Health

A Very Strong message in her work

FarOut Bengal Shanti. One of La Nina’s last female kittens resting on the bed

As you can see above, Bengals can be very curious. So this leads me to tell you about some dangers that one should be aware of once you bring your Bengal kitten or cat home.

Dangerous foods

Tuna: Cats can be addicted to tuna, whether it’s packed for cats or for humans. Some tuna now and then probably won’t hurt. But a steady diet of tuna prepared for humans can lead to malnutrition because it won’t have all the nutrients a cat needs. And, too much tuna can cause mercury poisoning. Remember the saying, “Honest as a cat when the meat’s out of reach.” Your cat will see an open can of tuna next to the sink as a dinner invitation.

Onions, Garlic, Chives: Onion in all forms — powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated — can break down a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. That’s true even for the onion powder that’s found in some baby foods. An occasional small dose probably won’t hurt. But eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause onion poisoning. Along with onions, garlic and chives can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Milk and Other Dairy Products: What could be wrong with offering your cat a saucer of milk or a piece of cheese? Although kittens are able to tolerate milk, most adult cats cannot. Their digestive system cannot process dairy foods, and the result can be digestive upset with diarrhea.

Alcohol: Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol — none of it is good for your cat. That’s because alcohol has the same effect on a cat’s liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just two teaspoons of whisky can cause a coma in a 5-pound cat, and one more teaspoon could kill it. The higher the proof, the worse the symptoms.

Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for pets. But it’s not a good idea. Although it isn’t clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in cats. And, a small amount can make a cat ill. Repeated vomiting and hyperactivity are early signs. Although some cats show no ill effects, it’s best not to give your cat any grapes and to keep grapes and raisins off counter tops and other places accessible to your cat.

Caffeine: Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a cat. And there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and fits. In addition to tea and coffee — including beans and grounds — caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It’s also in some cold medicines and painkillers.

Fat Trimmings and Bones: Table scraps often contain fat trimmed off of meat and bones. Both fat and bones may be dangerous for cats. Fat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause intestinal upset, with vomiting and diarrhea. And a cat can choke on a bone. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your cat’s digestive system.

Dog Food: An occasional bite of dog food won’t hurt your cat. But dog food is not a substitute for cat food. They do have many of the same ingredients. But cat food is specially formulated for a cat’s needs, which include more protein as well as certain vitamins and fatty acids. A steady diet of dog food can cause your cat to be severely malnourished.

Raw Eggs: There are two problems with giving your cat raw eggs. The first is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. The second is that a protein in raw egg whites, called adivil, interferes with the absorption of the B vitamin biotin. This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your cat’s coat.

Yeast Dough: Before it’s baked, bread dough needs to rise. And, that’s exactly what it would do in your cat’s stomach if your cat ate it. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch the abdomen and cause severe pain. In addition, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it produces alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Your Medicine: Ingesting a drug prescribed for humans is one of the most common causes of poisoning in cats. Just as you would do for your children, put all medicines where your cat can’t get to them. And never give your cat any over-the-counter medicine unless advised to do so by your vet. Ingredients such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are common in pain relievers and cold medicine. And they can be deadly for your cat.

If Your Cat Eats What It Shouldn’t: No matter how cautious you are, it’s possible your cat can find and swallow what it shouldn’t. It’s a smart idea to always keep the number of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center — (888) 426-4435 — where you know you can find it in an emergency. And if you think your cat has consumed something that’s toxic, call for emergency help at once.

Water intake

Bengal cats and kittens can be very picky animals in all matters, even when it comes to water. Oh, some of the stories I’ve heard! I’ve had Bengal cat owners tell me that their Bengal cats completely ignore their water bowls and choose to drink from the bathtub or sink instead. Others have brought in Bengal cats who developed urinary issues because they refused to drink the water offered. Fact of the matter is, most Bengal cats and other cats don’t drink enough water. Many Bengal cat owners have come to me for advice about this one issue: “How do I know if my cat is drinking enough?” The answer to this question varies. All animals need water to survive, but some need more than others. Cats in general don’t have a strong drive to drink water, and they usually don’t drink much—some vets estimate that they need about one fluid ounce per pound of body weight. However, this varies greatly depending on the individual cat.

If you notice that your Bengal kitten or cat is suddenly drinking less or more, it could be a sign of illness and you should consult with your vet right away. But if your Bengal kitten or cat seems to generally not drink much, there are a number of things you can do to ensure he is well hydrated. Keep an eye on your cat and try to figure out if there is a reason that he’s not drinking much. One of the most common problems regarding Bengal kittens and cats and water is the size and shape of the water bowl. Many of the bowls sold in pet stores are simply too small for cats. If the cat’s whiskers touch the sides of the bowl as he drinks, he may just need a bigger bowl. If switching your cat’s bowl doesn’t work, you can try placing the bowl in different places around the house.

Cats are curious and love exploring. If they find a water bowl in a new place, they may be more inclined to try drinking from it. It may be that your Bengal kitten or cat doesn’t like the way the water tastes. You can try giving your cat filtered water or even adding some tuna water to his bowl to entice him to drink. Many Bengal kittens and cats also prefer running water to still water. This stems from their wild origins, where flowing water meant water that is fresh and good to drink, while still water meant stagnant, dirty water that could harbor disease. Short of giving them a stream to drink from, the best way to replicate this experience for your own Bengal kitten or cat is a sturdy pet fountain. You can also try placing your cat’s water bowl under a dripping sink. Just seeing the droplets make waves could be enough to get your cat to drink from the bowl. If none of that works, you can try introducing more water into their diet through their food.

One of the best ways to make sure your cat is hydrated is to feed him a good brand of canned cat food. One option is a food like Evo. This canned food is real meat, Turkey and Chicken. You can also give your Bengal kittens and cat raw food to that can be found in you local pet store. Now a days it is becoming very common to find it our local home town Pet stores.

Finally, let your cat tell you what he needs! Give him a variety of options and see what he chooses. Maybe your cat would prefer a shallow bowl to a deep one. Or maybe he just needs the water stored in a cooler place – or a warmer place. Give your cat a chance to decide and he will let you know what he needs.