Bengal cats are known for having a lot of energy and being very trainable, so why not combine those traits to train your Bengal cat to walk on a leash?
As you’ll soon find out, it’s not only possible to train a Bengal to walk on a leash, but it’s actually pretty easy!
This blog post will cover:
There are many reasons why you would want to train a Bengal cat to walk on a leash. For one thing, it gives them an activity that will help them use up all that wild energy that Bengal cats have. Although Bengal cats make good pets, they do require some extra exercise compared to other cats.
Taking your Bengal cat outdoors also gives them a chance to explore their surroundings, which is something they like to do because of their wild heritage. However, allowing your Bengal cat to go outdoors on their own can be dangerous, so it’s better to take them for a walk instead. Then, they can still see and smell and explore but without the risk of them getting hurt or disappearing.
Because Bengal cats are incredibly smart, teaching them to walk on a leash is a good way to put those smarts to good use to keep them from doing something like destroying your furniture to keep themselves busy. Most Bengal cats love to learn, and teaching them things is a fun way to interact with your cat and build a deeper bond with them.
Another reason to train a Bengal cat to walk on a leash is that it can make things easier for you and more comfortable for the cat when going places like the vet’s office. Many cats don’t like spending too much time stuck in their carrier even if it’s fancy like this one, so allowing them to get out and explore the exam room could be the best way to put them at ease and help them enjoy their time at the vet.
Here’s a pair of Bengal cats enjoying their walk:
Training your Bengal cat to walk on a leash is easier than you think. Just follow these simple steps:
The safest way to walk your Bengal cat is to use a padded harness. This harness will fit your cat comfortably and will help keep them from slipping out of it if they panic while out on a walk. But before you can take them out in it, you have to get them used to it.
Start by laying the harness on the cat while they are eating or relaxing. This will help your cat connect the harness with something positive like food or sleeping. A good way to reinforce this is to use cat treats and a training clicker. Every time the cat accepts the harness being on them, click the clicker and then give them a treat.
From there, you’ll need to start actually putting the harness on the cat, which is best to do when the cat is relaxed. Again, make this a positive experience by including treats. If the cat gets too nervous, stop immediately and try again another time. Some cats will simply take longer than others to get used to wearing a harness.
At this point, you shouldn’t snap the harness, as sometimes the sound of the snap can scare them, especially when it’s close to them and they don’t know what’s making the noise. So, the next step in getting them used to the harness is getting them used to the clicking sound.
The best way to do that is to use it like you would the sound of the clicker. Let them see what you’re doing and every time you latch it, give your cat a treat until they associate the sound of the harness closing with something good.
Then, start putting the harness on your Bengal cat for short periods of time. Start with just a few minutes while they’re eating, and then build up to slightly longer periods of time until your cat moves around as if they’re not wearing the harness.
When you first put the leash on your cat, some will be totally fine with it right away and others will be afraid of it, particularly when they move away from it and it follows them. For that reason, it’s important to work inside with your Bengal cat before taking them outside for a walk.
Hold the leash off the ground when first getting them used to it so they won’t panic when it drags next to them. You can hold the leash while they’re eating so they’re focused on something else and realize that the leash isn’t something to be afraid of. You can also play with your Bengal cat to help them relax and get used to the leash.
Once they’re used to it being held, it may also help to get them used to it dragging. That way, if that happens while out and about, they won’t freak out and run away. Do this the same way as you got them used to it being held, and you’ll soon find that your Bengal cat is not afraid of their leash.
You don’t have to teach your Bengal cat to heel on a leash. You can simply let them lead and follow them as they walk, then pick them up when it’s time to come inside. However, teaching them to heel is a good way to make sure they stay with you on walks and makes them look like the perfect pet.
To teach your Bengal cat to heel while walking on a leash, you’ll need a target stick and some tuna or canned cat food. Place the tasty treat on the end of the stick and hold it at your side while your Bengal cat is in their harness and leash. As soon as the cat approaches the stick, use the clicker to let them know that being next to your leg is a good thing and let them have a treat.
After a few sessions, you’ll see that your Bengal cat is getting better at staying near your leg, and you can start to try without the stick. Continue to click when they come close to your leg and be sure to reward them often. Eventually, you can reward them less often and they will stay by your side.
Again, this is something that you want to do inside with your Bengal cat, so they’re in a familiar environment and can stay focused on what you’re teaching them rather than getting distracted by everything that’s going on outside around them.
Once you’ve taught them to heel inside, they will be able to do it outside and doing so will give them a sense of security and help them adjust to being outside.
Now, your Bengal cat is ready to go outside to go for a walk! If you can, start by a few short sessions in your backyard or a fenced-in area where you can still have a controlled environment. If your cat does well there, then you can take them anywhere pets are allowed.
Make sure as you’re walking, you keep an eye out for possible dangers, like people walking their dogs. While dogs and Bengals generally get along well, a strange dog may scare your cat or try to chase it, so you need to be prepared to pick your Bengal cat up to keep them out of danger.
Here’s a video where you can see how to train a cat to walk on a leash:
Although we mentioned them before, here are some more details about the tools that you can use to train your Bengal cat to walk on a leash. What’s great about these is that you can use them to train your Bengal cat to do a number of different tricks, so you’ll be able to get a lot of use out of them.
Harness – This padded harness is best for cats. It fits them comfortably which helps them get used to it faster and keeps them safe since it stays in place better should they panic.
Leash – This cat leash is lightweight so it won’t drag your cat down, and it’s the perfect length to keep your cat close while giving them some freedom to explore while out on a walk.
Clicker trainer – The clicker trainer makes a distinct noise which you can use to show your cat when they’re doing something good by giving them treats when they hear the sound of the clicker. Most Bengal cats are very quick to respond to the sound of the clicker.
Target Stick – This is another useful training tool, and this target stick actually has a built-in clicker to make it even easier to use. Many animal trainers use this to teach clicker training and as soon as an animal makes a positive connection with the stick, they will follow the stick anywhere, making training them to do anything incredibly simple.
Treats – Be sure not to use too many treats as it could cause your cat to gain weight, but it’s certainly an important part of training. If you are worried about weight gain, then you can use your Bengal cat’s regular food as rewards. Otherwise, you can use these treats or canned cat food to reward your cat for good behavior. Make sure you find something your cat loves to make it really worth their time.
Remember that all Bengal cats are different and it may take your cat a while to learn how to walk on a leash, or they may figure it out in a couple days. Just be patient and consistent with them. As long as you keep things positive, they will learn!
Now, you’re ready to train your Bengal cat to walk on a leash. What do you think of our instructions? Have you ever trained a cat to walk on a leash? Let us know if we missed anything important in the comments below!