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Genetic Testing Is NOT The Only Thing Potential Bengal Owners Need To Worry About. There are many other things many people never think about. 

When Buying a Bengal Cat or Kitten It Is A MUST To Put Health First! Below Are Genetic Health Problems That Can Arise In The Bengal Breed. We Hear The Most Horrific Stories From Bengal Cat Owners That Thought They Was Getting A "Good Deal" or Buying From "Someone Who Just Started, It was not a business".

It is our opinion that it is 2023 and you get what you pay for in almost everything. No family deserves that kind of deal. It is heart breaking to hear such stories and makes us so angry and sad for the poor Bengal lives that was lost do to improper/backyard breeding.  Thankfully Palmetto Bengal's Have Proven Healthy Bengals So You Don't Have To Worry About Any Of These With Us. 

Are We Perfect? NO

However we have done our due-diligence in every way shape and form to produce healthy babies for the past 10 years. 

Common Genetic Health Tests For Bengal Cats

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA-b) (b = Bengal)

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) causes an autosomal recessive blindness in Bengal cats by destroying the cells in the back of the eye that register light.

Erythrocyte pyruvate kinase deficiency (PK deficiency) is an inherited hemolytic anemia caused by insufficient activity of its namesake regulatory enzyme.

Feline polycystic kidney disease (PKD1) is a heritable form of polycystic kidney disease commonly seen in Persians and cats with Persian ancestry. Affected cats develop cysts on their kidneys, which often leads to renal failure at a later stage.

PK Deficiency

Erythrocyte pyruvate kinase deficiency (PK deficiency) is an inherited hemolytic anemia caused by insufficient activity of this regulatory enzyme which results in instability and loss of red blood cells. The anemia is intermittent, the age of onset is variable, and clinical signs are also variable. Symptoms of this anemia can include severe lethargy, weakness, weight loss, jaundice, and abdominal enlargement. This condition is inherited as an autosomal recessive.

Testing for PK deficiency assists owners and breeders in identifying affected and carrier cats. Breeders can use this test as a tool to avoid breeding carriers together, which would produce 25% affected offspring.


Bengal Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Bengal progressive Retinal Atrophy is characterized by progressive blindness. The loss of the cells begins around 7 weeks of age and slowly progresses until the cat has very compromised vision by approximately 2 years of age. Blind cats tend to have more difficulty at night, sometimes becoming more vocal and more attached to their owners. The pupils are usually more dilated for affected cats than for cats with normal vision in the same lighting conditions. Affected cats also tend to carry their whiskers in a more forward position.

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a well documented abnormality in domestic cats. Cystic kidneys can sporadically occur in any population of cats. PKD is not a new disease and has been reported in the literature for over 30 years. The heritable form of PKD1 may not have initially occurred in Persians as a new mutation, but perhaps in random bred cats. Unfortunately, PKD1 does not have a strong clinical presentation. The presentation of PKD1 is similar to one of the most common causes of death for any cat, renal failure. Thus, PKD1 has gone unnoticed for many years and has spread throughout the Persian breed. Any breed that has used Persians in their foundation or propagation should have concerns for PKD1.

Early onset, bilateral presentation (both kidneys), and multiple cysts are all traits of the heritable form of the disease. The kidney cysts for PKD1 present early, often before 12 months of age. Renal failure, however, usually occurs at a later age. Thus, PKD1 is considered a late onset renal disease. In the fancy cat breeds, PKD1 is inherited as an autosomal dominant condition. This implies that only one copy of the altered version of the gene is required to produce PKD1. Generally, 50% of PKD1 positive cats' offspring will inherit PKD1. A positive cat could potentially be homozygous for PKD1 and all offspring produced would have PKD1. It is suspected that cats that are homozygous for PKD1 are not abundant and the homozygote form could be lethal in utero or severely affected at a very early age. Further research is required to determine the effects of the homozygous condition.

Diseases That Bengal Cats Can Carry and Spread 

Read below to learn about diseases that can be carried spread by not just Bengal Cats But ALL cats! 
From time to time we see other Bengal Cat Breeders boosting about how their Bengal Cats are genetically health tested. (AWESOME!) 
Make a mental note some of those same breeders have no idea about disease control or prevention. Not judging by any means. It is just scary to think about how much goes unnoticed and the damaging effects it has on not just the cats and kittens BUT THE FAMILIES WE HAVE HEARD FROM IN THE PAST. 

Campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter spp.)




Campylobacter are bacteria that can make people and animals sick with a disease called campylobacteriosis.

How it spreads: 

People get Campylobacter infection by coming into contact with feces (poop) of infected animals, including cats, or by consuming contaminated food or water. Typically, Campylobacter is spread when people don’t wash their hands after touching animals or their food, poop, toys, or beds, but it can also sometimes infect you through an open wound. Cats commonly become infected by eating contaminated raw meat and shed the bacteria in their poop.

Who is at risk: 

Anyone can get a Campylobacter infection, but children younger than 5 years of age, adults over 65 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems are more at risk for serious illness.

Signs in cats:

 Cats may appear healthy and show no signs of Campylobacter infection or they can have diarrhea that may be bloody.

Symptoms in people: People can have diarrhea (often bloody), fever, and stomach cramps. The diarrhea may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Symptoms usually start within 2–5 days after infection and last about 1 week.

Cat Scratch Disease (Bartonella henselae)







Cat scratch disease (CSD) is an infection caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae, and less commonly other Bartonella species.

How it spreads:

Cats become infected through flea bites, fights with other infected cats, or blood transfusions. People can be exposed to the bacteria through the scratch or lick of an infected cat.

Who is at risk:

Young cats (less than 1 year of age), strays or cats living in shelters, cats with current or previous flea infestation, and cats that hunt are most likely to have the bacteria. Any person can get sick from CSD, but illness is most common in children and adolescents under 15 years of age and people with weakened immune systems.

Signs in pets:

About one third to half of cats have been exposed to the bacteria at some point in their lifetime. Although most infected cats do not appear sick, some cats may experience mild illness with fever that lasts for approximately 2-3 days. Rarely, the disease can cause more serious signs in cats, including vomiting, red eyes, swollen lymph nodes, tiredness, and/or low appetite. Bartonella infection in dogs is less common, but more likely to cause illness, compared to cats.

Signs in people:

The CSD bacteria may cause a mild infection with a small, raised, solid bump at the site of the scratch and lymph node swelling near the site of the scratch. This occurs 1-3 weeks after exposure (for example, a cat scratch or lick). The infection can also cause fever, and less commonly eye infection, muscle pain, or more severe symptoms

Cat Tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum)
















The cat tapeworm is a parasite spread to dogs, cats, and people through the ingestion of infected fleas. This parasite is common in cats but rarely causes illness in pets or people.

How it spreads: The tapeworm is spread when a cat or person swallows an infected flea. Cats may swallow fleas when self-grooming. Treating pets for fleas can help prevent infection.

Who is at risk:

The risk of a person getting this tapeworm is extremely low because you must swallow a flea to become infected. Most cases occur in children.

Signs in dogs:

Tapeworms are usually not harmful for cats and usually don’t cause illness. The parasite can sometimes be detected by finding rice-like segments of the tapeworm crawling near the anus or in fresh feces (poop). If a dog is heavily infected, it may lose weight.

Symptoms in people: Dipylidium infection is rare in people and usually doesn’t cause any symptoms. Sometimes the infection can be detected by finding rice-like segments of the tapeworm crawling near the anus or in fresh poop.

Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium spp.)















Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic disease caused by the germ Cryptosporidium (or Crypto for short), which is spread by accidentally swallowing poop from an infected person or animal.

How it spreads:

Crypto spreads through swallowing poop containing the germ after contact with an infected person or animal, or through poop in contaminated food or water. For example, people can get Crypto after swallowing recreational water, drinking untreated water from a lake or river, or touching their mouth after handling an infected animal.

Who is at risk: Anyone can been infected with Crypto, but people with weakened immune systems are more at risk, especially for severe disease.

Signs in cats: Crypto in cats is rare, but sometimes cats can carry the parasite without showing any signs of illness.

Symptoms in people: Symptoms include profuse, watery diarrhea with cramping, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea. The symptoms typically resolve within 1–2 weeks.



Giardiasis (Giardia duodenalis)










Giardia is a parasite that can be found on surfaces or in water, food, or soil that has been contaminated by poop from an infected person or animal.

How it spreads: Giardia spreads through swallowing microscopic poop containing the parasite following contact with an infected person or animal or by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated with poop from infected people or animals.

Who is at risk: The risk of getting Giardia from cats is small. The exact type of Giardia that makes people sick is usually not the same that infects cats. Anyone can get Giardia, but the following groups have a higher risk:

International travelers
People who have contact with children in diapers
People who have contact with poop during sexual contact with someone who is infected with Giardia
People who drink untreated water from a river, lake, stream, or spring
People who swim in natural bodies of water

Signs in cats: Cats with Giardia may have diarrhea, greasy stools, or become dehydrated.

Symptoms in people: People with Giardia may experience diarrhea, gas, abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. However, it is possible to be infected and have no signs of illness.


(Ancylostoma tubaeforme, Ancylostoma braziliense, Uncinaria stenocephala)












Hookworms are tiny worms that can spread through contact with contaminated soil or sand.

How it spreads: People can get hookworm infection by walking barefoot, kneeling, or sitting on ground that is contaminated with poop from infected animals. Cats can be infected by ingesting the parasite from the environment or through their mother’s milk or colostrum.

Who is at risk: Anyone can get hookworm infection.

Signs in cats: In kittens, hookworm can cause anemia and weight loss, and severe infections can be fatal.

Symptoms in people: People with hookworm infection can experience an itchy reaction and a red squiggly line may appear where the parasite larvae migrated under the skin. Unlike human hookworms, animal hookworms don’t survive in an infected person, so symptoms typically resolve within 4-6 weeks without medical treatment.

MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus)















Staphylococcus aureus is a common type of a bacteria normally found on the skin of people and animals. MRSA is Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that have become resistant to some antibiotics. MRSA can cause a variety of infections, including skin infections, pneumonia (lung infection), and other problems.

How it spreads: MRSA can spread between people and animals through direct contact (touching).  Even cats that aren’t sick can carry MRSA and spread it to people.

Who is at risk: Anyone can get a MRSA infection.

Signs in cats: Cats often don’t show signs of MRSA infection, but they can experience skin, respiratory, and urinary tract infections.

Symptoms in people: Most people with MRSA will carry it without showing any symptoms. For people who develop a MRSA infection, the most common type is a skin infection. If left untreated, MRSA can rarely spread to the lungs or bloodstream and become life-threatening.

Plague (Yersinia pestis)














Plague is caused by Yersinia pestis, bacteria that can cause illness in people and animals. In the western United States, fleas can pass the bacteria to rodents and other small animals. People and pets (dogs, cats) are at risk when they are bitten by infected fleas. Dogs and cats can get sick with plague and also spread the infection to humans.

How it spreads:  People and animals are most commonly infected by flea bites, but touching plague-infected animals can also cause illness. People can also become infected by inhaling infectious droplets that a sick cat has coughed into the air.

Who is at risk: People that live in or travel to the western United States, particularly in rural areas, may be at risk. In addition, people with animal contact (for example, sleeping with pets) and hunters may be at risk.

Signs in cats: Cats are especially at risk for plague. Cats with plague may have a fever, low appetite, low energy, and swollen lymph nodes on their neck that can sometimes look like a wound. Cats can develop plague pneumonia and may cough or have difficulty breathing. Owners should minimize contact with sick pets and seek veterinary care as soon as possible to decrease the risk of people getting sick.

Symptoms in people: Bubonic plague is the most common form in people. Symptoms of bubonic plague include painful, swollen lymph nodes, sudden onset of high fever, chills, headache, and weakness. Other forms of plague, including septicemic plague and plague pneumonia, can cause more severe symptoms.












Ringworm is an infection caused by fungus that can infect the skin, hair, or nails of people and animals.

How it spreads: Ringworm spreads through direct contact with an infected animal or person (touching), or from the environment.

Who is at risk: Anyone can get ringworm.

Signs in cats: Some cats might not show signs of ringworm infection, but others typically have small areas of hair loss around their ears, face, or legs with scaly or crusty skin. Kittens are most commonly affected. 

Symptoms in people: Ringworm infections in people are usually itchy and can appear on almost any part of the body. Redness, scaling, cracking of the skin, or a ring-shaped rash may occur. If the infection is on the scalp or beard, hair may fall out. Infected nails can become discolored, thick, or could crumble.

Roundworms (Toxocara spp.)


















Roundworm is a parasite that can cause an infection called toxocariasis. Roundworms are commonly found in the intestines of cats.

How it spreads: Cats shed roundworm eggs in their poop. People and cats can get roundworms by swallowing roundworm eggs from the environment, such as dirt contaminated with cat poop.

Who is at risk: Anyone can become infected with roundworms.

Signs in cats: Kittens typically don’t appear sick but those that do could have mild diarrhea, dehydration, a rough coat, and a pot-bellied appearance.

Symptoms in people: There are two types of illness associated with roundworms in people. Ocular toxocariasis happens when roundworm larvae migrate to the eye and can cause vision loss, eye inflammation, or damage to the retina. Typically, only one eye is affected. Visceral toxocariasis happens when the roundworm larvae migrate to various body organs (like the liver, lungs, or central nervous system) and can cause fever, fatigue, coughing or wheezing, or abdominal pain.

  Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii)


















Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a parasite found in soil, water, meat, or poop from an infected animal, particularly cats.

How it spreads: People can get toxoplasmosis through contact with cat poop or by eating undercooked meat or shellfish. Cats become infected by eating infected rodents, birds, or other small animals. The parasite then sheds in the cat’s feces, contaminating the environment or the cat’s litterbox. People can get infected by consuming contaminated food or water. People can also become infected if they do not wash their hands after cleaning a cat’s litterbox or handling anything contaminated by cat poop.

Who is at risk: Anyone can get toxoplasmosis, but people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have serious illness. Pregnant women infected with the parasite can pass the infection to their unborn child, which can result in birth defects.

Signs in cats: Cats with toxoplasmosis rarely appear sick but can shed the parasite in feces for as long as 3 weeks after infection.

Symptoms in people: Most healthy people with toxoplasmosis don’t have symptoms, but some may have mild flu-like symptoms, or rarely, develop eye disease. People with weakened immune systems can have more serious complications from toxoplasmosis, including brain disease. Pregnant women who may have been exposed should talk with their doctor because of the risk for birth defects. also infect the eyes, throat, and respiratory system.

Bengal Cat Scratch
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​Feline Viral Diseases: FIP, FeLV, and FIV

The three major feline viral diseases are feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). These viruses are specific to cats and cannot be transmitted to humans or other animals. THESE ALL CAN BE DEADLY FOR BENGAL CATS! 

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