Bengal Cat Health Issues

Cat health issues in Bengals are numerous, but the average Bengal usually only possesses a few of them. Naturally, genetics play a large role in determining the potential ailments of a specific cat breed, and Bengals are no exception to this rule. If you are in any way interesting in owning a Bengal cat, you should be informed about what your Bengal cat is genetically predisposed to.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy is a condition that occurs when the light receptors in the eye gradually degrade and become useless in function. The feline eye is made up of rod and cone light receptors that allow for sight. As these structures of the eye begin to deteriorate, vision will decrease, and the cat will eventually become blind.

This particular ailment was not always seen in the Bengal cat, but breeders of the Bengal claim that progressive retinal atrophy is becoming more apparent. What is truly disparaging about progressive retinal atrophy is that it is being seen more commonly in Bengals younger than 3 months old, which theoretically poses the thought that this may be a congenital disorder occurring prior to birth.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is commonly seen in Bengal cats; although, usually this condition presents at the onset of old age. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurs when the muscle of the heart begins to thicken, causing the heart muscle to have to work much harder in order to eradicate the blood from the heart to and distribute it to the rest of the body. If the condition goes unnoticed or untreated, it will almost certainly lead to death.

Because hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is so common in the Bengal cat, it is important to consider the breeding stock before purchasing a Bengal. Many breeders actually test their females and studs yearly to ensure that they are suitable for breeding and devoid of this particular condition. As this disease is purely genetic in nature, choosing a reputable breeder can help reduce the likelihood of this condition developing in your Bengal.

Luxating Patella

Luxating patella is a condition that occurs when the knee cap does not maintain its stationary position within the knee, but rather it slips in and out of place sporadically. This condition in Bengals is known to be hereditary and is caused by an abnormal formation of the knee joint while in utero.

This is another common defect found in Bengals that many breeders try very hard to breed-out of their Bengal’s lines by using only top quality Bengals. A luxating patella is typically most painful for Bengals, and surgery is the only way to correct it.

Anesthetic Allergies

A big problem of anesthetic allergies is that most Bengal owners are usually not aware of them until anesthesia is used, often causing immediate cardiac arrest. An anesthetic allergy occurs when the immune system rejects the use of the anesthetic and begins shutting the body down in response. Although, most veterinarians are equipped to handle these types of situations, it is something that all Bengal cat owners should be aware of before any type of surgery is allowed.