One of the most common messages we get through this site reads something like the following:
“Help, my Bengal cat is driving me mad. He want stop howling and scratching. What can I do?”
A frustrating scenario indeed, when you are trying to balance your love for your cat with your (and possibly also your family’s) need to stay sane!
In this article we set out to see what options (if any) you have to deal with a Bengal cat this is driving you mad, crazy, or otherwise “up the wall”.
Is there anything you can do to restore your sanity, or are you completely out of luck?
Keep reading to find out.
If your Bengal cat is driving you mad, then you need to find out why. There are a few potential causes:
1. Your Bengal is unwell or in pain, and is trying to vocalise their discomfort to you. I’ll give you an example. Kala (our Bengal) turned out to have two teeth that required extraction. As soon as the vet took them out and she recovered, she was a much more content and happy cat. Remember, your cat can’t just walk up to you and say “I have X wrong with me” – they can vocalise the only way they now how. If your Bengal cat is driving you made through excessive vocalisation, then you may well want to consider taking them to the vet for a checkup.
2. Your Bengal has insufficient opportunity to burn off their energy. This is a particularly bad problem for Bengals that are stuck inside (make sure you read our articles on whether or not Bengal cats can live inside only, and whether Bengal cats can live in apartments for more information). If your Bengal does not have a suitable outlet for his/her energy, then there are bound to be problems! Make sure your Bengal has good toys, scratching posts etc to entertain them.
3. Something is causing psychological stress for your Bengal. Perhaps they feel that they don’t have enough space/territory, other cats or pets are stressing them out, or there could be something else entirely causing the issue. This is once again an area where you are probably best served consulting with a vet, as it is hard for us to say exactly what the problem may be. A dirty litter tray is known to be a big issue for Bengal cats. Make sure you read our guide on the best litter trays for Bengals to ensure you have the right “setup” in that department!
4. Much as with humans, old age can cause your Bengal to exhibit unusual and irritating behaviour. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do here, apart from ensuring as much comfort as you can in other regards e.g. that there are no treatable health problems causing pain or discomfort (refer back to my first point above) for your Bengal cat.
5. Ensure you are feeding your Bengal the right diet. They are very sensitive to the wrong diet, so read our guides to what your Bengal should and shouldn’t eat for more advice. It might be that a change in diet, or even a change of feeding schedule, could seriously improve the otherwise-frustrating behaviour of your Bengal cat.
If your Bengal cat is driving you crazy, then make sure you are doing everything you can to ensure it is in good health, given opportunities for relaxation and play, and being fed the right diet.
The first port of call should ideally be going to the vet to ensure there are no underlying health problems that are resulting in discomfort, pain and general irritability.
If this doesn’t help, I would also recommend you check out the ‘Cat Language Bible‘ guide. It’s a bit of a silly name, and the product sales page is distinctly mid 2000s but I’ve found that using the advice in this guide really does work well to help you better understand your Bengal cat and try to ameliorate some behaviour issues. There are no perfect solutions, but it is well worth the investment. You can learn more here about the Cat Language Bible.
Ultimately, bringing a Bengal cat into your home is a long-term commitment. If your Bengal is driving you mad, then you need to identify why they are playing up and take appropriate steps to remedy the situation.
If you’re sitting there tearing your hair out saying “My Bengal cat is driving me mad” then hopefully this guide helps to resolve the problem!