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BENGAL BEHAVIOR

Bengal Cats have a ton of energy!  Constructive playtime is extremely important to keeping you and your Bengal Cat happy.  A bored Bengal Cat will quickly make toys out of the most expensive items in your house.  Playtime not only allows your Bengal Cat to burn off energy, it's also a great way to bond and establish boundaries with your cat.  Furthermore, itís crucial to keeping your cat in good shape.  Bengal Cats have a medium build and some individuals will overeat if allowed. 

A cardboard box.  Yes, this simple rocket/cave/bear can keep your cat entertained for at least 5 minutes!  Even better - toss a crumpled up piece of paper into it.

Fishing toys.  You'll see toys made from a stick with long tails that you whip around.  The motion of these toys mimics the movement of prey in the wild.  In our experience Bengal cats prefer fishing toys made with a long furry "whip" instead of a long string with a toy on the end.

Cat trees.  Add in the fishing toy and hours of climbing fun ensue!  Bengal Cats also use cat trees to establish hierarchies in multiple cat households.  (This is essential to keep the peace!)  Put your cat tree out in the busy part of the home, not tucked away in an unused room or dark corner.  Bengal Cats want to be near their people, so even the best cat tree will remain unused if it's in a boring place.

Laser pointer.  The cheap one at Office Depot or Petco works as well as any.  Almost all cats I know respond to it.  Try moving it slowly away from your cat to watch them pounce!  Sometimes cats get frustrated that they never "catch" the laser dot so always give them a real toy at the end.

Use play time to work on your catís behavior as well.  Stop playing if your kitten or cat becomes too aggressive.  Simply drop the toy and walk away.  If your cat becomes possessive over certain toys or playtime (as Dexter, our Oriental Shorthair does), put toys away when not playing and place the aggressive cat in another room to give other cats a chance to play.

When playing tug of war with your kitty, make sure you are the winner.  Although cats are our companions, we're still responsible for them and their behavior and part of that responsibility is having them learn that we're in charge.

Watch out for attention-seeking behavior.  If your kitten learns that jumping on the countertop gets your attention, she's going to jump up there whenever she's bored!  If you need to curb a behavior, just say "No" in a firm voice, move the cat, then go back to what you were doing.  Don't let the cat's bad behavior cause you to do anything fun for her.  It won't distract her, it just reinforces the behavior.

We recommend against using squirt guns, noise makers, etc. as punishment or scare tactics.  Bengal Cats are very smart and it's a bad idea to get into a tit-for-tat contest with them.  They go through mischievous/rebellious phases as they grow, but if you react consistently in a way they can understand, they'll outgrow [most of] it!

 

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