As a Bengal cat breeder, I often receive questions from potential clients about the personality traits of these beautiful animals. Bengal cats are known for their distinctive appearance, but it's their personalities that make them truly special. In this post, I'll go over the most common personality traits of Bengal cats so that you can get an idea of what to expect if you're considering bringing one into your home. As always, for more in-depth information or specific questions feel free to reach out to me through the website or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Playful: Bengal cats are highly playful and energetic animals that love to engage in interactive activities. Their love for play is one of the most notable personality traits of this breed. From a young age, Bengal cats are naturally drawn to toys, and they enjoy chasing, batting, and playing with them. This love for play continues into adulthood, and Bengal cats will often seek out new toys and activities to keep themselves entertained.
One of the favorite activities for Bengal cats is chasing laser pointers. These cats are quick and agile, and they love the challenge of trying to catch the moving red dot. Not only does this provide great exercise, but it also helps to satisfy their natural hunting instincts.
Another activity that Bengal cats enjoy is playing with feather toys. These cats love to pounce, jump, and chase after feathers, and this type of play provides great physical and mental stimulation. They may also enjoy playing with balls or other small toys, and they'll often bat them around or carry them in their mouths.
In addition to playing with toys, Bengal cats also enjoy interactive activities with their owners. They may engage in play fighting, climbing, and exploring their surroundings, which provides great exercise and helps to strengthen the bond between cat and owner.
2. Affection: Bengal cats are known for their high energy levels and playfulness, but despite their active nature, they are also extremely affectionate. These cats have a strong desire to be around their owners and will often seek out attention and cuddles. They love to be petted, brushed, and held, and they'll often follow their owners around the house, rubbing against their legs and meowing for attention.
Bengal cats are known for their "velcro" personality, meaning that they like to stick close to their owners and be a constant presence in their lives. They are loyal, loving, and affectionate pets that form strong bonds with their owners. This can be a wonderful trait for those who enjoy having a close relationship with their pets, but it can also become a bit intense or annoying to some.
For example, some Bengal cats may demand attention at all hours of the day and night, and they may become vocal or demanding if they don't receive it. Others may become clingy or overly attached, following their owners everywhere they go. While this level of affection can be charming, it can also become overwhelming for some owners.
3. Intelligence: Bengal cats are known for their intelligence and trainability, making them excellent pets for families and individuals who enjoy investing time in training their pets. These cats are quick learners and are able to pick up on new commands and tricks with ease. They respond well to positive reinforcement and love to be praised for their accomplishments.
One of the best things about Bengal cats is that they are highly intelligent, which means that they are able to learn new tricks and commands with relative ease. They are quick learners and are able to pick up on new concepts in a short amount of time. This makes them great pets for families who enjoy teaching their pets new tricks, such as sit, stay, come, roll over, and more.
Bengal cats are also very trainable when it comes to behavior modification. For example, if you have a Bengal cat that likes to scratch the furniture, you can train them to use a scratching post instead. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, Bengal cats are able to learn new behaviors and respond well to commands.
In addition to their trainability, Bengal cats are also known for their intelligence and problem-solving skills. They are able to figure out how to get what they want, such as how to open doors or cabinets, and they love to challenge themselves with new puzzles and toys.
4. Vocal: Bengal cats are known for their vocal nature and are not shy about letting their owners know what they want. These cats may meow, chirp, or make other noises to get your attention or express their feelings. They are communicative and expressive pets that love to interact with their owners.
For some people, the vocal nature of Bengal cats can be charming and entertaining. These cats are playful and enjoy attention, and they are not afraid to let their owners know when they want it. They may meow, chirp, or make other noises to get your attention, and they may also "talk" to you when they are excited or happy.
However, for others, the vocal nature of Bengal cats can be overwhelming or annoying. They may be loud and demanding, especially when they want attention or food, and they may become vocal when they are left alone or are in a new environment.
If you don't mind a potentially noisy pet, a Bengal cat may be a good fit for you. However, if you prefer a more laid-back and quiet pet, you may want to consider a different breed.
5. Active: Bengal cats are highly active and enjoy being on the move almost continuously during their waking hours. They have a lot of energy and love to explore their surroundings, making them great pets for active families who enjoy spending time outdoors. These cats are not content to simply lie around all day, they love to be up and about, and they are always seeking new adventures and experiences.
Bengal cats love to climb and jump, and they are known for their agility and grace. They are quick and light on their feet, and they enjoy exploring their environment and climbing to high places to get a better view of their surroundings. They love to play with toys, such as string, feathers, and balls, and they also enjoy playing with their owners.
In addition to playing and climbing, Bengal cats also enjoy exploring their environment. They are curious and adventurous, and they love to investigate new sights, sounds, and smells. They are great pets for families who enjoy spending time outdoors or who are able to create creating exciting indoor playgrounds for their cat to roam and explore. Cat exercise wheels and high-climbing trees or wall shelves can really help "catify" any indoor space for a Bengal cat if the owner is willing to invest the time and money. It's well worth the effort!
Bengal cats are definitely a unique breed with distinctive personalities. If you're looking for a fun, energetic, and affectionate pet, a Bengal cat may be the perfect choice for you. Just be prepared for a lot of playtime, meows, and cuddles.
Written by Carmen Klassen, Owner of Jewelspride Bengals. For questions or for more information about our Bengal cats, feel free to reach out to us via www.jewelspridebengals.org
Bengal cats are known for their wild appearance and playful personalities, which attracts many people to having them as pets. However, many potential cat owners are concerned about the noise level of these cats. So, are Bengal cats noisy? The answer is both yes and no.
On one hand, Bengal cats are known for their playful and energetic nature, which can sometimes lead to excessive vocalization and destructive behavior. They have a tendency to talk and meow loudly, especially when they want attention. This is especially true for younger cats, who are still learning to express themselves.
On the other hand, many Bengal cats are quite quiet and well-behaved, as long as they receive adequate exercise and attention. Providing plenty of toys and interactive playtime can help reduce excessive meowing and other noisy behavior.
Exercise wheels, laser pointers, and interactive toys such as feather wands can all help keep your Bengal cat entertained and reduce their need for excessive vocalization. Additionally, regular play sessions and training sessions can also provide mental stimulation, which can help prevent destructive behavior.
Bengal cats are known to be highly intelligent and curious animals, which makes them highly trainable. This intelligence can be leveraged to teach them to modify their behavior, including reducing the volume of their meows. With consistent training and positive reinforcement, it is possible to train a Bengal cat to meow more quietly or even to stop meowing altogether.
One effective approach is to provide rewards for quiet meowing, such as treats or verbal praise. Over time, the cat will learn that quiet meowing is more likely to result in rewards and will start to adjust its behavior accordingly. Similarly, you can also use positive reinforcement to discourage excessive meowing. For example, if your Bengal cat is meowing loudly for attention, you can withhold attention or treats until it stops meowing or meows more quietly.
It is important to keep in mind that the training process may take time and patience, and may need to be repeated regularly to maintain the desired behavior. However, with a little effort and patience, it is possible to train your Bengal cat to be less noisy, making them an even better companion for you and your family.
In conclusion, whether or not Bengal cats are noisy really depends on the individual cat and their environment. With proper training and attention, most Bengal cats can be quite quiet and well-behaved. However, if you are looking for a low-maintenance, quiet pet, it may be best to consider a different breed.
Remember that all cats, regardless of breed, have their own unique personalities and behaviors, so it's always important to research and interact with individual cats before making a decision.
Bengal cats are known for their energetic personalities. Bengal cats can be a joy to live with, but their energy levels can also be a source of frustration for some owners. Many Bengal owners may find themselves wondering when their cats will "calm down." In this article, we'll explore the maturity and age of Bengal cats, as well as other factors that can affect a Bengal's personality.
Bengal cats are a relatively young breed, first developed in the United States in the 1970s. The breed was created by crossing an Asian leopard cat with a domestic cat. The Asian leopard cat is a small forest dwelling wild cat that is native to Asia. The goal of breeding these two cats was to create a domestic cat that would have the wild beauty and striking coat patterns of its wild ancestor, but with the temperament of a domestic cat.
When it comes to a Bengal's personality, it's important to understand that maturity and age can play a role. Bengal cats typically reach maturity around 3-4 years of age, and their energy levels and activity tend to decrease as they age. However, their personalities and activity levels can vary greatly, so it's difficult to say when a specific Bengal cat will calm down. Some cats may retain their playful and energetic personalities throughout their lives, while others may become more relaxed and laid-back as they age.
Genetics, environment, and how a cat was raised can also play a key role in shaping a Bengal's personality. For example, a Bengal cat that is raised in a household with children and other pets may be more social and outgoing than a Bengal cat that is raised as an only pet.
To help channel a Bengal's energy in positive ways, training and socialization are key. Bengal cats are highly intelligent and can be trained to do a variety of tricks. Training can also help to improve a cat's overall behaviour and reduce problem behaviours such as extreme vocalization, destructive behaviour, and climbing on things you don't want them to climb on. Socialization is also important for Bengal cats. Introducing your cat to new people, animals, and environments can help to reduce fear and aggression and improve your cat's overall behaviour.
In conclusion, while a Bengal cat's energy levels may decrease as they age, their personalities and activity levels can vary greatly. Genetics, environment, and how they were raised also play a key role in their behaviour. With proper training and socialization, Bengal cats can make wonderful companion animals. It's always important to be patient and understanding of your cat's unique personality and behavior.
As our feline companions age, their needs change. Understanding what is considered old age for a cat and how to properly care for a senior cat is crucial for ensuring that they live a happy and comfortable life.
When a cat reaches the age of 15, they are considered to be in their senior years. During this stage of life, it is important to provide extra care and attention to ensure that they are comfortable and happy. One of the biggest concerns for senior cats is maintaining their health, so regular visits to the vet are essential.
Many people wonder if senior cats are easy to take care of. The truth is, while they may require a bit more attention and care than younger cats, they can still be loving and affectionate companions. Providing them with a comfortable living environment, a healthy diet, and regular check-ups with the vet can help them age gracefully.
Many people also wonder about the age of their cats in human years. A 14 year old cat is roughly equivalent to a 72 year old human. While 20 is considered to be a good age for a cat, it is important to keep in mind that each cat is different and will have their own unique life expectancy.
An important aspect of caring for a senior cat is providing them with a proper diet. As cats age, they may have different nutritional needs. Your vet can recommend a senior-specific diet that is formulated to meet the needs of older cats. These diets often contain more protein, fewer calories, and added vitamins and minerals to support the aging process. It is also important to monitor your cat's weight, as senior cats are more prone to obesity which can lead to other health issues. A cat that has been eating a raw diet it's whole life, should continue eating this diet into the senior years, as it's the healthiest diet for a cat, and a cat eating this diet will not gain excess weight and will thrive on the pure protein and nutrients that a raw species appropriate diet will automatically provide them with.
Many cat owners wonder whether they should feed their senior cats wet or dry food. The answer to this question will vary depending on the cat's individual needs and preferences. However, it is generally recommended to feed a wet diet (raw or canned) as older cats may have a harder time eating dry food and also because it provides essential moisture content.
So, what makes senior cats happy? Keeping them mentally and physically stimulated is key. Interactive toys, scratching posts, and comfortable beds can all help keep them active and engaged. Additionally, providing them with a warm and cozy environment can also make them feel content. Providing your senior cat with a comfortable living environment is also crucial. As cats age, they may have trouble climbing or jumping, so it's important to provide them with a comfortable bed at ground level, and plenty of warm blankets or cushions to snuggle up in. Cats also enjoy a warm and cozy spot to rest, so consider providing them with a heated bed or pad.
In terms of activity, it's important to provide your senior cat with plenty of opportunities for exercise and play, but be mindful that they may not have the energy levels of a younger cat. Short play sessions or interactive toys may be more appropriate. Consider providing your senior cat with a scratching post or cardboard box to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
Many people also wonder if older cats get lonely. The answer is yes, they can. While cats are independent creatures, they still crave companionship and interaction. If you are concerned that your senior cat is feeling lonely, consider getting them a companion or spending more time interacting with them.
When it comes to caring for a 17 year old cat, it is important to keep in mind that they may have decreased mobility and may require assistance with grooming and other daily tasks. As cats age, they may also become more prone to certain health issues, such as kidney disease or arthritis.
Senior cats may also experience changes in their behavior such as increased sleeping, decreased grooming or problems with litter box use. These changes can be due to a variety of reasons such as arthritis or dental issues. If you notice any changes in your senior cat's behavior, talk to your vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions and to come up with a plan to manage them.
One common issue that many cat owners face is their senior cats meowing excessively. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as changes in vision or hearing, or simply because they are trying to communicate their needs. If your 17 year old cat is meowing excessively, consult with your vet to rule out any underlying health issues.
Provide your senior cat with a calm and quiet environment, as loud noises and too much commotion can cause them stress. As cats age, they may also become more sensitive to changes in temperature and may prefer a warm and cozy environment.
In conclusion, while caring for a 15 year old cat or older cat may require some extra attention and care, they can still be loving and affectionate companions. Providing them with a comfortable living environment, a healthy diet, and regular check-ups with the vet can help them age gracefully. Remember to keep in mind that each cat is unique and their needs may vary as they age. A senior cat still has a lot of love and joy to give, and they deserve to live a happy and comfortable life.
There is probably nothing more frustrating to a cat owner than litter box accidents. In fact, habitual litter box accidents are the number one reason why cat owners give their cats up to animal shelters. When your cat refuses to use the litter box, there is usually an underlying reason. Before you become exasperated by your cat's inability to make it to the litter box, here are some common causes for this problem.
Litter Box Woes
One of the main reasons why a cat begins to refuse to use the litter box is because their own litter box is dirty. Many cats are extremely fussy about the condition of their litter box, while others will use it no matter how full it looks. If your cat has a litter box accident, the first place you should check is the litter box. Some pets prefer that their litter box be cleaned out after each use. While this is time-consuming for you, it may be a simple fix to this problem. You should start a daily routine of cleaning out your cat box and you may find that this solves your problem.
Another common problem related to the litter box is there are not enough litter boxes for the number of cats you have. For example, if you have four cats in your home, you should have at least one litter box per cat. Cats like to have their own space, and this is especially true when it comes to their litter box. In fact, many veterinarians recommend that even if you have only one cat, you should have at least two litter boxes.
In addition, when it comes to litter box accidents, look at the type of litter you are using and the size and shape of the litter box. If you have a tray litter box without a lid, maybe your cat would feel more secure in a closed box. If you have an older cat or a young kitten, your cat may have a difficult time getting in and out of a closed-top box. Watch your cat carefully when he or she uses the litter box. If you find that they are having a difficult time getting in and out of the litter box and consider getting a different box. Also, look at the type of litter you use. Your cat may be extremely fussy about the smell or texture of the litter. Many people preferred using the scoop-away litter; however, many cats will not use this type of litter, because it sticks in the paws. You may also find that the litter you use causes a lot of dust that is disagreeable to your cat.
Your cat may be refusing to use the litter box, because of health-related issues. If you have tried all the above tips and nothing seems to be working, then it is time to visit your veterinarian. Cats that have bladder problems, urinary tract infections, kidney failure, and diabetes are more prone to litter box accidents than healthy cats. You need to take your cat to the vet and have a thorough health exam performed to find out if your cat is suffering from an ailment. If this is the case, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to help your cat.
Habit and Your Cat’s Territory
If your cat has been ill or has stopped using the litter box for any reason, you may find that your cat returns to their old ways out of habit. It is extremely important that when your cat has a litter box accident, you clean the area thoroughly to get rid of any odors that may remain. In addition, your cat may have not stopped using the litter box at all but instead, your cat is marking his or her territory. This is especially common in multi-cat households or when you bring a new pet into the home.
When you determine why your cat is having litter box accidents, you can find a solution. It takes time and patience; however, this is much preferable to unnecessarily ending your relationship with your beloved pet.
This review is based on our own research and investigation and is meant for informational purposes only. We can't guarantee that one (or any) of the litter boxes contained here in our review will work better for you, but you might see something that you didn't even know existed and that can make your life considerably easier.
Automatic litter boxes clean better than you. It's consistent and thorough, so you can focus on what matters - enjoy more time with your cat and not waste any time cleaning up after him! We're talking about a robot maid for your cat's powder room—a poop-scooping machine that doesn't groan at the thought of cleaning the litter box. What could be better? If your wallet can handle it, you might want to have a closer look at the following machines, and you may even consider incorporating one into your life. I know I have!
Here are our top three picks for "high end" (the cream of the crop) automatic litter boxes:
LITTER-ROBOT 3 CONNECT BY WHISKER (GREY) - AUTOMATIC, SELF-CLEANING CAT LITTER BOX, WIFI ENABLED, WORKS WITH ANY CLUMPING LITTER, DESIGNED & ASSEMBLED IN USA
PETSAFE SCOOPFREE AUTOMATIC SELF-CLEANING CAT LITTER BOX - INCLUDES DISPOSABLE TRAYS WITH CRYSTAL LITTER
PetSafe's ScoopFree Covered Self-Cleaning Litter Box eliminates scooping. The box's crystal litter absorbs urine and dehydrates solid waste, reducing odour 5 times better than traditional clumping litter. This low-tracking litter is 99 percent dust-free and won't stick to your cat's paws. Safety sensors stop the scooping cycle when your cat leaves the box. Each tray has a lid for easy disposal and a plastic lining to prevent leaking. Toss the tray.
No scooping, cleaning, or refilling for weeks.
Crystal litter absorbs urine and dehydrates solid waste to eliminate odour.
Low-tracking crystals are dust-free and don't stick to cat paws.
Disposable trays have a plastic lining to prevent leaking and keep floors clean.
Each tray has a lid for easy disposal.
Health counter and motion sensors track how often your cat uses the box.
PetSafe Simply Clean Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box, Automatic Litter Box for Cats, Works with Clumping Cat Litter
The PetSafe Simply Clean Self-Cleaning Litter Box is an innovative, automatic cat litter box that stays fresh and clean without scooping. The quiet, slow-moving conveyor system sifts the clumping cat litter and removes waste every 30 minutes, making one full rotation every hour and a half. Waste is carried off to the covered bin, keeping it out of sight while reducing odor. The replaceable carbon filter acts as a second layer of odor defense. The system is whisper quiet, and the LED light will ensure you that the system is running and giving your cat a carefree, clean litter box. All you need is premium clumping cat litter and recycled plastic shopping bags for a quick, hygienic cleanup.
Getting a new kitten can be very exciting - and sometimes our kitten clients ask why the kittens have to stay with us so long before going home with them. We used let them go at 12 or 13 weeks, but now we've pushed that to 14 weeks. Research shows that additional critical social development within the litter occurs between 12 and 14 weeks of age. Also, keeping the kittens to 14 weeks allows us extra time to fit in the second set of vaccines and for the kittens to have their spay and neuter surgery and fully recover from both before taking on the stress of a move. In this article we will provide some helpful information regarding the weaning process and why early removal of a kitten from his mother is not a good idea.
A kitten younger than 10 weeks of age is not fully weaned. The weaning process is so much more than the end of milk intake. If we look at cats in the wild, or even those living free in the outdoors (barn cats, strays, etc), we can see that the queen spends time not only nursing her kittens, but leaving them to go and hunt for food for herself. At a very young age she is introducing some of her killed prey (mice, rabbits, birds, etc) to them and eating it in front of them. They watch and learn, and by about 4 weeks of age they begin to taste it for themselves. Once they are eating solid food, they begin to require less milk from mom. She hunts more and feeds them more meat. Then she begins to bring the prey home injured, rather than dead. She teaches the kittens to kill their own prey in this way. Then, when the kittens are old enough to be able to travel with her, she teaches them how to hunt and catch their own food in addition to killing it. This can go on for as long as they remain a “pack” together. Once the queen comes back into heat and feels that she is competing with her own offspring for resources (male cats, food), she will discourage them from following her and thus the end to the weaning and socialization cycle. By this point they have learned so much more than to just not rely on milk as a food source.
A semi-parallel scenario happens in a cattery situation. The queen eats her food (brought to her by us) in front of her kittens for a few weeks before they venture out of the nest box to taste it for themselves. The learning is two fold: they are learning that they can eat solid food like mom does, but they also learn to trust that the human bringing the food is friendly and reliable and that mom likes the human very much, so he/she must be good/safe.
In addition to learning to eat solid food and interact with humans during this early phase, the kittens are also watching mom go in and out of her litter box and soon they are climbing in to see what’s going on in there. By 4 or 5 weeks old, they too are eliminating in the litter box just as mom does. Same goes for playing with the toys or interacting with other queens and kittens in group settings. They learn to growl, play, show fear (puffed up kittens are the cutest!!!), and chase each other around the house. The learning and socialization goes on in our cattery until the minute a kitten is picked up by his new family. Even in that moment he is learning to trust in his new adventure, when he watches the family petting his mom and he sees her trying to climb inside the travel carrier to go with them (as ours often do!)…
Our kitten buyers sometimes express concern that a 14 week old kitten will not bond well with them. This is totally untrue. In fact, the opposite is true: a kitten separated from his mother and litter too young may not learn to bond properly with humans at all. The time between six and fourteen weeks of age is a crucial time for a kitten’s emotional and mental development. Cat play with mom and littermates promotes proper socialization with humans – by watching mom and the others interact with the human companions for an extended period of time, he learns that (most) humans are safe and kind -- most very young kittens don’t pay attention to the humans around them much at all. Even if the kitten is rehomed to a house where there is a mature cat willing to “mother” the kitten or “show it the ropes”, studies have proven that kittens learn the quickest when they observe their mother compared to when they observe other cats. It teaches them to love and bond with the humans that the rest of the cats trust and love. So it’s best to leave the human bonding exercise up to mom while the breeder interacts with her and the litter repeatedly during the first 14 weeks of his life. Rest assured that cats are happy and able to bond with new humans at any time through their lives, even well into old age.
It’s also during this period that the kitten learns the body language used by other cats during cat play. How they react to other cats and to the humans in their lives is largely defined by what they see and mimic during this stage. This can’t be learned from humans, despite the human’s best efforts to “speak cat” or mimic cat play. Cat language during the first 14 weeks of life teaches them to interact with other cats, when to enter and leave a situation with the other cats and which cats (or humans, for that matter) to avoid all together.
Cat play also teaches the consequences of biting and rough housing too much during cat play – they feel the same pain inflicted on them from their litter mates as they are inflicting on them. It’s not likely that you will bite and chew on your kitten while you play with him (although it’s tempting at times!) to teach him how unpleasant it feels to be bitten. They need to learn these limits and to experience (safe) pain/fear within the “cat community” for a good long period of time before venturing out into their new home with new cats and humans. I’m guessing most people would rather have a kitten who has already learned to chew on toys and not hands by the time he comes to live with them. If you’re reading this and have a kitten from us who still nibbles, I apologize profusely – we honestly did our best while we had him. I know there have been one or two over the years who were quite passionate about nibbling toes!
By age twelve weeks, the mother-kitten bond is beginning to break naturally. This is when we notice our queens discouraging a kitten that is moving close to nurse for comfort. She will get up and walk away or growl at the kitten, telling him to leave her alone and go find his lunch elsewhere. She will sometimes follow the kitten to the food plate and gently continue to groom him – to show him that she loves him, but needs him to fend for himself 100% of the time now.
At this time the second set of vaccines is administered, and then a week later the kitten has its spay/neuter and microchip done. These things take time for recovery and proper healing. Our vet highly recommends (and we agree) that leaving a week between 12 week vaccines and surgery is beneficial in that it allows the body to undergo one stressor at a time, rather than be overloaded with both at once. When we feel a kitten client’s urgency in getting his or her kitten home as soon as possible, we try to explain all of these benefits and detriments to them in an effort to move us all onto the same page, which is to give the kitten the best possible launch into life with his forever family.
In summary, a kitten separated from his mother and siblings before the weaning process is fully complete may have lifelong problems interacting with other cats, may be fearful, skittish or shy, and may never be able to bond with humans properly. None of these behaviours are desirable in a companion animal that you are hoping to spend the next near couple of decades with. In short, give us a little more time with them now, and reap the benefits of that time for years to come.
Munkevica, Maris Munkevics, Signe. “At What Age Can a Kitten Leave Its Mother and Littermates.” PET, 23 May 2016, www.pet-happy.com/at-what-age-can-a-kitten-leave-its-mother-and-littermates/.
Pets4Homes. “How Old Should Kittens Be before They Leave Their Mother?” Pets4Homes, Pets4Homes, 13 Feb. 2014, www.pets4homes.co.uk/pet-advice/how-old-should-kittens-be-before-they-leave-their-mother.html.
The International Cat Association, TICA. Tica.org, 31 July 2018, tica.org/phocadownload/lookingforakitten.pdf .
Vilmure, Kathleen. “In the Wild, Mother Cats Usually Leave Their Kittens When They Are Adults to Hunt by Themselves, but in Cities, Mother Cats Live with Their Kittens. Why?” Quora, 18 May 2017, www.quora.com/In-the-wild-mother-cats-usually-leave-their-kittens-when-they-are-adults-to-hunt-by-themselves-but-in-cities-mother-cats-live-with-their-kittens-Why.
Common questions we are often asked by potential kitten clients are “Will my Bengal climb on my counter tops or other places I don’t want him to?”, or “Will he climb all over my furniture or scratch it?”. My short answer is always “Yes”. Let me explain.
A Bengal – not unlike many other breeds of cat – likes to be up high. Bengals, even more so than other breeds, seek high places in part due to the fact that their ancestor – the Asian Leopard Cat – is a tree dwelling cat. The Asian Leopard Cat sits high in the trees to survey its surroundings, not only as a means of survival, but also in order to locate its prey. It hunts within and below the trees it lives in.
Counter tops are not only high, but they are also very interesting. They’re where all the exciting stuff seems to be happening and they provide a great vantage point from which to watch all the other exciting stuff happening just below. Why wouldn’t a highly intelligent and curious animal such as a Bengal cat want to be right up there in the middle of all the action?
Other fun places for Bengals to be are the tops of refrigerators, bookshelves, entertainment consoles, and doorways. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that they can actually get up into the some of the places they manage to get to! Bengals are not only astute climbers, but they are also incredibly powerful jumpers. Given these attributes, it makes sense that one who wishes to live with a Bengal, needs to accept the fact that they will have to provide their Bengal with acceptable places up high to play, perch, or rest. Trying to fight such an innate instinct seems futile – and ultimately sort of boring, don’t you think?
We highly encourage our kitten clients to begin thinking about this need to climb and be up high well ahead of time before bringing their kitten home. This may simply mean rethinking your furniture’s purpose. For example, maybe you don’t need that space up on top of your refrigerator and could place a cushion or comfy towel up there as a place where your Bengal will be allowed to nap. Our cats love to perch up on the refrigerator while we’re making meals or doing chores as it is a great vantage point for them to watch us and each other go about the day. We keep our oven mitts on top of the refrigerator and these provide the perfect cushion for a nap. You could also consider clearing off the top of a bookshelf or other ledge type surface for your Bengal to use as a resting spot or perch. Think about whether you really need that space for nick nacks, before considering it off limits for your Bengal. Maybe you can share.
If sharing your furniture and appliances with your new family member is not your idea of a good option, then you will need to add some dedicated cat climbing posts and trees or other forms of vertical space especially for them. Besides satisfying the bengal’s desire to be up high, adding some vertical space to your home for their use will also provide them the opportunity for more space to exercise. If you are not willing to do this, then you should seriously reconsider living with a bengal.
When creating these spaces around your home for your Bengal to climb, be sure to add sisal rope, or carpeted ramps – these additions will provide your Bengal with something to dig into and to scratch and pull at when needed. Keep in mind that a cat NEEDS to scratch. Scratching allows your cat to remove the dead outer layer of his claws and to stretch out his back and shoulder muscles after sleeping in a tight little ball for hours and hours during the day. Scratching also serves as a marking tool for cats – they have scent glands in their toes that leave pheromones behind to help others know who has been in the spot they are scratching at. Scratching while stretching is also a great stress reliever for a cat. To deny your cat the resources to carry out this very natural, instinctual act, is denying him a very important form of emotional release.
Accordingly, your Bengal should never be punished for scratching – instead he should be carefully redirected to appropriate scratching spaces. It's your duty to provide him with these spaces well ahead of time so that they can readily be utilized during training sessions, if need be. Rest assured that if you provide your Bengal with adequate climbing and scratching materials (using carpet and wood wrapped in thick sisal rope), it's far less likely that you will have an issue with him scratching or climbing on your own furniture to begin with.
Whether you decide to keep your cat’s adventure apparatus simple, or if you plan to go all out and build something extravagant, you will be doing your Bengal and yourself a huge favour. Most Bengals will immediately take to any climbing apparatus that you introduce them to, however it’s always a good idea to have some catnip spray on hand to assist with the introduction. As a general kitten training practice, we use catnip spray (we find the Kong brand the most effective) to encourage our kittens to stay off couches and other human furniture in favour of their own climbers and shelves instead. We simply spray a touch of cat nip in the places we want them to make their own so that they begin to spend more time in those areas and leave their own scent on them for future reference.
Pictured below are some ideas for apparatus which can be purchased or created yourself, using some imagination (images have been found on Pinterest and other readily available public web sources):
International Society for Endangered Cats (ISEC) Canada 2018, Calgary Alberta, accessed February https://wildcatconservation.org/wild-cats/asia/leopard-cat
Pam Johnson-Bennett. Why Does My Cat Scratch the Furniture. https://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/why-does-my-cat-scratch-the-furniture/
Carmen Klassen, Owner of Jewelspride Bengals