Having a pet does sound fun, but it is not easy. It actually comes with a whole set of responsibilities. You cannot just simply get a pet animal and that is it. There are so many things you must manage and do. When you own a pet, you must look after their needs and wants. It is a breathing and live creature whose wellbeing, both emotional and physical must be looked after. You need to look after your pets like you would after a child.
The responsibilities of a pet vary from one to another. If you have a cat, then theirs differs from breed to breed. There are various breeds you could choose from. Cats are delicate and should be treated according to their delicacy.
Bengal Cats – Breed and Characteristics
Bengal cats are a popular cat breed. They are an Asian breed and are known to be a domestic cat. The breed name comes from the leopard cat’s taxonomic name. It is a mix between an Egyptian and Asian breed and is also known as the Asian leopard cat. Bengal cats look wild, which is interesting for a cat breed which is known to be the cat of the house. They are golden and the shimmers come from their Leopard cat ancestry. Their coats normally have spots, rosettes, arrowhead markings, and some are marbled too.
Bengal cats are very energetic. If you have a Bengal cat you will know how jumpy they are. Doing exercise and playing are their needs. You will see them jumping around the entire house and there is nothing much you can do to stop them. The cat is called Bengal because of its color. It is either brown and, in many cases, it is red and even black. It resembles a leopard. It is a large-sized spotted cat breed
Just like other cats, Bengal cats can also be possessive. Cats love to mark their territory. They love telling other cats that a certain area belongs to them. They feel an instinctive urge to mark their territories and make sure the other cats know about it. Since Bengal cats are known to be the house of the cats, it is common amongst them to go ahead with something like this. There are many ways through which a cat may do that. Scent is one of the primary ways in which cats mark their territory.
This is done so that they can monitor their territory in their absence as well. This marking of territory is done by cats in many ways. One of the ways in which cats mark their territory is also through spraying. This is one of the ways in which a cat marks its territory through urinating.
Do Bengal Cats Spray?
Spraying is probably innocuous for some, but it holds a heavy meaning for cats and their humans. Spraying is when a cat shoots their urine out in horizontal motion. This is done purposely to cover the surface in the cat’s scent. This marks the territory and the dominance of the cat. Through this, the cat tells other cats what area belongs to whom. Both male and female cats spray, however, the unneutered male cats usually tend to have a stronger urine scent.
Bengal cats normally don’t spray. But if they are doing so there is more than one reason behind it. Spraying is not only about marking territories. There may be other reasons and causes related to why your Bengal cat is spraying.
Medical Issues Faced by Bengal Cats
Your Bengal cat may be facing medical problems. This is normally the case with male Bengal cats. Male cats are prone to a urinary tract infection– or much worse a blockage. This might be one of the reasons why your cat suddenly stops using the litter box. Some cats might even cry in front of you after urinating or will do it in the bathtub or sink to let you know something is wrong with them. Spraying can be one of the ways your Bengal cat is conveying to you that they aren’t feeling well, and something is wrong. You must pay attention to these signs and take your cat to a vet immediately.
Cats, like us, don’t have the tongue to directly communicate and tell us if something is wrong with them. This is something that you must figure out by the little things they do. They communicate through actions. And spraying could be one of the ways they are trying to tell you that something is wrong with them.
A cystitis can also be a reason behind why your cat is spraying. The irritation and the infection may cause the cat to urinate immediately rather than making the effort to go outside or use the litter. In cases like these urinating is often mistaken by spraying. This can also be one of the reasons why your Bengal cat may be spraying.
Apart from this, your Bengal cat may also be spraying because there may be litter tray problems which you must not be paying attention too. This is normally the case with cats who use their own litter tray. One of the reasons could be that the litter tray might be dirty. Cats do not like using trays which are heavily soiled. Litter trays of cats must be cleaned every day. If the tray is not clean that will eventually be a pull-off for your cat and she/he might just stop using it.
The other reason could be that the litter tray may be too clean. Using scented litter, deodorants and disinfections may put a cat off from using it. Cats are sensitive to smell, and this might be one of the reasons why they might just start spraying in random places of the house instead. In order to make sure that this does not happen try using a feline-friendly disinfection and make sure that the tray is cleaned properly by water. You may rinse the tray more often before your cat uses it.
You may also be using the wrong type of litter. Many cats prefer fine grain litters. If you use an open type of tray it may be worth purchasing one with a lid to provide security as well.
The other reason why your cat may be spraying is because of their mating behavior. The urge to spray is very important in intact cats. The solution for this problem is to get your cat neutered or sprayed by five months of age. In some cases, your cat may not be neutered. If this is the case, then you must get it neutered or spayed. This sorts out many marking issues. The longer you wait, the longer this might cling into a problem. This normally happens as your cat reaches social maturity. This is when your Bengal cat may reach around 6 months.
Stress may also be the reason why your cat is spraying. The comfort of the Bengal cat lies in her environment. It is no secret that Bengal cats are wild and are used to being around here and there. However, at the same time, it is also important for us to realize that they might act strangely especially if there’s even a slightest of change in the environment.
There might be many cats visiting around the territory they have previously been marked. There might be new cats in the street, and this may cause your cat to stress out. Therefore, spraying could be your cat’s way of dealing with stress and the anxiety which this might be causing it.
They may feel anxious and stressed with the presence of these new cats or cats in the street. Hence, they might be trying to relive their anxiety by marking out their boundaries, reminding these outsiders who are dominating where. The addition of a new cat might threaten or upset the balance in a multi-cat house and therefore causing an induce in your cat spraying.
However, these situations can be handled. If spraying is not caused by medical reasons but because of the environment, then you must take charge and follow all the steps which are needed to prevent this from happening.
What You Should Do
The first thing you must do is try to listen and observe what your cat is trying to tell you. If your cat is already litter trained, then there must be a problem with the environment she/he might be in. Bengal cats are usually litter trained. It is very easy to train them. If she/he is already trained, then there must be an issue your cat might be facing.
Once you get to know what the problem or the reason behind it actually is then you can work on it. You may want to change the litter of your Bengal cat and at times might also want to change the position of this. If you do these things, then maybe your cat might start using the litter again.
When we buy cats, we usually assume that the cat is litter trained. This is not the case with all cats. It takes the first few weeks for your Bengal cat to get litter trained. If your cat was already litter trained and is still spraying, there is a high possibility that you are providing your Bengal cat with unfamiliar or different litter tools than what the cat was initially trained in or use.
In this case, you may ask its previous breeder what kind and type of litter they used. You can then maybe get something similar or the same litter for your Bengal cat. You should, therefore, contact the breeder and ask them for as many details as you possibly can. Once this is done you may shift your previous litter with the new one which you have just got for your cat.
The good thing is that Bengal cats are smart and intelligent. They pick onto these details very fast. They can learn this in just a few days. You must get ready to face a series of challenges and accidents, but that is just part of the learning process. One of the reasons why Bengal cats are known to be cats for the home is that they are able to familiarize themselves with things and places very fast. You don’t have to worry much about them not picking up or learning, as that is not in the nature of Bengal cats. You may use plenty of treats and appreciations too so that your cat can get encouraged with using her litter.
Make sure that the litter box you are using for Bengal cats is clean. Bengal cats hate using dirty trays and litter boxes. If the litter tray and the box is dirty, then they will obviously pee outside and spray not using it. Too much cleaning can also be a bad thing. You need to make sure that your litter or tray has scented it first. You should wash the litter box only once a week. However, make sure that you do not use strong soaps or detergents as they may overtake the scent of your Bengal cat making her stop using the litter box altogether and just spraying.
If the scent of the cat is overpowered by another odor, the cat may refuse to use the litter box.
How to Stop Bengal Cat Spraying
If the litter is not the problem, then you must work on ensuring that your cat is in a safe environment. Resolving the stress your cat is facing because of the other cat may take time and can be a hard task. Some of the ways are making sure that the territories which are marked by your cat remains to be hers. Make sure you clean soiled areas as that’s normally where outsider cats come, and your cat may feel insecure about it. Don’t use strong-smelling cleaners while you are doing this as this may further cause your cat to mark her territory.
You may also make soiled areas inaccessible or unattractive to other cats. This way outsider cats will normally stay away as they might not be able to get to it. This way no outsider cat will be able to come and mark their territories. You may also try to change the importance of those areas for your pet. You may also try to feed them, treat and play with your Bengal cat in these areas. This way she might not feel threatened at all.
You may also restrict your Bengal cats’ access to outdoors. The lesser she goes outside the less interaction she will have with other cats and animals. Make sure you also restrict the access of your Bengal cat from looking outside. This way she/he cannot observe animals that are there outside. This way she will feel less anxious about other cats. When your Bengal cat won’t even know how many cats are out and what they are doing, she won’t feel threatened or insecure about them.
The stress level she may be facing will eventually get down, making it spray less or not all altogether. If this does not work out and you find your Bengal cat still spraying because of stress than you must consult your vet. In these cases, your Veterinarian may prescribe your Bengal cat some anti-anxiety medication. You don’t have to worry much about this as the prescription is usually a very short course. It will help your cat out in reducing her stress and anxiety. It will also change certain behaviors and actions which he/she does because of anxiety and stress. It will eventually put spraying to an end if anxiety and stress is the cause of it.
To make sure that anxiety and stress are the reason behind her spraying you must keep a close watch at her. Make sure that nothing triggers this anxiety and stress. Look out for any triggers even if your cat is at medication. The mental health of your Bengal cat is as necessary as the mental health of a human being. Cats cannot talk but they know how to express their emotional needs. You must pay attention to these in order to make sure that your cat is not suffering from any stress or anxiety which may cause it to spray.
If there is a new resident cat and that is the cause of your cat spraying, you must discourage your cat from making marks. You may do so by placing a food bowl at the site where it sprayed, discouraging it from spraying there further. You may also remove away all the scent of the urine for these sprayed reasons.
Make sure to use detergents and soaps with a scent so that your cat knows this is what she’s doing wrong. You must also work on reducing the threat your cat may be facing. If you keep on discouraging your cat from spraying in certain places and areas, there will be a point when he/she realizes what she/he is doing is wrong and must be stopped. You may also lock the cat flap and let your cat in and out yourself. This way any strange cat will not enter the house. Sometimes strange or outsider cats do enter into the house using the cat flap. This may make your cat very unsettled. Bengal cats usually do spray around the cat flap or front doors so that the other cats know this is their territory.
By doing so they also feel secure as it gives out a very strong message to invading cats. Once you restrict the cat flap other cats will keep out. You may also chase other cats out of the house and garden in front of your cat to make them feel supported. Also, to make them know that there is nothing they must be worried about as they are the residents and owners of the house. Once your Bengal cat knows that the inner environment belongs to her alone, she/he will feel safe and will not see it a need to mark their territories.
The spraying will automatically stop as well, since they will see it unnecessary to mark their territories.
In case you have redecorated the house, you may try to make sure that you keep your cats’ scent around all by yourself. Sometimes what happens is that when we redecorate the room, the Bengal cats get unfamiliar with their surroundings. They may not understand what is happening and may feel invaded.
The new smell and the unfamiliarity of new things may become a trigger for your Bengal cats. They may feel that their space or territory has become invaded, making them feel insecure and resulting it to unnecessary spraying. This is because obviously when you redecorate the scent of your cat goes away and they may feel replaced. To stop this from happening you may try to put the scent of your cat all by yourselves. You can do this by placing old cushions or carpets into the newly renovated room or new furniture. For example, you can place the cushion of your Bengal cat which already has its scent into the new sofa you just got.
This way your Bengal cat will realize what is happening. It takes a week for the Bengal cat breed to adjust themselves with the new surroundings. Once you realize she/he has familiarized themselves with the place, you may remove the old rug or cushion. Also, make sure you spend more time with your Bengal cat in that altered room. This way he/she will get familiar and won’t feel insecure about being replaced or invaded.
Conclusion – Stopping Bengal Cat Spraying
If your Bengal cat is feeling safe and secure, then there is nothing which you should worry about. Bengal cats normally don’t spray.
Only about 8% of Bengal cats spray and that only because they feel the need to mark their territory and tell other cats about their presence in a particular place. Once your Bengal cat is secured, there is nothing for you to be bothered about.