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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:59 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:15 pm
Posts: 9
Hi

I have a 5 month old F7 Savannah kitten, and I explained a lot about myself and my kitten in my introduction...

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=28433

There seems to be a lot more people with Bengals that are allowed to come and go as they please than Savannahs, and as there is some similarities between the breeds I am hoping to learn a bit from other peoples experiences.

I would be really interested to hear people experiences with allowing their Bengal free access to the outside and how this may differ from a regular cat with no wilder bloodlines. I am also wondering what age your cat was, when this free access was allowed. This probably can't be answered here, but I am wondering if a cat that is kept indoors, or on a harness or in an enclosure until it is over a year old or over 3 years old will be less likely to roam? Or conversely less able to stay safe, even with a gradual introduction, because it did not get experiences it needed when it was young?

I am also interested in peoples experiences of providing limited outdoor access either on a harness or enclosure, and if you have found a way to keep your cat content with this, or not, and if there is anything in the cats personality/behavior that in retrospect was a clue that providing limited access was going to create problems...Have people found that always taking their cat out the door in a harness in a cat carrier avoids them getting obsessed with getting out, or can this be a problem even if this is the only way it is ever done?

If a cat goes out in the yard on a harness and also has a cat enclosure, will they be happy to stay in their cat enclosure or will they really really want to be able to be out in the yard where they hear and smell a lot of interesting things going on?

As explained in my first post I live in a very safe area for outdoor cats, but it is not risk free and neither is it risk free to keep my cat indoors only. So I am trying to make the best plan for my kitten to have a long, happy and safe life, and I am thinking people's experiences Bengals that have free (or limited) access to the outside may help inform my choices.

I understand many people feel cats are always safer being indoors only, I have done a lot of reading on the topic and I am aware of the concerns. At this point I have not decided either way, and am just trying to get as much information as possible.

And I am interested in any tips or information that could help high energy curious outdoor access cats be as safe as possible...

Gotta go entertain a very patient kitten...


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:43 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8935
I just responded in your other topic, so won't rehash it over here. Just the fact that you are ASKING this question means you have concerns about letting your Savannah roam free. If you can limit the access to an enclosed catio and teach the kitty to walk on a harness and leash, you are far better off. Not only that, but it will get your kitty familiar with the area in case he gets out one day. Many indoor cats who escape have no idea where they are. They have no outdoor territory. So, I would start with that. Just know that if your kitty is a male -- and I don't think you've mentioned the sex -- he will start spraying for territory even if he is neutered. My bengal is almost 11 years old and sprays everything on our walks.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:42 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:15 pm
Posts: 9
Sherry, as explained in my introduction and here, in my situation I am trying to balance various risks and benefits and at the same time avoid getting my kitten longing for greater freedom than it is safe for it to have. But no matter what I choose there is some risks...

If I allow him to get familiar with my yard, while wearing a harness, it seems likely that will set him up to resent the wire of the enclosed areas that restrain him from interacting with the familiar sights and sounds on the other side of the wire barrier. If I don’t allow him to get familiar with the yard he will almost certainly accidentally get out someday and is then at very high risk because of his inexperience...

If my cat is gradually allowed to get familiar with the yard and eventually allowed full freedom, this would be very very very low risk if he stays within 300 feet of my house, very low risk if he stays within 1/2 a mile, low risk if he stays within a mile, but a bit more of a risk if he he roams more than a mile. Ideally, I would like him to be free to come and go and of his own choosing to stay within 300 feet of my home, but if this is unlikely I would like him to be contented to be indoor with access to the wire enclosed areas and catio, but able to cope if he ever gets out. I am trying to decide the most likely way to accomplish one of these goals, and also which of them is more likely to be successful. And I am wondering if the cats age when it is first allowed outside either restrained or unrestrained is a factor in later behaviour and the tendency to roam. I am hoping peoples experience with outside Bengals will help me make this decision.

Your information about it being normal for neutered cats to spray is incorrect (though maybe this is true for Bengals?) If male cats are neutered after sexual maturity about 10 percent will continue to spray. Male cats neutered before sexual maturity almost never do this...

I won’t be taking him out even on a harness for another month as he still needs rabies shots so I have a while to weigh all my options and hope some people with outdoor access Bengals will share their experiences..

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:58 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:15 pm
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Sherry... just an afterthought about your Bengal... Is is possible something hormone producing tissue was left behind when he was neutered? I have read this occasionally happens, which can be the cause the continued aggression and spraying, which together are somewhat unusual in a successfully neutered male. Or was he neutered later in life after he had established habits of a sexually mature Tomcat? Are Bengals more likely to retain these behaviours than other cats? Off topic but just wondering if there might be a solution to the behaviors that continue to be a problem with him?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:51 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Any male who was neutered early will return to spraying when allowed to roam the outdoors when the instinct returns from smelling the spraying of neighborhood cats. Plain and simple.

You might want to check into the GPS tracking devices that are available and secure one to your kitty. That way you would know exactly where your baby is. There are many on the market. Bluetooth devices only work if you come within 100 to 200 feet of the animal yourself. And things like trees, walls, buildings can block the signal. You want a GPS tracker. That way, you can put it on the collar and allow your kitty to roam to its heart's content and still know exactly where he/she is in the world. That should solve the issue -- unless the cat loses the collar.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:18 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:15 pm
Posts: 9
What I will probably do is finish the catio and enclosing under the house and introduce my kitten or cat to the yard on a harness when he is hungry and the weather is cold and or wet. And then make sure the house is warm and he has a nice meal when he comes in. That way he will know the yard well enough to get back to the house, but hopefully he won’t remember it as a place he really wants to be. I like to think there will be a time he will be reliably settled and he will not roam, and at that point he could be free to come and go as he pleases, especially as almost all of the dangers people say I need to be concerned about do not exist here and keeping him in is denying him a lot of joy and quality of life, just to protect him from something that would probably never happen. (Meaning in this area, not someone else’s)

At the point he seems like he may be content to stay close to home I have thought that getting a gps tracking device would help me know if my assessment is correct, but the chance of a collar getting caught and killing him is probably a lot more likely than any local danger.

From reading here it sounds like Bengals are more likely to spray, even after they are neutered. And Sherry is correct that this is provoked by seeing or smelling other cats, which an outside cat would be more exposed to. But in regular cat breeds spraying usually only continues after neutering if the cat was already sexually mature and in the habit of spraying, when neutered.

https://www.vetinfo.com/why-cat-sprayin ... ering.html

http://www.mobilespca.org/Portals/0/dow ... raying.pdf


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:23 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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The DSH I take care of was neutered at six months and he sprays like a fire boat! LOL.

I understand your concerns with a collar on your cat. I've tried several on Long Legs and he comes home without it within 24 hours. I've given up. The neighbors all know him since he follows Raiden and me on our walks and we live in the area of the subdivision with dead-end streets.

I guess all you can do is hope that what you are planning will work. Your baby is still very young and should not be allowed out on its own until you've had time to get it used to your surrounding areas. Fresh air is good for all creatures, and a nice catio would provide that. I hope you will let us know how it all works out for you. I'm hoping for the best.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:52 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:54 pm
Posts: 181
As I understand it, Bengals will generally roam further than most other cats if they have free access to the wild.

We have four male Bengals and they started off as house kittens/cats. At 8 months old we started harness training them, and a couple of weeks later started getting them used to being outside in the gardens on leads. A few weeks later we started walking them in local woods etc.
When they were about 16 months old we had an enclosure built, 12m x 3m so they had indoors 24/7 and the enclosure during the day's and were typically walked once or twice a week. End result very happy and content cats, but they get a bit energetic if they miss a walk.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:45 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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My bengal insists on two walks a day and would love four or five! We are out for 45 minutes to an hour each time and walk about 8 blocks total, including around our park/tennis courts. The 12'x12' enclosure is there for him 24/7 and he will go out for a few minutes and come right back in. He has taken to yowling constantly and running to the exterior doors. Our DSH gets to go outside any time he wants -- and Raiden does not understand why he cannot do the same. The problem with my bengal is that he goes looking for other cats to fight with. We see many cats around the park area because the lady that lives next to it puts out food for stray cats. When Raiden spots one, he wants to head right over so he can beat them up. Problem is, he is the one who get beaten to shreds. I had him on a leash even and thought the cat had run through some bushes and the cat actually stopped under the bushes. They got into a fight and Raiden could not walk for three weeks. He has used up most of his 9 lives and I really want to preserve the ones he has left.


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