The longevity question—how long do Bengal cats live?
Being a cat parent to a beautiful and energetic Bengal kitty means having a friend for life, but not forever, unfortunately. How long do Bengal cats live? Enjoying their friendly personality and playful nature cannot last forever, but the right diet, grooming, and healthcare can boost their longevity.
Untamed presents reliable information on the average lifespan of a Bengal cat, ways to maximise their life expectancy, and health niggles you should watch out for. Taking good care of your feline companion will prolong their life and make them healthy and happy.
What is the average lifespan of a Bengal cat?
Bengal cat life expectancy is the same as in other indoor felines (like Siamese, Ragdolls, and Maine Coons)—averaging around 12–18 years, although it’s not uncommon for pampered cats to reach their early twenties.
The oldest Bengal cat is believed to have been 34 years old, but there’s not enough proof to back up the information.
What do you mean my clock is ticking? I’m younger than you!
Source: Chuko Cribb
Every feline is unique, so predicting their lifespan is tricky, but the following factors play a significant role in a Bengal’s longevity:
- Lifestyle and activity levels
- Dietary habits and weight
- Environment (indoor or outdoor)
- Sterilisation status
Genetic makeup is a big indicator of how long your Bengal will live and which diseases you should be on the lookout for. If your cat’s lineage carries a gene for a particular illness or naturally shorter lifespan, the family history will likely repeat itself.
Inbreeding can have a disastrous effect on their health and lifespan, so purebreds (cats with little to no genetic mixing) usually have a lower life expectancy. Since Bengals started as a mix of an Asian Leopard cat and a domestic cat, two breeds whose ancestry is significantly separated, their genetic diversity is pretty high.
Lifestyle and activity levels
Since Bengals are exceptionally energetic, they enjoy exercise and playtime more than most breeds.
If you have an indoor Bengal, meeting their need for activity is the only way to prevent them from destroying your home. Lack of exercise could also lead to weight gain and other health niggles related to a sedentary lifestyle that could seriously impact your feline’s life quality and longevity.
Is it playtime yet?
Dedicating at least half an hour a day to playtime will keep your Bengal healthy and strengthen your bond. If you’re busy and cannot play with them every day, get the following:
- Wall climber
- Cat tower or tree
- Scratching post
You should also consider adopting another feline to keep them company. Despite their territorial nature, Bengals make great mates with other cats and kitty-friendly dogs.
Dietary habits and weight
Diet is probably the most important factor in your Bengal’s life expectancy. Feeding them adequate portions of healthy and nutritious food will help you raise a healthy and happy feline.
Cats’ meals should resemble their natural diet. Since they’re obligate carnivores, felines need high amounts of meat to develop and grow properly. No matter which type of food you go for—wet, dry, mixed, raw, or B.A.R.F.—opt for products rich in animal protein.
Even though your Bengal should spend some time outdoors, don’t let them wander too far. Controlling where they go is important since roaming around brings many risks, such as:
- Car accidents
- Natural hazards
- Poisonous food
It would be ideal to raise your tiny leopard in the comfort and safety of your home but allow them to enjoy nature as well. Taking them for long walks or designating a safe space for them in your garden should make their days interesting without jeopardising their well-being.
Your Bengal’s outdoor adventures should be chaperoned.
Source: Claudio Schwarz
You should start with regular check-ups as soon as you adopt your Bengal.
Vaccination will prevent them from catching viruses and dying prematurely. Contact your vet to create the best schedule for your kitten. The first vaccines usually include:
- Cat flu (feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus)
- Feline infectious enteritis
- Feline leukaemia virus
If they are on a high-quality diet and lead an active life, Bengals are typically healthy and don’t require much veterinary attention during their prime years. Take them to biannual check-ups to make sure everything is in order. Noticing diseases early is necessary for preventing or delaying their progress.
Neutered or spayed Bengals are typically healthier and tend to live longer. If your cat exhibits aggressive behaviour, such as biting and scratching, sterilisation could also have a calming effect. Your feline will be less likely to wander off searching for a partner, which reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.
Males can no longer develop testicular cancer and are less likely to get prostate cancer after neutering. Spayed females cannot get uterine and ovarian cancer, while the risk of breast cancer and pyometra (infection resulting from hormonal changes in the female's reproductive tract) is reduced.
Genetic diseases that could affect the life expectancy of Bengal cats
Like all purebreds, Bengals are prone to particular genetic diseases, including:
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Patellar luxation
- Hip dysplasia
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
PRA progressively destroys a Bengal’s eyesight by degenerating the cells that register light. The disease is caused by a recessive gene, so healthy cats could also be carriers.
It starts as night blindness, and usual indicators are irritability during nighttime, avoiding dark rooms, and bumping into objects in dim spaces. There is no cure or way to prevent PRA.
Bengals are prone to joint problems, including patellar luxation, i.e. dislocation of the kneecaps.
If your Bengal is experiencing mild patellar luxation, you may not even notice it at first, which is why regular check-ups are so important. Treatment varies from arthritis medication to surgery, depending on how advanced the disease is.
Although hyp dysplasia is typical for dogs, Bengals are genetically predisposed to it. It causes malformation of the hip joints, eventually leading to arthritis. The condition is painful, but you can make your cat more comfortable with the combination of:
- Physical therapy
- Weight loss
You should also adjust your cat’s environment to make it easier for them to move, reach food, and find a comfortable resting spot.
Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD)
PKD is a hereditary disease in which the red blood cells break down faster than your cat's body can produce them.
Cats suffering from PKD show the following symptoms:
- Lack of appetite
- Poor coat quality
- Weight loss
- Icterus (yellow pigmentation of the skin)
One of the most common heart problems in Bengals is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which causes the thickening of heart walls, decreasing its efficiency in pumping blood. The disease ultimately ends in congestive heart failure.
Although hereditary, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can also be caused by a poor diet and inactive lifestyle, so make sure your cat eats healthy and exercises sufficiently.
Diet and lifestyle-related illnesses affecting your Bengal's longevity
Besides hereditary diseases, Bengals can also suffer from health niggles resulting from poor diet and lifestyle.
Check out the table below for more information:
When a feline’s immune system mistakes a harmless ingredient for a threat, it produces antibodies to fight it off. It can lead to an allergic reaction in the form of skin irritation, hair loss, vomiting, diarrhoea, or anaphylactic shock
Bengals are used to an active lifestyle. If they don’t get enough exercise, they could quickly gain weight and become obese, which would significantly lower their quality of life and longevity. Obesity can lead to further complications, including constipation, arthritis, diabetes, and heart problems
Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which a feline’s body cannot produce insulin, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. Symptoms include weight loss despite an increased appetite and excessive thirst and urination
A low-quality diet and lack of oral hygiene can lead to dental issues. Periodontal disease can be quite painful and cause your Bengal’s teeth to fall out. The secondary effect on organs entails serious health issues. A balanced diet complemented with dental cat food for plaque control will do the trick in preventing these problems
My tooth hurts, hooman!!!
Source: Kim Davies
What can you do to maximise your Bengal cat’s life expectancy?
The best way to prevent lifestyle-related issues and delay and alleviate hereditary diseases is to ensure your mini leopard:
- Gets enough exercise
- Visits the vet regularly
- Enjoys the best-quality food
The deciding factor in your Bengal’s life quality and longevity is their diet. Nutritious meals and proper portion control will keep your cat healthy and happy for a long time.
Regardless of the breed, all kitties need to eat high-quality food, consisting of:
- Animal protein
- Animal fat
- Vitamins and minerals
- Little to no carbs
As carnivores, Bengals must eat meat to get the essential amino acids (taurine and arginine) necessary for:
- Strong muscles
- Healthy skin and coat
- Proper organ function
There are no vegans among cats, and plant-based protein cannot provide them with enough energy or deliver vital micronutrients. Vegetables can even hurt your kitty's tummy.
Biological values (BV) of different protein sources indicate how efficiently cats can metabolise them. Take a look at the most common protein sources found in cat food and their BVs in the following table:
Animal protein, including:
Vegetable protein, such as:
Your Bengal’s diet should contain upwards of 50% animal protein to fulfil their nutritional needs and keep them healthy.
Following animal protein, the best secondary energy source for felines is animal fat. It contains fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, and omega-3 and -6, which help:
- Reduce inflammation
- Treat, prevent or delay the onset of inflammatory diseases
Animal fat is also the best natural taste booster in cat food. Even the fussiest Bengals who frown upon wet food will gobble up food with the right amount of animal fat. Fat should be kept under 20% because too much of a good thing can lead to obesity.
Felines need water to stay hydrated and healthy. In the wild, they get their moisture from fresh prey, such as frogs, birds, snails, and rodents. Since they’re not avid drinkers, you must ensure your feline stays hydrated by controlling the moisture content in their food.
Dehydration can cause:
- Kidney disease
Wet food, such as high-quality jelly or gravy, has more than 70% moisture, which is fantastic for keeping your Bengal hydrated.
Vitamins and minerals
Your Bengal needs the right vitamins and minerals to support their immune system, enable nutrient absorption, keep their coat shiny and reduce shedding. There’s no need for vitamin and mineral supplements since they are present in lean meat and fish.
Little to no carbs
Avoid sugars, grains, or cereals in your Bengal’s diet to prevent weight gain, allergic reactions, and gastrointestinal problems. Although carbs are a great energy source for humans, our feline companions cannot metabolise them efficiently. Carbohydrates shouldn’t exceed 3% of your cat’s diet. Stick to fibre and avoid any simple carbs like sugar.
How can Untamed improve the life expectancy of Bengal cats?
Untamed can help your Bengal lead a long and comfortable life because we use:
- High amounts of animal protein
- Vet-formulated recipes
High amounts of animal protein
Untamed products, including Chocka Chicken, Tuck-In Tuna, and Full-On Fishy, contain twice the amount of animal protein than the industry standard. Untamed uses human-grade meat and fish, so your cat gets top-notch ingredients and not questionable meat derivatives.
Our recipes have been formulated by vets to provide complete and balanced nutrition to your Bengal.
Untamed dishes are free from all known allergens, so even sensitive kitties can enjoy our food—from kittenhood to senior years.
Untamed offers numerous mouth-watering recipes to help your Bengal reach a ripe old age.
Image (c) Untamed
Want to ensure your Bengal’s healthy, long, and happy life? Try Untamed to make that dream a reality!
Don’t wait—get Untamed right now!
All you need to do now is:
- Share some details about your Bengal
- Create a tailor-made meal plan
- Order your first trial pack
The taster pack will arrive at your doorstep in a day. Once your Bengal samples the goods and decides on their favourite, we can send steady monthly supplies of Untamed, so you don’t have to worry about cat food shortage. You can change, postpone, or cancel your order whenever you want.
Our ingredients are sourced from sustainable and cruelty-free suppliers. Untamed packaging is 100% recyclable, and our operations are carbon neutral.
Bengal parents who’ve switched their feline companions to Untamed report the following positive effects:
What Untamed can do
In a week
Within two months
After four months