Bengal aren’t only beautiful: they’re also surprisingly intelligent and gregarious. That’s why they’re such special pets. But truth be told, these last two qualities also make them high-maintenance cats. It’s crucial to satisfy your Bengal’s needs, otherwise it will likely get bored.

Related article: Are Bengal cats high-maintenance?

In this article, we discuss the main reasons why Bengal cats get bored and ways you can keep your Bengal entertained.

Do Bengal cats get bored?

Bengal cats can get bored when their need for mental stimulation isn’t met. This can happen if their environment doesn’t provide them with ways to entertain themselves and satisfy their instincts (to scratch, hunt, climb, etc.) or if their owners don’t play with them on a regular basis.

Bengals can also get bored if they don’t have enough social interactions. They easily get lonely when they’re left alone all the time.

It’s important not to neglect these needs. If your Bengal is constantly bored, it could get depressed. This could eventually lead to health issues and/or behavioral problems such as psychogenic alopecia and house soiling. Medical issues resulting from boredom can even be life-threatening.

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A bored Bengal is also more likely to engage in destructive behavior. The last thing you want is for your cat to munch on your plants, scratch your new sofa or destroy your favorite carpet! 

Related article: How can I stop my cat from scratching furniture?

How to tell if my Bengal is bored?

Because boredom can have serious consequences on a Bengal’s health and well-being, you want to make sure you can spot its signs.

A bored Bengal might:

As explained in this Dezi & Roo article, signs of boredom usually develop gradually and can therefore be hard to recognize. By closely monitoring your cat, you’ll have an easier time noticing any subtle change in its physiognomy and behavior.

Make sure to consult a vet if you notice any of these signs, as excessive boredom can cause your Bengal to fall seriously ill. For instance, an obese Bengal risks becoming diabetic, having musculoskeletal problems and dying prematurely.

How to keep your Bengal entertained

Here are different things you can do to keep your Bengal entertained. 

Spend time with it

Bengals crave company, more so than most cats. If you leave your Bengal alone for days on end, it won’t live a happy life. According to the Metropolitan Veterinary Center, separation anxiety in felines can lead to self-grooming, elimination outside the litter box, destructive behavior, and vomiting food or hairballs, among other issues.

For these reasons, it’s important to spend some time with your Bengal every day. This can simply mean reading or watching TV while scratching its belly. These relaxing moments will reinforce your bond.

If you can’t spend enough time home, you might want to look into hiring a cat sitter. Maybe you have a niece or a retired neighbor who would love nothing more than to get paid a few bucks to play with your Bengal for an hour or so a day?

Related article: Can Bengal cats be left alone?

Adopt another pet

One way to prevent your Bengal from being bored is to adopt another cat. That being said, you can’t just adopt any cat and hope for the best. You have to find a good match for your Bengal in terms of personality and energy level. 

It’s also crucial to introduce the cats to each other gradually. Otherwise, they will likely be stressed and might start fighting. It will be harder to fix the situation after that. For your second cat’s introduction to go smoothly, follow the step-by-step process detailed in this article: Adopting a second cat: Can two Bengals live together?

Bengal cats for sale
Two Bengals keeping each other company.

What about adopting a dog instead? Contrary to popular belief, cats and dogs aren’t enemies. In fact, Bengals can get along quite well with dogs, as they don’t see them as competition for their territory. Plus, dogs can often better match the Bengals energy level than other cats.

Not all breeds are a good fit, however. Sight hounds, for instance, are tempted to chase cats. According to this Spruce Pets article, sporting dogs and toy dogs are better bets.

Another thing to keep in mind is that dogs can’t be left alone all the time either. If you’re always away from home, you’re better off adopting another cat instead.

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Of course, a second pet means more expenses. You’ll have to buy extra food and toys, pay for more expensive vet visits, etc. But these extra expenses might just be well worth it.

Play with your Bengal at least once a day

Interactive play is essential to Bengals. It stimulates their mind and allows them to burn off energy, of which they have plenty.

Recommended article: Do Bengal cats have a lot of energy?

Bengals have a strong prey drive: they simply love hunting (and they’re quite good at it). Therefore, one of the best ways to entertain them is to simulate hunting. You can do so by using a cat wand. All you have to do is slowly wiggle it and let your cat do the hard work.

As explained in this article by Deziroo, you should let your cat catch its “prey” at least half the time. If you always try to outmaneuver it, it won’t feel accomplished.

Apart from using a cat teaser, you can also have your Bengal chase kibbles that you slide on the floor one by one. This is a fun way to make it work a little bit for its food.

Playing with a laser pointer is another great way to help your cat work out and satisfy its hunting instincts. Just make sure you don’t point the laser at its eyes.

Recommended article: What do Bengal cats like to play with?

If possible, try to play with your Bengal two or three times a day. It’s important for your pet to have fun and feel stimulated on a frequent basis, and not only for a short period once a day.

Provide your Bengal with a rich environment

Your Bengal is more likely to get bored if it lives in a boring environment. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to enrich your Bengal’s environment, even if you live in an apartment.

Recommended article: Can Bengal cats live in apartments? Yes, but…

You won’t go wrong if you provide your Bengal with any of the following:

  • Interactive toys that your cat can play with by itself (here’s a video of our Bengals trying out a new one)
  • One or two big cat trees and/or a cat condo
  • Scratching surfaces (cardboard scratchers, scratching posts, etc.)
  • A puzzle feeder (watch our own Bengals test a few in this video)
  • Wall shelves
  • Window perches
  • A window hammock
  • A cat tunnel
  • A cat wheel
do bengal cats have a lot of energy
This cat tree featured sisal rope, which cats can scratch to hone their claws.

Don’t worry: you don’t have to buy all this at the same time. You can simply start with a few toys, a puzzle feeder and a cat tree that features a scratching post. These will help satisfy your Bengal’s need to play, solve problems, climb and scratch.

Take your Bengal out for walks

Did you know that Bengals can be taught to walk on a leash? Supervised walks are a great way to stimulate their senses without the risks of free roaming (thieves, cars, encounters with other animals, etc.). 

Outside, your Bengal will get to smell flowers, chase butterflies, discover new textures, climb on various structures, see and hear birds, etc. While it’s possible to create a rich environment indoors, there’s nothing like the outdoors to satisfy a Bengal’s curiosity and need for exploration. 

Can I take my bengal cat outside
Taking a Bengal for a walk at the park to stimulate it with new sights, sounds, smells, and textured.

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Outside walks will not only keep your Bengal engaged, but will also help it keep fit. Plus, you’ll get to exercise a little bit yourself while enjoying the outdoors. 

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Rotate your cat’s toys

Bengals can quickly lose interest in their toys. Instead of throwing old toys away and constantly buying new ones, you can simply do a toy rotation.

When you notice that your Bengal doesn’t play with a particular toy anymore, store that toy away for a while and bring out an older one. This is a simple way to keep things fresh.

To create a novelty effect, you can also buy a new toy from time to time.

Warning: There are many unsafe cat toys out there. Make sure any toy you buy is made of non-toxic materials. You should also avoid buying toys with small parts that could break off or low-quality toys that your Bengal could rip to shreds, as this could pose a choking hazard.

Final thoughts

No matter how much you love your Bengal and how well you feed it, its life inside four walls might still be boring due to a lack of adequate stimulation.

Bengal owners should not underestimate the importance of preventing boredom in their spotted companion. Boredom can lead to serious health issues as well as behavioral issues such as house soiling, which are often a cause for abandonment.

Truth be told, taking care of a Bengal’s needs is a big time commitment. But by combining the above solutions, you’ll be able to stimulate your spotted friend and prevent it from becoming bored.

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