A really common question about Bengals that always seems to pop up is whether or not they really do like to be walked on a leash. In this article we will try to answer that question as well as give you a few pointers on training them as well. In this article we will cover the following:
Well, there really isn’t a definitive yes or no answer to this question. This is because each Bengal cat is an individual and they all have different temperaments. So some are going to really like it and others simply won’t. However, you’ll never know unless you try.
Since Bengals are a lot more intelligent than most other domestic cats, the chances of being successful at training them to go for walks is going to be a lot higher, that’s for sure. So when you do try keep that at the back of your mind.
When you first consider taking your Bengal for a walk you will need to first have them trained to a harness and a leash. The last thing you want to do is try and take your Bengal on a walk if they’ve never had a harness and leash on them before. That’s just going to end in disaster. When you do put a harness on your Bengal for the first time don’t be surprised if they act like they suddenly have a broken back.
Most cats, including Bengals will act in this melodramatic fashion. It’s kind of funny, just remember, they are not hurting, it’s just that they’re not use to having something like that on them. After several times of wearing the harness they’ll stop acting like it’s killing them. This should only take a few days.
One thing that is not suggested is walking them with a collar and leash. There are several reasons for this. One is that the body movements of your Bengal could tighten up and this could cause the collar to make it hard for them to breath and could even strangle them. Another reason is that sometimes your Bengal might be able to figure out how to slip out of their collar. That’s the last thing you want.
One of the best types of harnesses is the kind that’s sold for smaller dogs that has the “Y” that is around the neck and then it’s on the top and the back of your cat and then it goes to a nice strap that will go around the entire body that’s just right behind their front legs.
If this is too big for your cat then there are also walking jackets that are just made for cats. If you’re not sure of what kind of harness to get you should ask someone at a pet supply store to help you find just the right size harness for your Bengal. Make sure you know how much they weigh, this will make it easier to find a good fit.
Like mentioned earlier you need to make sure that you get your Bengal used to wearing the harness before you do anything else. The first thing you should do is right after you buy the harness, don’t put it on them right away. The first thing you should consider doing is to leave the harness in the area where your Bengal sleeps. You should do that for a few days before doing anything else.
The next step is to try and get your Bengal to wear the harness. If they seem a bit unwilling at first you should distract them with their favorite kitty treats and then try to put the harness on. Make sure that when you are putting it on that you make sure to praise them the entire time you are doing this.
When you are putting the harness on make sure you are gentle and once it is on it’s important to make sure that it has a comfortable fit. It should be a little snug but not really tight. If the harness happens to be really loose then there’s a chance they can slip out of it.
If your Bengal starts acting like they’re stressed over having the harness on then you should speak gently to them and slowly take the harness off and try again the next day. Whatever you do, don’t give up on your Bengal.
After a few days of doing this, your Bengal should be used to the harness. When they are, it’s then time to get them use to the leash being attached to the harness. When you’re ready for the leash, attach it to the harness and then let your Bengal walk around the house with the leash being somewhat slack so it doesn’t restrict their movement.
Do this for a couple of days and once the leash doesn’t seem to bother your Bengal it’s time to try the entire routine outside in your backyard. Make sure that when the two of you start the outdoor experience that you have their favorite kitty treats with you. Check out the video below showing a Bengal enjoying their walk:
Now that your Bengal is use to both the harness and the leash, it’s time to start teaching your Bengal to actually walk with the harness and leash. It’s suggested that you start with a very safe location and that would be first in your front or backyard. Walk them around your yard as you hold onto the leash and allow them the freedom to check things out like plants, flowers, insects, whatever and don’t make them feel overly restrained.
Make sure that you give them plenty of praise at this stage of their training. You want this to be a positive experience for them.
If your Bengal doesn’t want to go outside with their leash and harness the first time you decide to do this try enticing them outside with their favorite treat. Once they are done with the treat you can put another one on the ground outside. Just repeat this until they start to act more comfortable walking outside with the harness and leash on. Again make sure to give them plenty of praise.
It’s important to note that when you are teaching them how to walk outside you need to always be sure to stand to the side and the rear of your Bengal and always try to use either diagonal or sideways resistance to direct them where you want them to be going. Your Bengal is always going to want to move in the direction that tends to have the least resistance for them.
When you are done with the lesson always make sure that you let them know the the walk is over. Maybe by telling them “It’s time to go home.” Then pick them up and take them back inside and make sure that you give them a treat right away and then take off the harness.
Once you feel that your Bengal is comfortable with the harness and leash and shows no resistance or fear it’s probably time to go for a real walk.
It’s best that you keep it in your neighborhood to start with and always make sure that you keep them away from traffic. Before you know it, you and your cat will be enjoying daily walks and having a great time. Below are a few safety tips you need to remember whenever you take your Bengal for a walk.
So, there you go. Does that help you understand whether or not a Bengal cat likes to be walked and how to train them to do so? Please let us know what you think by leaving us your own comment below.