Feeding Your Bengal

Bengals require a slightly higher level of protein, calcium, and taurine than many other breeds. Choosing quality food and supplements is very important for the cat’s health and quality of its coat. There are many choices to be made and many factors affecting them and often not only one right answer.

Your lifestyle and schedule is one of the factors in the decision. What do you have time for? Are there other considerations?

Your cats own individual needs are also important. Does s/he not do well on certain foods. Does s/he tend to over eat if food is left down.

There are a number of quality dry foods available on the market, Friskies and Meow Mix are not included in that list. You get what you pay for in the foods that you buy. One thing you may need to watch out for is the amount of corn meal in the food. Some cats are sensitive to corn meal causing digestive problems, allergies, and hair loss. Some foods I would recommend are Royal Canin, Natural Choice, Eukanuba and Max Cat. Many of these brands also make quality, wet foods.

Some cat owners have taken a whole new look at what they feed their family members. For some people the reasons may be esoteric but there is real science that can support their premises. Cooking and processing foods can reduce the quality of some nutrients found in them. Vitamins, minerals and certain amino acids can all be affected. For this reason some people have turned to natural raw foods as a way to avoid this problem.

If you decide to leave the beaten path it's important that you do some research. You may want to rely on research done by otheres by using one of the many quality pre-made raw foods available on the market such as Oma's Pride, Columbia RIver Natural Pet Food, Steve's Real Food and others.

There are also a number of Yahoo groups dedicated to raw food diets. They often have recipes for making your own raw food at home. This can be especially economic if your property is zoned for agricultural use and can raise your own chicken, rabbit, lamb or beef.

Dr. Richard Pitcairn has written an excellent book on homeopathic pet care that also includes a section on raw food diets with recipes. It has a number of sound advice for caring for you pet as well and I highly recommend it. "Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats." It's available in many bookstores and online.

I also keep a couple of food supplements around the house. Acidophilus, Taurine, Felidae-T. Many Bengals need a higher level of calciums and taurine than are available in most commercial foods. Felidae-T is a great source of calcium and Taurine for your cat and is easy to obtain from Oasis. It's not suitable for kittens however so I keep Taurine around to add to kitten formula for younger animals.

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