If you have a cat long enough, especially a Bengal Cat, you’re bound to have them climb the curtains at some point. After all, it is a natural behavior for cats, and these “wild” felines have it basically coded in their DNA.
Why Bengal Cats Climb
Cats, especially Bengal Cats, do a lot of climbing. It’s a natural thing for them to do, and most of them have at least a little fun doing it. A cat’s body is designed to make use of horizontal and vertical spaces. Cats use elevated areas for a lot of things, from finding a safe spot away from predators or irritating “siblings” to catching prey.
Cats enjoy the opportunity to get up high, whether they are domesticated cats or their wild cousins. Your Bengal Cat is even closer to those wild tendencies than other cat breeds, so you need to be prepared for the fact that he might choose to shred your drapery while climbing up to the curtain rod.
Your Bengal may also climb the curtains because he is feeling stressed or wants to get away from the other cats in the house.
Climbing up high gives him the opportunity to escape from potential stressors for at least a little while. Typically health conditions and medications do not cause destructive behavior, so if your cat is acting out, it’s probably because they are bored or feel trapped in a situation.
Ways to Prevent Your Bengal Cat from Climbing Curtains
The most important thing to keep in mind about training or preventing your cat from climbing objects like curtains is that they should never be punished. This is a natural behavior, and it isn’t fair to punish them for that. In addition, punishing a natural behavior can lead to aggression, especially in growing cats.
Instead, offer your cat a variety of options to keep them from becoming bored, and it will help curtail unwanted behaviors such as climbing the curtains. Your Bengal Cat should have appropriate areas to climb and play, and they should be rewarded for exploring areas that they are allowed in. Offer toys, treats, or catnip in areas where your Bengal is supposed to be climbing, such as his cat tree.
Appropriate climbing areas are important, especially in a growing cat. Even adult cats need a place to go, and they all like vertical spaces. You can hang toys on different levels of a cat tree or make a climbing room if you have enough space.
If your older Bengal Cat is climbing the curtains, you want to offer them the same incentives as a younger cat. They need safe places to climb and stretch out, and you can reward them with their favorite snacks in the locations you want them to climb.
Environmental Enrichment Opportunities
If your Bengal Cat is climbing the curtains, you need to look at ways to enrich their environment. First of all, some cats might be trying to explore outside. Bengal Cats are great candidates to teach to walk on a harness and leash, giving them the opportunity to visit the outside world.
Regardless, they need to have space activities indoors to keep them busy. Regularly play with your Bengal Cat. You can put feathers on the end of a stick and wave it around for your cat to “catch.” Many cats are entertained by being able to climb in and out of a cardboard box.
You should still give your cat options to explore the different levels of your house or apartment, utilizing things such as scratching posts and cat hammocks. If your Bengal is still trying to climb the curtains, tie the curtains back and limit his access to the area.
Many cats enjoy having shelves or furniture arranged so that they can explore from on level to another. You can also make things for your Bengal to climb on, such as adding carpet swatches to a stepladder and allowing your cat to climb on and around it, as well as use it as a scratching area.
Bengal Cats, like other cats, love to explore the world from a higher vantage point. This is one of the many reasons your cat might be trying to climb the curtains. Rather than punish them, allow your cat to explore new heights by setting up cat trees or shelves at different levels, especially if you have more than one cat. Encourage their climbing behaviors by rewarding them for climbing the cat tree with treats rather than punishing them for climbing the curtains, which can lead to aggressive behaviors.