How to train a Bengal cat 101
Bengals have a reputation for being mischievous and willful, so cat parents tend to believe that they cannot be trained. Luckily, this couldn't be further from the truth.
These tiny leopards are the feline equivalents of dogs—they’re intelligent, friendly, affectionate, and easily trainable. Untamed offers practical tips on the best training methods, treats, and schedule to help you raise a well-behaved companion.
Is training a Bengal cat a good idea?
Teaching your Bengal cat new tricks is a fantastic way to channel their enthusiasm and intelligence into useful activities as long as you prioritise their safety.
What do you mean I’m as easy to train as a dog? These two dimwits aren’t half as smart as me!
Besides keeping them entertained, training brings numerous benefits for your Bengal, including:
- Keeping them out of mischief
- Breaking bad habits
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Bonding between cats and cat parents
Caring for Bengals can become a full-time job if you don’t train and discipline them early on. Once you set basic rules and boundaries, it’ll be easier to keep your mini leopard healthy, happy, and calm.
Bengal cat training tips
To train your Bengal efficiently, you should:
- Grab their attention
- Reward desirable actions
- Keep the training sessions short and simple
Grab their attention
The essential part of training your Bengal cat is catching their attention and interest. Since cats sometimes even refuse to respond to their names, this task can be challenging.
Felines are motivated by their instincts and desires, so food is the perfect tool for drawing their attention. Calling them by their name while offering a delicious treat will ensure your efforts are successful.
Give them treats only after they’ve responded to their name. Once your Bengal learns this behaviour, you will no longer have to use treats every time—they’ll come to you when called. The same method can be used for the litter box and any other type of training.
I see the treat, you have my attention…
Reward desirable actions
Every successful training technique has one thing in common—a reward system. Due to their intelligence and need to please their cat parents, it doesn’t take long for Bengals to learn which actions are desirable.
Whenever your Bengal obeys a command or behaves properly, give them a treat or show your appreciation by petting or playing with them.
Using a clicker (a training tool that makes a clicking sound) each time your feline gets a reward will help them make a connection between these two actions. After a while, you’ll be able to discipline them only with the clicker.
Keep the training sessions short and simple
Bengal cats have short attention spans and a lot of energy, especially at an early age, so training them can be challenging. For the best results, you should:
- Have patience
- Keep the training sessions short
- Stop whenever your kitten loses interest
- Teach them one thing at a time
Patience and persistence are crucial. You must introduce training sessions from kittenhood because it will be next to impossible to change the adopted behavioural patterns later in life.
Punishment is never the answer
Disciplining your cat by punishing bad behaviour is rarely effective and can cause more harm than good. Bengals don’t react well to punishments and can easily become irritable and stressed.
When punished, your tiny leopard might start:
- Hiding from you
- Refusing food
- Shedding more than usual and tugging at their fur (often followed by increased hairballs)
- Developing allergies and food sensitivities
- Becoming fussier out of spite and refusing to eat even the wet food they usually adore
What can you teach your Bengal?
The two main kinds of training for your Bengal are:
- Basic training (practical behaviour)
- Tricks to wow the guests, but more importantly, keep your furry friend mentally active
Basic training for Bengals
It's best to start with the basics serving a practical purpose. These include:
- Litter box training—Training indoor cats to use a litter box is usually quite easy, and most cats quickly learn where to do their business. Start by introducing your Bengal to the litter box and placing them there after each meal. If your kitty doesn't get it immediately, install several litter trays around the house and reward them with tasty and healthy treats once they get the hang of using them
- Behavioural training—If your Bengal displays unwanted behaviour, such as scratching, aggression, overgrooming, and biting, it’s crucial to address it instantly. Cats don’t act out because of malice. They do it out of instinct or stress. Redirecting their attention is the best technique. If they’re scratching, save your furniture by providing them with a scratching post because sharpening and trimming their claws are natural, and they cannot stop doing it
Training a Bengal cat to do tricks
Teaching your Bengal some tricks is an excellent way to keep them mentally stimulated, while it also helps you make a close bond with your furry friend. Use playtime to teach them to:
- Stand up
- Shake hands
- Spin around
Your feline companion cannot learn all the tricks in one go. You must arm yourself with patience and many tasty treats.
Give me some fresh chicken, and I’ll spin around all you like!
When should you start training Bengal cats?
If you’re raising a Bengal kitten, begin training them as soon as possible. Socialising, using the litter tray, and grooming should become part of their routine. They will then follow these patterns long into their senior years.
It’s extremely challenging to train fully grown cats who already have a set routine in place. They’re likely to show resistance and rebel against accepting new behavioural patterns.
Don't force new tricks on your senior cat because of specific physical limitations, including:
- Deafness or blindness—Bengals are genetically predisposed to progressive retinal atrophy, so they might suffer from poor eyesight. Even healthy seniors experience sensory issues, which could either demotivate them or unnecessarily stress them
- Mobility issues—Hip dysplasia, arthritis, and muscle wastage are common issues in senior Bengals and could cause pain and frustration during training
- Other health issues—Senior cats are prone to many health niggles, including constipation, IBS, and UTIs, which make them uncomfortable, so they could become irritable and too tired to train or concentrate
Tools for training your Bengal cat
Besides patience and persistence, you’ll find cat training tools quite helpful. Check out the details in the following table:
How to use it
Like most animals, cats respond best to food rewards—there’s no trick without a treat! Bengals are intelligent, so they usually have no problem comprehending what’s asked of them. Providing them with delicious rewards will motivate them to learn any trick
Target sticks can help your Bengal understand and pick up tricks more easily. If you want them to move to a particular spot, steer them with the target stick or try to simulate movements, such as spinning, until they mimic them
Using the right food for training a Bengal cat
Food plays a crucial role in training your Bengal, but their dietary habits also affect their development and overall health. The treats used for training and disciplining a kitten must be healthy and delicious.
Is it time for dinner number two?
Source: Chuko Cribb
- Artificial additives
- Flavour enhancers
- Vegetable fats
Products without enough animal protein deliver empty calories and are useless or harmful to your Bengal. Regular consumption can lead to:
- Digestive issues, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea
- Weight gain, obesity, and diabetes that not even Bengal’s active lifestyle can prevent
- Dental problems, including gum diseases and tooth loss
- Food allergies
Does the diet play a role in your Bengal's attitude and behaviour?
Your cat's diet is vital for their well-being and general attitude. It should closely resemble felines’ natural eating habits. Although they no longer hunt prey, such as frogs, birds, and mice, domesticated cats need lean meat and fish to stay fit and healthy.
Two crucial ingredients in their food are:
- Animal protein, which contains essential amino acids, such as taurine and arginine, responsible for brain function, muscle development, and efficient immune response
- Animal fat, which provides fatty acids necessary for reducing inflammation, skin and coat health, and adding the irresistible taste to your cat's meals
The best way to determine whether a product is suitable for your Bengal is by analysing the ingredients list. Clearly stated animal protein sources should be in the first place, followed by animal fat. Carbs are useless to cats, so the fewer carbohydrates in the product, the better. Whichever type of food you choose (raw, wet, mixed, dry, or homemade), the main ingredients should be any of the following:
A balanced Bengal diet should respect the following ratio of essential nutrients:
50% or more
Up to 20%
Less than 3%
Untamed is the best choice for your Bengal
Training your Bengal has never been easier—you’ll always have the upper hand with delicious Untamed treats.
Image (c) Untamed
All Untamed recipes are:
- Made with double the amount of animal protein than commercial cat food usually contains
- Formulated by vets to provide complete and balanced meals to your Bengal
- Produced ethically to keep our planet safe and clean. We cooperate only with cruelty-free and sustainable suppliers and use completely recyclable packaging
Want to provide your Bengal with the healthiest and tastiest dishes? Give Untamed a go!
Get Untamed right away!
You can teach your kitty new tricks using Untamed in no time! Order a tailor-made plan in three simple steps:
Once you’ve placed the order, expect it to arrive in a day. There’s no doubt your Bengal will wolf it down and purr with excitement, asking for more. Don’t worry—we’ll keep you stocked with monthly supplies so that you never run out!
After switching to Untamed, our clients have noticed the following improvements in their kitties:
The Untamed effect
Within a week
After two months
Within four months