Bengal cats and dogs living together under the same roof? Although cats and dogs are often portrayed as mortal enemies, they can be kept as pets in the same home. However, there are a few considerations and preparations that need to be made to make the pairing successful.
Keeping Bengal cats and dogs in the same home
Among the different cat breeds, the Bengal ranks as one of the most sociable cats. Simply put, they crave interactions with their families, thus making them excellent pets. They will readily participate in activities with their humans and other furry members of the household.
Left alone and unstimulated, a Bengal can become lonely and prone to destructive behavior. This is why they should never be left alone in the house for an extended period.
This is also why owners of Bengals adopt two or more. However, some Bengals can become too dominant and another cat might not be the best housemate.
Enter the dog. Introduced properly, Bengals and dogs can get along quite well. It also helps if you choose a cat-friendly dog to pair up with your Bengal.
If you choose the right dog breed to pair with your Bengal, your cat will thrive and enjoy the addition of a canine to your household. Bengals can enjoy the challenge and stimulation that only a dog can provide. Furthermore, Bengals the physical and mental attributes that allow them to stay toe to toe with a larger animal like the dog.
In particular, a dog can become a perfect foil for a dominant Bengal. While submissive Bengals will find it difficult to stand up to a dominant feline, a dog can stand his ground. Because dogs are of a different species, most Bengals will not see them as a competition.
Which dog breeds should you pair with your Bengal?
In theory, almost all dogs can be paired with Bengals. However, some pairings can be more challenging. You might need to allocate more time training your dog to reel in his prey drive.
Simply put, some dog breeds work best with cats, including Bengals. Basically, you should get a dog that belongs either to the toy or sporting groups.
Apart from being small, toy dogs are known for being sociable and affectionate. Sporting dogs, on the other hand, are renowned for their friendliness to both humans and cats.
Broadly speaking, you should avoid getting a dog from either the hound or herding groups. These canines tend to have a prey drive. And without proper training and socialization, these dogs can terrorize your feline.
However, it should be noted that cats and dogs have their own personalities. And at the end of the day, personality fit matters the most.
Which cat-friendly dogs should you consider getting for your Bengal?
Although beagles are hunting dogs and will not back away from a game of chase with your Bengal, they can be as comfortable snuggling with your cat.
2. Golden retriever
Golden retrievers have long been a popular dog breed. And it is easy to understand why. These canines have the inherent need to become everyone’s friend, including your pet cat.
3. Basset hound
Basset hounds are ideal for people with little to no experience in owning dogs. They are smart, friendly, and laid back, making them perfect companions for Bengals. However, they do have a jealous and stubborn streak.
4. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
Although generally sociable, friendly, and laid back, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel will not back down from a dominant Bengal.
Pudgy with a dash of mischief, the pug is equally comfortable lying next to your Bengal or initiating playtime.
6. Labrador retriever
The Labrador is a welcome addition to just about any home. The combination of its intelligent, sweet disposition, and an inherent desire to please his humans means that the Labrador can easily adjust to just about any situation.
7. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise just wants to be your Bengal’s friend. This little fluff ball will happily spend most of his time next to your cat.
But beyond breed, the next most important you should consider before getting a dog (or a Bengal if you own a dog) is temperament. Under no circumstance should you adopt a dog that you know has a history of aggression towards cats. You will only be inviting disaster in your home.
The same thing applies to Bengals. Kittens that have been socialized with dogs are more likely to pair well with canines.
How to introduce a dog to your Bengal
A proper introduction is a foundation for a successful partnership between Bengals and dogs. Like most cats, Bengals do not readily warm up to changes in their immediate environment. This is why it is critical to ease your pets slowly instead of allowing them to interact immediately without proper introductions.
Find a space for each pet
Before introducing your two pets to one another, there are a few important things that you need to do first. Start by finding a separate space for your two pets. These spaces should be secure and prevent each pet from entering these. Additionally, you should find a separate room where your pets can be introduced. Ideally, the Bengal’s space should have perches. Bengals like staying iron high places where they can feel safe while observing their surroundings.
Familiarize your dog and cat with each other’s scents
While your pets stay in their separate rooms, you can begin making them familiar with each other’s scent. Use a piece of cloth and rub it on your cat’s cheeks and forehead. For your dog, rub the piece of cloth on his sides and armpits. Once the scent of each pet has been transferred to the pieces of cloth, you can give these to your Bengal and dogs to smell them.
While your pets smell these pieces of cloth, observe their reactions. Ideally, the two animals do not exhibit any sign of aggression. When you see this, it means that your pets are ready to proceed to the next stage of introduction.
Allow your pets to meet each other face to face
Once your pets are familiar with each other’s scents and do not show signs of aggression, you can bring them together in the same room for a brief introduction. For the first meet up, the two animals should be separated by a physical barrier like a glass door or even a baby gate. The goal is to allow them to see and smell each other up close without actual physical interaction.
If the two remain calm and do not show aggression, you can put them together in the same room without a barrier. Put your dog on a leash and ensure that he is calm before entering the room. Allow your Bengal to roam freely and investigate the dog.
Continue doing this until both pets feel relaxed in each other’s presence. If any of them shows aggression, you have to reintroduce their scents again before making them meet face to face again.
Bengals and dogs can live together
Bengals are among the most dog-friendly cats you will find. However, individual personalities can trump breed tendencies. Take this into account before deciding to get a dog. When you do decide to adopt a canine, take the time to introduce your pets properly to prevent unwanted behavior, especially aggression.
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