Bengal cats are well-loved for their wildcat look and exotic leopard-like fur that shimmers in the light. They also adore the water and are highly intelligent, trainable, athletic, loyal, and playful. However, like most cat breeds with a wildcat lineage, they tend to have behavior problems. Read on and get to know what these problems are and how to resolve them.
Bengal Cat Behavior Problems
These are some of the most common Bengal cat behavior problems:
1. They are hyperactive.
Bengals are famous for being very active cats from the moment they are born. They are considered one of the most energetic cat breeds. Although they tone down a little when they mature, they are still very high-strung felines.
2. They get inside cabinets and drawers.
Bengals love to snoop inside cabinets and drawers. They have very sensitive noses. While ordinary cats will smell something but not do anything about it, Bengals will try their best to go wherever the tasty smells are coming from.
3. They climb on countertops and sinks.
Bengals are very inquisitive, so delicious scents in the kitchen always draw them in. As a result, you will see them climbing on the countertop. Bengals also love the sink because they like running water. They may even jump atop the refrigerator because they like to be in high places.
4. They are destructive.
Bengals love to explore and see how things react by hitting and biting them. They are easily bored; if they are left alone at home for most of the day without diversions or toys to play with, they will become extra destructive. They will scratch couches or sofas and chew on items like shoes and bags that are appealing to them if they have nothing else to do at home.
5. They will avoid the litter box if they do not like the litter.
Bengals tend to pee everywhere. They will disregard the litter box if they do not like the litter’s texture or if it is not the right depth. If they do not get what they want, they will pee everywhere. This is something that you should be aware of if you are planning to have a Bengal cat.
How to prevent Bengal cat behavior problems
Here are some suggestions to prevent Bengal cat behavior problems:
1. See to it that you provide all your cat’s needs.
Caring for a Bengal cat can be a real challenge. See to it that you provide for your cat’s physical and mental needs. If she is left at home most of the day, you may opt to get another cat or pet for her to play with.
2. Provide interactive toys for your cat.
If getting another pet is not feasible, provide interactive toys for your Bengal cat so she will be mentally and physically busy. Toys that mimic hunting, such as laser toys, are great for your cat since they will stimulate her mind and body. Puzzle toys and food dispensers are also great for Bengals to keep them occupied.
3. Install a cat exercise wheel for your cat.
Bengals are very energetic; a cat exercise wheel is perfect for them to burn pent-up energy. They are trainable, so they will easily figure out how to maneuver an exercise wheel.
4. Take your cat for a stroll.
Bengals have dog-like personalities; just like dogs, they love to go on walks in the park or around the neighborhood. Train your cat to walk on a leash and take her on a stroll nearby during your free time. Establish a routine for these strolls so your cat feels stable and secure.
5. Keep your cat in a safe room during her first few weeks with you.
See to it that there is a proper introduction of your cat to her new home and family. Keep her in a safe room during the first few weeks to give her time to adjust to and familiarize herself with the new environment. A safe room will also spare her from distractions caused by unfamiliar scents, sounds, and actions. Give your Bengal ample space and time so she will eventually learn to trust you completely.
See to it that you get a well-socialized kitten from a reputable breeder. The best age to adopt a Bengal is when it is around 12 weeks old. The early development period of Bengals in the hands of a breeder is very crucial, so always check for certified breeders in your area.
Bengal Cat Information
Weight: 8 to 15 pounds
Height: 13 to 16 inches
Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
Coat colors: brown and seal
Coat patterns: ticking, spots, tabby
Physical traits: muscular and heavily-muscled; large and triangular-shaped head; thick neck and tail; medium leg length
Personality: athletic, alert, curious, loyal, playful, affectionate, sociable, vocal, loves the water, good with dogs and children
You should see to it that your Bengal cat is at least three generations removed from the Asian wildcat, or a generation four Bengal to ensure that it is less wild and more domesticated.
Health Issues in Bengals
- Progressive retinal atrophy- a degeneration of the photoreceptors in the eyes
- Cataracts- the clouding of the eyes
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a condition where the muscles of the heart’s walls thicken abnormally
- Anesthetic allergies – allergies due to drugs/ medication
- Luxating patellas – knee ball dislocation
- Kidney disease and renal failure – includes kidney infection and kidney stones
- Skin and coat problems
Bengal cats are popular pets because of their distinct wildcat look and striking coat patterns. They have an affectionate and playful nature but they also tend to have behavioral problems such as biting and destroying things, being hyperactive, peeing everywhere, invading drawers, and climbing on countertops and sinks. These problems can be resolved by making sure that your cat has a proper introduction to her new home and family, and by providing her a safe space to familiarize herself with. Your Bengal should also be provided with interactive toys and taken for walks so she can explore nature and be acquainted with new scents and sounds to dispel her boredom.
Image: istockphoto.com / Seregraff