One of the first things Bengal breeders tell would-be owners is that this breed requires a lot of mental and physical stimulation. If they don’t exercise and play regularly, Bengals can develop health problems and behavioral problems.
Related article: What to consider before buying a Bengal cat
One of the best ways to satisfy this need is through interactive play. That’s why it’s essential to provide your Bengal with toys that it will use with you as well as fun toys that it can use alone. But with so many cat toys on the market, which one should you choose? Read more to find out!
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What do Bengal cats like to play with?
Bengal cats like to play with interactive toys that challenge them mentally and physically. Teaser wands are one of their favorite toys when it comes to playing with people. For solo play, you can’t go wrong with puzzle toys that challenge the brain and satisfy your cat’s hunting instincts.
Related article: Do Bengal cats like to hunt?
Wands and teasers are a must for any Bengal owner. They allow you to simulate a hunt, which is a perfect activity for a pet with such a high predatory drive.
What is more, playing with your cat using a teaser is a great way to help it burn off energy so it stays fit. You can make it sprint, climb, jump, and pounce, just like it would during a hunt. This physical activity helps reduce the risk of health issues such as feline diabetes (diabetes mellitus).
Wands are also the perfect toy to tire out your Bengal. A tired cat is less likely to engage in undesirable behaviors (damaging furniture, urinating or defecating outside its litter box, etc.).
The Way of Cats recommends putting cat wands away after play for safety reasons. If you leave the wand lying around all the time, your cat could destroy the toy, poke itself on the rod, or tangle itself in the string.
Puzzle games and feeders
Bengals are surprisingly intelligent, which is why they need to be mentally stimulated. Without stimulation, they quickly get bored and frustrated.
Related article: Do Bengal cats get bored? How to entertain your Bengal
Puzzle games are some of the best accessories you can buy to provide that stimulation. They require your Bengal to use its wits and dexterity to get a special treat or its regular kibbles.
There are all sorts of puzzle games on the market. You can get a simple puzzle feeder (here’s a video of our Bengals using one) or a treat-dispensing game for quite cheap, or pay a little more for a food tree such as this one (affiliate link).
Puzzle games are a must for all Bengals, but especially those that don’t get to play with their owners daily.
Related article: Can Bengal cats be left alone?
Ball feeders are simply balls that you fill with kibbles, which fall out of the holes during play. Here’s a video of our own Bengal testing one out.
Food-dispensing balls are a cheap and simple way to keep your cat busy, satisfy its need to hunt, and make it work a little bit for its food. They can help control its weight and prevent obesity-related health issues.
Ideally, any ball feeder you buy should be made of FDA-approved plastic.
There are all sorts of cat balls out there, but not all are created equal. You want to make sure any ball you buy is:
- big enough so it doesn’t present a choking hazard
- durable enough so it can’t be torn into small pieces that your cat could swallow or choke on
- made of non-toxic materials
Bengals are known to like water, so you can even put a ball in the bathtub with a little bit of water for a fun playing session. If you do so, keep your eyes on your Bengal at all times: you shouldn’t let it play in water unsupervised.
These pretend prey are a sure bet when it comes to entertaining a Bengal. You can even try teaching your cat to play fetch with one of these. Just make sure you remove any small pieces (such as plastic eyes) that your cat could rip off and swallow.
If you’re looking for a way to take playing sessions to the next level, this might be it. Like teaser wands, remote-controlled mice are an ideal way to satisfy your Bengal’s hunting instincts.
Here’s a video review someone made of such a toy. The review is positive overall, although the reviewer does mention that the battery doesn’t last too long.
As the Beattie Pet Hospital advises, toys containing batteries should be put away after play. Don’t underestimate your Bengal’s ability to get the battery out!
Springs are simple, yet so fun. Cats use them a bit like a ball: they simply slap them around and chase them. Why not leave a few around the house?
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t give your Bengal any random spring. Make sure those you buy are made specifically for cats. They should be chew-resistant and shouldn’t have sharp edges.
What’s more fun than pushing a ball along a track? There’s a great variety of ball circuits out there, so you can easily find one that fits your budget and your space.
While small and simple, this circular track (affiliate link) can do the trick. The great thing about it is that it features a scratch pad (which can be replaced). As you may know, scratch pads are essential: they keep your cat’s attention away from furniture, rugs, and drapes.
Related article: How can I stop my cat from scratching furniture?
Track towers are another fun option. Here’s a video of our Bengals trying their new tower out. They loved it!
If you have more room, you might want to consider a larger track such as this one. A larger track can also be a good idea if you have several cats. This way, they’ll be able to play at the same time.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of cat toys and accessories out there. The key is to find safe ones. This means making sure that they are made of non-toxic materials, that they will resist rough play, and that they don’t have small pieces that can be torn off.
Also, you shouldn’t just let your Bengal play with any random object. As the Beattie Pet Hospital explains, strings, ribbons, yarn, and rubber bands can put your cat’s life at risk if ingested. Plastic bags are also dangerous because they can easily be torn apart into small pieces that your cat could try ingesting.
To keep your cat from getting bored with its toys, you can rotate them around from time to time: this means putting some away for a little while and bringing older ones back out. You can also change an accessory’s location to see how your cat reacts.