If you’re looking at taking on a Bengal cat, you might be wondering about some aspects of caring for it. And you’re probably already aware that exercise is a big one for Bengal cats. So that might lead you to wonder whether Bengal cats need to be walked the way dogs do daily.
Do Bengal Cats Need To Be Walked?
Bengal cats do not necessarily need to be walked. But they do need a lot of exercise. If you have plenty of space and you play with your cat a lot, you don’t need to walk it. However, walking is excellent exercise, so it can be a great way to keep your Bengal fit and happy.
Why Might I Walk My Bengal Cat?
There are plenty of reasons to walk a Bengal cat, and perhaps one of the key ones is that it can be fun, both for you and for your kitty. Lots of people enjoy walking dogs, and walking a cat is very similar.
It gives you both an opportunity to exercise and get out into the fresh air and have some fun – so it’s beneficial all around.
You can walk your Bengal cat as a means of tiring it out at the end of the day or as a way of spending some quality time together.
Walking is an excellent exercise for both you and your cat. In addition, it will help you keep your Bengal cat in good shape.
There’s also the mental stimulation to consider. Bengal cats are highly intelligent and like to have lots of stimulation. They want to play games and explore things constantly, and they are very curious creatures. If you don’t have a lot of time to walk your cat, you should at least consider investing in some stimulating and interactive cat toys.
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Imagine being stuck inside all day, every day, without anything new to do or look at, and you’ll see why walking is good for a Bengal cat.
This is true even if you make efforts to keep their environment interesting. Taking them outdoors gives them access to a range of new sights, smells, tastes, sounds, and textures. In addition, it also allows them to see other people and creatures, which can help improve socialization.
You simply can’t offer this wealth of things to interact with indoors, no matter how much you try. You can, of course, create a stimulating environment anyway. But if you can take your Bengal cat out sometimes, you will be enriching its quality of life and broadening its experiences.
You might wonder whether just letting your Bengal cat outside is similarly advantageous.
Free roaming can be very enjoyable for a cat, but remember that this exposes them to dangers such as traffic, dogs, and thieves. While many Bengal cats do roam free very happily, it’s important to consider this before letting your kitty out.
What Do I Need In Order To Walk A Bengal Cat?
Firstly, the cat may slip out of the collar and get lost. Secondly, if the cat chooses to pull, it could damage its neck or find it hard to breathe. None of these are good outcomes, so purchase a harness for your Bengal cat before you consider walking it.
You should also spend some time getting your cat adjusted to this harness in the house before you attempt a walk.
You will often find that a Bengal cat reacts negatively to a harness at first. It will feel quite strange to them, and they may not like the sensation at all. But, don’t worry; the harness won’t hurt them, and mind wearing it after a while.
It will probably take a few days for your cat to settle down and get used to the harness. Then, if they go outside, take the harness off beforehand so it can’t get looped over a branch and trap them.
Once your cat is no longer fighting or trying to chew the harness, it’s time to attach the leash and walk them inside the house.
Hopefully, your cat will soon adjust to the sensation. You can then graduate to walking in the yard (if you have one) or possibly around the block.
Don’t plan any long walks with your cat until you are comfortable with the whole process and your cat is used to the harness.
The last thing you want is to lose your kitty or cause a negative association with walks.
Older cats will probably take longer to adjust to the harness and leash, while a young cat is likely to adapt quickly.
If I Can’t Walk My Bengal Cat, What Should I Do?
You may feel that walking your Bengal cat isn’t for you. Whatever the reason, that’s fine, but you do need to take some other steps to keep your cat happy and healthy.
Firstly, you need to try and make sure your cat has at least some access to the outdoors, whether free-roaming or in a cat run.
If your cat is mainly stuck inside, walking it is a good idea. An indoor environment is not likely to provide enough enrichment to keep your cat truly happy and engaged, and you might find yourself handling negative, destructive behavior as a result.
If you don’t want your Bengal cat to free roam for whatever reason, consider building a cat run for it.
This can include sand, dirt, rocks, cat-safe plants, and plenty of bushes or perhaps small trees or perches to climb on. Bengal cats love high-up spaces and will value opportunities to climb.
Having free access to this space will give your Bengal cat an opportunity to interact with the outside world while being kept safe.
Of course, this isn’t as enriching as the cat being able to roam, but it does help and allows them to explore new textures and smells and see other animals.
You need to make sure your cat run is very secure. Use quality building materials, buy a good quality commercial run, and regularly check it for signs of damage.
Remember that Bengal cats can jump eight feet or sometimes even more; your pen will need a secure top to prevent them from jumping out.
You should also make an indoor space as enriching as possible, even if they have outdoor access. The more toys and games you can provide, the better. Use vertical space to let your Bengal cat climb and jump, and offer a rotation of toys to keep them interested.
Puzzles such as hidden treats or cardboard box obstacle courses are also great ways to ensure your Bengal cat has plenty to play with and puzzle over if it only has limited outdoor space.
Walking is not a requirement for owning a Bengal cat, but it is an excellent way to give your cat safe access to an ever-changing world. You can vary your walking routes to keep things interesting and exciting, and you may even find streams your Bengal cat can play in.
However, if you would rather not walk your cat, that’s fine too; just provide plenty of enrichment activities and enough space for it to play and burn off energy in your home and/or yard.