Breed-related disease: Bengal cat

John K. Rosembert

The Bengal cat is a domesticated cat breed created from hybrids of domestic cats, especially the spotted Egyptian Mau, with the Asian leopard cat, the breed name comes from the leopard cat’s taxonomic name. It is a long, muscular, medium- to large-sized cat, with a broad head and muzzle, high cheekbones, and pronounced whisker pads. The eyes are round and wide, with dark markings around the eyes (mascara) and the ears small and rounded at the tips. The grace of a jungle cat is held as one of the positive characteristics, along with the ability to move quietly and with stealth.

The Bengal cat is known for its soft, sleek coat which has two main fur patterns: spotted (which is most common) and marbled. Both patterns are often tri-colored, giving each cat unique markings and patterns. This tri-coloring gives some Bengals spots which have a darker outline, often like the spots on a Jaguar.

Because the Bengal is a hybrid developed from crossing the Asian Leopard cat and the American Shorthair. The result was a cat with an exotic look and a domestic temperament. The intelligent and athletic Bengal is an entertaining companion that demands human contact and can be very vocal in their pursuit of attention. The Bengal can be aggressive with other cats and needs to be socialized at an early age. They are highly active and agile, usually in constant motion. Bengals enjoy climbing, jumping, and a good game of fetch. Be sure to provide them with plenty of toys and a tall climbing tree to keep them amused and out of trouble.

Below we will summarize some of the most major concerns of Bengal cat in order to help you prevent some predictable risks in your pet. Noted that before purchasing or adopting a Bengal, make sure the breeder offers a health guarantee on the kittens.

Here are some of the most common diseases related to Bengal cat

  1. Joint problems: More often found in small dogs, Bengal cats may experience luxating patellas. luxating patella is a kneecap that slips off to the side of the leg because of an improperly developed stifle. A cat with a luxating patella may not show signs of pain or abnormality until the condition is well advanced; signs of this condition appear gradually and can progress to lameness as the cat grows older.
  2. Hip Dysplasia: another disease most commonly found in dogs, hip dysplasia may also occur in cats, especially in Bengals. Dysplasia is an inheritable condition that causes malformation of the hip joints and subsequent arthritis.
  3. Anesthetic Allergies: if your Bengal is going in for any type of surgery, including spaying and neutering, your vet must be careful regarding the use of anesthetics. Bengals, extremely sensitive to anesthetics, may experience allergic reactions that cause cardiac arrest. Always discuss the type of anesthetic with your vet before any surgery.
  4. Heart Disease: A heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, is common in Bengals. This disease of the heart muscle usually occurs in the older cat. The heart muscle thickens, so the organ must work much harder, causing a number of problems. These may include blood clots, or thrombosis, rendering the back legs immobile. The disease also leads to congestive heart failure, resulting in death. Early signs of cardiomyopathy include panting and lethargy.

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