Choosing to bring a Bengal kitten into your life is a fantastic experience. Your new friend will keep you on your toes and have plenty of love to give to the whole family. Unfortunately, aging comes for everyone, including our fur babies. After years of cuddles and kisses, you may wonder how many more years you have with your pet.
It’s only natural to want to provide your feline with the very best support as they age. Senior cats are more susceptible to health issues, and it’s our responsibility to ensure they are happy and healthy until the very end.
Fortunately, you can spend many years with your Bengal cat with proper care. Read on to learn about the Bengal lifespan and how to adapt care for an aging pet.
Bengal Cat Breed
The Bengal is a beautiful breed known for their curious nature and exotic-looking coat. This hybrid cat, created by crossing the wild Asian leopard with domestic felines, has a distinct look of a wild cat. They are intelligent, athletic, and may have a higher prey drive than your standard domestic feline.
Bengals enjoy spending time with their family and don’t like being left alone for long. This chatty breed can be territorial, so early socialization and training are essential for a happy cat. To learn more about the Bengal, check out our Bengal cat breed profile.
How Long Do Bengal Cats Live?
Expect your Bengal cat to live 12 to 16 years. You can extend the healthy years of your cat’s life by feeding your feline a quality diet, encouraging daily exercise, scheduling regular veterinary visits, and using proper safety measures. With lots of love and care, you may see your Bengal reach their 20th birthday.
Factors That Impact Bengal Lifespan
Indoor vs. Outdoor
The lifespan of a cat is significantly reduced when the cat spends more time outdoors. On average, indoor cats live 10 to 17 years. In contrast, the outdoor cat lives for two to five years. The life of an outdoor cat is threatened by other animals, vehicles, toxic substances, and dangerous microorganisms daily. These environmental risks significantly reduce the lifespan of your furry friend.
If you want your kitty to roam free, know that this can affect their health. For safety, always monitor your cat when it is let outside. If you live in an urban area, keep your cat leashed to protect them from traffic and other dangers.
Fixed vs. Intact
Have your cat spayed or neutered to promote a longer lifespan. For both male and female cats, you can expect an additional few years added to their life from being fixed. A study by Banfield Pet Hospital, reported by The Humane Society of the United States, said spayed cats live an average of 13.1 years—39% longer than unspayed cats. The stats for neutered males were more telling. Neutered males were reported to live 62 percent longer than neutered cats, with unneutered males three times as likely to be brought to the vet for treatment of animal bites than their neutered counterparts.
Fixing your pets contributes to a longer lifespan in several ways. Neutering a male cat eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and reduces the risk of prostate problems. Spaying a female cat, especially before the first heat, lowers the risk of breast cancer. Spay your feline to eliminate the risk of pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus, and other uterine infections.
Fixing your pet can also reduce behavioral problems resulting in injury or death. They are less likely to roam, yowl, bite, and mark their territory. Intact males will try to leave home to find a mate, which puts them at risk of contracting dangerous diseases. They are more likely to fight with other males and may come into contact with vehicles on the road.
Spaying and neutering can improve your cat’s mood. Fixing your pet can relieve stress and put your cat in a better mood year-round.
Bengals are prone to certain health conditions requiring regular care to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The following health conditions can affect your cat’s lifespan and require veterinary care:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Hip Dysplasia
- Periodontal disease
- Bilateral Luxating Patella
- Anesthesia Sensitivity
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Gastointestinal distress
Scheduling yearly checkups is a great way to ensure your cat’s needs are met. Consider purchasing quality pet insurance for your Bengal to offset the costs of medical treatment and care.
Just as with humans, the food a cat eats directly affects their health. Bengals are carnivores and require a high-protein, meat-based diet. Purchase quality pet food from various sources, such as beef, chicken, fish, and turkey. Avoid cat food that uses filler ingredients or animal by-products instead of high-quality protein. Quality cat food will be nutritionally balanced to provide the optimum nutrition for your furry friend.
You may also consider a raw diet for the Bengal cat. A raw food diet is less processed than standard kibble and can be more efficiently broken down for energy use. The raw diet also encourages water intake, supports dental health, and reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes. If you are preparing homemade raw food, include the following ingredients for proper nutritional balance:
- Egg yolks
- Supplements (taurine, vitamin E, vitamin B complex, omega-3)
Freeze-dried or dehydrated cat food is a fantastic way to introduce your feline to raw without the prep time and mess of making a well-balanced raw meal. For the best quality, look for a grain-free formula that contains meat, organs, and bones. Don’t forget to ensure the meat is free of hormones and antibiotics.
As with any new diet, it’s best to consult your veterinarian before making changes. A raw meat diet comes with a risk of nutritional imbalance and bacterial contamination if not prepared carefully, which pose a threat to your cat’s health.
As with nutrition, exercise is vital to the well-being of your cat. Bengals love to exercise and will be happy to play whenever given the opportunity. To avoid destructive behavior, schedule multiple play times throughout the day and have a variety of toys available.
Provide plenty of safe spaces for your cat to explore. Wall steps are great for Bengals who love to climb. You may also consider getting this active cat an exercise wheel to run off some of their energy. Regular exercise can support the cardiovascular system, prevent weight gain, and boost overall health and well-being.
Regularly grooming your Bengal will not only keep their coat and nails in tip-top condition, but it will also allow you the opportunity to check for any symptoms of underlying health issues.
Tips To Expand Feline Lifespan
- Keep your pet leopard inside as much as possible to avoid environmental dangers. If taking your cat outside, use a harness and leash to keep your cat close.
- Cat-proof your home. Move any hazardous chemicals or poisonous plants out of your cat’s reach. Anchor top-heavy furniture to the wall. Cover electrical chords and keep string-like objects put away. Keep your cat away from areas they can get stuck, including the washer/dryer, trash cans/bags, and toilet seats.
- Keep a tidy litter box. A clean litter box reduces microbes and prevents health and behavioral problems. Monitor your cat’s litter box habits for signs of digestive issues and other health considers.
- Provide your cat with a high-quality diet that fits their age and nutritional needs.
- Regularly check your cat’s teeth, eyes, and ears for signs of health problems. We often overlook these areas when tending to our cats.
- Bring your cat to the vet for yearly checkups to ensure no underlying conditions need to be treated.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Old Is The Oldest Bengal Cat?
One person claimed their Bengal lived to the ripe age of 34, but this was never proven. Living past age 20 is highly rare.
Are Bengal Cats High Maintenance?
Yes, Bengals are a high-maintenance breed. These cats demand lots of exercise and mental stimulation. If you don’t want your Bengal to be unhappy and destructive, you’ll need to schedule consistent playtime and adventures.
Do Bengal Cats Need Special Care?
Most Bengals today are several generations removed from the African leopard cat, and thus this kitty can be treated like a standard domestic cat. They do not require special care.
Genetics, nutrition, physical activity, and environmental factors can affect the lifespan of your Bengal cat. While every cat is different, you can expect this breed to live at least ten years, with an average of 12 to 16 years.
We highly recommend exploring pet insurance to cover your cat’s needs. Enrolling your Bengal in a policy at a young age is a great way to cover health costs related to illness and accidents.