Should I let my Bengal cat go outside?

Brown Spotted Bengal Cat
The great outdoors

 

 

 

The debate as to whether to let cats roam freely outside or not is hotly debated, with strong views both for and against. It is of course a decision that all cat owners have to make, not just Bengal owners, though we think Bengal cats have some unique characteristics which need to be considered as part of the decision-making process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the reasons in favour of letting your cat go outside?

 

Cats are free-spritied and agile creatures who need space to run and hunt and do what comes naturally to them. They’re independent and intelligent and can look after themselves. They’re not human slaves like dogs, and are not meant to be cooped up inside a home all day. They will get bored. When Bengals get bored, this can lead to behavioural problems such as aggression, naughtiness or inappropriate spraying.

 

 

Sounds reasonable… so why should you not let your cat do all that?

 

Snow Bengal Cat
Safe and sound indoors

On average, cats who are left to roam freely outdoors live much fewer years than indoor kitties. There’s two main reasons for that (1) Road traffic accidents and (2) Fighting with or being attacked by other cats or even wild animals. Although cats are intelligent, there are many hazards outside that a little furry member of the family should not be exposed to. On top of these risks, there is an additional one with Bengals and other pedigree cats: the risk of theft. There are unfortunately unscrupulous humans out there who are quick to take advantage if they see an opportunity to take a valuable or beautiful cat.

 

There’s also potentially the issue of your neighbours… A lot of cats don’t like to use their own back garden as a toilet, and may decide to use your neighbours’ prized flower beds instead. Most people, perhaps understandably, don’t like this, and a minority will take their own cruel actions by deliberately harming or poisoning cats that do this :shock:

 

 

What you need to know about Bengals in particular

 

When you’re making your decision, you need to be aware of the fact that Bengals are a lot more adventurous than many other cats and are also a lot more confident or, some might say, nosey! :) They will wander much further than most domestic cats so their territory will be much larger, and it may include things like roads or other hazards that you may think are too far away to be an issue.

 

As well as that, Bengals don’t understand the meaning of “private property” and think that any open door is an invitation to go in and take a look around! This could be a shed, garage or outbuilding or even someone’s house! So depending on whose property it is, and whether or not they’re noticed, there is the risk of either getting trapped inside or annoying your neighbours when they’re constantly finding your cat in their house!

 

Brown Bengal cat and Snow Bengal cat in the field
In the field

 

 

We’re speaking from experience here… at the top of this article you can see we live in a very rural area – that’s the view from the bottom of our garden. What you can’t see is that there’s a busy road, though it’s quite some distance away and none of our non-Bengal cats have ever wandered that far… but Lula did! Also both Spot and Lula were consistently in and out of our neighbour’s house during warmer weather when doors and windows were left open – we know they would never harm them, but they didn’t like it and it was an inconvenience to them.

 

 

 

So what should you decide?

 

At the end of the day, only you can make the decision yourself and each individual will have their own unique circumstances to take into account based on the personality of your cat and the area where you live. If you live near a main road or some other hazards, we would say you perhaps shouldn’t let your cat roam free… if you live in a very rural area, you may wish to let them.

 

Things to consider if you decide to let your cat free roam

 

Don’t let them roam until they’re old enough – at least 6 months

 

Make sure they’re neutered – males are less likely to get in fights and will not add to the growing population of unwanted cats and females of course won’t get pregnant and add to the same population.

 

Ensure they are fully vaccinated.

 

Get them microchipped – some people also put collars on their cats, though we personally don’t like them – we’ve heard lots of cases of them getting caught in branches etc and strangling cats, even some of the so-called “quick release” ones.

 

We advise that cats are kept in during the hours of darkness – they’re more likely to get into difficulties if allowed outside at night (greater risk of road accidents and fights with other animals).

 

If you want to install a cat flap, get one that reads your cats’ microchips. Cats don’t need to wear a collar for these and they will prevent the problem of neighbourhood felines coming into your house and all the resulting problems with territory marking and stress to your own cats that can bring.

 

The alternatives to free roaming

 

There are of course other ways of letting your cat go outside without giving them the complete freedom of the great outdoors – building an outdoor enclosure, cat proofing your garden, or harness-training them and letting them take you for a walk! We cover all of these topics in other articles in our advice pages!

 

Feel free to add your views in the comments section if you wish!

 

 

183 thoughts on “Should I let my Bengal cat go outside?”

  1. Inky once went a-visiting the neighbours. Mr. L was cleaning the screens in their living room and was removing them one by one. Inky jumped up on a chair on the porch, hopped onto the window sill and went in for a look-see. He got caught, of course! Fortunately Kim & Pete knew and liked Inky so they weren’t angry. I think he went calling on their little girl Sara *wink wink* When Pete walked in the room Inky got panicky and couldn’t find the exit right away lol. In the end, no harm done to anybody. Maybe my little tabby is part Bengal!!

    Personally, I would try and keep my cats inside, but Mr. P believes that cats are meant to be foot loose and fancy free. However, we don’t let them out after dark since we lost Duchess and they’ve pretty much adapted to that now – thankfully.

      1. I have two new bengals as neighbors. With those neighbors I have found in the past month six dead squirrels, 2 killed birds, and several chipmunks. These are killers. They should be closely monitored.

        Please!

        1. Unfortunately, any cat has the hunting instinct, it’s not unique to Bengals. Unless cats are kept indoors or in a secure garden when outside like ours are, there’s very little you can do to stop it.

        2. : Almost daily I watch a hawk take birds, from my feeder, for his breakfast lunch or dinner !! We have transported 6 squirrels, to the park, because they dig in our putting green.Animals come and go . Its called life ! Responsible Bengal caretakers wouldn’t let this happen.

        3. Yeah I guess Bengals are the only cat breed that kill squirrels and chipmunks. What do you expect them to do?

    1. Hello :)

      We have been struggling with this since we got our Bengal in November last year. She was showing signs of wanting to go outside (miaowing at the door, trying to dart out, being naughty etc) so we got her a lead and harness and took her outside every day but she still wasn’t satisfied. Eventually, when she jumped out of an open upstairs bathroom window we were forced to reconsider!

      She is 10 months old, chipped, vaccinated & spayed. We decided to let her out one quiet Saturday morning and she loved it. I let her out without breakfast hoping that she wouldn’t be long and after a nervous couple of hrs she returned, a changed woman! I made a big fuss and gave her a chicken wing so she associates this with coming home. Same drill again on the Sunday but during the week I wait until after 10am to let her out (in case she wanders to main road at rush hr).

      She has been so much more chilled and a pleasure to be around! Previously, she was climbing up curtains to get to windows, scratting at the carpet etc and we haven’t had any of this. I felt really guilty actually watching her run and jump in the grass so I defo think we have made the right decision, they are little athletes these cats.

      We have considered that one day she may not return however, I think we can only take sensible precautions and hope for the best. I will only let her out during day and hope she comes back within a couple of hrs or when she’s hungry but as she starts wandering further afield we have also invested in a cat den (zooplus) that lives outside so she always has food, water & shelter in the event that she hasn’t come home before bedtime.

      She’s certainly happier anyway!

      Hope that helps!

      1. My Bengal cat is now 13 yrs old. He loves being outdoors and has total freedom. In the cold weather he chooses to stay in (he has a cat flap) and he’s miserable. I worry every year in the summer when he goes hunting for 2 weeks and forgets to come home, but it happens every year. He always comes back. Yes he sometime brings rabbits home to me as presents but this tended to stop in his later years. They are same as any other cat and it is good for them to get out and about.

        J x

      2. Hi
        Really enjoyed your comments. We are considering taking on a 3yr old neutered male rescue bengal. We are pretty rural and hope a cat will help control vermin. We have a dog too and aften workmfrom home. I suppose im a bit concerned he might wreck the house, have youusuffered damage. In time i am envisgaing tht he could have free access to the garden and then on into fields?

        1. If he has free access outside, he is less likely to cause too much damage inside, Kate. Accidents will always happen of course, so a few common sense precautions never go amiss- things like putting away any valuables and keeping breakables on shelves that maybe the cat won’t go on. Though our Bengals like to examine most shelves, lol :) Blue tac is a good choice to secure things down :)

      3. We have Invisible Fence for our 3 cats – albeit they are not Bengals. It works wonderfully at keeping our babies in the yard, active and super happy. I’m reading through comments because I’m wondering how Invisible Fence would work with a Bengal. You might want to give it a try!
        So nice to have the cats within calling distance. “Chow chow” normally brings them dashing to the house for a snack. That said, I’m often greeted with chipmunks, mice – and some unfortunate birds.

      4. Brilliant thank you . We have two bengals that literally climb the walls to go out so we did as you have done but they come back happy and are much happier even though we’re the ones that now climb the walls until they come home!

      5. HI there we have a 5 month old neutered bengal. I have started in the laSt few weeks letting him go outside when we are home. Call him and he comes straight back. Except for tonight where I could see him but he wouldn’t come back for half an hour. He has now cried atthe door for 20 Mins to go back outside. Does yours come back every day stI’ll?

    2. I was really unsure whether or not letting my bengal out was the right thing to do- for all the reasons mentioned above. I’ve always had cats and while we did once have one hit by a car, on the whole they have enjoyed getting out and not been in too much trouble! He is vaccinated, neutered, microchipped and the cat flap reads his chip too.

      I have to say that letting him out has been the best thing we have ever done.

      Before we let him out, his play fights and mock attacks on us were starting to go beyond the bounds of playful fun – starting to become a quite a nuisance and I was concerned he might not know when to stop when chasing the feet of my small niece and nephew. We had also had real problems in litter training him – and this was starting to become a serious issue. We had tried everything – EVERYTHING!!! There was no explanation to it; I was at my wits end. Sometimes he would use it, other times he would just go to a random spot and urinate. Most days, there would be an accident to clean up. As soon as he was away from a tiled floor I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him- watching for him to sneak off and go for a wee- at least, that’s what it felt like!

      Now he is able to come and go out of the house as he pleases, he us such a happy kitty. Touch wood but there have been no litter tray slip ups for over 2 weeks now. He goes to the toilet outside (and inside, using his tray still), he has a really good run around and returns to the house cuddles. He is much calmer and all together more pleasant to be around. He is the loveliest cat ever. When he starts to go a bit “crazy” with us and it gets too much, we just pop him outside- he normally runs a lap around the house, in through the back and then he’s calmer and back to his normal self again. I know there are risks of being out – but the way I see it, he’s an animal and being outdoors is part of his nature- risks and all.

  2. I should add that if I were a Bengal owner, then I’d only let them out on a harness with supervision or in an enclosed cat garden like your beautiful garden :grin:

  3. Hi,
    Many thanks or this, it makes very interesting reading. We are new to Bengals. Our last cat, Starski, had a cat flap and went out every day until 6 months or so before he passed. He was very, very terrorotorial and a huge fighter. We had many trips to the vets with abscesses and so on. But he loved to play in the garden and sleep in the long grass which we planted especially. He was always home during darkness hours. We couldn’t bear the house and the coldness and quietness of the house and so after much thought and heart ache we adopted Rocco. We have since discovered that he is just 14 months old and since coming home to us has enjoyed being a kitten again or maybe just being a playful, nosey, feisty Bengal. There are lots of cats in the area and while I desperately want Rocco to be happy I am unsure as to whether to let him out. Apart from spending quite a lot of time on the sunny windowsills looking out at the garden he seems very, very happy and is not showing signs of wanting to go out unless he hears the front door. He then runs down but has made no attempt to go through the door. Any advice would be greatly appreciated please.
    Thank you Suzi

    1. Hello Suzi! Rocco is a lovely boy, we remember seeing his photos on our Facebook page :cool: It sounds to me that you need to take things as they come – that’s why I wrote in my article that this is a unique decision for everyone. At the moment, keep him as an indoor kitty as he seems to be very happy and contented. Make sure there’s a lot to keep him stimulated, both mentally and physically, there’s no reason at the moment for him to go outside. If, however, he ever gets to the point where he’s pining to go outside, consider your environment – if you’re in a high risk area then consider a harness or enclosure; if it’s safe, then let him explore. I hope that helps. xx

      1. Yes, it does, thank you. He’s bombing about like a hurricane at the moment and, I think, starting to talk to me. I have yet to learn Bengal but it’s going well so far. We have a cat harness so I think we will see how that goes if necessary. Thank you, once again xXx

    2. Hi I have a beautiful Bengal called Lacey who is 15 months old. I took Lacey out on a lead for 5 months to get her use to her surroundings. One evening she managed to get off her lead. I was so worried but thankfully she returned home about 2 hours later. I then made the decision to allow her out (only during the day) without her lead, she absolutely loves it and is constantly at the door waiting to go out. Sometimes she;s gone 3 – 4 hours but always comes home.

      1. Hi Caroline! Thanks for sharing your experiences. It’s great she always come home and she enjoys her freedom outside :)

  4. As a new (owner) of a Bengal Lady Cat, I find all your blogs Articles very Informative and Interesting, Thank you.

    1. Thanks very much, William! We hope you’ll find lots of interesting things to read on our site.

  5. Wonderful article!

    Both, informative and well reasoned!
    I take my girl out on a harness and lead, I hope to build an enclosure when we have the time and money.
    I’ve seen some people’s enclosures and they are fantastic!

    Anyway, keep up the good work!
    It’s good for cat owners to see both sides of an argument to make an informed decision.
    Xx

  6. I literally live right on a main roadway, and have no yard ( I live in an apartment– flat). It would be way too dangerous to let my babies out. So mine, all 12 of them(!) are indoor only. I provide them with plenty of climbing and scratching things. I play with them, and, of course, they are very adept at entertaining themselves!! But I agree with you, Spot. If you want to let them out, I strongly recommend an enclosure of some type — and, of course, spaying and neutering as well.

    Great post. . .very informative. . . have a blessed, pawsome day — and especially your Mummy!! Happy Mother’s Day!! <3 <3 <3

    1. Thanks, Diane! You are a great example of showing how happy and healthy indoor-only kitties can be! Happy Mother’s Day to you too <3 xxxxxx

  7. Hi not sure what I missed advert covered the top. Cheetah is4months old and already getting big boy ideas on my spayed females who end up running away from him I have harmless trained him they run free but I am sure he would be stolen or beaten to a pulp by the alpha cat in the area he doesn’t. Understand defeat and too small in age to neuter yet so it’s harness all the was with extendable leash.

  8. I have just got 2 Bengal cats they are 7 months old and very active. They cry at the door and hate to keep them cooped up yet Id hate to lose them. How do you catproof your yard or garden ?

  9. My little lady Bengal, Gemma, is a year and a half and loves to be outdoors! I was really hesitant to let her out, we live in the country but there is a busy road nearby and I was also worried about someone taking her.. Last winter we had her spayed, and after a dozen successful attempts at escape we finally relented and decided she could go outside. We boughther a wireless boundary collar for cats and it allows her to run and play freely within our 1.5 acre property (she can even climb the trees with it on). She is such a happy girl when she is outside, she loves to bask in the sun, shoot up and down the trees, chase butterflies and hunt birds. We always make sure that she is in the house for ‘bed time’ and she loves cuddling with my husband and I as well as her 100 lb lab brother Maverick. I think she has the best of both worlds now as she can freely and safely be the Queenie both in and out of the house!

  10. In my opinion cats need to roam, my Bengal Kaiser has all the toys and attention in the world. He is very loving and loyal but he was not fully happy until he was let outside. He is in a routine going out at certain times, he does not like the cold though.

    He would of gone stir crazy been kept indoors, I believe he would not of developed proply. It is a risk letting them out but he is allot happier. People purchase these cats for their prestige and wild charecteristics so let them do what they do best and roam free. They make brilliant pets. The local mice population has taken a hit though…

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Scott :) As I said, so much depends on your individual circumstances :) It’s great that your Kaiser has fun outdoors, though we know from experience that this isn’t the case for all! If we had let Lula have continued free rein outside, I doubt she would have seen her 2nd birthday :(

  11. I have just lost my beautiful Bengal, Rosa, to a road traffic accident and she was only 2 and a half. It is heartbreaking. She had a very happy life, exploring the outdoors and hunting, and I believed that she was safe with our large garden and wooded path behind. Little did I know that she was roaming much further, across a busy main road and into a cemetery at the other side of it. As she got older, she became much braver and more curious. I don’t know what I’d do if I ever got another cat as I don’t think Rosa would have been as happy indoors but, of course, I wish I’d never let her roam free as I’ll now never see her again. You are right to hang onto Lula. Keep them safe.

    1. We’re so sorry for the loss of your Rosa, Karen :sad: :sad: You must console yourself with the fact that you helped her to live two and a half wonderful years and you were in no way to blame for what happened. It is so sad, I am so so upset for you :cry: xxxxxx

  12. Our Bengal got out of the house yesterday, and we haven’t seen him since. He’s 3 and I’m of course very worried. He did this once before with a previous owner, and he was found two weeks later within his neighborhood. No busy roads by us, but I’m really concerned he won’t know how to return home, since he’s an indoor kind of guy. Any advice would be appreciated. The family is already heartbroken.

  13. My Bengal has been found – he was pretty far away, but we accidentally ran into him in the dark, many blocks from home. Feeling blessed to have my king back…

  14. Hello Charlotte! I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to reply earlier, but of course we’re soooo happy he’s home! :mrgreen: Have you thought about taking him for a walk or building an enclosure for him so he can enjoy some time outside without the risk of him going missing again? <3 xxx

  15. Yes, thanks! I am going to purchase a harness for him and start taking him for daily walks. Time to safely meet his need to be outside.

  16. My male bengal cat wants to go out very much, he jumped on the door holder and tried to open the door. But I’m afraid to take him out with harness/walking jacket now since he is so easy to suddenly go crazy.

    1. Only you can make the decision because you know what’s right for your cat. The only other option you may wish to consider is securing your garden so he can go out but not wander off?

  17. I’m thinking about getting a Bengal and I’m from the UK so I don’t think letting them out is such an issue. There are a couple that hang around where I work and I just love them but I’ve heard Bengals need a lot of attention and can be destructive. If you let your Bengal outside, are they less likely to be destructive in your house when you’re out for the day?

    1. Hello Oliver! We’re in the UK too, and we live very rurally, but we have restricted our Bengals’ access to the cat enclosure outdoors, they are so adventurous. In answer to your question, Bengals do need quite a lot of time and interaction from their humans, or from other kitties or from interactive toys/games such as hiding treats etc. If you’re not able to provide that, you may wish to consider getting a different breed. I don’t really think that letting them outside while you’re out all day at work is an effective solution – it wouldn’t be one that I would personally consider anyway.

  18. Thank you! That’s what I thought, it would also be my first cat and I’ve heard they’re not really suitable for a first cat, I just love the ones I see at work, they’re so friendly, and inquisitive and come straight up to me.

    1. They are a great breed, but you are correct – perhaps not suited to an inexperienced cat person :) I would recommend you go to your local shelter and adopt a kitty or two from there, I’m sure there will be many beautiful ones that will be purrfect for you :cool:

  19. Hello! I have two new male Bengal kittens. We live in a three story town house on a lovely estate in the UK with lots of other cats and a river and allotments nearby. However, there is also an extremely busy road close to us and I am just so worried about anything happening to them, whether it be a road accident or theft. Casper is a Snow Leopard Bengal with a beautiful coat and he is very distinctive. We only have a very small patio garden, but I am already thinking of removing the garden shed in order to build a run for them.

    I can’t help but feel a little cruel. Chuck has such a confident personality with so much energy and runs to any door or window as soon as we open them. I don’t know what is best for them! Although I know what is best for my heart!

  20. I am posting this message as a caution to anyone planning to get their first bengal with the intention of keeping them indoors. When we got our two bengal boys 18 months ago, we were determined to keep them and our aging moggy indoors. Working from home, we felt that we could give them plenty of attention. Our moggy actually enjoyed going out to escape from their constant attention, but we know he’s timid enough to avoid danger. We started taking the kittens out on harnesses and then they constantly yearned to go out and kept escaping. They are just so fast whenever doors are opened quickly. and when our moggy went through the catflap with his infared tag they would be right behind him. They would run around the garden as fast as cheetahs, shouting with excitement like kids with ADHD. Eventually a few months ago, we gave up and unlocked the catflap for them. There are many cats in the area, and a few in their mid to late teens (human years), so I think the odds are in their favour for safety. They are scared of people too. Actually, they sneak through the neighbours catflaps ans steal they’re kitty’s toys, then run away before the neighbours can catch them! We do lock them in after dark, because in my experience bad things mostly happen at night. I think that if you are able to build a secure cat garden which your back door leads directly into, or you are prepared to routinely walk your bengal twice a day – just like you would a dog, then that is the best solution. Otherwise the lack of exercise will make keeping them indoors a challenge. It’s a big decision, but please bear in mind it might not be as easy as you expect. Spot and Lula, you are very lucky to have a Mummy and Daddy who are able to provide you with such a great combination of indoor and outdoor life :smile:

  21. Dear Bengal owner, I have 2 bengals, sisters actually, around 2 years old, they have been indoor cats their whole life, I have since done them a large outdoor enclosure with all their familiar toys and climbing gyms. Put them in for the first time , watched then for about 20 mins and played and praised them , then left them alone for about 10 mins, came to check on them again and one of my cats got very aggressive towards my other cat, I then bought both back inside, it took around 20 mins for my cat to stop attacking her sister, what advise can you give me as I would love to let them outside to play in the sun in safety, regards desperate

    1. Hello Michelle! I’m sorry to hear you’ve had these problems but they are not unusual – sometimes our boy acts like this towards his sister when she is trying to share a space with him and he doesn’t want her there. I would persevere as it’s all very new and exciting for them, so they are establishing some ground rules with each other. Put them both in for short, supervised spells and bring them inside again and praise them if they have behaved well. Repeat this every day, increasing the amount of time that they are in there for. I’m sure in time, when they get used to it all, they will be ok <3

  22. I am a happy adapter of a de-clawed bengal. I wouldn’t have chosen to do so, but we get along exceptionally well, and I think that a lot of that is because he gets to hang out in the neighborhood for the day. I suspect that I am exceptionally lucky, in that even with out front claws, he gets along or owns all the cats on the cul de sac. He had too much energy for his previous owners, but his second birthday is coming up, and he has a place to stay for the rest of his life. Love these cats, and feel privilaged to have adopted a cat I would never be able to afford as a student. I love my belly rolling Mekeda, because I let him get his time outside.

    1. That’s lovely, Ian! :) (apart from the declawing bit :( ) As I said in the article, so much depends on your personal circumstances and the personality of your cat, only you can really decide what’s best :)

  23. I have a question: what do you suggest if myself and my bengal Malibu live in an urban neighborhood but are 5 minutes from a quiet park with an open field?? I would love to take her out but I am super cautious of her being stolen more than anything…

  24. I have an Indian male cat. His name is Kallu. He is with me since he was 3 months old. Last two years I let him go out every day atleast for 1-3 hrs, sometimes more. He used to enjoy being out for sometime and would come back home in his own . But last one year he is being attacked by feral jungle cats. He likes to fight back but not used to as he is neutered and most of the time he is inside comfortable home.
    After reading various artciles, comments and debates about disadvantages of letting indoor cat go out, I stopped sending him out.
    The problem is he still insists everyday to go out, he comes to the door, but when I say ‘go inside’ he obediently goes inside and starts playing his balls and running around.
    Also I have a big window with a grill and some space for him to lie down and watch outside full view. He sees pigeions, other birds and everything happening around.
    Whole day he is alone at home since I go for job. At night when I return he is very happy and immediately starts playing hide and seek with me.
    Is it necessary to send him out just becoz he insists ????? I have two-minds…

  25. Also I must add that my cat catches pigeons when they come to my balcony. Sometimes when I come home, he is busy chasing around half wounded, feathers plucked pigeon in the house. So I feel he is keeping himself busy… so what say, dear cat lovers ?? – Tina again.

    1. If we were you, we would keep him indoors, Tina. It sounds like he is keeping himself busy with lots of things to do and there is too much danger outdoors! :cool:

  26. Thank you for your valuable advice for those of us who are new to Bengals. I have had cats and kittens all my life but I am about to get a Bengal for the first time and I am quite frankly terrified … I guess I fear the unknown and want to do the best I can for our little one. Your advice is very thought provoking. My last furbaby was a Cream Point Siamese and he was an inside boy. I think our little girl will also be one and we will be taken for walks on the harness. Thanks again.

    1. I am writing this with tears in my eyes as my 3 year old Bengal, Marbles, has been missing for almost 2 days. Bengals are the cutest, softest, funniest cats ever. I have owned cats all my life and my Bengal has been the most challenging & time-consuming, he has been more like caring for a child than a cat. We decided not to let him roam freely and take him for walks on a harness when we first got him. Once he got a taste of the outdoors, it was like a drug and he wanted more and more. Little by little we gave in and let him out. He was so much happier when he could roam outside. It pained me to keep him locked up. 2 nights ago we could not corral him inside and he hasn’t come back. We canvassed the neighborhood talking to neighbors. It turns out, his roaming area was much larger then we ever imagined. We are so worried about what has become of him or if we will see him again. We love our Marbles more than anything. Bengals can be heartbreakers. It’s a very intense relationship, but they are beautiful cats with wonderful personalities. I don’t know if I can ever own another one.

      1. Don’t give up. Sometimes Bengals roam a long way. We have had our beloved Bengal Dazzle returned to us after four months, completely unharmed. She was living wild about four miles away. She was so pleased to be back. Our older Bengal got into a van and was taken 30 miles away. We got her back, too. I always put collars (quick release) onto my cats because although they are chipped, they often won’t let a stranger near to pick them up but people can look at their medallion and see the address. Put posters up locally and put your lost cat with a photo on animal search and lost pet register websites.

  27. Amanda, don’t give up hope! My bengal was once gone from its previous owner for two weeks, and was found in a yard very nearby. He’s run out the door on me as well and not been found for a few days. So don’t give up hope. It’s very very early. I invested in a tracking device for his collar now. Last time he got out I found him in 15 minutes. It could me 100 US dollars but I’ve found him twice now in under 30 minutes, so it is very worth it for me. I suggest when he you get him back that you invest in one of these devices. Might be good to walk through the neighborhood with an open can of cat food or his favorite food, shaking his bowl if it’s dry food. I’m sure so many of us reading this post have been through exactly what you are going through now. You might be surprised how close to home he actually is. Good luck!

    1. Hello Amanda! We’re sorry we’ve only just seen your comment, we hope Marbles is home now. But if he’s not, we’d echo what c. hellengren says and ask you to never give up hope. only this week, we heard that a Bengal had returned home after 2 weeks, and was found very close by. More often than not, they’re either close by or come home of their own accord. Everything is crossed here that he’s home soon, if not already <3 xx

  28. Amanda, I do feel for you and hope your boy is back by now. My girl Cleo has been out for over 12 hours, longest ever she’s been gone, and I’m staying up anxiously waiting for her to return. She’s a lively two year old and I felt it was cruel to keep her in but each time she does this I think she’s not coming back. :(

    1. I am happy to hear your kitty is home :) Our Marbles has not returned and it’s been 3 weeks. We miss him so much. I am debating if we should get another Bengal.

  29. I am so sorry for anyone who loses their beloved Bengal. We take ours for walks, but he still tries to dodge out the door. I highly recommend a LOC8TOR tracking pet tag. I ordered one on line, and it has helped me find my Bengal three times now when he has gotten out. Very small, connects to the collar. You can activate it when you need to, and track the location of the cat. I honestly don’t know how we would have found our beloved cat otherwise.

  30. I’m so sorry to hear that, Amanda. Don’t give up yet, three weeks is too soon and he may yet stroll through the door as though nothing has happened.
    Good idea about the pet tag, C hallengren, I’m definitely going to look into it.

  31. Out Bengal has always been outside from a relatively young kitten…. She started following us when I took our dog for a walk, now she is the one who asks for a walk. She’s never been in a harness or on a lead (don’t think she would tolerate it). She uses the cat flap to go in and out whenever she wants, day or night. A great hunter she catches mice, voles, moles and even bats. She is the happiest most well adjusted cat we’ve ever had :-)!

    1. That’s great news, Alex! :) As we said, so much depends on everyone’s individual circumstances and the purrsonality of your kitty :) x

  32. My Bengal goes out, too, though only at times when one of the other cats is not about, as they are great rivals. I think she would go crazy and tear the place apart if she wasn’t allowed out …

  33. I bought collars for my cat that run on batteries and light up (nite ize) and super bright battery run medallions that hang from the collars. I take my cats out late at night when there are way fewer cars and their collars can be seen from 2 blocks away. I don’t leash them. I can take 3 at a time, which is fine once I get them to the park where they play tag and climb trees, (I bring waste bags and have had occasion to use them) but ill admit its nerve wracking taking 3 on streets. One cat is totally obedient, doesn’t lag, follows about 20 feet behind me and doesn’t ever just decide to do what he wants. He’s easy. The other two have to explore every yard, and they will go in the street, but again they can be seen. I might note that walking a cat is different than a dog. They always want to walk behind you, as if stalking you. If I had just one cat, or someone to help, it would be a breeze to walk them on quiet streets at night.

  34. I need advice…………….please…………I have a beautiful male Bengal cat that is just over a year old. I adopted him from the SPCA, and I was amazed no else had adopted him. His name is Coco, and he was up for adoption for several weeks.

    Even though I have had over a dozen cats in the last 30 years, I was completely unprepared for the challenges of having a Bengal ! I have had him for 6 months now. The first two months I was determined that Coco would be a indoor only cat! Well, I did NOT sleep at all the first two months with Coco screaming his displeasure of being locked inside. Then I spent a month training him to walk on the leash, which was very time consuming. But Coco wanted to go outside ALL the time.

    Finally I gave up completely, and for the past 4 months Coco has been running free in the neighborhood, which made me so nervous and scared as I live in the city. Then last week I found out that Coco has been terrorizing and fighting all the other cats in a four block radius. I also found out that he has been going into neighbors windows and doors and hanging out inside other houses. I have some neighbors who are furious with Coco and with me, and so I am so worried about his safeness that for a week now Coco has been a strictly indoor only cat again. Which he is very vocal about his displeasure with being under house arrest again!

    Is it normal behaviour for a Bengal to fight with other cats?

    I LOVE this cat more than any other cat I have ever had. It is so amazing how much he loves me too!

    Here is what I am doing to try to keep Coco happy, the neighbors happy, and myself happy. I have had a few people now telling me to get rid of Coco as he is challenging but that is not a option as I love him like crazy.

    First I have hired a handyman. I am going to enclose the back porch so Coco can spend time with the family on the porch.

    And I have purchased a medium size cat enclosure to go outside with a tunnel running to the house with a cat door cut into the side of the house.

    I have a large yard, but live in a very busy city. I was also looking into the wires around the fence of the property, with Coco wearing a collar, that would give him a shock each time he tried to cross the electrical boundary line. But I am losing interest in that idea, as Coco has a lot of anxiety issues, and I have heard that some cats will run away forever if they get shocked as they associate home as danger.

    I am also committed to taking Coco out for a short walk on the harness and leash again. It is a huge time commitment as he takes forever sniffing at things or rolling over on his back, but he is always much happier after our walk.

    One thing I will NOT do, and that is I will not ever allow him to roam free again. As that was a disaster with the neighbors being so upset.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions or comments? This is my first Bengal cat ever, and I would love some advice.

    Thanks, Susan

    1. Hello Susan

      First of all, is Coco neutered? If not, then you need to get him done as soon as you can.

      With regard to the aggression – you are probably not aware of his history before he came to you, but it sounds like he wasn’t socialised properly as a youngster. Despite what some say, Bengals are not a particularly aggressive breed, as long as they have been brought up in the right way – that is true for any cat.

      One things many Bengals do like to do, however, if given free rein is to wander wherever they like, including into people’s houses and garages etc. Their natural curiosity means it’s just too tempting when they see an open door or window! :)

      We are completely against the use of any physical pain, however minor, to train or restrain any animal, so we agree that you shouldn’t be thinking of any electric fences. But the other things you are thinking of are along the right lines – an outdoor enclosure where he can get fresh air but still be safe is a great compromise. Make it as large as you are able to and fill it with lots of cat-safe plants (e.g. grasses, bamboo and catmint are great), plus climbing frames and other toys to occupy his active mind. Letting him take you out for a walk is a great plan too :)

      We hope things go well!

  35. My little female Bengal, Chee Chee (Cheetah) is only 15 months old. For her 1 year birthday present, I harnessed her for the first time and let her in the backyard on an extended leash. She loves being outside. Our Black Bombay male hangs out in the backyard with her. She wants to follow him everywhere. But she also wants to hop over the walls so she is limited by the length of the extended leash. This morning I let her run out the door with her harness on and her short walking leash. I forgot to hook the leash to her extended leash. My husband went to the front yard to mow the grass. Our little Chee Chee luckily was caught by her walking leash on the corner of my next door neighbors tire parked in the driveway. I’ve read too many heartbreaking stories of Bengals roaming too far from home. And we live right by a busy street two blocks away. I’m afraid she would get smooshed by a car. So she is quite happy because we have a three month old Seal Point Siamese kitten. They play very roughly with each other and chase each other back and forth in early morning and late evening hours. We have our Matriarch cat Mischa, who is an 8 year old rescue I got when she was only 4 months old. She was born as a wild feral kitten. It took years to calm her down. But now she is sweet and loves her humans. She learned to get along with my male Black Cat Tiggy who is 2 1/2 years old. Only Tiggy and Mischa get to roam freely. But I bring them in at dusk. I had my Male Tabby Maui, who was only 6 years old when he got swooped by an owl one night. It was the first time I had ever dealt with losing my pet to the darkness. Tiggy’s Twin Brother Panther escaped through our broken doggy door panel when he was only 9 months old. He was taken by a coyote. So I have learned the Do’s and Don’ts. If you live your Bengal as much as we do, keep them harnessed outside and take them for short walks. Especially since Bengals are not “Cheap” cats to purchase. And we live so close to nearby Mountain ranges which is what they love. But we have way too many Coyotes scouring our streets every night so nighttime is a definite “No No”

    1. Agree with a lot of what you say, Kat, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Just be careful with letting any cat out on their own on an extendable leash – make sure there’s no likelihood of them getting accidentally caught in it and injured. If possible, building an outdoor enclosure or cat-proofing your yard are better options :)

  36. Hi Spot, Kat, and cat friends:

    Yes, Coco is neutered. The SPCA neutered him as that is their policy.

    I am not aware of his history before he came to me. For his one year of history I presume he had a horrible homeless life for some time as he was very battered when the SPCA recused him from the streets. My vet and I presume that he was abandoned by his original owners, into the wild or the streets.

    Yes, Coco has been wandering into the neighbours houses through windows and doors, and terrorizing their cats too.

    As he is so aggressive towards other cats, I have to presume he was never socialized.

    I have decided against getting the electric fence, it sound far too cruel, and I would never want my darling cat to get a shock from a collar!

    I have hired a company to come build and install a outdoor cat enclosure attached to the outside of my office window. Coco will have a cat door installed into the wall and a cat tunnel to run along the side of the house to his cat enclosure. As I work from home, this way I can see him outside my office window. This enclosure is costing me $2,800. Here it is at http://habitathaven.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1 and I have ordered the ROOM WITH A VIEW with the tunnel and CAT DOOR.

    Thank you for letting me know about the cat safe plants!

    I have also hired a handyman who is coming tomorrow to enclose the back porch, so Coco can enjoy family dinners outside with us.

    I have asked the handyman to fix the holes in the fence around the back yard, so to make it harder for the neighbourhood cats to get into the yard, as I know Coco would go crazy if he is in his safe enclosure watching a neighbourhood cat in his territory!

    Plus, I have been taking Coco out for daily walks down around the yard and down the back lane, for the past 7 days. He is getting better and better on the harness and leash! He now trots happily behind me when we leave the house and go down the back lane. However, he NEVER wants to go back home! Just lays down and refuses to move, so I am having to carry him all the way back home each time. As he weighs 15 heavy pounds, my back is getting a bit sore.

    Coco has been under in house arrest for one week now, and seems to be getting crazy about wanting to go outside, so I am working as fast as I can to get all these solutions done. As we all love Coco the CAT!

    So here is our solution to Coco the cats safety. 1) enclose back porch;, 2) build cat enclosure outside my office window, and 3) take Coco for regular walks on the harness and leash.

    What do you think of these solutions.

    Cheers!
    Susan

    1. Hi Susan

      I think those solutions are fantastic and I can tell that you are doing the very best you possibly can for Coco! He may not like not being able to free-roam, but it’s for everyone’s own safety, most importantly his, and I’m sure in time he will appreciate all that you are doing for him and the outside space he will have. Well done to you, I’m sure many others would have given up on him by now xx

  37. Many, many thanks for all your support!!!!

    The handyman just arrived this morning, and the back porch will be enclosed and cat proofed soon.

    Had a wonderful walk with Coco last night on the leash and harness. This time he trotted along very happily and I only had to carry him 3 times.

    Hugs! Susan

  38. Hello all :)

    I’m just about to purchase my very first bengals cat – I’ve been bought up with a variety of number of cats I’m surprised I don’t act like one lol -all my previous cats I’ve always trained even to the point of not clawing carpets sofas or sitting outside rooms I don’t want them in – I currently reside in a open spaced maisonette with a back yard which is rather lucky considering I live in London UK my back yard goes onto a large gravel drive way which is the back of local businesses and faces other people’s back gardens – I’ve seen another cat and also I have a fox that comes late at night -after reading the posts I will keep my bengals indoors and walk on a leash – I fear the road to the side and that it would be stolen and sold on – It’s a snow bengal- and there’s plenty off oportunists- I have a 7 year old boy that has the energy of 7 bengals cats put together and some- I’ve never kept indoor cats before I’ve always let them roam so what would I need to get for inside the house so she doesn’t go potty – I will definitely look at the garden proofing theory but I think if an animal wants to roam it’s going to roam if there is a will there’s a way :)- my biggest fear is for her to be stolen rather than run over – the park is a little walk away so I don’t really want to be drawing attention to walking her there and back – I think harnessing her in the garden is a good theory but it’s also like dangling a carrot I guess if it was routines from kitten it would become a part of her life if she didn’t make me feel too guilty

    1. Hello Marguerite! Get her lots of toys. Get a variety including interactive ones such as the dragonfly toy we sell on our store which you and your son can play with her. Also, get a cat climbing frame – the largest you can afford / have space for. Bengal cats like to be up high – so if you could get kitty shelves for your walls, that would be great, but if not – a comfy cushion on high up places such as the top of kitchen cupboards is often appreciated. She shouldn’t miss what she has not known so if she is never allowed free rein outside, she won’t miss it. Just make sure she gets plenty of attention indoors. Good luck!

  39. Here is a update:

    Coco is doing super well on the harness and leash training. He is so grateful to be outside, that we trots right behind me through the garden and down the back lanes.

    The biggest problem is when we run into a dog, I immediately pick him up, but he hates dogs and dug his claws into my shoulders. I took him to the vet for a manicure / pedicure as I learned the hard way how sharp his claws are.

    The handyman has been working on enclosing the back porch, and tonight we had family time on the porch with Coco the Bengal. Coco was so happy and laying in the sun purring, so I think he is starting to get used to his new restricted life where he is now no longer allowed to run free!

    Thanks for letting me know that Bengals like to be up high, I will purchase a inside the house cat climbing frame to further the cat’s indoor pleasures.

  40. My black bengal, (melanistic) constantly looks to escape outside. 。 I have given up on keeping Jason inside, during the day. I did get him microchipped , & a tag

    1. There’s no right or wrong answer, Laurie, it all depends on your own circumstances and the purrsonality of your cat :)

  41. Spot is right of course and he should know lol
    I let my two year old Cleo out at night (spayed and microchipped), she’d go mad if she couldn’t go out. So would I lol. At first she stayed out a lot, now she doesn’t stray very far and is always waiting outside for me to let her in for her breakfast in the morning. That’s the key, I think, she knows that home is where food and toys and her servants are! I am lucky that we live in a nice area and it’s very unlikely she’d be kitnapped, someone who picked her up would take her to a vet. So you have to think about all these things before deciding to let Jason out.

  42. Here is another update:

    The back porch is now enclosed, and Coco loves hanging out on the porch. I got him a climbing tower that he loves.

    the outdoor cat enclosure will be built this Tuesday.

    I am still taking Coco for walks on the leash and harness, but on my goodness, he is so heavy to carry at 15 pounds, that I am getting pain in my back. So I am heading over to PetSmart to buy him a CAT STROLLER! This should enable us to walk further with less strain on my back.

    1. Thanks for your updates, Susan! It sounds like you are making real progress! We have seen Cat Strollers, but have no experience of using them ourselves, so we’d love to know how you and Coco get on with it! :cool:

  43. Hi again, here is another update

    Got the cat stroller, and Coco the Cat LOVES it!

    Day 1: Went for a stroll around the neighbourhood. I intended to make it a short stroll, but Coco was so happy in the cat stroller that it turned into a 2 hour walk! Went all through the neighbourhood and into the local park. Most of the time, Coco was sitting up in the stroller and looking out the mesh window. I had him securely harnessed with a leash going around my wrist. I let him out at the flower garden in the park and walked him around the garden. The only scary part was running into dogs! Each time I saw a dog coming I put a towel on top of the cat stroller so neither the cat or dogs could see each other.! Coco slept well this night at home.

    Day 2: I put Coco in the front seat of the car, using the doggie seat belt fastener attached to his harness. That way I could drive up into the wilderness forest, with the windows open. The cat was sitting on the front seat of the cat, with his head swivelling around taking in all the sights and sounds.

    Once I got to the wilderness park, I put the cat into in cat buggy and we started hiking up the steep path into the deep forest with the tall trees. We had many, many people stop us to say they had never seen a cat in a buggy before. One guy even took a video of me and the cat, to show his kids later!

    Coco was much more confident than Day 1, and since this was a no dogs allowed park, I opened up the mesh so the cat could enjoy a full view. The cat jumped out of the stroller a few times, which did not worry me as I had the harness and leash.

    This ended up being a 3 hour hike! I found that a whole new set of muscles got used pushing a cat stroller, so I am sore, sore, sore! I let Coco do a lot of walking as well. Of course when the cat is walking, I have to be very patient, as he wants to sit and smell stuff forever!

    We stopped at a picnic table and I had lunch and Coco had tasty cat treats. This evening the cat slept soundly through the whole night, as he was so exhausted.

    Today, the cat went running over to his cat stroller, and jumped into it, and giving me lots of meowing. Obviously he is telling me he wants to go out strolling again, but I am too sore from the last 2 days.

    My only issue was with the pet stroller itself. It cost $110.00, and came with a very short handlebar. So, when I was pushing it I was slightly hunched over to avoid stepping on the rear tires rod. I found I had to push it on the side, which caused strain to my shoulders. It is a very poor design, and I am looking into returning it, and purchasing a higher quality one, that will also convert into a pet bike trailer. That way I can ride my bike with the cat behind me in his own pet trailer. I think I would be restricted to the wilderness park trials where dogs are not allowed.

    So my conclusion is YES! Bengal cats love the cat stroller combined with the leash and harness!

    1. Wow! What a great couple of days, except for your soreness of course! Thank you for writing such a comprehensive update. It sounds like you and Coco are going to have many idyllic hours if you can upgrade to a better stroller! We look forward to hopefully hearing of some of your adventures :)

  44. When we got our first cat, a Siamese, about….8 years ago, she was an indoor cat. But once she made her first escape it was soo hard to get her back inside. After many escapes, and us trying to to let her out, we came to the realization that if we LET her in and out when she wanted, then she came back much more freely. We still have her daughter from the first litter, Annie, who at first would go no more than 6 inches out the door..she was not the explorer her mom was. It took her a while to feel confident enough. We now have Sammy, 3, who is 3/4 bengal, and 1/4 siamese. He absolutely loves to explore and will be gone for hours, come back and say hi, make sure we’re all ok, then take off again. My husband swears he saw him about 3 miles from home when we were out to dinner, but he wouldn’t come to us so i’m not so sure although it certainly looked like him! And it truly wouldn’t surprise me if it was him, even that far from home…across one MAJOR busy street, as well as a canal!

    1. Thank you for sharing these experiences, Holly – it goes to show that all cats have their own purrsonalities and preferences <3

  45. Here is another update………………

    The outdoor cat enclosure was installed a couple of weeks ago, and Coco absolutely LOVES it!

    It has a cat tunnel that runs to the house, with a hole cut in the wall of the house with a cat door with a flap.

    It was designed and installed by Habitat Haven, and the cost was $3,000. To my way of thinking, I will save at least that much money on vet bills, since Coco is not exposed to the dangers of running free. A good investment.

    Coco loves it, the cat enclosure is 10 feet tall with 12 different climbing cedar shelves, a rain roof, and even a blue cat hammock! So far, Coco seems to prefer sleeping under the stars which is fine with me, as it is completely raccoon, coyote, and even cougar proof.

    The only disturbance was when the raccoons were sniffing around the cat enclosure one night, and Coco came charging into the house through his cat door to wake me up as he was so excited!

    1. That is great news, Susan! Thank you for the update :) It’s worth all the money in the world to have peace of mind, whilst knowing your kitty is happy too! :)

  46. Our cat Rusty has been missing for almost three days now. We generally let him out at night as it is too loud for him in the daytime and we are usually at work. The other day we were ready to leave for work and he was not waiting for us to let him in. Rusty usually comes back for his morning feed and yowls at the front door until we come.

    There is a park nearby our house where we thought he spent most of his time outdoors – he loves running around and hiding in bushes, chasing mice. It seems that he must have roamed much farther than we first thought. We have put posters throughout the entire neighbourhood and done a letter-box drop to all the houses in the surrounding streets. The thing is, we know that he is very capable of hiding and laying low, so he may not want to be found…

    Do you have any suggestions on how we might try to find him? The thought of just waiting for him to come home makes me so upset as I just want to know that he is safe. How long will Bengals usually spend away from home? He was so happy with us and loved the comfort of our home. While he went out almost every night, he would always return in the morning when the sun came up. What could be a reason for him to suddenly disappear? Could he have been chased away by another animal? Or could he just be lost, and if so, how will he find his way home?

    Any advice would be so much appreciated.

    1. Hello Jasmine. We’re so sorry your Rusty has gone missing. This could be for any number of reasons – he could have got trapped somewhere, like in someone’s garage or shed, he might have found another home he likes to live in, he could have been stolen, he could have been run over – I know these are upsetting but these are potentially the things that may have happened. But please try to not worry too much, and keep ever-hopeful, we have heard of cats returning many days and weeks after going missing.

      You have done the right thing with the leaflet drop. Other things you can try are to get in touch with all vets and rescue centres in the area and let them know he is missing. Is he microchipped? Post on social media on any local sites and just generally get the word out there as much as you can.

      Quite often, cats just turn up when they’re ready, wanting their food, but we know from experience (our Friday cat once went missing for 2 weeks) how awful the waiting is.

      We hope he comes home soon xxx

  47. IM SO SORRY FOR ALL OF YAWL CATS,,,BUT YOU KNOW …ITS LIKE LETTING YOUR CHILD OUT….THERE’S MANY WAYS OF ENTERTAINING YOUR CATS FROM HIGH SHELVING TO CAT WHEELS… A CAT HARNESS IS THE BETTER SOLUTION IF YOU DONT WANT TO HERE MANY STORIES LIKE I HAVE READ…PLEASE DON’T LET YOUR CATS ROAM FREE…IF THEY NOT NEUTERED OR SPAYED THEY WILL GET INTO FIGHTS AND GET HURT OR A DISEASE OR PREGNANT… I HAVE BENGAL CATS AND WOULD NOT LET THEM ROAM FREE THEY HAVE A SAFE OUTDOOR PLACE TO PLAY…EVEN A CAT RUN WOULD HELP…BENGALS NEED ACTIVITY ….THEY ARE SMART AND LOVE TO PLAY FETCH…BE INVOLVED…GOOD LUCK TO ALL…

  48. My Bengal cat is very happy. He is a indoor only cat, with a outdoor cat enclosure that is in the yard, that is 10 feet high with wire all around and tons of climbing shelves and hammocks.

    There is a cat tunnel from the house to his enclosure with a cat door in the side of the house. We also take him for walks in a pet stroller with a harness and leash and he can jump out of the pet stroller and walk with us if he wants to.

    I have been upset for a couple of weeks as a homeless stray starving cat was living out in the yard, freezing cold. Finally we let the homeless cat come inside when it fainted outside my bedroom window and was frozen to the bone.

    We had to take the homeless cat to the SPCA, and I posted on 5 different websites and newspapers that we found the homeless cat. Sadly we could not keep him ourselves because our Bengal cat hated him. Unfortunately, no one has claimed this poor cat and the SPCA has now put him up for adoption. I am shocked and dismayed that the homeless cat has no human family looking for him………..

    I used to think cats belonged outdoors, but now I am an advocate of indoor only cats, after seeing all of the suffering outdoor cats go through.

    1. Awww… poor little tiger :( We hope he finds a new home soon. It’s a shame your Bengal didn’t like him as we know how well you look after him, and it would have been good for the homeless cat to have a home with you <3

  49. Yes, I would have loved to adopt the sweet little homeless cat, but sadly my Bengal hated him………….Fingers crossed that a new human family will fall in love with him, and take him home from the SPCA.

  50. Hi, we have a 2 y.o bengal baby and an 18 month old moggie.

    We found that as we were at work during the day our (6month old) bengal baby was getting bored and destructive so we got a friend for her.
    She hated him in the beginning but slowly warmed up to him to the point where they now groom each other :-)

    They like to hang out by the front door as they are inside only cats. We let everyone know that the rule for visiting is not to let them out.

    Unfortunately they have managed to escape twice when my brother came to visit (he managed what two burglars failed).
    Our bengal baby shot straight under the house and loved exploring so much that it took a few hours to coax her out. It was far more stressful for us than her.
    Our moggie is terrified of people and new things so went for the smallest space to hide in – wedging himself between the back of the garden shed & the fence.

    Both are now well recovered and seem to enjoy being inside only cats.
    They are fixed, vaccinated & microchipped but don’t get let out as we are not in the best neighbourhood and have several busy roads.

    Thanks :-)

    1. Hello Jordy! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bengals usually are adventurous cats and don’t mix well with roads unfortunately, so it’s probably best for them to be kept indoors :)

    1. Hello Jane! We have had lots of cat trees in the past. They have only lasted a year or two before getting worn out and us needing a new one. So we decided to invest a bit more in a couple of top quality trees that will last for many years to come. We are delighted with them, they are from Tigga Towers (http://tiggatowers.com) :)

  51. We went on holiday 2 months after getting our Bengal male cat (Bingo) who is chipped and neutered. He went missing for 8 months and came back by chance. We kept him in the house with plenty of toys, cat nips, spot light toy and so on. He drove us mad wanting to go out all the time and attacking the other 3 cats I have. We let him out and see him go through the garden roughly every 2 months. He came into the house last night and startled one of my male cats. Bingo was slightly wild and would not let us get near him. I put food down for him and left him. He just wanted out again so I let him go and put the food on the door step.
    Do you think there is any chance of our Bingo coming back to being domesticated again? How can I do it?
    Also we might be moving house. Do I put him in a cat box and take him with us or let the vets know he is living wild in the streets and leave him. Not sure what will be best for him. Any advice please? :-)

    1. Hi Elaine. It sounds like he is used to his freedom and it would be very difficult to get him used to be an ordinary household kitty again :( But it doesn’t seem right to abandon him either. Is there any chance with the new home of cat-proofing the back garden (or part of it) so that he can have time outdoors but not run wild? In terms of your other cats, you would need to start off the introduction process again, as though he was a brand new cat and keep him separated from them – you can read hints and tips in our article on this if you wish.

  52. Hi, My Bengal nala is two years old and I kept her in because I worry she may get stolen but she tries to escape every time the door is opened and she’s showing signs of distress, she used to wee on my mums sofa in the same spot all the time and she’s always looking around and pulling the cupboards open the bin over and is generally naughty and I think it’s because she’s bored she’s been like that since I got her, I’ve just moved two weeks ago and I’m living in a family house with a well known friend sharing just the kitchen, my friend has two other cats and a cat flap in her kitchen but I can’t keep my cat in my room no matter how big it is, I’ve got a harness but it’s not enough she wants to roam free I’m just so worried about letting her out but if she’s distressed then I’m not helping her. I live in padstow in a little culdisack it does have roads but it’s the roads of the street and I live right at the end so the road that leaves the street I live in is right over the other side. I’ve just had her microchipped today and I’ve started walking her around her new surroundings in the garden and I am slowly introducing her to my friends cats they had a a hiss and growling noises but never went for each other. I am going to train her to go outside teach her to use the cat flap she needs it, I was just wanting your opinion on my situation? Thanks, Carley. X

    1. Hi Carley. It’s always a risk when you let your cats have free rein outside, no matter where you live. There is always the chance they could get stolen or get into a fight with another animal or get run over. Our best solution is to cat proof your garden or a part of it like we have – this gives the best of both worlds: Outdoor access but with safety. If this is not feasible for you then outdoor access is a decision only you can make based on your own circumstances. What we would ask is are there enough activities indoors for your Nala? scratching posts and toys etc? And do you play with her every day? Not just leave toys lying around, but play with things like the dragonfly toy interactively every day? You can rotate toys so she doesn’t get bored of the same thing all the time. Things like catnip bubbles are good, or Da Bird – there are lots of choices.

  53. Hi thanks for your advice, yes I have plenty of toys and got a six foot cat tree with toys on and little houses on it it’s massive. I’ve got another cat as well kiara they are like best buddies they love cuddling and playing together, kiara is a little ginger cat she is quiet small I think she was the runt of the litter I rescued her the poor thing was fifly and riddled in fleas she’s a timid little thing but nala looks after her. I think I’m just going to play it by ear and get kiara spayed and it will help to have them both out together. X

    1. We would recommend that all cats are spayed / neutered unless they are part of a registered breeding programme, so that is a wise move <3 Good luck x

  54. We have adopted a Bengal male we’ve had him 7 moths a real character, prolific hunter. But this week has attacked me several times when I haven’t let him out immediately. He’s normally really lovable and soppy, when he attacks he’s highly excitable as he obviously wants to go out hunting. What do I do if he attacks me

    1. Is he neutered, Denise? If not, get him done as soon as you can and this should help. If/when he attacks, try not to stay calm and not give him a reaction as he will only seek more attention if you do. I know that is easier said than done, but attacking you gives him attention if you react and will only encourage it further. Simply say No, in a firm but not shouting voice and ignore him. He is trying to establish the hierarchy and you must remain at the top. Similarly, always give cuddles/treats etc when he has been a good boy to reward good behaviour.

  55. Hi he’s been fine since, we think it was because a male had wandered into his territory, he was going around the garden spaying everything. He has been neutered. He’s 5 yrs old and is normally a really nice natured cat. He has gone back to normal now in fact he seemed to make an extra fuss of me as though he knew he had done wrong. Thank you for your reply.

  56. Hello, I’m in desperate need of advice. I have recently been relocated from London UK to New York for my work and I have had to leave my beautiful Bengal boy back in the UK with friends until I find accommodation. The thing is that bengals are banned in nyc, so I had planned to try and find accomodation just across the water in jersey city. Unfortunately gardens are really hard to come by and my budget for rent isn’t high enough to afford one of the nicer places that do. My boy is 8 years old and I would be mortified if I had to part ways with him. He’s always been an outdoor boy but I was wondering if there was a way I could train him to be an indoor cat and substitute his outdoor time with a morning walk and play before work and hopefully one again in the evening? I’m worried he will make too much noise at being locked inside as he can be pretty loud when he is protesting and I don’t want to get evicted. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as my friends think I’m selfish but my visa is only for two years and none of my friends or family are willing to have him/ have him long term.

    1. Hello Lucy. We are sorry to hear of your predicament. It’s hard for an older cat to adjust to an indoor existence when they have been used to going outside, but almost anything is possible with patience. He needs to have lots of activity indoors to keep him occupied. Cat towers/trees are great as are indoor kitty wheels (though the latter are quite expensive), and lots of interactive play with you when you are home would be good too – with things like the Dragonfly that we sell, or Da Bird, for example. Outdoor walks are worth trying too. You could also use something like Feliway or Pet Remedy to ease any stress. At the end of the day, he may be slightly unhappier being an indoor cat but it sounds like it’s not going to last forever and at least he will be living with someone (you) that he loves.

  57. Hello, I’m in desperate need of advice. I have recently been relocated from London UK to New York for my work and I have had to leave my beautiful Bengal boy back in the UK with friends until I find accommodation. The thing is that bengals are banned in nyc, so I had planned to try and find accomodation just across the water in jersey city. Unfortunately gardens are really hard to come by and my budget for rent isn’t high enough to afford one of the nicer places that do. My boy is 8 years old and I would be mortified if I had to part ways with him. He’s always been an outdoor boy but I was wondering if there was a way I could train him to be an indoor cat and substitute his outdoor time with a morning walk and play before work and hopefully one again in the evening? I’m worried he will make too much noise at being locked inside as he can be pretty loud when he is protesting and I don’t want to get evicted. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as my friends think I’m selfish but my visa is only for two years and none of my friends or family are willing to have him/ have him long term.

  58. Hi, I don’t have a bengal but I have a 6 month old cat. He is so lovely and follows me everywhere around the house and garden etc. My only problem is that when I walk my dog he wants to come and tries to follow us. I get really nervous and so take him back and put him in the house. But I feel really bad doing it. I’m not sure whether to get him a little harness and lead too so he can come but i’m worried if I do that he might wander off that far if he goes outdoors on his own. He doesn’t go out a lot on his own at the moment as like I said he likes to follow me most of the time, Just not sure what to do for the best. I don’t want to have to keep looking him in the house when I go out though either.

    1. Hi Nicola. You are obviously being careful now to not let him out, so as long as you continue to be very careful when opening doors etc, I don’t see what harm it would do? He may appreciate going out with you (on a supervised basis) and not want to go out on his own. It’s hard to know what to do for the best, sometimes you just need to let your instincts guide you and listen to what your kitty is trying to tell you.

  59. :?: Hi, looking for some advice on letting my bengal out. She is about a year and a half and has been going outside daily since about 6 months old. She was always good about coming back when it got dark (we have had a couple of scares where she stayed out really late and had to go look for her). But we recently moved to a new neighborhood and are nervous about her being out. We are right up against a mountain so worried about coyotes and also, there are a lot of aggressive dogs in the neighborhood. We have kept her locked in the house since the move but she is NOT happy about it! She just walks around and meows as loud as possible and even jumps at the doors and hangs on the handles trying to get the door open! She wants out so bad and has even recently begun peeing in the house to show us her frustration! She has never had a problem with the litter box and she knows where it is in the new house, because she uses it most of the time. What are your thoughts? Is letting her out a horrible idea, or how can we get her more used to being an indoor only bengal and stop peeing in the house? Thanks!

    1. Hi Erin! We are all for safety and of course prefer the idea that all kitties are always safe. Unfortunately, it is very hard to ‘turn’ a cat from one used to having free reign outside to then being cooped up indoors. The peeing is definitely a sign of her frustration! Is there anyway to ‘cat-proof’ your back yard so she can go out but safely? Maybe buy an enclosure which you could take with you if you need to move again? If you are planning to be there for the longer term, maybe fence in your yard like we have? (See our article, 5 ways to let your cat outside safely).

  60. We have just got a male Bengal kitten…12 weeks old (rescue).. Having read all the above post’s, i am now thinking we have done the wrong thing. Stupidly i did not research the breed before we got him 2 days ago and i am now worried sick! Will someone please tell me i have done the right thing!!!

    1. Hello Mrs Hargreaves. Are you sure the kitten you have is a Bengal? The only reason I ask is because it’s unusual to find them so young up for rescue. We agree that it’s always better to research any breed of cat before you buy/rescue them as they all have their own traits and personalities. What is it exactly you are worried about in relation to your boy?

  61. Hi
    We have a 2 year old male Savanna – Myschkyn ….he is very mishievious, we live on an estate with a park behind and woods behind so I would consider quite safe for him to roam, however on 2 occasions now he has been missing for 5 days in June , 4 days in July. I was heartbroken and had reported him missing. He now has a tracker on him and can see where he has been which is a long way – a couple of miles ….of which is always the same route.
    He looks so sad when we keep him in and didnt take to a lead. He has never been in a fight and is as gentle adorable as any cat you can meet.
    I let him out at darkness, so no one can see him and it is generally a lot quieter.!

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Lynne. Of course, everyone’s circumstances are different and every cat is different. You must do what is right according to both of these things xx

  62. My dream was to have a bengal cat and I managed to convince my husband. So we purchased a beautiful male this summer. He wasn’t happy indoors so we slowly let him go outside. One month later, he was 5 months old, we never saw him again. We surched for 3 weeks, posted pictures in the city, contacted the vets, but no signs of him. Unfortunately, we think he was stolen. He was so beautiful. But yet, he was so happy to go outside with us. Such a dilemma.

    It still hurts in the stomach. The kids, my husband and myself are so so sad…

    1. So sorry he has gone missing, Alessandra :( We would always recommend having an outdoor enclosure or cat-proofing your garden if you can. That way, the cat can go out but be safe xx

  63. Hi, I have 2 part Bengal cats. I got them from a local animal shelter approx. 6 years ago. I took them on after signing that I was taking them as house cats. One is better than the other. One sits with me and is very clingy with me. Whilst the other one comes to me but on his terms. I love both my boys. They have 2 cat towers and plenty of other toys. Though, I like to buy new toys to keep them happy as they get fed up of things really quick. I have found that my boys can’t have toys with catnip which makes my findings a bit more challenging. I noticed that you mentioned to another reader about something called a dragonfly. Does this have catnip, and do you have any ideas of new toys that I can purchase for my boys.Thankyou. Hayley

    1. Hello Hayley! The dragonfly is our Bengals’ most favourite toy! It doesn’t have catnip in it, it’s an interactive toy that you need to spend time playing with your kitties with – we sell it in our store, it’s our best selling item. Wheels are great, though they are quite expensive and there is no guarantee that both of your cats will like it. We hope that helps :)

  64. Hi, I have a Bengal and don’t know what do to he is 4 years old vaccinated chipped and spayed. But he urinates all over my house and has started pooing in the bedroom and bathroom despite have litter trays being cleaned daily. He is behavioural when doing these things and acts like he wants to go out. Ive read loads and tried walking him but that doesn’t work.
    We have a baby on the way and I don’t want him to be more unhappy should I let him out ?
    Thanks Abbie

  65. Hi, i have a white bengal with bright blue eyes and a ginger tail! im worrited that if i let him out someone will steal him. my main problem is that we do not have a garden or cat flap. Do i wait until we move out next year (in hope that we can afford a garden) or do i try my luck and let him out on his own accord. I take him for walks now and again.

    My cat is quite naughty, ripping up the carpet and practically de-wallpapering my walls. Im hoping that if he has adventure outside he will treat inside with comfort. My cat has been neutered and all injections including the microchip.

    Thanks!
    Leanne

    1. Hi Leanne
      It’s very difficult for me to guide you as so much depends on what is in the area where you live. There are so many potential hazards, not just people stealing him but also being near any well-used roads or wild animals or even other cats who have established their territory already. If you do have any off these, we would advise that you don’t let him out. It sounds like he might need more toys to play with – do you have cat towers/trees? Do you play interactive toys with him such as the Dragonfly we sell, or Da Bird, for example? Or things like catnip bubbles? Even scrunched up aluminium foil to make balls for him to chase and play fetch? Things where you are actually playing with him are always a good idea. It might also be useful to take him for walks more regularly than it sounds like you do now :) We hope that helps :)

  66. Our female bengal is 13 months and has been going outside since she was 9 months old. We also have a big Tom cat who goes outside so was very difficult to keep her in. We live next to farm land and woods but about a half mile away is a posh housing estate. Up to now she has confined herself to the woods and visiting close neighbours she has also let herself into our local pub through an open window and terrorised their cats. Two nights ago she was gone for 12 hours and we were worried we posted on fb and someone had sighted her at the posh housing estate we went and called and searched for her to no avail. When we got home she suddenly shot through the cat flap! Last night she was gone all night again and we have just had a call to say she’s at a house on the estate in their bed!! How can I stop her from doing this there is a main road and several other roads she needs to cross to get to this house. The main part of her journey I think is done through the woods I hope …..anyone got any answers

    1. Apart from spaying her, there is no way to limit her territory. Unless you keep her indoors or an outdoor enclosure.

      1. Just seen your comments and we agree, Gavin. Even spayed cats will wander within quite a large territory given the chance.

    2. If you let your cats free roam, Karen, there’s not really much control you have over where they go – you can’t tell them to go to one place but not another, they will just go where they please. You either let them free roam and worry about where they are, or you keep them indoors, or you can compromise and let them outdoors in a secure garden like we do. Those are pretty much all the choices you have.

  67. We have two bengal brothers, now a year and a half old! They are both neutered and up to date with vaccines but like many others on here we are simply too scared to let them out to wander freely. We live next to two busy roads on bad corners, drivers just come whizzing round! We have a decent sized garden so have just started drawin up plans and ordering materials to build an enclosure!

    I am so excited! Our two cats a very content, playful and extremely cuddly, but I feel so sorry for them when they are chasing birds from inside the conservatory, so hopefully they will enjoy the enclosure once it’s built! :D

    1. It’s great to have an enclosure – the best of both worlds, your cats get to go outside, but safely :)

  68. Hi

    This happened earlier this evening. My 14 month old Bengal cat Cydney got out of the house through the window where the tumble drier hose goes out. It used to be the outside toilet (attached to the house) and normally the door is left shut but was left open. In spite of intensive searching there is no sign of her.

    We were alerted to it because she let out a terrible scream but by the time we got there she was gone.

    We are worried for the following reasons. She is an indoor cat and is considered too skittish to be let out yet. She has never been outside before. She is timid and terrified of other cats. We think she encountered one outside and was chased/ran away. She is tiny for a Bengal. I am worried she ran away and is now lost and cannot find her way home. When she sees another cat when she is in the house she runs and hides under the bed. She has now been gone for over 3 hours.

    I have rattled her biscuits, we have all been round the block, looked over fences etc. My only hope is that she will find her way home but I am so worried. My other Bengal ran into the road last August and was run over and killed so I am beginning to wonder if we will ever see her again.

    Can a cat that has never been outside find its way home?

    1. Hello Susan. We’re sorry to hear this and we’re hoping she is home now. In answer to your question, yes we have heard of a few examples where an indoor cat finds their way home OK.

      1. I am pleased to say that she is home now. I leafleted the road and one of the neighbours next door but one telephoned me and said ‘I have found your cat. She is under our barbecue.’ We went rushing round there but she ran into some bushes. However, after a lot of persuasion she crept forward to eat the food offered to her and we were able to pick her up and bring her home. She slept solidly for two days only awaking to eat large quantities of food. She is now back to normal demanding her favourite game!

  69. I’ve been watching the livestream feed of a pregnant Bengal cat rescued from a backyard breeder. She now has two kittens. You can watch the 24/7 feed at tinykittens.com. (TinyKittens is a rescue focused on rescuing pregnant momma cats, including ferals. They get the mom healthy, help deliver and care for the babies, meeting the needs of mom and babies all along the way. Then they are all spayed/neutered and adopted into good homes.) The mom’s name is Felicity. The kittens were born a week ago.
    But that’s just how I got here. I do have a story about Bengal’s outside.
    Usually when we go away sailing for a week or more we take our cats. One evening we tied to a dock, instead of anchoring out. We were greeted by an extremely friendly cat, who hopped right onto the boat and loved being petted. The cat was obviously well cared for and had a cute collar which gave some information but not an address or phone number, or which boat the cat may have belonged to.
    The next day we left that dock, but were not too far away when much to our surprise this really friendly cat appeared from somewhere below deck. I have to tell you, it was really tempting to not turn around, though only in a very fantasy sort of way because of course we couldn’t take someone else’s cat no matter how beautiful, friendly and entertaining.
    So, back we went. As we touched the dock the cat happily hopped off and walked down the pier, to hop on another boat, presumably his own, for breakfast.
    I’m not offering any judgement or critique for against allowing cats access to the outdoors. I adopt rescues and try to meet their needs. I’ve yet to adopt one that was happy being an indoors only cat, so mine do go out for short spurts. They are easily lured back in because we feed them at specific times, four times a day, a raw diet, and there is no kibble available for noshing so mealtime is a powerful lure. I admit I would rest easier if they never went outside, but our property is mostly conducive to them being safe outside, and they are not roamers. Outside they run up and down trees, poop and pee in my gardens, chase each other, hide behind tall plants, sleep on top of plants, chase leaves, eat the planted catnip, get spooked by some noise and dart indoors; you get the picture. Mine are Maine Coons and they love the snow. I cannot imagine keeping a Bengal happy as an inside only cat.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Cynthia. We think it’s great the way you allow your cats outside space in a controlled way. Many people do keep Bengals as indoor-only cats, they have to make sure there’s lots of activity and stimulation for them. We have a secure, large, cat garden filled with scratching posts, grasses, bamboo, toys where our Bengals can go out and play and have the wind in their fur, but we know they’re safe. We think that is the best compromise.

  70. Hi there, I have an 8 month old male bengal cross, he loves being outdoors and we have recently got him a new friend (10wk old Maine Coon cross) who he loves to play with.

    My question for other Bengal cat ownners is that due to his smooth silky cat Dex tends to feel the cold & doesnt especially like the cold uk weather – should I get him a jumper/jacket to wear when outside /any suggestions?

    Thanks

  71. I think cats should be allowed outdoors. So there is a risk involved but it’s the same risk you take when you let your children outside on their own. You have to understand there are risks with everything….you go out you might get in a car accident, you let your nine yr old son out he might end up playing pranks hurting animals or get abducted by some lunatic…freedom is accompanied by risk and that’s life. Inprisonment is not the answer. Dogs are an exception to this because they usually get lost and never come back plus they’re larger and are more likely to run up to strangers and scare them or bite them. I’ve had cats all my life they have always had access to the outdoors and all of them so far have lived to just over twenty years. I never lost one of them. Sure there have been accidents, but all of them similar to your children being outside and coming home with a scraped knee. Enjoying life is all about taking risks and nobody including cats should be cooped up for their own protection. As for them killing wildlife, I think as human beings we really aren’t the ones who should be judging any animals impact on the environment because we truly are the worst by far. Cats are half feral and it’s cruel to keep them indoors. However if I lived in the heart of a busy city with no rural area I wouldn’t let them out. You should live in the suburbs, if not, then there are much bigger risks.

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