Can I let My Bengal Outside

In a word, yes, but should you? No, not off a leash anyway. We feel so strongly about this as breeders that we have a clause in our contract fobidding it.

Bengal hiding in a plant
Many people get cats because they can be an almost zero maintenance pet. Open the back door when it wants in or out and keep a bowl of food around. Heck, you can install a cat door and get a mechanized feeder if you want.

Bengal’s are a very very bad choice if that is what you are looking for.

There are a lot of reasons but lets start with the fact that they are relatively expensive and incredibly pretty. Allow it to roam freely outside and it will only be a short time before a neighbor claims it as their new pet and you never see it again.

Perhaps more importantly it is not healthy for the cat and it will reduce their life span by approximately 1/3 to 1/2. Many people are unaware that most cats should live a very healthy 15 to 20 years.

A cat perch on a window sill

Cats will dig and defecate in peoples gardens ( which as gardner’s we find both annoying and disgusting) and spray peoples houses. Even fixed cats will often spray if they are allowed out and indoor cats will sometimes start to spray due to the stimulation of a free roaming cat looking in the windows. Spraying is a cats way of marking its perceived territory and evidence of unknown intruders can trigger that instinct even in fixed animals.

It is simply irresponsible to turn any cat loose on the neighborhood, much less a Bengal, as they will decimate the local wild life population. I had a person tell me once that it was natures way, the hunter and the hunted. That is a very poorly thought out argument. There is absolutely nothing native or natural about the domestic cat wandering around North America. By any standard they are an invasive species that our fauna did not evolved to handle.

A pair of Bengals
It is amazing how our perception of things alters because we consider them pets. We used to have beautiful flying squirrels in Ontario. Have you seen one in the last 30 or 40 years?

Their near extinction has little to do with habitat loss or anything of that nature. It is almost 100% attributable to the domestic cat. Many species of wild life have had their numbers greatly reduced due to cats. It is not the cats fault, it may not be natures way but it is in the nature of a cat. It is the fault of the pet owner looking for a no maintenance pet to add to their household.

If you intend on allowing your pet cat to roam free we would prefer that you find a pet from one of the many other breeders out there.

Bengal’s can relatively easily be trained to the leash. Once they get used to it they will come running when you get the harness out. We don’t take ours out of our back yard and we always walk it vs. tethering it or attaching to to a clothesline where a marauding dog or racoon might get it. Walking our cats works well for us and everyone involved enjoys it.

 

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