Are Bengal Cats Good for Apartments?

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Are Bengal cats good for apartments and small spaces? Bengal cats are typically not recommended in an apartment environment due to the amount of stimulation and attention needed for Bengal cats. However, for cat owners are that are willing to create a stimulating space in their apartment and learn about their Bengal cat’s behaviors – Bengal cats can be great apartment companions!

Bengal cats are good for apartments!
Bengals are beautiful, but because of their large amounts of energy, they can be difficult to train and handle

The Bengal cat is an active cat breed that requires a lot of attention. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy being in a smaller-sized living area, but it depends on how much effort and creativity you can bring to their lives. It is by no means easy, and depending on how small your space is, it might mean you have to put more energy into situations for them to play, discover, and hunt.

This is especially true in small spaces such as studio apartments with constant exposure to your cat. But this is only for a short time as they learn and know what to do or not to do. As they grow up, they can become loving and cuddly members of your family!

Bengal cats are for owners that want an active pet that responds enthusiastically to whatever their owner does! If you adopt them as kittens, they can easily get used to the smaller space if you provide them with enough stimulation through play and just some creative thinking!

To learn more about other breeds that are popular in apartments, check out this massive resource!

Can Bengal Cats Be Good Apartment Cats?

First, let’s examine their temperament and what problems might come with their personalities and naturally high energy levels.

Taking in and owning any animal is a responsibility. Taking in a Bengal is definitely an exercise in your patience and consistent efforts.

Bengal Cat Temperament For Apartments

We all hear that they’re crazy, and they really are. I raised my Bengal kitten in a one-room apartment.

In the first couple of days of taking him in, I wondered how I would sleep. Back then, I wasn’t expecting the sheer energy that came with them. I’d wake up constantly to playing and chasing and him discovering new toys! It was quite a nightmare at times until I learned what made them tick.

Bengal cat relaxing on the floor of an apartment.

When the excitement and craziness subside after their kitten years, you’re left with an animal that adores you and is willing to participate in everything you do. This is when they are a true joy to have around.

Any chance they get, they want to be interacting with you at almost every moment. Whether you’re just sitting down doing work, cooking, or playing something. They’re always around to cheer you up and make you laugh. It’s never boring having a Bengal around!

So how do you get to this part of the Bengal in the beginning when it seems like they’re going crazy every moment of the day?

With consistent behavioral guidance through play therapy, reinforcing good behaviors, and discouraging bad ones – they can become a well-adapted indoor cats.

It’s allowing them to release their energy towards the correct things. Whether it’s wrestling their cat friend or trying to chase down a feather wand toy, that’s really it.

If they’re going crazy and creating havoc. That’s when you know you need to play with him/her more.

My Bengal is now a grown boy, and he never bites or scratches. He still gets into trouble sometimes (usually messing around in the closet), but that’s as far as it goes these days. Otherwise, he’s a pretty well-socialized cat with higher than normal energy levels. He loves his owners and his cat friends.

Problems Bengal Cat Owners Might Face in Apartments

These are the most common Bengal cat issues that owners might face:

  1. Biting – All cats bite but it seems that Bengal cats bite quite a bit as kittens. This can include biting their butlers, cables, or plastic or whatever is around at the time.
  2. Scratching – They also love to use their claws. Having the proper outlet to use their claws is the key to having relatively clean furniture!
  3. Burrowing – Bengal cats love to go under covers, blankets, or clothes. They can quickly and quietly get under loose mats too! So it’s important to watch where you step! The more difficult thing is when they burrow inside places that they can’t get out of and cry for help!
  4. Wet paws – they love the sound of water so before they take a drink they might poke it at a couple of times and so it might cause some wet paw prints around!
  5. Chirps, meows, and chatter – Bengal cats are talkative, they have a sound for whatever they’re feeling. Sometimes they’re making a sound for attention, so it’s important to know when to give them that attention and when to ignore them.

Bengal Cat Quirks & Personality in An Apartment

They talk. A lot. It’s quite charming as they have unique sounds for whatever they’re feeling. Whether it’s a feeling of annoyance, hunger, or just plain excitement, they have a sound for it. It’s fun to listen, and they sometimes respond if you talk to them!

Those who might be annoyed about meowing or sensitive to sounds should probably avoid this breed. In an apartment, you might have the option of separating yourself and your Bengal cat. Again, you will probably have continuous exposure to your cat.

Be prepared for your Bengal to voice their concerns whenever they’re not happy or want your attention! My Bengal will yell at me whenever he’s hungry or wants to go into the Bedroom.

Of course, you have to have the patience not to respond sometimes as it might create a habit. Meowing is not bad per se but meowing to get what he wants constantly is bad behavior.

For example, if you continuously open the door when he meows. He will learn that every time he DOES meow, then you open the door. The next time he will do louder and for longer. So having patience and sometimes ignoring when Bengals do this is quite crucial.

How to Play With Your Bengal in an Apartment

Obviously, the lack of space in a studio apartment can be a problem in letting your cat run around. However, with proper placement of furniture and elevated areas for your cats to climb. It is possible to create a playing circuit.

What’s a playing circuit? Think obstacle-course. Imagine how your Bengal might run around your studio apartment, jumping on the bed, maybe the cat tower, and off of walls and onto bookcases. Yes, Bengal cats are like ninjas. They jump and wall-run to reverse their direction quickly.

Bengal cat being taken outside for a walk!
An apartment Bengal cat doesn’t have to stay indoors at all times. Controlled outdoor access such as walking in the park is a great way to let them expend their energy!

As you’re playing with them (usually with an interactive wand toy), have them go up and down these different elevations in your apartment. You’d be surprised how fast they can run around and do laps around your apartment. My Bengal cat would do laps from the door to scratching post to onto my bed repeatedly until they would run out of breath and have to rest for a bit.

It gets better with the addition of more elevated spaces. Such as cat window hammocks or beds. You can throw their favorite toy and watch them jump up, and have them retrieve it for you. Fetch comes quite naturally to Bengal cats. They’re probably the easiest cat breed to learn how to fetch.

Fetch is one of my favorite activities to do with Latte because I can throw it anywhere and have him retrieve it for me. It helps so that I don’t have to keep running around like a crazy man with a wand toy.

There is one last thing that I would mention. Bengals are best raised with another cat or kitten. They learn so much from each other, and it keeps them both busy while you’re away for work or other business. They expend their energy on each other and curbs their “wild” (they’re not actually wild, but sometimes it feels like they are) nature!

Bengal-Proofing Your Apartment

Having a Bengal cat is similar to having an energetic, curious baby around. This baby can not only cry, meow, and move around but can also jump everywhere. Therefore, Bengal cat-proofing the apartment (click on the link for the full in-depth solutions list!) is an important part of owning a Bengal cat. Why? To prevent destructive habits that might develop later on.

Here are some good rules to keep when having a Bengal cat in your apartment:

  • Keep valuables in high places – anything below the waist tends to be too easy for Bengal cats to get into.
  • Seal food – a Bengal cat’s sense of smell is strong, plus, they’re very persistent cats. Therefore, if they can smell it, they’ll usually target it and be pretty successful at obtaining whatever it is they want.
  • Use safety locks/tape – sometimes Bengal cats just want to open things just to see what’s inside. Keep things closed with locks.

Apartment Essentials for Bengal Cats

There are things, of course, that you should have in an apartment with a Bengal cat. However, it’s really not that much.

As you raise your Bengal cat, you start to know what type of toy they like, how they like to play, and what gets them going.

As such, you really only need a couple of their favorite toys. I prefer to have a pack of toys that my Bengal loves and a wand toy, and that’s enough for me.

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They're foam balls that bounce everywhere. Cats love to chase them down and some really active cats (Bengals especially) are able to learn to fetch. Also a great tool for bite misdirection!

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It can be a good idea to cycle toys that they like. If they start getting bored with a certain toy, put it away and bring out one of the other toys.

Owners should have enough elevation to satisfy their need to climb and be on higher ground. They should also have a strong, sturdy scratching post for their instinctual needs and deter unwanted scratching of other furniture!

I don’t have a cat tower because it tends to shed and get real ragged-looking from the intense play of multiple cats. I’ve never had a cat tower last more than a couple of months. Also, it takes up a large amount of floor space that I prefer to keep relatively open and clean. So don’t think a cat tower is necessary. What is necessary is your willingness to play with them!

Cats in an apartment!
The great cat wall of my studio apartment

Suppose you want to go above and beyond for your Bengal cat. Maybe invest in a cat wheel. Cats never get a chance to go their full speed unless they’re outside, which opens them up to many dangers. So instead of that, a cat wheel allows them to get rid of any excess energy they have left by sprinting or jogging.

I would recommend a cat wheel over a cat tower. Although it is a bit more expensive, it lasts much longer, and Bengal cats (and other active cats) get so much use out of it that it is worth it. I also never needed to train him on the wheel. He took to it naturally after a day or two!

Bengal Cats Good For Apartments? Conclusion

A Bengal can be a great companion in a studio apartment or any smaller space. With the correct preparation and knowledge of their tendencies, it’s relatively simple to correct their behaviors.

Again, they are very loving animals and adore their owners. They’re playful and want to be loved like any other cat breed. As they grow older, there’s a bond that you develop with him, and you’ll know exactly what he wants by the type of sound he makes!

For Bengals, for whatever problem you might have with them. More interactive play is always the answer.

monsieurtn

With a science background and years of experience including learning, observing, and training cats - increasing our beloved feline's welfare and wellbeing is the priority and passion.

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