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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:23 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:27 pm
Posts: 10
I rescued my 4 year old Bengal three months ago and she had always been kept by the breeder in a run outside with another Bengal queen. It was far from ideal but she has now been rescued from that environment and is living in a loving home.

However, I have been advised that it is best to keep Bengals indoors since they are a desireable breed (this is my first Bengal by the way, so I'm having to go on majority votes when it comes to advice I'm afraid!!). Unfortunately, the probably inevitably, she managed to get outside yesterday and spent a good hour or so meowing by the door and when she stopped this morning I thought that was the end of it.

I got home tonight and she shot outside - thankfully the garden has a fence so I was able to catch her before she got too far. I'm now quite concerned - should I try to stop her from going outside (as a temporary measure I've put some anti-scratch spray down to keep her away from the door whilst I sort something more long term out) or should I try and work around it.

If I take her on a leash (besides looking a bit silly) is it not a bit unfair for her because she will want to run free and explore?

If I suddenly let her out, how will she know where to come back to, and more importantly - will she?

Any help is greatly received!!


Chris.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:07 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4111
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
If you let her out, then no, of course there is no guarantee that she will come back, and for any number of reasons. My sense is that the majority here don't let their cats outside unsupervised, but certainly many do. Keeping your cat inside is even a common stipulation in the States when you take home a pedigreed or rescued cat from a shelter. But to me the "the cat is desirable" doesn't factor much into it. In fact it's easy to see that argument as being rather cynical (the idea that you would treat cats differently depending on their price tag), but I do acknowledge that at least there is likely an increased chance of a cat being "catnapped", which may be where that advice comes from. It still makes me cringe to hear it though.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:12 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:27 pm
Posts: 10
Yes, I'm not factoring that too highly on my reasons for letting her out. It's just the general idea that she is obsessed with the door. I don't see why her behaviour should change so wildly just because she has been outside once.

Is it likely that with some perserverence she will eventually give up and go back to normal?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:05 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8010
If you can have a small cat enclosure outside where your kitty will be safe, that will work. I'm the crazy lady of the neighborhood who walks her Bengal on a leash! We walk ALL over the place -- our yard, down the street. He leads and I follow. He also has a very large enclosure on our deck that he accesses through a cat door. I've always had outdoor cats, and Raiden was a free-roaming cat owned by a neighbor and he got into a lot of cat fights, resulting in expense vet visits and medications. When Raiden came to my back door after his fourth fight (owner was out of town), I rushed him to the vet and decided I'd keep him inside. That wasn't going to work because he was used to being outside. Thus the cat enclosure and the daily walks. I'm very concerned for his safety. We live near a busy street and I've seen a lot of cats deceased on the side of the road. We back up to woods where coyotes and foxes reside. Everyone who sees him says he's the most beautiful cat they've ever seen. Raiden is pretty friendly and I'm scared someone would take him. Cats can vanish in an instant.

I remember a year ago when Raiden was howling constantly and stood at the back door scratching trying to open it. Now we rarely have to restrain him to keep him from going outside. He knows he gets his walk when I get home from work. He still sneaks out at times, but he's not smart enough to run. He gets out there and stops and we can grab him. Even if he did get outside, he would know his way back home -- but I'm hoping he doesn't get too far out of my reach.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:03 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:54 am
Posts: 154
I was the same as you OP, first Bengal kitten and did not want to let it outside. After a while she would cry at the door a lot!

Now she is allowed outside supervised. I let her out in the backyard, for 1 hour. An went i get home, i leave the door open or if she waits by it and meows ill let her explore.

When i call her back and she comes i make sure to make a big happy deal about it and give her a treat.

I can now leave her out and every 30 mins to an hour i call and she will come in, look at me, then run back out.

She has also seemed to be a lot more calm. I cant wait till i don't have a rental and can make a cat enclosure.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:56 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8010
It seems female cats are more prone to not wander as far as males, however, cats will expand their territory as they gain more confidence being outside. They will want to explore new places and can vanish from your yard rather quickly. Then we have panicking owners trying to find their cats. Many breeders' contracts state that the bengal shall not be allowed outside unless supervised. I just got back from an hour walk with Raiden. I've got a ton of things I should be doing during that time, but it's OUR time together and I try to embellish the fact that we are no more than 10' apart at any given time.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:43 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:42 am
Posts: 143
Whether to let her outside is a complex decision for you to make. It is all about weighing up the environment and the risks. As she is used to an enclosure and now has been outside as well, I suspect you will struggle to keep her indoors all the time. She really really wants to get out there. Can you build an enclosure? That would let her have outside time and be low risk.

We let our two 7 months old out in daylight hours because, here in Australia we open up the house and eat all our meals outside for 6 months of the year. We have a very large garden and are 40 metres from a quiet road. I am lucky that I work only from home with flexible hours. Still, there is risk and at first lots of anxiety about it. These are my tips, if you decide to let her out:

1 I trained both to return to "Come come!" over several weeks, using the clicker and treats, indoors only. I still sometimes use clicker &/or treats when outside and they come to my call, to reinforce the training.
2 The first few times exploring, we wandered around with them. They can get spooked by noise or sudden movement, and it is reassuring if you are there. We also frequently enticed them back to the door inside, so as they explored outwards, they knew the way back.
3 After about 3 weeks of this supervised outside time of about 2 hours per day, I extended it to all afternoon, because they screamed if I put them inside, when my husband and I were still in the garden. NOT FAIR!!! It was summer then and we are always out.
4 I called them if we had not seen them for a while - at first 30 minutes, later every hour. Gave them a treat for coming to our calls. Now I call them if I haven't seen them for 2 hours or more. They always come - straight away or maybe 10 minutes later, but they return.
5 Eventually, I let them out from breakfast time to dusk when everyone comes inside. I see them both lots during the day. They rush out first-thing and return after an hour or so, to eat some more, back out again till lunchtime. I call them if they haven't appeared (but they mostly return around 1pm), give them wet food and they sleep either close to me or under our hedges in the shade. At about 5pmish, I call them up from their nap and we run around the garden together, so they get exercise before we go in at dusk. The food is mostly gone by 5pm ish, or I take it away until we are all inside - then it's supper time. They are hungry by dusk and generally come in after a few minutes of my call.
6 They are microchipped and registered on all the databases possible here. Some people have bad experiences with collars, but we always use them. The tag on the collar has their name, our mobile number and states "Microchipped" on it as well. We take their collar off when we are all in at night, they like the relief and it's nicer for stroking. In the morning, I call them for "Collars on!" and they come running to sit there, whilst I do that. They know No Collar No Outside, so they are at ease with it.

Good luck deciding what to do - it is not easy. If you do decide to let her outdoors, I hope some of our tips prove useful.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:01 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:54 am
Posts: 154
Bobkat wrote:
6 They are microchipped and registered on all the databases possible here. Some people have bad experiences with collars, but we always use them. The tag on the collar has their name, our mobile number and states "Microchipped" on it as well. We take their collar off when we are all in at night, they like the relief and it's nicer for stroking. In the morning, I call them for "Collars on!" and they come running to sit there, whilst I do that. They know No Collar No Outside, so they are at ease with it.

Good luck deciding what to do - it is not easy. If you do decide to let her outdoors, I hope some of our tips prove useful.


Love the collar on trick! I am going to start to Take Luxs off when inside and putting it on before going outside.

Always learning something new everyday on this forum :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:13 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8010
Bobkat, it sounds like you have the perfect solution for your kitty cats. Each cat owner has to decide whether they want to take the risk of letting their cat outside. You've trained yours and you seem to have the area they need to explore. Someone in a subdivision where the homes are 10 feet apart would have a more difficult task with much more traffic and more people around. It's difficult to answer when one asks about letting their cat outside by themselves. In the beginning, I think you need to be with the cat as they explore, so they are comfortable. Here, we just had a cat go running off when we had some severe thunder and lightning and very high winds. The cat has not been seen for days now and the owners are really worried. I was outside with Raiden when the first thunder boomer hit and he freaked out. Cats love the outdoors. I try to give Raiden the best of both worlds. It's not how he likes it, but it's all I can give him right now. When I retire in 16 months, then I'll be available to give him all the time he wants outside.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:18 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 10:28 am
Posts: 40
Hi Christo91

I have two exbreeding Bengals - one boy and one girl. They had never been outside when I rehomed them with me, having been with a breeder for approx 18 months and then in a small flat for 6 months or so with their previous owner.

Having always had cats that went outdoors before I wasn't sure what to do but did track down the original breeder who advised not letting them out. What I was able to do was construct an enclosure for them that they access during the day but appreciate that is not an option for everybody due to cost space or cost.

As I have a 14 year old "moggie"who has always gone out I do put the Bengals into the dinning room (which was their original safe room) late evening for the night so that Odo (the 14 year old) can come and go as he pleases - we open up the enclosure for him. We then reverse the process early the next morning! Odo finds the Bengals a bit "full on" and likes peace and quiet during the day so heads off to one of the bedrooms for the day after breakfast.

I guess what I'm saying is that different solutions work for different situations :biggrin: Malcolm does have a little "moan" initially after being in the dinning room (although does go in there happily!) but then settles down very quickly and we hear no more. Dany is often hovering around the dinning room for 30 mins before the usual time they go in for the night and we never hear from her.

What I would say is that all 3 cats are very routine orientated and anticipate what is going to happen- what ever routine you establish I am sure your girl will adjust!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:56 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:04 pm
Posts: 51
I live in UK and we don't see cats on a lead very often.

I started leaving my cat in the back garden and she never ventured any further for the first 11 months.

Recently she has found her jumping legs/bravery and was jumping over into next doors garden.

I have started putting her on an extendable 8 metre lead that takes her from my patio door to the end of the garden.

I have to keep an eye that she doesn't get tangled up but she seems to know how far she can go.

I also do take her for a walk to the local field and the extendable lead means she runs ahead. The jacket is easy to put on. I do get the funny looks and people stop me but I just don't care. It is better than a squashed cat!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:39 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:04 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:05 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8010
What a beautiful kitty you have.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:09 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:04 pm
Posts: 5
My bengal Zeppelin was the same. He was such a beautiful cat and I had kept him indoors for a majority of his 2+ years. I had been letting him out the last month because of how much he'd begged and I'd been letting my other 2 cats out so I felt like it was unfair to keep him inside as well. 2 weeks ago, I found Zeppelin struck down in my driveway. I have high fences, but these cats go anywhere they want to. :\ If you let em out, there's a always risk of tragedy.. I found that out first hand.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:25 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 12:35 pm
Posts: 22
christo91 wrote:
Yes, I'm not factoring that too highly on my reasons for letting her out. It's just the general idea that she is obsessed with the door. I don't see why her behaviour should change so wildly just because she has been outside once.

Is it likely that with some perserverence she will eventually give up and go back to normal?


Once they are let out, you will forever be letting them out. I can vividly recall our late cat Mystique, whom my wife never let outside before me. I came along thinking that was wrong, bought the lead and the leash and would let her out. Well everyday, and evening, and night she would cry and whine to be let out. In hindsight, we should have never let her out.

Having said all that we get our 2 kittens next week and we have been looking at chicken coops and rabbit runs (The "cat" enclosures are absurdly over priced) to use as a safe place to allow them out. So I guess we haven't learned ...


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