Bengal cats are considered one of the most intelligent cats in the cat kingdom. They often are said to even have dog like behavior. Because of this, they make for cats that are highly trainable. In this post, we hope to give you some insight into how to train your Bengal cat. In this post we will cover:
- Before you Begin
- Harness training
- Leash training
- Toilet training
- Helpful Training Resources
Before You Begin
Before you start trying to train a Bengal cat in any capacity, you'll need to realize that there are a few things required to be successful.
- Patience: It's a cat, not a human. It could take days, weeks, or even months until your Bengal fully complies with your requests.
- Clickers: Similar to how dogs are trained, you'll need a clicker to use to show the cat that their doing something correctly. You can buy clickers here.
- Treats: These are a great way to show your Bengal that the behavior they have exhibited is a positive thing. These are essential in training, and here are our favorites.
Since it is often far too dangerous to allow your wonderful Bengal cat to roam around loose in your yard, it's a good idea to consider harness training. Because Bengal cats are extremely intelligent, they are an ideal candidate for this kind of training. Besides, they will love you for it since they love plenty of exercise.
The first thing before you train your Bengal cat to walk with a harness realize that people are going to give you a lot of stares! Please, get used to it. They may think you are a little nutty for walking your cat, but your cat will think you're a genius and love you for it.
There are two different kinds of harnesses, there are the strap variety and jacket variety. The most important thing about either one is that you buy one that is of high quality. Either style is perfectly okay to use. It's just whichever style you prefer and your Bengal cat prefers.
We have discovered, however, that for most Bengals the jacket version is a little easier to put on than the strap version.
The jackets have Velcro you can adjust rather than the strap version. No matter what style you use, just make sure there is no room for your cat to wriggle out of.
Along with your harness please make sure that you also have a good leash. As long as it's high quality you can use retractable or fixed leashes. Either one will work well.
Bengals who like to explore along the way will appreciate the retractable type of leash which gives them more room for exploring.
The most important thing to remember when harness training your Bengal is patience. Even though your Bengal cat is highly intelligent, he/she is also very independent. So, don't be surprised when your Bengal just lays on the floor like a boulder and won't move a muscle when you open the door!
The best way to start is by taking baby steps. When you first put their harness on, make sure to give your cat a treat once they accept the harness. Only leave the harness on for just several minutes.
Try doing several times through the day and for a few more days leaving it on longer each time. You may also want to play with them when they have it on so they will get used to wearing it.
After your Bengal appears to be used to the harness and is moving around comfortably and freely you should attach the leash and then repeat the process with the leash on. Don't forget to reward your cat for behaving well with the leash attached.
Once your cat has gotten used to this it's time to take them outside. Just remember there are things out in the world that could frighten your cat so be very aware of this and don't take it for granted that things won't startle your cat. When you first go out restrict your walk together to just your own yard before going out into the world. Do this for several minutes, building up the length of time over several days.
Once you and your Bengal feel comfortable, it's time for stepping out into the real world. If you follow these simple steps you cat should be ready and more than happy to enjoy walking and exploring the world with you.
Here's a video showing a Bengal being harness trained. Love the jacket harness!
Just like harness training, leash training your Bengal cat is going to require patience. Remember, even though some Bengals tend to act like dogs sometimes, they are still cats and tend to be obstinate and fiercely independent.
Cats are different from dogs when walking with their cat parents. While dogs are most often just fine strolling alongside you a cat is more into checking things out and will want to take their time examining everything. So, again be patient, it's just who they are.
The best thing you can do when training your Bengal to walk on a leash is just let them stroll along at their own preferred pace. This is especially important when you first start out. By doing this, you are giving your cat time to become comfortable with walking on a leash.
Here is a list of our favorite leashes for Bengal cats.
Here’s a video showing how to start leash training your Bengal cat:
Always start off by introducing your Bengal to the backyard while on the leash. Pick a spot in your yard that you want your cat to focus on and when you start approaching that area you should say something like “To the chair (your cat's name).” The focal point can be anything you want while training.
Make sure to reward your Bengal with their favorite treat whenever they successfully go where you want them to go.
Other than patience, repetition is another key to success. The more you repeat the training the better your cat will walk with you on their leash.
Whatever you do, never pull on the leash hard. If you do this it's only going to scare your cat and it will be much more difficult to get them to even want to walk with you anywhere with the leash.
Always speak in a calm and soft-sounding voice that is comforting and soothing to your cat. Be gentle with the leash and in your actions all the time that you are going through the training process and before you know it the two of you will be enjoying daily walks around the neighborhood.
A lot of cats can actually be trained to use the toilet. However, since most Bengals tend to love water they can generally be taught a lot quicker than other cats. Even though they are easier to toilet train than most cats you still should train them the same way.
By the way, it helps if you have two bathrooms so you can dedicate one bathroom for your cat's toilet training.
You are going to want to have certain supplies on hand to toilet train your Bengal. You will be transitioning your cat from the litter box to a cat training seat and finally to the toilet itself.
The best kit out there to help is called, the Litter Quitter kit which includes an instructional DVD. The first real product in this category, which was also featured on Shark Tank, is the Citikitty cat training toilet kit.
Even though it is a lot cheaper to make your own cat training seat, we advise that you invest in already made seats for your cat. It just makes it a lot easier on both your and your cat.
The training seat is put over your toilet bowl and has a small indentation in the middle of it that is filled with litter that can be flushed. As the training progresses you start cutting bigger holes in it until your cat is finally used to going to the bathroom right into the toilet and not the litter.
Start the training by putting your cat's litter box as close to the toilet as you can. After that, you will need to raise the box up higher and higher each day to get it closer to the toilet seat.
When raising the box you can use cardboard, magazines, or even newspaper to raise it. It's best to raise the litter box up three inches every day until it's at the same level as the toilet.
Once the box reaches the same height as the toilet seat put the litter box on top of the seat. You should leave it there for four or five days. This is about how long it can take for your cat to get used to sitting on the toilet. For Bengals, it could take less time.
After your Bengal is used to this process put the cat training seat on the toilet and secure it. Depending on what kind of cat seat you get, you will either poke holes in the pan of the seat or gradually replace the pans with different sized holes.
The pans of the training seats hold litter that can be flushed and as the holes get bigger you start using less and less litter in them. Once your cat is used to using the training seat without any accidents it's time to remove the seat. This can take about two weeks but maybe less for your Bengal.
If you are there when your cat successfully uses the training seat make sure you give your cat their favorite treat and always give them high praise for a job well done.
If you try and try and the toilet training doesn't seem to work, that's okay. Sometimes that happens and if you're one of the folks that it happens to, here is a list of the best litter boxes for Bengal cats along with our top recommended litters.
Helpful Training Resources
Though this post helped you understand a little about training a Bengal cat, we recommend that you consider additional training resources to fully train your Bengal cat appropriately. Below is a list of training resources you should consider.
Big Button Clicker With Wrist Band for Clicker Training
ABOUT: In order to properly train a Bengal cat, you absolutely must have a clicker. These tools allow you to make a "click" sound each time that your Bengal does something correctly. If you plan on training, these are a necessity.
FEATURES: This is a set of four clickers that all have wrist straps. These clickers make a nice and loud "click" sound and has a big button that you can click easily.
Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat
ABOUT: Written by Pam Johnson-Bennett, this text is 436 pages and is written by an award-winning author who has hosted a show on Animal Planet in the U.K.
PROS: Many who have read this book have had very positive things to say. Whether it be an individual who has a recently acquired kitten, or someone who has three cats, most people who have read this book have seen very positive results.
CONS: Some readers have complained that the book is too basic and some of the tactics haven't worked.
The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide to Making Life Happier for You and Your Cat
ABOUT: Written by John Bradshaw, this text is 352 pages and is a full guide to help you train your cat from start to finish.
PROS: Those who have used the guide have consistently reported results and have said many great things about this guide in terms of how effective it is.
CONS: Some who have read the book feel that it gets too in-depth and expect too much out of the individual who is training the Bengal cat.
Cat Training in 10 Minutes
ABOUT: Written by Miriam Fields-Babineau, this text is 142 pages and is a short guide that helps readers understand how to train their cat quickly.
PROS: Many readers who have reviewed this text consider the training very valuable and really like how it has such a focus on clickable training methods.
CONS: Some readers feel it focuses too much on making the cat do "tricks" and less about disciplining them to stay off the counters and furniture.
So, what did you think of our post? Did it help you better understand how to train your Bengal cat? Please feel free to let us know by posting your comment below!