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7 Top Tips that Make Caring for a Bengal Cat Easy
Your Bengal Cat is the most essential thing in your life, right? Ok, maybe not quite — maybe your kids and husband rank a little higher. Still, little Felix the Bengal is right behind them, and you need to know the ins and outs of Caring for a Bengal Cat… You’re in the right place.
At Buckaroo Bengals, we love all animals and pet breeds, but this article is focused on caring for your new Bengal cat or Bengal kitten.
Find the Perfect Cat Vet and Cat Sitter
The first thing you want to do is ensure that when you need extra help with your Bengal Cat, you have the right people lined up. Let’s start with the cat vet. You want to start with a licensed veterinarian. Make sure they have the proper credentials and schooling to take on the job.
You shouldn’t need a specialist, but make sure you’re comfortable with them and feel good asking them questions. They should be able to inform and teach you at every visit. You should always feel like you know what they’re doing with your Bengal cat or Bengal Kitten. A vet that doesn’t explain their process is probably not the right fit!
The right cat sitter can be a little bit trickier to find as they don’t post their credentials on the wall. It needs to be someone both you and your cat are comfortable with. Have them over to meet you before you ever have a trip planned and see how they interact with your cat.
A lot of people don’t believe that socializing with cats is important. “Oh, they’ll be fine for a couple of days as long as they have plenty of food and water.” — I can’t tell you how often I have heard this. This is an outdated way of thinking, and for Bengal Cats, who crave human attention, it’s definitely the wrong mindset to have.
If your Bengal cat seems to be craving more human interaction than usual, it may be less about needing your attention and more about needing their diet adjusted. Let’s take a look at what foods are good for your Bengal cat.
Investing in a Great Cat Food Diet
Caring for a Bengal Cat is very similar to caring for any household cat. The main thing that you need to be aware of is what you should be feeding them. Bengal Cats are recently related to the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) and can have a shorter digestive tract as a result. Feeding them the right nutrients is key to them having a long healthy life.
A Bengal Cat that isn’t receiving the right nutrients will often act out. This is where you come across some frustrating behavior problems. Think: Cat on the counter or in the cupboards, and bread bags chewed through with half-eaten bread. I’ve seen and heard of a lot of things that I never would have expected a cat to do because they were looking for extra nutrients.
When you read the back of your cat food can, do you see Protein as the main ingredient? Make sure that it is animal protein (not plant protein). The higher the percentage the better off your cat will be.
Stay away from grain-free as they often add other fillers just as bad if not worse. Instead, look into Grain friendly as a better alternative.
Moisture is also very important. Often cats don’t drink a lot of water. They’re used to hydrating through their food. Getting a water fountain to encourage drinking is a good practice, just make sure you clean it often. Also, wet food is preferable to even good quality dry food as a result.
If your cat doesn’t have a special feeding spot, it’s important to add one. Let’s talk about creating a territory for your Bengal cat.
Have You Ever Thought About Building a Cat Wall or Catio?
You may not think that giving a cat its own space is important, but cats are territorial creatures. They will be 100% happier if they have their own domain. There are lots of different ways to accomplish this even if you don’t have a lot of space to devote to it.
Some Bengal cats love vertical space. They want to climb everything. These are the cats that are constantly on top of the fridge, the cabinets, or even your shoulders. For these cats, a climbing tower with scratchers or a cat wall would be a great space to claim.
Or is your cat a door darter? Are they constantly trying to get outside? Maybe an outdoor catio they have access to is the best solution if they like being outdoors.
Make sure you build it so that other animals can’t get in. I don’t recommend allowing your Bengal Cat to roam freely outside as predators can be a danger.
A personal observation of my own is that my cats that have had their own territory have respected my space more as a result. I am less likely to be picking up broken knick-knacks and books off of bookshelves if my cats have tall space to live in that is dedicated to them.
Along with territory, it’s important to provide the proper exercise and activity to keep your Bengal cat content. Let’s talk about some great cat toys to keep them happy.
Let's Bump Up Your Cat Enrichment
Cat toys! Who doesn’t like playing with your cat, right? Cat toys are one of the best ways to keep your Bengal cats happy. I like to get a wide variety of cat toys. Some they like to play with by themselves and some that I can play with them. Cat toys really don’t need to be expensive if you’ve ever seen a cat in a cardboard box you know there are endless ways to use things you already have around the house as cat enrichment.
A few examples would be:
- Plastic cups
- Toilet paper rolls with or without toilet paper on them
- Strips of fabric
- Measuring tape (if you’d like to be really creative)
- Pens and pencils
But, of course, there are plenty of cat toys at the store too, like the sticks with the teaser strings, laser pointers, and a must-have are definitely cat scratchers. Cat scratchers serve two purposes: territorial marking and they often have little string toys on them that Bengal cats can play with.
One of the great aspects of a lot of cat toys is that they also allow you to interact with your cat at the same time. While there are lots of great toys they can play with by themselves, make sure you include some good toys you can play with together for your Bengals socialization.
Cat Socialization is VERY Important for Bengals
This is because, like dogs, Bengals are very human-oriented. Often they’ll pick one human to follow around all the time. Socialization can take many different forms. It can be playing with your cat, introducing them to a new experience, or maybe even taking them on a walk. The key here is that they’re doing it with you.
If I don’t socialize my Bengals enough they often get really needy and start to act out. Felix gets really upset and will start to wake me up at 4:00 a.m. every morning to scream in my face. He says I need to get my priorities in order and obviously he is the most important.
Lena on the other hand will just come sit on me no matter what I’m doing. Depending on what that is, it can be very interesting. They need quality attention and time with us, as much as we need them.
While you may love playing with your cat and giving them the socialization they crave, one thing that may not be at the top of your list of fun activities is likely cleaning the litter box. But it doesn’t have to be a terrible experience.
Some Litter Box Hacks to Get You Through the Dreaded Task
Everyone’s least favorite part about owning a cat — the litter box. But don’t worry, we have some great litter box hacks to help lessen the stink… literally. The first option is a bit expensive and involves purchasing a litter robot (or some other type of automatic litter sifter). This type of litter box immediately cycles after your cat uses it and helps keep the stench down enormously. They are worth their weight in gold, which is pretty much what they cost.
Another good litter box hack is to buy a Tidy Cats Breeze Litter System*. This litter box uses pellets rather than litter and the pee runs down onto a pee pad below. You only have to scoop the poop. The cons are that you pretty much have to scoop right away as the pellets don’t mask the smell at all. And God help you if your cat gets diarrhea!
They also sell stench absorbers you can put out that absorb the smells in the air. I have only used these occasionally as they need to be replaced frequently. But it is a pretty cool concept to keep any smell of cats out of the air.
It is important to remember that the litter box is an important tool to use as a guide to your cat’s overall health. Loose poops, peeing outside the litter box, going infrequently, and blood in the poop urine all warrant an immediate vet trip. Speaking of vet trips, it’s important to be realistic about the unexpected costs that can crop up when owning a pet.
Prepare Yourself for the Unthinkable With Cat Insurance
At the very least, start a savings account. Despite doing everything in your power to take care of your little fur ball, emergencies can crop up at any time. I can’t tell you how many times people tell me they don’t have the money to get to the vet. But this is a very important investment for your cat’s health.
The cat insurance that I know of is through Trupanion. All of our kittens go home with 30 free days of pet insurance through Trupanion. This means they will waive the waiting period and you can have quality pet care for emergencies from the start.
While Trupanion doesn’t cover routine checkups, these 30 days will get you through the stressful transition of leaving the home you know and adjusting to your home. It’s very important, especially if you have other animals.
Get Your Bengal Cat Today
Now that you see the benefits of owning a Bengal and you’re confident in your ability to care for them responsibly, take a look at our available kittens and pick one out to go home with you. At Buckaroo Bengals, we make sure that your kitten is well-socialized and has a perfect bill of health before they come home to join your family.