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Many humans, after getting a Bengal, complain about behavioral issues such as improper elimination, harsh play, scratching, biting and destroying household furniture. Sounds pretty bad, right? But, does that mean we’re an undesirable cat breed?
We Bengal cats are gifted with high intelligence and high energy levels.
We are known to be smarter and more active than average house cats—we’re basically the Border Collie of the cat world.
Because of our higher intellectual and physical demands, it takes a lot to keep us stimulated. We’re a breed that constantly craves challenges and social interaction, and if our needs are not met, we never hesitate to find something we can entertain ourselves with—like your curtains or a new leather couch.
Providing your Bengal cat with their needed physical, social and mental stimulation is very important. This will keep them happy and prevent them from exhibiting destructive or depressive behavior.
PREVENTING BEHAVIORAL ISSUES:
- Provide all their needs
Before you even get a Bengal, make sure you know how to meet our breed’s physical and mental demands. You can do this by getting another pet for your Bengal to play with. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a cat or another Bengal. In fact, we do really well with dogs who share our physical and mental demands.
- Invest in interactive puzzle toys
An animal companion may not be enough for your Bengal, especially if you’re always gone and don’t spend much time with them.
You’ll need to invest in interactive cat toys that will challenge your Bengal’s mind and body. Games that mimic hunting—like GoCat Da Bird and laser toys—are the best choices because they’re mentally and physically stimulating.
You can also leave cat treat dispensers. Food is always a great motivator for us cats and there’s no better way to take advantage of that than using a toy that dispenses delicious cat treats to keep us occupied.
- Get a cat exercise wheel
Cat wheels are great once you’ve trained your Bengal to use it. Don’t worry—we Bengals are very trainable, so it won’t take long before your Bengal cat figures out how to use the cat exercise wheel.
- Take them on walks
We Bengals are known to have a dog-like personality—it’s true. Like dogs, we like being around people and sleep a lot less than other domestic cats. We also love going on walks!
Find a harness for your Bengal and teach them to walk on a leash. Once they get the hang of it, you can take them on walks before or after you go to work.
It’s best to establish a routine for your Bengal so they always know what’s going to happen next. We cats need routine and structure. This makes us more stable and feel more secure because we always know how our day is going to play out.
- Never skip the safe room step
When first introducing your Bengal to your home and the animals you may have, it’s very important to keep them in a safe room during their first few weeks. This will give them time to adjust and become familiar with your home at their own pace, without the distractions of unfamiliar actions, scents and sounds.
First impressions do last and when you skip the safe room step, you’ll be putting your future relationship with your Bengal at risk. You’ll need to give your Bengal the space that they need to cope with all the changes. By doing this, you’ll also be earning their trust, which is a big factor in creating a lasting bond between you and your Bengal.