Bengals are beautiful, unique cats often favored by cat lovers, but you may have heard some unsavory things about their behavior. This may have you asking; are Bengal cats aggressive?
The truth is, any cat can be aggressive when provoked. However, because Bengal cats have their own special needs to stay happy and healthy, they can act out if they are not satisfied with their environment. These high-energy cats need appropriate lodging and care to avoid aggressive behavior.
Knowing what a Bengal needs is crucial before deciding to adopt one. Thankfully, this breed is so adored that there’s ample information about avoiding Bengal aggression.
Are Bengal Cats Aggressive?
It would be more appropriate to say that Bengal cats can seem aggressive when their needs aren’t being met. These cats have a ton of energy that they need to burn off. If they feel pent-up energy, sometimes they don’t know how else to release it. Thus, they may get destructive or push another pet to play with them and don’t like taking no for an answer.
Bengal cats also tend to exert their more “aggressive” behavior when they are kittens. This is simply because they are bursting with energy. Thankfully, they are trainable, especially when they are young. When you make the effort to allow Bengals to nurture their nature, while also training them and socializing them, you’ll have a super happy Bengal.
Bengals also have an incorrect reputation for being destructive, but this is due to misunderstanding about the breed. They are curious, and so they will want to jump on countertops, walk-on furniture, and explore their home from different vantage points. Cats, including Bengals, are never intentionally destructive. They only act that way when they lack attention or stimulation.
While you don’t want to let your cat destroy your home, you have to understand that Bengals are just explorers by nature. Keep your valuables closed off, and let them roam around. If you aren’t comfortable with letting a Bengal have full reign of your home, it may be worth reconsidering whether or not you adopt one.
Why Can Bengals Be Aggressive?
Generally speaking, Bengals get aggressive if they are bored, someone is provoking them, or they aren’t feeling well. Sometimes, aggression is the only way a cat knows to communicate. If you try to push your Bengal to do something they don’t want to, they might lash out if you don’t listen to their cues.
It’s also possible that they are unhappy in their environment. You should have your home set up for a Bengal before you consider bringing one home.
Bengals need a lot of room to roam around. They are active cats that are used to being able to climb trees and run through the wild. Give your Bengals places to climb, such as cat trees, and be sure to dedicate time to play with them. They should also have toys they can interact with so they can be entertained when you’re otherwise engaged.
How To Avoid Bengal Aggression
Once your Bengal has been vaccinated and chipped, it’s worth taking them for walks with a harness. If any cat can learn to enjoy being walked, it’s a Bengal. While your Bengal might prefer to roam around outside on their own, it’s not safe to do so unless you have an enclosed outdoor space with a high fence that they cannot jump.
Getting your Bengal fixed is recommended, as this helps calm them down, but also reduces the risk of creating new kittens. A Bengal’s territorial instincts tend to be at full capacity when they are in heat. Consequently, they may be more prone to acting out because they aren’t in control of their hormones.
When you play with your Bengal, have them catch or chase things, like they would in the wild. Throw their toys around with them, and give them toys they can wrestle with. Playing with them and helping them exercise will tire them out so they don’t get bored and aggressive, and they’ll be too tired to say no to cuddles at bedtime.
The Bengal Personality
Bengal cats are very exciting pets to have at home. Watching them navigate the world with curiosity and excitement can be both rewarding and entertaining. These cats are full of zest and love to meow and chat with you.
Bengals still have a lot of their wild instincts, given that they are distant descendants from leopards. They enjoy being able to nurture these instincts through exploring their surroundings, hunting – either for toys or actual prey – and climbing.
When Bengals are kept healthy and live in a safe, nurturing home, they can live up to 16 years. Thus, they make a wonderful companion for any cat lover. While they love to play, they also love their downtime, and they can be fantastic cuddlers with those they have bonded with.
Are Bengals Social?
Bengals will absolutely adore any attention you give them. Bengals love playing and interacting, especially with their pet parents, and would be at their happiest when you’re down on the floor with a toy or when you take them with you on your daily walk.
Socializing Bengals with other people and pets when they are young will give you the highest success rate for having them get along with others. Older Bengals or Bengals who had some turmoil in their past may need extra time to become socialized. This could mean taking it slow, ensuring that people understand they have to be gentle, and ensuring your home is the proper environment for them.
Bengals also like to have established routines. If you are able to feed them, play with them, or have downtime around the same time every day, your Bengal will fall into that routine quite easily. If they know having visitors or interacting with other animals is part of their expected routine, it could help them become more acclimated to having company in their space.
Bengal Cats And Other Animals
It’s a good idea to be selective with the pets that you have at home alongside a Bengal. It’s ideal to have a Bengal in a home with an animal that matches their energy level and love of play. Your Bengal is going to want a play buddy, so if your current or future kitty is older or mellow, they may not like each other very much.
All that said, a Bengal cat can get along with other animals if they are socialized properly. They are not inherently more or less aggressive towards other animals than any other cat. The key difference in Bengals is that they can come with more force due to their stature and their wilderness instincts being more intact than other breeds.
If it’s possible to adopt more than one Bengal, it’s worth trying. Since they operate in many of the same ways, they could help balance each other out. However, two or more can be a handful, so ensure that you can keep up with them. Ultimately, Bengals enjoy being around other cats, but other cats may not enjoy them unless they can emulate the same energy.
Are Bengals Easy To Train?
Bengals are prone to picking up training quickly. These cats are intelligent, and they like the attention they get when they do a good job. Thus, positive reinforcement and rewards are the best way to motivate your kitty to learn and keep up the good work. Implement kind but firm “yes” and “no” behaviors, and reward them with some treats or pets when they do a good job.
Not only can you train your Bengal to do typical cat things like sit and use their litter box, but Bengals can pick up tricks such as catching a toy or ball and bringing it back to you. You might also be able to teach them how to roll over or give you a handshake. Once again, patience and positivity are the best approaches when training your Bengal.
If your Bengal walks or plays outside and gets dirty, you’ll be pleased to know that Bengals are one of very few cats who actually enjoy the water. You could probably bathe them without having them protest too much. They also enjoy sources of running water, so turning on the sink or tub at a low speed will make them super happy, and will ensure they drink enough water.
Bengals are very special cats with their own preferences. As with any pet, learning about their breed-specific characteristics is the best way to be a responsible animal parent. Any breed can be a lovely addition to the home, so long as they are able to live comfortably with patience and kindness.
So, are Bengal cats aggressive? Not more or less than other cats; they are just more powerful. Allow them to give in to their instincts in a healthy and manageable way, and you’ll be able to tone down their propensity for aggressive behavior, and will help to bring up a happy, healthy Bengal cat.