When it comes to introducing your Bengal cat to other animals, there really isn’t much difference in the Bengal than with other domestic cats, except that Bengals actually tend to be a lot more social than their counterparts. With that being said, often it’s a little easier for Bengals to hit it off with other cats and dogs.
However, even with that being an advantage, it still takes a little planning before you just throw them in with other animals in your home. Any pet is going to do a lot better with the proper introduction.
In this post we will go over the following things:
Even though dogs and Bengal cats are entirely different animals and are portrayed to be so often as mortal enemies so to speak, these two wonderful pets can and do live together as equal family members.
They can learn to become the best of friends and will appreciate one another as equal family members. However, this will only happen if they are properly introduced and socialized. This socialization works best if your Bengal is a kitten, but, that’s not always the case, so it might take a little longer if the cat is older.
When it comes to dogs, quite often they do best when their introductions to other dogs are done on neutral turf like a park.
However, it can be quite different for Bengals or any cat for that matter. Cats really aren’t all too willing to meet a dog or another cat until they feel comfortable in their environment. So, it’s really not advisable for any kind of off-site type of meeting, especially when meeting with a dog. It’s best for both animals if you compromise and introduce the two of them in your home. You will also want to make sure that you make accommodations for the sensitivities of both your Bengal and your dog.
The first thing you should do when you bring home your Bengal cat is to make sure they are in a pet carrier and that you put your dog outside. However, when you do this, make sure that your dog can see you bring your Bengal inside. This way your dog will know that you are bringing the Bengal into your home and won’t get upset when your Bengal is discovered in the home.
It’s important that in the very beginning you confine your Bengal cat to one room with the door closed. Make sure that the room is already set up with all the things that they are going to need to make them feel happy, comfortable and safe.
Let’s say you have a room in your house that you spend time working on your own blog that’s nice and quiet. Convert that room into something better for your Bengals and bring your work into the basement.
You should include a bed, some toys, a place for them to climb and hide as well as their litter box, and dishes for food and water. By isolating the newbie is going to assure your dog that not all of their territory has been taken over by this stranger.
Typically cats, even Bengals will do some posturing or hissing a tad while your dog will more often sniff, growl, bark, or whine at the door of the room the cat is being confined in. When you start to notice that these noises begin to taper off and you begin to see your dog play bowing or even start to see little paws coming out from under the door, be encouraged by this behavior. When you keep the door closed you are helping to prevent from a sensory overload for both of your pets. This allows them to slowly get to know each other and communicate via sound and scent and not visually.
After a couple of days have gone by, the growling or hissing more than likely will fade. This is a good time for you to swap out a few things that both of your pets have their scents on. This will give each of them the opportunity to sniff each others scents and become more acquainted. After this has been done you should now give your Bengal cat a chance to wander around the rest of their new home and start to become more comfortable with their new surroundings. This allows them to find some good hiding spots and map out the new place. When you do this, make sure that your dog is outside during this time of exploration for your Bengal. If you don’t want to put your dog outside, another good idea is to put your dog in your cats room so they can sniff where your Bengal has been.
It’s really a good idea if you have a baby gate ready to install around this time in the doorway of your Bengals room. This next step is one that will allow the tough of them to finally really see each other and give them the opportunity to really sniff one another. It also gives them the chance to meet and greet on their own terms and at their own speed. You should do this for a day or two and make sure that you keep an eye on both of them for any signs of aggression. Once all seems well it’s time for the next step.
This step would be to finally let them meet nose to nose. When you take down the baby gate don’t force them to greet each other and to interact. Let them do this themselves. Depending on both of their personalities you may need to keep your dog on a leash to help control the enthusiasm that will probably be expressed. A good thing to do to help both of them associate each other in a good light is to feed them at the same time just at opposite sides of the room your dog always eats in.
To help speed up the acceptance process put a little bit of vanilla or even your favorite cologne on the backs of their necks and at the base of their tails. When they smell alike they will tend to be friendlier towards each other. If you don’t want to do that, you can always take a towel and rub it over both of them. First one, then the other. This way they’ll be sharing their own scents with each other.
Finally, unless you are completely satisfied that both of them truly accept one another, it’s a good idea to keep your Bengal in their isolation room when you know you can’t be there to supervise them. Don’t rush the process of them getting to know each other. Take time and use plenty of patience during this time of adjustment for the two of them. By doing so, you are going to ensure that the two of them are going to enjoy their lives together as two happy members of the same family. Here’s a short video with some tips on introducing dogs and cats:
Just because you are bringing home your Bengal to meet another cat, doesn’t mean that you can just immediately put the two cats together without any proper introductions, you’ll just be asking for problems. Just like with dogs, you need to plan the introduction carefully and ease each of them into accepting each other.
Just like with dogs, your new Bengal should be given their own room. This is going to give your Bengal a safe area to let them get used to the new environment and lets you control how and when they can meet nose to nose. Just like with dogs you should remember that each cat is an individual and may react differently.
Both of your cats need the chance to hear and smell each other when they first meet. One good way to do this with cats is to feed both of them by the door where your Bengal is isolated. This way they will both learn to associate how they sound and smell with a good and enjoyable experience like eating. Giving them tasty treats at the same door is also a good idea, and one they will really enjoy.
After a couple of days many experts say that it’s a good idea for you to switch the cats. Put your Bengal outside of their isolation room and your other cat inside of the isolation room. This is a good way for them to get accustomed to each others’ scents. You can also use the towel method of exchanging scents just like what was suggested for dogs.
After this step it’s a good idea for you to play with each of your cats near the door of the isolation room. Again, this is creating positive feelings associated with each others’ scents. They will then begin to associate each other with having fun.
Gradually allow them to see one another once you feel that there’s no more hissing being exchanged between the two of them. It’s a good idea if you have someone else help you do this. Just like with the meeting of dog and cat install some sort of barrier and one person be on one side with your Bengal and another with your other cat. Continue to feed them and play with them in front of the door for a day or two more and then try the final step when you feel they are ready.
The final step of course is their face to face meeting. Just like with a dog, make sure this is supervised. If they at first ignore one another or hiss a little and then walk away from each other, don’t be discouraged. Depending on their personalities it might take a little bit of time for them to become true friends. Just let them go at their own pace and before you know it they’ll be great pals. Below is a video about introducing two cats:
To be honest with you, as social as Bengal cats are, there still is the issue of the fact that Bengals, like all domestic cats have strong predatory instincts. Bengals however tend to have even stronger instincts that that of their cat cousins. This means that your other small pets could be in danger of becoming the prey.
Pets such as:
Unless you can make sure that these types of pets are well protected at all times, they could fall victim to your Bengals natural instincts to hunt. So, the truth is, it’s really not the best idea to take a chance on it.
So, did this post help you understand how to introduce your new Bengal to other animal family members? Please let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below.