There is a continued debate about whether or not cats should be allowed to roam free outside. Some are all for it and others simply don’t believe it’s the right thing to do. This includes Bengal cats. Of course when it comes to making that decision it’s always up to the pet owner on what they want to do with their cats. Some cats won’t go much further than their own yards but when it comes to Bengals, that can be a totally different story because of their overwhelming curiosity and courageous nature, it might be hard allowing them to go outside. In this post we will cover the following:
- Reasons For and Against Letting Your Bengal Cat Outside
- Things to Consider Before Letting Your Bengal Outside
- Ways to Let Your Bengal Outside Safely
Reasons for and Against Letting Your Bengal Cat Outside
All cats tend to be very free-spirited creatures and extremely agile and this is often why they seem to need more space to run around and hunt more so than dogs. This is especially true when it comes to Bengal cats. They are not at all like most dogs who are extremely happy with a backyard and staying by their pet parents side. When it comes to cats, especially Bengals, they really hate to be cooped up all day long at home. They get bored, really bored and when a Bengal gets bored this often leads to behavior issues like aggressiveness, inappropriate urination and just being overall naughty. This is why it’s always good to make sure that your Bengal has plenty of interesting toys and play areas for them so they are always entertained.
By letting your cat go outside it gives them more freedom and the opportunity to let off steam, explore many things that they find fascinating. It can be a wonderful way for them to get the kind of stimulation that they so desperately need.
When it comes to reasons why you shouldn’t let your Bengal roam free outside, there are far more reasons against than for it. When it comes to the main question of whether or not your Bengal cat will run away, that answer would be a yes to a certain degree. Bengals tend to be far more curious and less afraid of things than most other cats. Because of this, they will roam a lot further away from home than others. So, yes, they run away to some extend and then return. This lack of fear and curiosity can be very dangerous for them. On the average any cat who is let outside to roam freely will live a lot fewer years than one who is kept inside. This is because of traffic accidents and often fighting with other cats and maybe even death by wild animals in the area. As for Bengals, they are often stolen as well because of their beauty and value.
Then there’s your neighbors. Not everyone will appreciate your Bengal coming into their yards, especially if they decide to use their yard or garden as their personal litter box. Often your Bengal will do that because they don’t want to use their own yard as a litter box. This, understandably is not going to sit well with your neighbors. Sometimes, neighbors have been known to hurt or even poison cats for doing this. Not good.
Again, it’s important to remember that Bengal cats are far more adventurous than most other cats and they tend to be a lot more confident as well. You might even consider them a tad nosy as well. They have no problems with wander off making their territory much bigger and even include roads and other unsafe areas as their territory. They also have no issues claiming others garages, sheds and other buildings as places for them to explore and hide in. They may not even be afraid of walking right into another home. These can be very dangerous situations that your Bengal can get into for many different reasons.
Things to Consider Before Letting Your Bengal Outside
If you truly want to let your Bengal roam free outside then there are things that you need to consider or do before you ever let that happen:
- Never let your Bengal out free until they’re old enough. You should wait till they are at least six months old.
- Always make sure that your Bengal is fixed. For males, this will cut down on fighting with other males and will cut down on the growing feral cat population. For a female, of course it will keep her from getting pregnant.
- Make sure that your Bengal has all their shots.
- Make sure to get your Bengal micro-chipped. You may also want to put a collar on your Bengal that has your contact information on it. However, make sure the collar has a quick release on it so that they don’t get caught on something.
- Don’t let your Bengal out at night. There’s a greater risk of them getting hit by a car or running into unfriendly wild animals.
The final decision is up to on whether or not you want to let your Bengal go out and roam free. Even though you may consider it the best way for your Bengal to be truly happy, you still need to realize it opens up a world of dangers to them. However, there are safer ways to give them outdoor freedoms as you will see by reading the following.
Ways to Let Your Bengal Outside Safely
If you truly don’t like the idea of keeping your Bengal locked up all day indoors but at the same time you feel uncomfortable about the different dangers presented to them by letting them roam free, you can come to a compromise and have the best of both worlds for your cat. Here are a few suggestions that you might consider.
One thing you might want to consider is to put up a metal fence. Not one of those ugly ones. Today you can find some really nice looking metal fences that even look like wood. These are great fences for both you and your cat. For you, they need very little maintenance and for your Bengal, as long as it’s tall enough, will keep them from climbing and jumping over. They can’t climb over them because they are too hard to grip onto.
Of course the downside to this fence is that it has to be all around your yard so this means it could be pretty expensive if you have a big yard. Another downside could be that if it’s close enough to a tree your Bengal might be able to use the tree to help escape. So in that case, if your yard is big enough, you might want to just take a section of it and fence off an area that’s just for your Bengal making sure it’s an area free from trees.
Another thing you can do is to buy spiky strips that are intended for cats. You just attach them to the top of your fence, of course you have to have a tall fence, and these spikes will stop your Bengal from climbing over the fence. Originally these were designed to put on fences to keep stray cats out of peoples yards and they seem to work quite well and don’t hurt the cats either.
Roller bars are something else you can attach to your fence. They look a lot less scarier than the spikes just mentioned and these too work quite well in keeping cats in their own yards. They can also be placed around sheds, trees, and other places that your cat might use to try to use as a spring board to get out of the yard.
An option that some Bengal owners love is a full enclosure for their Bengals. These come in all sizes, all shapes and all budgets. These are extremely safe for your cat and often have doors with a double entry so it’s harder for your cat to escape when the door opens up. They can stand alone in your yard or they can be set up next to your home where your cat can have access directly from the house to the cat enclosure so they can come and go as they please.
You can find some enclosures that have nice comfortable sleeping areas so your Bengal can have a nice private nap and they can have places set up where they can do lots of climbing as well. Probably the only drawback of a cat enclosure is that some of them can be pretty expensive if you buy from a retailer. If you are talented or know someone who is you can always build one for a lot less money.
Finally, you can always train your cat to wear a harness and a long leash and set up a special area in your garden or yard that is away from the fence and any trees and then allow your Bengal to have as much room as possible in that certain area for them to relax and enjoy the outdoors. See video below showing Bengal cat and harness in backyard:
If none of these seem like good ideas for you, then probably the best thing to do is to train your Bengal to walk on a leash and take them for a daily walk out and about the neighborhood and the rest of the time make sure your Bengal is kept safely indoors for his own good and your peace of mind.
So what do you think? Did this article help you with the question of do Bengal cats run away? Please let us know what you think by leaving your own comment below.