives; the more time it has to lodge mercury in it's body. Sad, but true, that mercury is in our oceans. Eventually, consuming tuna can cause mercury poisoning, due to the small size of a cat, compared to a human, and the frequency of eating tuna. What is safe is "Bonita" - a small fish that grows quickly and is caught for consumption, prior to being contaminated to an unsafe level.
• Don't allow the litter box to become overly soiled… would you like to step into a dirty litter box with your bare feet? A Cat will let you know if it is too dirty to step into the box and tell you that they have a problem. Most often "going outside of the litter box" is because a human has not done their Cat box chores or that your Cat is not feeling well and may need a visit to the Vet.
• Don't have your Cat de-clawed. Clip their claws instead. De-clawing is actually and amputation of each of the Cat's toes up to the first knuckle... don't do it! There are much better methods to teach and to prevent any scratching issues.
• Don't allow your Cat to roam freely outside. There are far too many dangers for your Cat to be alone outside of your home. In the Southwest, coyote, owls, and ravens can be a very serious threat to small domestic animals. Other dangers may come from dogs, other cats, cars, and even well-meaning humans.
Did you know that Cats are attracted to food first by smell, then by texture, and last by taste?
We are researching the "Poisonous Plant List" and will be posting an expanded list soon. Please check back to see this valuable information.