So you’re thinking of introducing a Bengal cat into your home?
At Authentic Bengal Cats, we are naturally big fans of Bengals.
But there are some considerations you need to make when it comes to Bengal ownership!
Bengals have a reputation that is fairly well-deserved for being energetic, fierce and sometimes destructive cats … especially when they are younger.
We frequently get questions via our contact form from prospective Bengal owners, asking “will a Bengal cat destroy my house?”
In this article we set out to discover the answer to this question. If you introduce a Bengal cat in to your home, is it all likely to end in disaster?
Are Bengal Cats Destructive?
The first question that must be answered is whether or not Bengals are particularly destructive cats.
All cats – regardless of breed – have the ability (and some would say natural tendency) to be destructive.
It’s hard to say whether or not Bengal cats are more or less destructive than any other domestic breed. Many Bengal owners do report that during their younger years they have a tendency to be more destructive than “normal’ cats, but there is scant scientific evidence on the topic.
Certainly, if you are going to bring a Bengal into your house, then you need to be prepared for the possibility that your cat might be quite destructive.
From our discussions with Bengal owners, our own experience, and also what we can glean from forums, Facebook groups etc, it does seem that Bengal cats err on the more destructive end of the spectrum versus other types of cats.
Some of the most common feedback (and frustration) we hear from Bengal owners is the tendency of their cats to like to scratch and attack furniture, soft furnishings, curtains and other valuable items.
While relying on anecdotal evidence is never ideal, it does appear that Bengals can have quite the tendency to be destructive.
How Can I Stop A Bengal Cat From Destroying My House?
If you’ve decided to buy a Bengal cat and believe that prevention is better than cure (or if you’ve already got a Bengal and are tearing your hair out at his/her antics) then pay close attention as we cover some ways you can stop a Bengal cat from destroying your house – or at the very least minimise the impact of their behavior.
- Discourage your Bengal from “vandalising” your more precious/valuable items by covering them. Out of sight is out of mind, as they say! If you have art on display, for example, then you might want to look to do something like ensure you have it hanging high enough that your Bengal cat will struggle to reach it.
- Provide your Bengal with a wide variety of scratching posts. You might like to try scratching posts made of wool, carpet, cardboard and other materials. Some cats prefer vertical posts, others prefer horizontal. You may need to experiment with a wide variety to find the best scratching post for your Bengal cat.
- Reward your Bengal for scratching on his/her post as opposed to your furniture or other items.
- ‘Incentivise’ scratching of the scratching post(s) by using catnip.
- If you catch your Bengal scratching you can try clapping loudly, shaking/rattling metallic objects (e.g. a ball bearing in a metal drink bottle) or spraying them with water. However, exercise caution in becoming too reliant on this strategy because your Bengal may come to fear you!
If you’re asking “will a Bengal cat destroy my house”, the answer is that “it depends”.
Different cats exhibit different behavior (just like humans, or any other creature for that matter). There is certainly going to be an element of chance when you get a Bengal kitten as to whether or not they are going to be a more or less destructive individual. Whatever your “luck of the draw” it is critical to give your Bengal plenty of opportunities for play, and a range of outlets to vent their natural tendency to scratch.
We think that Bengal cats make great pets. However, we also think that prospective Bengal cat owners do need to be wary of the potential downsides of Bengal ownership. Although there hasn’t been much done in the way of scientific experiments, it does seem from anecdotal evidence that Bengals are likely to be a more destructive breed (on average) versus other types of cats.
As long as you are happy with this, then we think you will love Bengal ownership!