Whether or not you should let your Bengal cat roam around free outside tends to be a controversial topic. In fact it’s a controversial topic with regards to any cat really. Many people feel it’s cruel to keep them locked up indoors where others feel that it can shorten their lifespan and since Bengals are a rare breed they can easily be stolen also if you let them out to roam freely. In this article we will cover the following topics:
Should You Let Your Bengal Cat Go Outdoors?
Build a Cat Garden
Walk Your Bengal
Should You Let Your Bengal Cat Go Outdoors?
Even though as mentioned in the beginning, this is still a very controversial subject about whether or not you should let your Bengal cat go outdoors, more and more cats these days are staying indoors. Because of this major decision being made by many owners today Bengals and most domestics that are living indoors are generally living longer and healthier lives.
Today’s Bengals and other domestic cats that live indoors tend to live anywhere from ten to twelve years of age and many of them have been known to live older than even 20 years old. When it comes to those cats that live outdoors tend to have shorter life spans and live in a less healthy environment. Homes offer a much safer and healthier place for your Bengal to live with far less risks and hazards that they may have to face such as skunks, rabid raccoon, coyotes and other dangerous wildlife depending upon where you live.
All cats tend to love to explore and this is why they are attracted to the great outdoors, especially Bengals. The great outdoors offers so much for them to be excited about and this is why some pet owners struggle with whether or not they want to let them out to roam free.
There are some domestic cats that may not even go any further than their own backyard. However, you wouldn’t want to trust your Bengal cat to do that because they tend to really hate to be restrained and kept from exploring if you let them outside. This means that they could wander quite a ways from home making it even more dangerous for them by getting injured or stolen.
Indoors or outdoors, the final decision is up to you, their pet parent and yes it can be a very difficult one to make. If you do decide to take the safer choice of keeping them indoors, there are things that you can do to help make them happier indoors. Make sure that you have a play area that is set up near a good sized window that has a screen that you can have open during good weather. Make sure that you give them plenty of things to climb on and to investigate, and always make sure that they have plenty of interesting interactive toys for them to enjoy.
Build a Cat Garden
This is a great idea if you already have a fenced yard. If you have a fence that has openings in it you’ll want to take some wire mesh and cover the fence with it. This still gives them the ability to see out but they can’t get through the openings. You’ll also need to make sure they can’t jump over the fence. You can do that by adding metal rods to each fence post and then attach wire mesh between all the rods and make sure that the wire mesh is bent over at an angle.
This angle will then make it difficult for any cat, including your Bengal from being able to jump the fence. This type of mesh fencing will also give them a great source for them to climb on which they absolutely love to do and while climbing they can see everything that’s going on, on the other side of the fence. Must make sure that you remove any items that are around the perimeter of the fence so there’s nothing that can help your Bengal figure out how to get over that angled part of your fence.
Once you feel that you have the fence pretty much Bengal proof let your Bengal go outside and then keep an eye on them to see if they find any way of escaping. Don’t let them be alone outside until you feel sure that they will be safe in the yard.
Once you have finished the fence and your cat is loving the yard, you may want to add a variety of cat safe plants and different grasses for not only your enjoyment for their enjoyment as well. You also want to make sure that you still have plenty of toys for them to play with even when they’re outside.
In order to make a Bengal cat garden, you’ll want to consider buying a few things:
Cat Tree: This is something that your Bengal will love to play around in while outside.
Scratching Post: Your cat is going to want to sharpen their claws, give them a safe place to do it outside.
Cat Bed: If you plan on letting your Bengal cat sleep outside, it’s a good idea to give them a comfortable place to do it.
Cat Toys: These are an absolute necessity. You Bengal cat will get bored and you’ll want to give them something to do when boredom strikes.
If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making your yard safe so that your Bengal can’t get out and you don’t want you Bengal to roam free either, then you may just want to make them a house cat but one that you take outside for walks on those great spring and summer days especially. You can do that. It’s quite well known that Bengals can quickly and easily be both harness and leash trained so that you can take them for a walk so that your Bengal can be kept safe and healthy and still be able to enjoy love of exploring the great outdoors.
Even though harness training is easier when they’re kittens, because Bengals are so smart and so easy to train, often even adult Bengals will acclimate to a harness easily. You should use either a figure eight or an “H” type harness for your Bengal and make sure it fits good.
Otherwise they’ll be able to worm right out of it. You know that it fits perfect if you can hardly get one finger between the harness and your Bengal. When you first put it on just leave it on for a few minutes. The best time to try and do this is either before feeding them or during your regular play time. This way the harness will be associated with something that’s positive. You should practice putting the harness on and leaving it on a few times during the day.
Once your Bengal starts to ignore the harness then it’s time to go to the next step and that’s put the leash on the harness and let them walk around the house with it on. Make sure that you follow your Bengal around while the leash is on. This way your Bengal will get use to having you following behind them at the same time they’re getting use to the leash.
The next thing you’ll want to do is give them some gentle guidance with the leash and harness and once they are comfortable with that it’s time to take them to a quiet spot outside, probably in your yard at first. Make these sessions short but often and keep them upbeat by rewarding your Bengal with their favorite treat.
Eventually you’ll be able to take your Bengal for short walks in the neighborhood and finally you’ll be able to lengthen the walks as your Bengal gets use to walking outside of their yard. You may be surprised how quickly your Bengal will become adjusted to these walks and you may soon thereafter be able to take them other places like parks where they can find even more excitement and more things to explore.
We hope that this has helped you understand the issues about whether or not you should let your Bengal cat roam free outdoors. Please let us know what you think by leaving your response below.
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