How to train a Bengal cat not to bite—explained in detail
Bengals cats are incredibly friendly felines who love to interact with their humans. They are loving, loyal creatures and fantastic companions for many households.
These mini leopards are also highly energetic and playful, so they need a lot of attention. The playtime may sometimes turn into a biting fest because Bengals get so excited that they can't contain their energy and start gnawing on your hand or legs while you are playing together.
When it comes to biting, worry not—they don't do it because they want to harm you. The good news is that these felines are exceptionally intelligent, so teaching them manners won't be a problem, and they will enjoy every second of the process.
So, how to train a Bengal cat not to bite? Untamed explains why Bengals bite, how to teach them to stop, and how to provide a wonderful home for them.
Why do Bengal cats bite?
How many times do I have to bite before you remember not to do that?
Source: Nika Benedictova
Before you can train a Bengal not to bite, be aggressive, or do anything you don't want them to do, you should understand why they are exhibiting the unwanted behaviour.
Bengals can bite for several reasons, namely:
- Boredom—In most cases, your Bengal will start biting because they are bored. These kitties need stimulation and physical activity. If they don't know what to do with themselves, they will start chewing on anything they find, including your hands
- Overstimulation—During playtime or petting, your Bengal can get a bit too excited and bite your hand
- Fear—When cats get scared, they might react aggressively to protect themselves
- Agitation—If your Bengal feels stressed or annoyed, they might bite. Most felines use body language to show when they are uncomfortable or want someone to stop whatever they are doing. Kitties might attack if you ignore those signs or fail to recognise them. Some breeds will politely remove themselves from the situation—British Shorthairs, for example—but Bengals will likely teach you a lesson
- Pain—Your Bengal may be in pain because they are hurt or suffer from an underlying health condition. If you touch them the wrong way, they might react violently
How to recognise your Bengal's warning signs
If you get to know your Bengal well, you can predict when they might lash out. Most felines use the following body language to show how they feel:
Discomfort or fear
Recognising the signs your kitty sends can prevent you from getting bitten and help you notice that something is wrong with them.
How to stop a Bengal cat from biting
Did you say playtime?
Source: Nika Benedictova
Bengals are smart and can quickly understand what you want from them. Disciplining and teaching them manners is usually effortless. Solving your Bengal cat biting problem shouldn’t be difficult, especially if your kitty spent the first three to four months of their life with their mother. Mom teaches kittens basic socialisation, which includes not biting their humans.
There are several approaches to preventing your Bengal from biting you, depending on why they do it. Here's what you can work on:
- Correcting overstimulation
- Preventing boredom
Cat parents should stop playing or wrestling with their Bengals (or any other felines) using their hands. It would be best never to do that, even when they are still kittens.
If you use your fingers to tease your Bengal, they will associate your hands with toys. That's how bad habits form. Your kitty will innocently play, but you will be in agony, and your hands will always be in scratches. As your Bengal grows, this damage to your skin will only become more serious.
If you pet or play with your Bengal and notice signs of overstimulation, such as quick tail twitching, stop what you are doing and leave. Continuing the interaction will only reinforce the unwanted behaviour.
If the biting occurs before you get the chance to leave, try not to react. Stay calm even if it hurts. Slowly move your hands away and go. This will signal to your kitty that any interaction stops the moment they become too rough.
Boredom is easy to fix because all you need to do is keep your Bengal cognitively stimulated. You can do it in various ways:
- Increase playtime—Bengals typically need two 30-minute playing sessions per day
- Create an engaging environment—Your Bengal will need plenty of interactive toys (electric mice, floppy fish, etc.), food puzzles, places to climb and jump to and from, and room to run around freely. This way, they can play independently
- Get another cat (or a dog)—Bengals are great with other animals and enjoy company, provided they have been properly socialised. If you decide to take this step, keep in mind that you should get another feline of a similar temperament (a Siamese, for instance)
Pet your Bengal gently while they are sleeping, so they can get used to your touch.
Source: Paul Hanaoka
Bengal cats are fearless and curious. Mini leopards are also reasonably tolerant but will hit back if you persist with annoying behaviour.
If your Bengal gets jumpy often or attacks at the slightest touch, you should work on desensitising. Having fixed routines will ensure you are consistent with your training schedule, and the best times to do it are:
- After playtime, when they are tired and relaxed—Begin with petting but monitor your Bengal's tail at all times. If it twitches a lot, be gentler and move more slowly or try a different area. If your Bengal thrashes their tail a lot, stop and try again later
- During mealtimes—Stroke your Bengal on the back while they eat to see how they react. They will most likely ignore you. Then move on to their head and, finally, belly. These are the sensitive areas. Repeat this during every meal so your kitty associates your touch with something positive. You can also hand feed them as it's the easiest way to associate your hand with pleasant sensations
What never to do when training your Bengal not to bite
If you are too strict with your cat, they will become fearful of you. To maintain a great relationship with your Bengal, avoid:
- Shouting at them
- Hitting or pushing them
- Using a spray bottle
You have tried everything, but your Bengal still bites?
If you have ruled out fear, boredom, and overstimulation, and you are sure nobody and nothing is annoying your Bengal, but they keep lashing out, there could be something more serious at play. Your feline friend could be:
- In pain due to injury or illness
- Suffering from gastrointestinal problems
Common health problems
Bengals are a hardy breed, but they could suffer from a few health problems causing severe pain and discomfort. They are particularly prone to joint issues such as:
- Patellar luxation
- Hip dysplasia
These conditions may require surgery, so schedule a vet visit. In milder cases, managing your kitty's weight with controlled portions of high-quality food will do the trick.
Bengal cats are also extraordinarily active, and even though they are agile and athletic, they can land the wrong way and hurt themselves. It can cause pain and prompt your kitty to attack if you touch them where it hurts.
If your kitty doesn’t enjoy you touching them, they might be in pain.
Source: Paul Hanaoka
Inadequate food is the most common cause of stomach problems in felines. A diet consisting of vegetables, grains, and other common allergens, such as dairy (milk—even lactose-free—cheese, and yoghurt), eggs, and beef, often leads to:
- Food allergies
Carb-rich food can mess up your Bengal's energy levels, making them more passive, which leads to weight gain. Extra weight, especially if it turns to obesity, can aggravate joint problems and cause other health issues, such as:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
What to feed a Bengal cat?
Whatever the type of cat food—wet, dry, semi-moist, raw, or homemade—make sure that the number one ingredient is lean meat or fish. Your feline’s diet should consist of:
Up to 20%
Less than 3%
Why is animal protein essential?
Meat and fish are crucial for your Bengal’s health because they deliver essential amino acids, such as:
Amino acids are vital for maintaining muscle mass, ensuring normal organ function, supporting reproductive health, etc.
Meat is also the primary energy source for felines and provides all the vitamins and minerals cats need to stay healthy.
Why is animal fat necessary?
Besides giving food an incredible taste, animal fat contains healthy fatty acids that:
- Keep skin and coat healthy
- Boost immunity
- Support digestive health
- Ensure cellular integrity
How can Untamed keep your Bengal calm and friendly?
Untamed offers balanced and complete nutrition for your Bengal.
Image (c) Untamed
Untamed meals are prepared with feline health in mind. All our dishes are easy on kitties' tummies because they are:
- Full of animal protein—Untamed tins contain at least 60% of human-grade meat or fish, which deliver two times more protein than the industry standard
- Vet-formulated—We cooperate with vets to ensure our food is well-balanced, allergen-free, devoid of harmful ingredients, and suitable for felines at all life stages (kittens, adults, seniors, pregnant, neutered). Our meals can help with various health problems, including:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Dental problems
- Urinary tract infections, struvite crystals, and cystitis
- Gently steamed—Gentle cooking process ensures all the nutrients and flavours are locked in, so even kitties who typically refuse wet food enjoy our delicacies. Our food is easily digestible and suitable for particularly sensitive Bengals
Order Untamed today, and let your Bengal cool off with an exceptional meal!
How to order
Getting Untamed for your feisty Bengal couldn't be simpler.
All you need to do is:
- Tell us about your kitty
- Pick a meal plan
- Place your order
The starter pack will land at your doorstep in a day, and your feline companion can start sampling the delicacies immediately. We can send monthly supplies with:
- Free shipping
- No-questions-asked cancellation policy
- Easy order changes
Once you join the Untamed clowder, you can expect amazing results:
The Untamed results
After two months
Within four months