Showing posts with label bengal cat health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bengal cat health. Show all posts

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Top five pet health insurance claims for the Bengal cat

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance can help us understand the kind of health problems that Bengal cats suffer from by providing us with the top five conditions claimed for by their customers in 2018 together with the average cost of the treatment.

Average Treatment Costs Table
ConditionAverage treatment cost
Cat bite abscess£223.66
Road traffic accident£846.97
Average annual cost of premiums for top five (most expensive) cat breeds in the UK

I've just written a page on the same subject but in respect of Maine Coon Cats. The difference between these two breeds in respect of insurance claims is quite stark. Whereas the Maine Coon related to internal organ diseases, as I read the information, the Bengal's claims are much more to do with injuries. This points to UK cat owners letting their Bengal cat go outside to roam freely when they become injured. Or they occur inside the home. Perhaps they fight in multicat households. It doesn't surprise me because the Bengal cat is very active. Arguably they need to be outside but I think this is a very difficult decision because they are a very glamorous looking cat and confident.

Beautiful Bengal cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick. Published here with her express permission

They are liable to get into difficulties and to be involved in road traffic accidents and become injured. You can also see that cat bite abscesses are on the list. This implies (no more than an implication) that they are involved in fights with other cats. Neither does this surprise me because the Bengal cat can be quite aggressive. They are, we must remind ourselves, wild cat hybrids. They have while blood in them in layman's terms. They carry the DNA of a wild cat, which predisposes them to be more aggressive than your standard moggy or the more placid purebred cats such as the Ragdoll and American Shorthair.

When cats fight they bite each other which can lead to an abscess on the head. Bacteria is deposited under the skin where it grows and becomes a major infection. It needs to be flushed out and disinfected.

Years ago, I wrote about the major health issues which can affect this highly popular cat breed. You can read about them by clicking on this link. All purebred cats have a tendency to have inherited health diseases due to selective breeding. Breeders do their best to keep these diseases down to a minimum. There is a difference in the theoretical inherited disease and the claims made per Tesco's data. It is quite marked. For instance HCM affects Bengal cats but the Tesco pet insurance claims make no mention of claims for this disease.

Whether you choose pet insurance through a company like Tesco Bank Pet Insurance or go the self-insurance route is a personal choice. I believe that the companies need to be more competitive in order to grow the business. Percentage-wise very few people take out pet insurance.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Bengal cats everything about purchase

The title describes a book for sale on Amazon.

In my humble opinion you don't need to buy a book about buying a Bengal cat or taking care of a Bengal cat. This is because taking care of a Bengal cat is no different to taking care of any other cat and there is a pile of free information on the Internet about that. There is lots of information about that on this site alone!

As to buying a Bengal cat, I would prepare a series of pertinent questions primarily about cat health and telephone three local Bengal cat breeders. I would make them local so that you can visit them. By local I would mean within reasonable driving distance. Judging by the answers I would visit the best one.
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Are you registered with a cat association?
  • Do you have champion cats? (cat show champions)
  • What is your policy on cat breeding? Do you breed for health as well as appearance?
  • Do you check your cats for HCM? (HCM is a heart disease hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that can affect Bengal cats).
  • What filial are you buying? SBT cats are 4th generation from the wild - remember that the Bengal cat is a wildcat hybrid. Price follows filial and quality. Quality means the cat follows the cat association breed standard. Prices are in the order of $500 (2011) but will vary depending on quality.
  • These are purebred cats aren't they? (some breeders are back street breeders and are not breeding purebred cats). You don't want a Bengal cat mix as these are moggies.
You'll need to visit to inspect the conditions of the cattery. Most are hobby breeders so it will be a person's home as well as a breeding establishment. But does it seem smart and clean? Are there untoward odors?  Are the kittens confident and coming up to you without fear? Do the kittens look healthy? If one doesn't and you ask what is wrong what kind of answer does the cat breeder give? Is it plausible? Brushing off an eye infection with a casual remark is not good enough. Personally I would not proceed if one kitten was ill. If one is ill the others might be ill because many viral diseases are very contagious.

On the phone before visiting I would ask if she can provide a couple of recommendations from other customers. I would go on the Internet to check out the website; is it professional looking and does it work well? Search for complaints posted online. Sometimes there are discussions on forums about certain breeders.

Ask for a copy of the contract of purchase up front in the post so you can study it (it might be online on their website which would be a good sign incidentally). Make sure that all the necessary health checks are carried out by the seller before purchase. These should be in the contract. I would consider having your vet check out the health of the selected cat. A binding contract should be subject to that check. In other words the contract becomes effective provided the cat passes a health check by your vet. That might be a difficult one to get the breeder to agree to but a sick cat can cost you thousands of dollars or pounds over time. This is because you will become instantly attached to your new cat and will want to help. Some illnesses are serious and prolonged and difficult to cure.

The kitten that you select should ideally be confident, bright eyed and not frightened of you. You might find that the kitten selects you. That is what happened to me. Although I wasn't buying a Bengal cat but adopting a unwanted moggie!

Thursday 26 March 2009

HCM Testing at Cat Shows

HCM testing at cat shows is something that I have only recently picked up (I know I am being slow). But it seems to me to be a wonderful idea. You've got a lot of cat breeders all in one place showing their cats with long pauses with nothing much to do in between. And the cost is a very modest $90 (that used to be about £45 in the UK). This is a perfect combination and presents little obstacle to getting the test done, something that may have been put off for various reasons.

A big cat show where this service is being offered is the Thunderkatz Show April 24-25 in Oklahoma City (OKC) , USA. The service, as I understand it, is being run by PetSafe Diagnostics. People can book a slot at the show from their website (the link goes to their website). PetSafe Diagnostics specialize in Veterinary Ultrasound Imaging. HCM is tested through this method. Screenings for the OKC show take place on the 24th April (Friday) after 3 pm and on the next day between 8 am and 4 pm (I think!). They are also attending The Cats Unlimited Store (presume in or near Dallas) on Saturdays April 4th between 8 am and 5 pm.

Although any cat can at least potentially develop HCM, a heart disease found in cats and people (and other animals, I presume) some cat breeds are predisposed to the disease. Two that come instantly to mind are the Bengals and Maine Coons. Some Bengal breeders think there is a need for a more open approach by the breeders to the problem of HCM. What they mean is that all breeding cats and their parents (going up the breeding line) should be tested and the results published. Only in this open and collective manner can the disease be removed from this extremely popular breed of cat. Not all breeders want to follow that route, sadly. I am for it because it benefits the cat.

HCM testing at cat shows greatly facilitates the testing of cats and cat shows are a great forum to discuss these issues too. I think the cat show should also be a place where seminars and talks can be given to discuss these very important issues. This does not happen as far as I know. See HCM in Bengal Cats.

HCM Testing at Cat Shows to Home Page

Photo of cat at Montreal cat show is by appaIoosa and published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons License -- this site is for charitable purposes in funding cat rescue.

Tuesday 10 March 2009

The Collective Responsibility of Cat Breeding

Does the collective responsibility of cat breeding outweigh the individual cat breeder's self interest in personal success? The answer depends on whether we think short or long term. The answer depends on whether we think that short term financial gain is the best way to do business or whether long term thinking and a more stable long term but less spectacular financial gain is the better route.

The bankers of this world (the ones who used to be the masters of the universe) took the former route. Their primary interest was in promoting self (personal) interest. How much can I get out of the bank? This is what ultimately caused the credit crunch. The bankers at the top, the directors, wanted to grow the banks as fast and as big as possible to benefit them personally by way of the value of their share holdings and bonuses etc. What they failed to notice was that long term it was against the interest of the share holders generally, to whom they were responsible. The end result, we know about. When individuals in authority act in a way that is too focused on personal gain within an environment where there is a collective responsibility all can be the losers.

The same principle applies to everything we do. In the cat breeding world of Bengal cats there is a responsibility to oneself to make money. There is also a collective responsibility to the Bengal cat breed as a whole. If the breed suffers then all Bengal cat breeders, in the long term, suffer. A balance needs to be struck. In respect of cat health, and I am thinking mainly of HCM, which affects the Bengal cat (a genetic disease inherited throughout the breed to varying degrees). The long term communal gain (including the gain for the cats, most importantly) of dealing with the disease openly and collectively is bigger than dealing with it on an individual basis.

Individual cat breeders will naturally pull in different directions on this. Do they disclose HCM in their breeding program? Will that hurt business (yes, I guess). Do they keep quiet and ignore it? Does that mean that the breeders continue to breed from cats that have HCM and therefore continues to spread and entrench the disease more? The latter method will eventually hurt the Bengal cat breed as a whole and future cat breeders. It will probably, though, be the better course of action on a short term basis for the individual breeder.

Looking at the bankers we know what "shortermism" can do. It can undermine the bedrock of the business. For stability, long term reliable growth, moral wellbeing and above all the wellbeing of the cats, all cat breeders should think collectively and long term whilst balancing personal needs and gains. And someone needs to take charge of that and the only people to do that are the associations, which in the case of the Bengal cat is TICA. All Bengal breeders should be required to provide a test certificate that their show cat is HCM clear (negative) before showing.

The number one criteria for show cats should be health and character and it is those cats that should be the Grand Champions even if they look less good as a result. This will benefit all Bengal cat breeders and they will feel better for it too. It is also worth mentioning to, I think, that when people work together in a positive way there is a general sense of wellbeing amongst the group. The great difficulty is getting people to do it as it is against human nature, hence the many problems in the world.

The Collective Responsibility of Cat Breeding to Bengal Cats for Sale

Monday 9 June 2008

Bengal Cat Health Problems

Well, on my travels over the Internet I have bumped into a lot of information about Bengal Cat Health Problems. And I have laid it all down on this website.

These is a list of the posts made on Bengal Cat Health Problems. This list does not imply that Bengal cats are unhealthy, far from it. They are great cats it is just that these health issues have come to light in research:

Bengal cats and heart disease

There is a general realization, amongst the Bengal cat breeding community, that the Bengal cat may have a problem with a genetically inherited disease called HCM for short or Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. I have made a number of posts on this disorder because my research developed and evolved and indeed the information developed and involved over a period of time. These are the posts:
  1. Information about HCM generally - This disease affects humans too. And other cats.
  2. HCM and Pedigree cats - As mentioned this disease affects other purebred cats.
  3. Bengal cat origins - This takes a critical look at Jean Mill the founding breeder and asks if her efforts may have contributed to the health problem.
  4. Bengal cats and HCM - does what it says on the box.
  5. Bengal cat and HCM update - updating on the earlier post.
  6. The TIBS Lightning Fund - The International Bengal Cat Society are funding research into HCM.
  7. How does Taurine figure in the fight against HCM in Bengal cats
  8. Update on HCM and Bengal cats
  9. Some more on HCM and Bengal cats - heavens I forgot how this evolved!
  10. Does rice in cat food affect the metabolism of Taurine - read this in conjunction with the post at number 7 above.

This is a disease that is also found in other cat breeds. Here is a post about it:

  1. Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Bengal cats
The above are the two outstanding Bengal Cat Health Problems that my research threw up. I have read that Bengal cats can suffer from cataracts and other unspecified eye problems as well but I don't know how widespread that is at the moment. The incidence may be no more than in other cats.

It is thought that one Bengal cat health problem is entropion. This condition causes the eyelids to roll resulting in the eyelashes rubbing against the eyeball. It can be corrected and if not, it can cause corneal ulcers. Symptoms: possible squinting, tears, cloudy eyes. This seems to be inherited from the wildcat parent the leopard cat.

Other than these there are the usual cat health problems that you can read about by clicking on this link:
  1. Cat health Problems
The information for this page and the linked pages comes from breeders and Tufts. Tufts is a conference of veterinarians and scientists (researchers) so the sources are good.

Note: the leopard cat has a resistance to the feline leukemia virus. That is why medical research was being carried out on leopard cats. The Bengal cat may have received the benefit of this.

Bengal Cat Health Problems to Bengal cats for sale

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