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Welcome, Crazy Cat people!
Bengal cats are very active, playful breeds and are fastly becoming a really popular cat breed to have all around the world but what if your beloved little angel starts destroying your home?
I used my knowledge of this breed to answer your question.
As a general rule, your Bengal cat should not destroy your home as long as they are given enough toys, scratching posts, and plenty of interactive play. However, prospective Bengal cat owners need to be aware that if they are not given enough attention they may engage in destructive behaviour.
Later in this post, I answer some related questions and examine some practical ways you can restore peace and harmony to your household.
So keep reading fellow Bengal lovers to learn more!
Will a Bengal Cat Destroy my Home?
If you have come across this post and your Bengal is not currently engaging in bad behaviour then rest assured not all Bengals become destructive Bengals are generally a friendly breed of cat.
That’s not to say that all Bengals are little Angels because believe me they are just like humans.
It’s hard to stereotype a certain breed but yes we can look at general characteristics but their personality and tendencies will vary from cat to cat just like you get some humans who are gentle, soft and loving and some humans who act aggressively and defensively as there dominant traits.
As a general rule Bengal cats are known to be energetic and playful, they can, however, be territorial and get bored easily so they do require a little bit more attention than some more docile breeds.
They can easily get bored if not given enough stimulation so the antidote to boredom is to make sure they have plenty of toys to play with. A variety of toys that can be rotated on a regular basis is always a good idea for any cat.
They also need plenty of vertical space they can jump up to such as kitchen cupboards, cat trees and possibly wall mounted cat shelves that they can climb up onto to keep them entertained.
How to Stop a Bengal Cat from Spraying?
Spraying and urinating outside the litter box can cause so much stress for not only the feline owners but also for the cat themselves.
This can be a common problem in cats and can leave your home smelling awful.
What we want to do is find out if the cat is spraying which is more common in un-neutered cats or if the cat is inappropriately urinating outside the litter box.
The way you can tell the difference is by observing your cat/cats carefully.
Spraying is a territorial behaviour where the cat will back up against a vertical surface and spray a fine mist against an object to mark it as their own and inappropriate urination is where they will squat like they would in the litter tray and urinate normally, just outside of the box.
If your cat has suddenly started to urinate inappropriately rather than spray then it’s time to get your cats to the vets.
There are several health issues that cats can suffer from that I’m not going to detail in this post because I am not a qualified vet but some of these conditions can be serious.
So it’s best to rule out any health problems with a full check-up before you try anything else to stop this unwanted behaviour from occurring.
Once you have ruled out any health issues now its time too –
Think outside the box (No pun intended)
So the first thing we need to establish is?
Are there enough places each Cat can mark as their own?
Are there enough water bowls and feeding bowls for all your cats?
Is there a choice of toys, beds and vertical spaces they can jump onto and claim as their territory?
Making sure there are enough spaces for each cat will inspire confidence in your felines and should reduce the need for marking or territorial issues.
It’s also important to have one litter tray per cat plus an extra for good measure, not all cats like sharing and some cats can be very fussy!
Bengal cats are known to be territorial just like other felines but Bengals for some reason even more so, maybe it’s their wild side?
Consider getting your cats neutered/spayed
Spraying can often start around 6 months of age as cats reach sexual maturity.
Most cat owners choose to get their Bengals neutered anytime after 8 weeks old but making sure this is done before they reach sexual maturity should help to massively reduce spraying.
It doesn’t always stop it completely but it does reduce the chances of this happening.
Consider the type of litter box and litter you use
Bengal cats can be fussy little felines.
They may just not like the box or the litter that you are currently providing for them. There is so much choice out there when it comes to litterboxes.
Are you using a hooded litter box with one exit and there is another pet waiting on the outside of the box waiting to pounce on them and now they are scared to use the box?
Believe it or not the above is a common problem to watch out for in homes with multiple pets and is often overlooked!
You may wish to try these different boxes to see what works for you and your cats.
- Open top litterboxes
- Hooded or enclosed litterboxes
- Top entry litter boxes
- Litter boxes in the style of furniture
- Self cleaning litter boxes
The litter box I use is by Petkit, okay it’s not the cheapest box but it’s self-cleaning, my cats love it and they share it.
Even though I tried to provide one per cat they love it, It even stops any household smells due to it being fully self-cleaning.
Check out the Petkit litter box by clicking here!
If you would prefer to use something a little more basic then I would recommend this one that has multiple exit points so your cat can go through the front and exit from the top if they choose to.
Check out the Bolex cat litter tray here!
You may also wish to consider the type of cat litter you use as well, especially with Bengals who are ultra fussy at times!
Again there are so many types to try but I generally Don’t recommend a scented cat litter as most cats hate these.
Some of the varieties you can try are –
- Clumping clay cat litter
- Non-clumping clay-based litter
- Silica crystal-based cat litter
- Corn-based cat litter
- Pine based cat litter
- Wheat-based cat litter
- Paper cat litter (Not recommended)
Reduce feline stress to stop your Bengal from spraying
The biggest cause of spraying in cats is stress.
We have already covered territorial stress which is a major stressor for felines.
Unfortunately, cats cant always let us know that they are stressed and anything you can do to help relax your cat will help play a part in helping you eradicate unwanted behaviour.
Take the time to evaluate your cat’s environment.
When did they start spraying? Were there any major changes to their routine such as different feeding times? A new person in the home that they have not yet bonded with?
Are there any changes you can make?
Sometimes questioning ourselves in this way and taking time out of our routine can help us identify any issues and once we identify those issues we can then put a plan together on what we can do
You may also wish to use a product like Feliway which are synthetic pheromones that help to relax your cat and allow them to unwind, you can buy Feliway collars, plugins etc…
These are the same hormones cats release naturally but in synthetic form.
They can help to reduce unwanted behaviours in the home such as urine marking, check out Feliway plugins here
Clean up urine straight away with a Enzyme spray
The thing with cats is they are attracted to the same spot once they have marked it with urine.
So it’s important to clean it up straight away. We all know how strong cat urine smells so you cant just clean it up with a standard cleaner otherwise your cat will still urinate in the same spot.
Never use ammonia-based cleaners either as this will encourage your cat to also use the same spot.
You could try to use vinegar and then a biological washing powder if you like.
Personally, I would recommend always having a bottle of Live pee free in your cupboard, it’s an Odor Eliminator and 100% Eliminates Pet Odor on Contact. No Enzymes, No Fragrance, No Detergent, No Bleach – Safe for Kids and Pets.
It’s an absolute game-changer in my opinion. Check it out here!
Hopefully, by following these tips you will get to the root cause of the problem and your cat stops spraying inside the home!
How to Stop a Bengal Cat from Scratching?
The last thing you want is that new sofa you just paid $1000 for to be used as a scratching post by your cats.
There is nothing more frustrating than watching your cats destroy your furniture and the places they tend to target are the places covered in our scent, they are naturally attracted to these areas.
Why do they do this, well first of all we need to understand a little bit more about why cats scratch in the first place?
- To Stretch – Cat’s need to stretch their muscles and their tendons
- Mark their territory – Cats need to leave their scent around the home and need to mark individual places as their own.
- Maintain claw health – Cats need to shed the outside of their nail which is called the husk and they need to keep their nails trimmed and sharp.
- Stress relief – Cat’s like to take their frustration out on an item and it’s a great way to relieve stress for your feline friend
Should I declaw my Bengal cat?
The answer is a definite NO!
Never get your cat declawed. This is something I feel very strongly about, it’s inhumane and very cruel.
It can be very painful, complications may arise from the procedure and it changes the way your cat walks, balances and goes about their day to day life.
In some parts of the world, it is illegal and rightly so and the act of declawing may stop them from being able to scratch but you can guarantee it will eventually lead to other behavioural issues due to your cat not being able to carry out behaviours they are naturally inclined to do.
Provide a variety of scratching posts in strategic areas
It’s a good idea to get a variety of different scratching posts and place them in different areas around the home.
Provide plenty of places for them to scratch such as a cat tree with sisal rope, corrugated cardboard scratching stations etc…
You can place the scratchers in different areas such as near where they sleep as cats tend to want to scratch when they first wake up.
You can also place them near door entrances and next to problem areas such as the sofa or bed (more on that later)
If you provide enough areas they can scratch, leave their scent and engage in this natural behaviour then it should reduce their need to want to claw your furniture.
YES / NO games to stop your cat destroying your home
Yes / No game, what the hell is that?
This is a concept shared by many cat behavioural specialists and it means that when you say No to one behaviour you have to say yes to another especially if you want the behaviour modification training to be successful and permanent.
If your cat is scratching furniture, the first thing you want to do is make the area they are scratching unattractive to them.
The first way you can do that is by either spraying the surface with a scent the cats HATE such as citrus cat repellant spray or if you don’t want your home smelling of oranges and lemons all day then use double-sided Sticky cat tape.
Cats hate sticky surfaces and they also hate aluminium foil, so place this material right where your cat has decided to scratch and believe me they won’t be ruining your sofa or bed for much longer!
These double-sided sticky tape sheets are a lifesaver, click here to check them out!
Now once you have said ”No” by stopping your cat from scratching that area you now need to say ”YES” by replacing it with their favourite scratching post right in front of the area they were attacking!
Hey, presto! Problem solved! The YES/NO game can be used to train your cat in several different ways just use your imagination.
Cover the scratching posts in catnip!
Most cats love catnip, okay not all cats have an instinctive response to the nip but a lot of them do!
So get some catnip and rub it all over the scratching posts and make them attractive to your cats.
They will learn to associate the posts with their favourite smell and make sure when you do see them scratching the post that you reward them with a treat and a cuddle so they know they have been good little girls and/or boys!
Positive reinforcement is so important in all cat training
P.S If your cat doesn’t enjoy catnip and is a none responder try honeysuckle spray instead (Thank me later)
Key Points: My Bengal Cat is Destroying My House?
- Remember a bored cat is a destructive cat! Provide plenty of toys and play with your cats.
- Use the YES/NO games for a wide variety of behavioural issues
- One litter tray per cat and one more as an extra
- Neutralise the smell as soon as your cat sprays
- Invest in a pheromone feliway plugin
- Provide multiple scratching posts in the home
- Reduce feline stress
- Visit your vet to rule out any health issues
Related Bengal cat posts you don’t want to miss!
Do Bengal cats need companions?
Are Bengal cats good for first-time owners?
Will Bengal cats sleep in bed with you?
11 cute ways Bengal cats show they love you!
How to Discipline a Bengal cat?
Do Bengal cats need a lot of attention?
What do Bengal cats look like?
As always take care of yourself and your little fur babies!
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)