Bengals have a TON of energy!
Constructive playtime is extremely important to keeping you and your cat
happy. A bored Bengal will quickly make toys out of the most expensive
items in your house. Play not only allows your Bengal to burn off all this
energy but it is a great way to bond and establish boundaries with your
cat. Furthermore, it’s crucial to keeping your cat in good shape. Bengals
have a medium build and if fed too much and active too little, they can
become pudgy. Here are some fun (and easy) things to do for play:
A cardboard box.
Yes, this simple rocket/cave/bear can keep your cat entertained for at
least 5 minutes! Even better, toss a crumpled up piece of paper into it.
These are the cat toys you see on poles with long tails that you whip
around. The motion of these toys mimics the movement of prey in the
wild. We’ve found, however, that most aren’t constructed well enough to
stand up to a Bengal. We’ve discovered a relatively cheap and easy way to
make a sturdier one- ask and we’ll share!
Cat trees. Add
in the fishing toy and hours of climbing fun ensue! (Cats also use cat
trees to establish hierarchies in multiple cat households. This is
essential to keep the peace!) Put your cat tree out in the busy part
of the home, because Bengals want to be near their people. Even
the best cat tree will remain unused if located in a dark corner or
The cheap one at Office Depot or Petco works as well as any. Almost all
cats I know respond to it. Try moving it slowly away from your cat to
watch them pounce!
Use play time to work on your cat’s
behavior as well. Stop playing if your kitten or cat becomes too
aggressive. Simply drop the toy and walk away. If your cat becomes
possessive over certain toys or playtime (as Dexter, our Oriental Shorthair does),
put toys away when not playing and place the aggressive cat in another room
so that other cats can have a chance to play (Dexter is slowly learning that
he has to play nice or get shut in the bedroom).
When playing tug of war
with your kitty, make sure you are the winner. Although our cats are our
companions, we are still responsible for them and their behavior and part of
that responsibility is having them learn that you are in charge!
Watch out for attention-seeking
behavior. If your kitten learns that you'll interact with her every
time she jumps on the countertop, she's going to jump up there whenever
she's bored! If you need to curb a behavior, just say "No" in a firm
voice, move the cat, then go back to what you were doing. Don't let
the cat's bad behavior cause you to do anything fun for her. It won't
distract her, it just reinforces the behavior.
We recommend against using squirt guns,
noise makers, etc. as punishment or scare tactics. bengals are very
smart, and it's a bad idea to get in a tit-for-tat contest with them.
They go through mischievous/rebellious phases as they grow, but if you react
consistently in a way they can understand, they'll outgrow [most of] it!