Bengal Cat Health and Breeder Responsibility
Do Bengal Cats Have Health Problems?
All of us who own pets and Bengal cats are no different, are always concerned about whether or not they might have special health problems. As a pet parent that’s understandable because after all our furry companions are part of our family and we love them. When it comes to Bengal cats their health problems really aren’t much different from any health issues that other domestic cats might come down with.
As Breeders, our passion and goal is to protect and improve the quality of the Bengal breed by ensuring we are breeding only the healthiest and best representation of the bengal breed standard.
Recently it’s been discovered that there are 3 major health issues that seem to be increasing in today’s Bengal cats and it’s important that you, their pet parent, should be aware of.
One of those health issues is what is known as Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA.
PRA is a health issue that seems to be increasing and it’s a disorder that makes the cone and rod light receptors in the Bengal cat’s retina to begin to slowly start to deteriorate and then it typically will lead to blindness in your Bengal cat.
Fortunately for your Bengal, there are now genetic tests at this moment that can detect Progressive Retinal Atropy in the breeding stock of Bengals. So, the pet parent needs to rely on the breeder they get their Bengal from to ensure both parents have been tested.
Another health issue that seems to be increasing in today’s Bengal cats is know as Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency or PKDef.
PKDef is a Hemolytic anaemia disorder where the lack of the pyruvate kinase enzyme causes an early destruction of red blood cells, leading to an anaemia more or less severe according to individuals.
Fortunately for your Bengal, there are now genetic tests at this moment that can also detect PKDef in the breeding parents of your Bengal, so again the pet parent needs to ensure the breeder they get their Bengal from has had both parents tested.
Another health issue that has been diagnosed in the Bengal breed is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM.
This is a disease of the heart muscle itself and is one of the most common heart diseases found in all cats, including Bengals. This most often is a progressive disease and a lot of cats will experience heart failure and usually die from HCM.
It is again the responsibility of the Bengal breeder to ensure that your pet’s parents have been annually screened for HCM by having Ultrasound testing of the heart to measure the thickness of the heart wall to confirm there is no presence of HCM.
It is the responsibility of all Bengal breeders to be both ethical and knowledgeable in performing the above testing on their breeding cats to avoid the possibility of producing kittens with potential health disorders.