Bengal Cats are an increasingly popular breed of cats. They are clever and sometimes mischievous, so you have to wonder if they can go outside.
The Short Answer…
…is: it depends. If you’re willing to take the risks associated with letting your Bengal Cat go outside, then it is certainly something you can decide to do. Bengal Cats love the opportunity to explore, so getting to go outside is a great way to tap into that desire. In fact, having some stimulation come from outside is a great way to help keep your kitty from getting bored and causing trouble in the house.
Bengal Cats tend to be more adventurous than other cats and don’t often recognize dangerous situations. They may wander further than other cats, making their territory significantly larger. This increases their risk of encountering hazards, such as roadways that might seem too far away for your cat to pay an interest in.
Another thing about Bengals and their inquisitive nature is that they don’t often see any reason not to go exploring. Open doors or windows are an opportunity for them to check things out, which could mean paying your neighbors a visit in their house. They could annoy your neighbors or even get trapped inside the house or garage.
Dangers of Leaving Your Bengal Outside
One of the big dangers of leaving your Bengal outside, even for short periods of time, is the risk that they might get into a fight with another cat. Cat bite abscesses are most common in cats that go outside and can make your cat very sick. There are also diseases that cats can share with each other when fighting, such as feline leukemia and FIV.
Cats that live indoors typically live longer and healthier lives than cats that spend time outdoors. Indoor cats are not at risk of being hit by a car, getting attacked by a raccoon, or being poisoned by an unhappy neighbor.
Your cat is also at risk for getting cat-napped. Unscrupulous people may see a valuable and possibly pedigreed cat wandering outside and just take it. You may never see your cat again.
With an inquisitive cat that likes to explore other people’s property, you run the risk of your cat being harmed. There are cases of animal abuse and poisoning all of the time, usually stemming from animals being where they don’t belong, like using your neighbor’s prized flower bed as a litter box.
There are some safer alternatives to just letting your Bengal cat roam around outside. First, consider teaching them to walk on a leash and take them outside that way. They get to explore the outdoors under your close supervision.
You can also make your Bengal cat a “catio,” where they can relax and enjoy the outside in a contained environment. This usually limits their contact with other animals, and it can keep them from upsetting your neighbors if you cat frequents their yard.
Things to Keep in Mind if You’re Going to Let Your Bengal Outside
Make sure they are old enough to take care of themselves, usually at least 6 months old, although older would be better. You’ll want to make sure that your Bengal cat has been spayed or neutered. This way, they are less likely to get into fights and won’t add to the growing cat population.
You also need to make sure they are fully vaccinated to help keep them healthy. During one of their vet visits, you should also get them microchipped in case they run off or get picked up by animal control. You can even install a cat flap for your kitty to go in and out with that reads their microchip, so that other neighborhood cats can’t come in and cause a scuffle.
Cats tend to be safer when let outside during the daytime and brought in at night. There are greater chances of them getting hit by a car or in a fight with a wild animal in the evenings.
Bengal Cats are clever and need enrichment to help keep them out of trouble. Going outside is one way to keep them stimulated, but you should do so carefully. Consider building an outdoor enclosure for your cat to enjoy safely.