I have some information provided by Tesco Bank Pet Health Insurance concerning the Bengal cat and it makes interesting reading in comparison to pet health insurance claims for the Maine Coon cat. They are quite different. Whereas the claims for the Maine Coon relate to diseases of internal organs, the claims for the Bengal relate far more to injuries which I guess are due to the activity levels of this popular breed.
The prominent selling points for the Bengal cat are (1) their stunning appearance and (2) their intelligence and activity levels. They are a highly engaging cat breed. Even at the fifth filial level (F5) there is some wild cat DNA in them which comes out in their activity levels and perhaps in showing a little bit more aggression than is typical of domestic cats which may account for abscesses being listed as one of the top five claims under the Tesco Bank Pet Insurance scheme.
Road traffic accidents
The information relates to the period 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. It also provides information regarding the cost of treatment which I think is useful as well. The cost may guide owners in deciding to take out insurance. My observation about the list is that I’m surprised to see road traffic accidents on it. This points to a great dilemma with all purebred cats and perhaps the Bengal cat in particular. Do you let them go outside? Think about it: a stunning Bengal cat with a high contrast coat wandering around the neighbourhood in suburbia waiting to be stolen or hit by road traffic. This is a highly inquisitive cat. In general they are a confident cat and more likely to get into territorial disputes with other outdoor cats even if they are neutered. This probably accounts for the cat bite abscesses which are listed as a top five claim under Tesco’s policies.
Intelligent and potentially more aggressive
Perhaps, in many cases, Bengal cat owners keep their cats inside but they get into the odd fight with other cats in a multi-cat household. I don’t know. I’m speculating but I must say that this list of top five Bengal cat pet insurance claims is very much inline with my thoughts about the breed and owning it.
You will probably find a similar story with respect to Savannah cats and indeed all the wild cat hybrids. The situation will become heightened with respect to the higher filial wild cat hybrids such as the F1s and F2s. They require quite specialist caregiving.
Health insurance or not?
On a wider issue, most domestic cat owners do not take out pet insurance. They take the risk of a heavy veterinary bill. I believe that this is because the pet insurance companies are not competitive enough. Pet health insurance is a good idea. It brings peace of mind. More people should take it out but it seems that the cost is too high at about £25 per month. One issue might be that veterinarians are charging more because of advances in treatment. These advances might come about because of better equipment. The equipment is expensive and so the veterinary clinics charge more. Companion animal veterinary treatment is better than before but it comes at a price which is passed on through the cost of premiums for health insurance. Also vets will charge more for insurance claims.
My personal choice is self-insurance but pet insurance certainly benefits many people and their companion animals. It has a lot to do with being risk averse and wanting peace of mind. It might be argued that the Bengal cat is more likely to become injured than other domestic cat which might encourage people to take out insurance. Also, in general, the purebred cats tend to live shorter lives and have inherited genetic illnesses because they are selectively bred. I have a page, written some time ago, about the inherited diseases of Bengal cats which might interest you.