Before you can bring your new Bengal kitten home you may be unsure of the best ways to support healthy development. This can be overwhelming, so it’s worth knowing what the best foods are for Bengal kittens, so you can ensure they are happy and healthy and have the best start possible.
The 5 best foods for Bengal kittens are:
This list is based on the nutritional needs of Bengals kittens, food quality, and popularity among cat experts. While some selections are considered high budget, we have also included some quality budget friendly choices. Additionally, we will discuss general nutritional needs for Bengal kittens.
Nutritional Needs Of Bengals And Their Kittens
While Bengals are now considered far removed from the Asian leopard cat, it does not change the fact that they are a feline. Wild or not, all cats share basic nutritional needs that should be met in order to ensure a well-balanced diet and a long, healthy life. Understanding these needs can help you keep your Bengal healthy and avoid unnecessary vet visits.
First and foremost, all cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat meat to survive and cannot process plants the same way omnivores and herbivores can. Felines cannot convert fruits and vegetables into viable energy and require arachidonic acid and taurine, both of which can only be found in meat. Additionally, cats need meat to create vitamin A – another crucial part of their diet.
Meat Is Key
Any food that you consider for your Bengal should begin with a meat-based ingredient, preferably whole prey ingredients. You should avoid products that list meat byproducts and meals. While you can still purchase foods with these ingredients, they should never be the first ingredient listed.
If you can avoid byproducts and meals altogether that is even better. However, certain budget brands may still contain them. While they do not provide the best nutritional value, having some of these ingredients in your Bengal’s food will not be harmful as long as it is balanced with whole meat proteins.
At the end of the day, it is important that you recognize that your cute little kitten is actually a full-blown predator in the making. All cats still share common instincts with their wild relatives, and even the laziest of house cats still enjoy a good game of chase. They are also equipped with retractable claws, teeth created to shred, and the ability to run, pounce, and climb.
The Ideal Food
Foods with high whole prey proteins are going to be your best option and should include organs as well as bone or bone meal (ground bone).Ideally, your food should be 70-80% protein with the rest made up of other beneficial additives such as vitamins and minerals.
Acceptable additives include glucosamine, calcium, taurine, vitamin A, chondroitin, magnesium, and amino acid complexes. These additives ensure that your Bengal kitten’s food is well balanced and satisfies all their nutritional daily needs.
What To Avoid
So, when selecting a food for your little predator, be sure to avoid foods with lots of fillers such as grains, potatoes, peas, and other starchy foods. These are all intended to make the food cheaper to produce and mimic a sense of “fullness” without providing all of the proper nutrition needed for a well-balanced diet.
Other ingredients to avoid of course are added chemicals and preservatives that can cause health problems down the line and provide your Bengal kitten with no discernible health benefits. One such preservative is propylene glycol which is used in antifreeze, polyester clothing, solvents, paints, tobacco, cosmetics, vape pens, and more.
While deemed “generally safe” by the FDA, there is a lot of controversy about how healthy polypropylene glycol really is to consume. One thing is for sure, this substance is not natural and serves no nutritional value and is only used to preserve the shelf life of cheap brands to last for years. So, it is recommended to avoid it and similar ingredients all together.
Raw, Cooked Or Canned Meats
If possible, you may want to also avoid dry kibbles and consider only feeding your Bengal kitten raw, cooked, or canned foods. This is mainly because most kibbles on the market are going to be full of fillers, be highly processed, and contain no water.
Most cats only get their hydration from their prey and do not drink a lot of water, which is why cats who eat kibble are also more prone to kidney and other urinary tract infections and diseases. Providing them with moisture rich foods is a great way to prevent any of these issues and reduce your vet costs.
Homemade Raw And Cooked Diets
One of the absolute best diets you can give to any of your pets is one that you prepare yourself, with the proper guidance of course. This option has become much more popular as pet families learn more about the health benefits of a homemade diet. It’s a great way to ensure you know where your Bengal’s food is coming from and what’s in it.
There is of course a learning curve to preparing your Bengal kitten’s food and you will have to do a little research and consult your vet. While a homemade cooked or raw diet can be highly beneficial for your Bengal kitten, you want to be sure you are feeding them the right amounts and providing them with enough nutrition.
Whole, Fresh Proteins
It is very important that you understand that, when preparing your own raw diets, you want a variety of whole proteins that are fresh. You can opt for just poultry or add in lamb, beef, or even rabbit. Be sure that you are also including organ meats like the liver and the heart. You can also use gizzards, neck, and feet from poultry. All these parts are full of protein as well as vitamins and minerals.
All of your ingredients should be bought as fresh as possible from a trusted grocery, or better yet a butcher shop that’s locally sourced. Unlike humans, cats have specialized digestive systems to process raw meats. Their digestive systems are created shorter and process food in as little as 15 hours, whereas humans can take up to 45 hours.
Once you have ground (or finely chopped) all of your meat, you will want to add a few things to ensure your Bengal kitten is getting all the nutrition they need. Many reputable online markets will sell vitamin complexes just for cats that are meant to add additional nutrients to their food. These complexes are usually all in one, but you may also want to purchase bone meal as well.
Bone meal will help add calcium, natural glucosamine, and chondroitin. These are all necessary to support healthy bone development and build strong joints. Note that you should only ever give whole bones to adult Bengals, not kittens.
Finally, if you decide that a raw diet just isn’t for you and your Bengal you always have the option of cooking their food. You will want to add all your supplements and bone meal after the cooking process so that you do not denature them in the cooking process.
While raw diets are safe when done properly, it is still much less understood by most and can seem challenging. If you do opt for the raw diet, it is also recommended that you find a vet that specializes in raw diets to get the best information.Raw diets are still very rarely recommended in the vet community, but they are steadily becoming more common place.
The 5 Best Foods For Bengal Kittens
1. Darwin’s Raw Prepared Diet
If you are looking to feed your Bengal kitten a raw diet but are still nervous about preparing it yourself or if you simply don’t have the time, Darwin’s is a great alternative. This company specializes in preparing raw diets for cats and dogs that are well balanced, using the freshest of ingredients.
Darwin’s wants to ensure that each meal is specifically catered to your pet’s needs. You will have access to in-house consultants that will collect information about your Bengal in order to craft a special appropriate recipe just for them.
All of their ingredients are human grade, ethically sourced, organic, free-ranged, and contain no fillers, GMOs, grains, or other additives and preservatives. This is a food that you can trust will be safe for your Bengal kitten and provide them with everything that they need to develop into a strong, healthy adult.
In order to ensure that your Bengal’s food is safe to eat, Darwin’s uses a lactic acid wash that keeps the surfaces of the raw meat free of bacteria and other pathogens. This process is safe for your cat and it also preserves the nutrients that are contained below the surface of the meat.
Additionally, once prepared, your cat’s food will be immediately vacuum sealed and frozen to maintain freshness. When frozen and ready for shipping, Darwin’s food is then packed into an insulated cooler with dry ice to ensure it remains frozen until delivery. Once delivered, you can place it into your own freezer and thaw individual meals as needed.
If your kitten is under 4 months of age but has started to eat solid foods, Darwin’s does recommend to lightly sauté your kitten’s food in order to safely transition them to their raw diet. While raw is safe, it’s always best to slowly introduce a diet change to your kitten. Once they are 4 months old, they can safely and fully transition into the raw diet.
Just like a homemade raw diet you can also lightly cook Darwin’s food in a little bit of water or bone broth if you don’t want to go for a fully raw diet. You want to cook it just enough that it is no longer raw, and avoid boiling or overcooking as it can denature the nutrients.
Finally, the value for money of Darwin’s is one of the best on the market for a commercially produced raw food. This is based on the quality of the ingredients, flavor, and the cost per pound of food. With that said, if you are on a budget, any commercially produced raw diet may be too expensive. On average a commercial raw diet will cost $10 per pound, while homemade costs closer to $2 per pound.
- Whole prey proteins
- Human grade and ethically sourced
- Catered to each individual pet
- Fairly expensive
- Only available online
2. Orijen Cat & Kitten
Generally speaking, it is usually recommended to avoid dry kibble diets. However, for some pet families this may not be possible for multiple reasons. For this reason, we have decided to include Orijen Cat & Kitten kibble formula as the best dry food for your Bengal kitten.
Orijen has a very good reputation in the pet food world and can be trusted to deliver a wholesome and healthy diet, even as a kibble. Each recipe is based on ancestral diets providing whole prey ingredients and as much as 80% protein, along with low carbohydrates to ensure a well-balanced diet.
Orijen’s cat and kitten formula is considered an all-life-stages formula, meaning that your Bengal kitten can eat it throughout their life, avoiding diet transitions. It contains no grains, GMOs, fillers, or any other added preservatives or chemicals. It contains free-range chicken, turkey, wild caught fish, and eggs, which make up the majority of the ingredients.
Additionally, it includes organ meats including hearts and livers to provide added nutrients. Other ingredients include essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and added proteins from peas, lentils, chick peas, and pinto beans. Peas and beans are considered to be less desirable as they are technically a filler, and their proteins cannot be properly converted by cats’ digestive systems.
However, this kibble overall is of very high quality and still contains 80% meat derived proteins making it appropriate and safe for your Bengal kitten. The added peas and beans will not affect your kitten’s overall health as they only make up a small portion of the food’s ingredients.
No Water Content
Just keep in mind that it is a dry food and has no water content for sufficient hydration. For this reason, you should still make sure that your kitten is getting enough water, or you can opt to add a small amount to their kibble. Many cats and kittens are averse to drinking from the water bowl, so the addition of water to the food can make all the difference.
Finally, this food is top of the line and is therefore not a budget friendly option and can be quite expensive. However, because of its advanced formula, you would also be feeding in smaller amounts than if you fed your cat a bargain brand food that has less nutritional value. This means this food will last longer, helping spread the cost over a longer period of time.
- Contains 80% whole prey based proteins
- No added preservatives, grains, or GMOs
- Suitable for cats of all ages
- Contains peas and beans
- Quite expensive
- No water content
3. Wellness Kitten Pâté
Another well-known brand, Wellness offers wholesome diets for cats of all ages. All Wellness brand products are the result of animal lovers, veterinarians, and nutritionists coming together to create the best possible formulas to benefit your pet’s health. Using all natural ingredients free of fillers, hormones, preservatives, GMOs, and grains.
The Wellness Kitten Pâté is specially formulated to help support your Bengal kitten’s growth with added vitamins and minerals in addition to all-natural chicken and chicken livers. Additionally, they do add in some fruits and vegetables to help support a healthy intake of fiber. Flaxseed is also added to help support healthy skin and coat.
While fruits and vegetable are generally deemed unnecessary in a feline diet, the added fiber is a healthy addition. If this was a whole prey-based diet or raw diet this would not be as necessary as cats get their fiber intake from their prey and the occasional nibble of grass. However, even though the first two ingredients are chicken and chicken liver, it will not provide sufficient fiber.
As a pâté wet food, your kitten will also get plenty of hydration to keep their kidneys and urinary tract healthy. Wellness also has another formula called CORE, which also offers a kitten recipe comparable to the kitten pâté and may be a better option for any picky kittens. The main difference between the two formulas is the protein levels.
While Wellness is considered to be a higher end product, overall, it is fairly affordable,and certainly worth it over other cheaper wet food brands. The brand’s formulas are also comparable to other high-quality brands who charge more, so it’s good value for money.
- All natural ingredients
- Specially formulated for kittens
- Contains water to support healthy kidneys
- Includes added plant matter for fiber
4. Tiki Cat Baby
Tiki Cat Baby is a special line of food by Tiki Cat that specifically caters to the needs of growing kittens. Available in two flavors – chicken & egg and chicken & salmon – this food provides whole proteins with added nutrients and DHA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that supports brain development. As tiny carnivores, this food plays to kittens’ natural and ancestral dietary needs.
Each can of Tiki Cat Baby is full of all-natural ingredients, with the first ingredient listed as all-natural chicken without any added preservatives, grains, fillers, or hormones. This food is packed full of proteins, fatty acids, taurine, and calories to support a growing kitten. Kittens require a lot more protein and vitamins as they are still growing as well as developing their senses.
Support For Cats Of All Ages
The Tiki formulas will support your Bengal kitten throughout their life, beginning with Tiki Cat Baby and graduating to their adult made formulas. All of these are prepared with the same amount of care and dedication. You can rest assured that Tiki will keep your Bengal healthy throughout its life, supporting all parts of the body, keeping them fit and lean, and supporting their joints and bones.
Looking at the food itself you can tell that it uses real animal proteins and you can visibly see shredded chicken and chunks of salmon. While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with a pâté-based food, being able to see the real food ingredients definitely brings some comfort. The shreds in the Tiki Cat Baby are small enough and easy for your Bengal kitten to consume.
Tiki Cat Baby will cost a little more than some of the other leading brands, including Wellness. If you are on a budget, Tiki Cat Baby may not be the best option, which is okay since the other leading brand is still an acceptable option and will save you a little money.
- Specially formulated for kittens
- Real meats are the first ingredients
- Added essential amino acids to support development
- Can be costly
- Only available in two flavors
5. Fancy Feast Kitten
While Fancy Feast may not be the first food you think of as a healthy option for your Bengal kitten, it is actually surprisingly well balanced. We chose this option in our top five as our budget pick, as it doesn’t sacrifice quality for cost-effectiveness.
Fancy Feast Kitten pâté uses real, biologically appropriate milk in their smooth pâtés and has been commonly used in shelters for young kittens that lost their mothers. This food offers real meat products as the first two ingredients, such as chicken, turkey, and fish. There are still some meat byproducts listed, but when combined with whole proteins this is perfectly fine.
Vitamins And Minerals
While meat byproducts are the third ingredient in most formulas, they are followed by more wholesome ingredients such as fish, bone broth, egg, and milk. Additionally, Fancy Feast Kitten features proper amounts of added vitamins and minerals to support healthy growth and development.
So, while not made from the most premium ingredients, Fancy Feast Kitten is an excellent option for those on a budget that still want to ensure their Bengal kitten is eating well. The company has a 100% well-balanced guarantee, so you can be sure your kitten is eating food with real nutritional value.
Additionally, this food is grain free, contains zero fillers like potatoes or peas, and contains no chemically based preservatives. So, you can rest easy knowing that your kitten is not consuming harmful fillers or artificial preservatives. However, there are some artificial flavorings used in addition to natural flavors, but they are in small amounts and not considered to be harmful.
- Budget friendly
- Nutritionally balanced
- Free of fillers, grains, and artificial preservatives
- Contains some meat byproducts
- Contains some artificial flavorings
- Lower quality compared to leading brands
By now you should have a pretty good understanding of what types of diets and foods are going to be ideal for your Bengal kitten. Depending on your lifestyle and schedule, you may opt to prepare their food yourself. Just make sure you seek advice from expert nutritionists and your veterinarian. You can also opt to buy a commercially made raw diet that can be consumed as is or lightly cooked.
Always opt for wet food over kibble when possible, but even if you do go with a kibble be sure the ingredients are well balanced and wholesome. Avoid fillers, by-products, GMOs, hormones, and other harmful chemicals and preservatives.The best option for your Bengal kitten is Darwin’s Raw Prepared Diet, but Orijen Cat and Kitten is a good dry food option.