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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:54 am 
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So I wont have to worry about this for a while but it is in my nature to plan ahead and solve problems before they become a problem. I'm getting two Bengal kittens soon and I know eventually they will be old enough to want to go out.

My questios to all you lovely people with experience is:

Do you let your cats roam free? Or are they indoor cats?

I have a pretty busy main road outside my house so I'm reluctant to letting mine roam free.. And there seems to be a lot of mixed information out there. I'm reading that you should never let a Bengal out unattended on one site and then another saying its cruel to keep them in. I've tried seeing how cat proofing our very large rectangle garden but my boyfriend has vetoed me having any extra fencing or "Pentonville prison for cats" as he puts it.. Which leaves me with three options:

I could harness train them and only let them have free reign of the garden by way of long lead attached to harness attached to clothes line? (Please don't yell at me in the comments.. This is why I'm asking for advice)

I could get one of those invisible fences that go around the perimeter of the garden and gives an alleged gentle shock to the cats if they try to leave (not sure how effective they are although reviews are good and I'm concerned about..., well electrocuting my cats... But I figure it's nicer than them being run over)

Or I just let them be free.. Pray that that they head out back where there is acres of land and not out front where there is lots of traffic and evil humans... And spend the rest of my days in a state of worry because frankly I don't want them out there.

Advice please? Opinions?

Oh and we have a fairly large house and I've bought two big cat trees and lots of stuff.. Being up high and able to climb inside is not an issue..


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:37 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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You need to do what you are comfortable with. Mine go out and are allowed to free roam during the day but I get them in at night as statistically that is when most road traffic accidents are likely, foxes are around etc.

I'm in the uk so one of our deciding factors was the fact we don't have window screens or doors and in the summer we wouldn't have been able to open them without the boys escaping so would have melted indoors!

I would like to cat proof the garden, but my other half also doesn't want it looking like a prison, plus we have lots of trees around the perimeter and could end up with other cats being able to get in but not out, same with foxes. There are also loads of fox holes and runs going under our fences I'm forever trying to fill in but get dug out again, so I'm convinced we wouldn't be able to fully secure the garden against escape or other animals getting in.

You could look at a cat enclosure but your boyfriend sounds like mine and that would also be a resounding no!

I do worry about my two all the time, they have trackers now after an unfortunate incident earlier this year where Hendrix got in a work van while I was at work and ended up 10 miles away. We were lucky to get him back! There is also the worry of them getting shut in sheds/ garages, or your bengals may be very territorial so cat fights etc. Jagger is territorial but not really been in a fight, his posturing is enough to see another cat off, and Hendrix is more a victim than a fighter, he runs and has been beaten up as a result. Your location and the roads are another factor, we live at the end of a cul de sac and in general my two avoid the busy road we live off, but they have been along it I've since discovered after putting trackers on them and also talking to people when I was searching for Hendrix.

Oh and let's not forget dealing with their little gifts they may bring back! My two have been pretty pitiful hunters up to now. But last weekend I had a rat presented to me (dead fortunately) and the same day Hendrix brought in a live bird which was flying around the kitchen until caught again and I had blood splattered everywhere and had to do a thorough clean up! I also rescued a slow worm from them during the week which didn't go down well...

There are a lot of things to consider and to be honest, my two didn't show much interest in going out until we started to walk them around the garden on harnesses, and Hendrix for one was just petrified initially! Then they were only allowed out first thing and in the evening on work days so I could keep an eye on them. After a year of that we got a cat flap as it was too stressful trying to get them back in before work! They've kind of kept to that routine on the whole although aren't always home before I leave.

Bear in mind that if you do show them the big outdoors, they will be on at you all the time to go out! Currently I'm being harassed from 5am every day to let them out! Personally whilst I worry about them constantly, it is lovely to watch them outside as they do enjoy all the scents and chasing insects etc, climbing trees, chasing each other around the lawn... They do have have lots of natural stimulation to run off that Bengal energy they have oodles of!

There you go, I've been no help at all, have I??

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Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:08 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Personally I don't let mine out as I have a busy road near me also.

I have seen too many cats knocked over and it would break my heart if something happened to one of mine.

There are also alot of nasty things that can happen, anti freeze poisoning which is fatal, people stealing or killing cats.

My previous bengal was harness trained and loved going out, started off just in the garden then round the block, then I took him further to tire him out.

The only reason I haven't trained the 2 I have is once they know about outside they was to go out all time.

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Magic (brown spotted boy born 31 March 2012)
Pearl (seal Lynx Point girl born 1 October 2015)
Bristol, UK


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:18 am 
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 2:52 pm
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Tabitha wrote:
You need to do what you are comfortable with. Mine go out and are allowed to free roam during the day but I get them in at night as statistically that is when most road traffic accidents are likely, foxes are around etc.

I'm in the uk so one of our deciding factors was the fact we don't have window screens or doors and in the summer we wouldn't have been able to open them without the boys escaping so would have melted indoors!

I would like to cat proof the garden, but my other half also doesn't want it looking like a prison, plus we have lots of trees around the perimeter and could end up with other cats being able to get in but not out, same with foxes. There are also loads of fox holes and runs going under our fences I'm forever trying to fill in but get dug out again, so I'm convinced we wouldn't be able to fully secure the garden against escape or other animals getting in.

You could look at a cat enclosure but your boyfriend sounds like mine and that would also be a resounding no!

I do worry about my two all the time, they have trackers now after an unfortunate incident earlier this year where Hendrix got in a work van while I was at work and ended up 10 miles away. We were lucky to get him back! There is also the worry of them getting shut in sheds/ garages, or your bengals may be very territorial so cat fights etc. Jagger is territorial but not really been in a fight, his posturing is enough to see another cat off, and Hendrix is more a victim than a fighter, he runs and has been beaten up as a result. Your location and the roads are another factor, we live at the end of a cul de sac and in general my two avoid the busy road we live off, but they have been along it I've since discovered after putting trackers on them and also talking to people when I was searching for Hendrix.

Oh and let's not forget dealing with their little gifts they may bring back! My two have been pretty pitiful hunters up to now. But last weekend I had a rat presented to me (dead fortunately) and the same day Hendrix brought in a live bird which was flying around the kitchen until caught again and I had blood splattered everywhere and had to do a thorough clean up! I also rescued a slow worm from them during the week which didn't go down well...

There are a lot of things to consider and to be honest, my two didn't show much interest in going out until we started to walk them around the garden on harnesses, and Hendrix for one was just petrified initially! Then they were only allowed out first thing and in the evening on work days so I could keep an eye on them. After a year of that we got a cat flap as it was too stressful trying to get them back in before work! They've kind of kept to that routine on the whole although aren't always home before I leave.

Bear in mind that if you do show them the big outdoors, they will be on at you all the time to go out! Currently I'm being harassed from 5am every day to let them out! Personally whilst I worry about them constantly, it is lovely to watch them outside as they do enjoy all the scents and chasing insects etc, climbing trees, chasing each other around the lawn... They do have have lots of natural stimulation to run off that Bengal energy they have oodles of!

There you go, I've been no help at all, have I??


Haha you took the time to write back so that IS helpful. It's so tricky because I'm in Hertfordshire so I'm out in the country, so it's just that one main road I'm worried about. Our back garden backs onto other people's back gardens and then after that it's acres of farmland.. I'm not so bothered about them bringing back "presents" but my boyfriend is squeamish so I dread to think how he'd react if I wasn't around to clear up lol

So far I really am favouring the invisible fence (if it works). I'll see if I can post a pic of the garden as it may help people get a rough idea of what I have to work with. But it's a rectangle shape and pretty fenced in already (although knowing bengals are equisite climbers I doubt that matters) I think it would be a fine candidate for the invisible fence and at least, my boyfriend wouldn't object because there is not much visible wiring. If I had things my way, I'd turn the whole garden into a cat proofed wonder ground! Hehe I just wanted to know if anyone had used this type of fencing and if It works with bengals (considering they are better climbers than other cats).

Thanks for your response anyway, it does help to get an idea of what others do.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:21 am 
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 2:52 pm
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Clare&magic wrote:
Personally I don't let mine out as I have a busy road near me also.

I have seen too many cats knocked over and it would break my heart if something happened to one of mine.

There are also alot of nasty things that can happen, anti freeze poisoning which is fatal, people stealing or killing cats.

My previous bengal was harness trained and loved going out, started off just in the garden then round the block, then I took him further to tire him out.

The only reason I haven't trained the 2 I have is once they know about outside they was to go out all time.


Do they not get antsy in the house though? If I could get away with never introducing them to outside I would but from what I understand, if they are sitting by a window and can see th garden they will want to go out eventually... Or if we go out in summer for bbq.. And want to leave windows open etc.. I don't want to leave them inside.. Do you think it's cruel to have a long lead attached to a clothing line so they have full run of th garden. I'm just talking about when we go outside to sit in the garden.. Can take them with us but keep them on a lead so they don't hop the fence...


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:39 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:00 am
Posts: 707
Location: Ogden, UT
I do not let Quasar roam freely. He is harness trained but does escape to the backyard on occasion. We've not had any trouble catching him, however.

His kitten contract stipulated that he was not to roam freely out of doors.

I would not use a tethered harness. Harnesses are never inescapable. Lines become tangled and a cat could get tied up on something and/or hang himself.
When we are camping and can't hold onto a leash to control Quasar, we have a portable, pop-up kennel that he hangs out in. You could do something like this in your yard while enjoying a bbq, etc.

My brother in law uses invisible fencing with collars on his cats. It works with one cat but not the other. If the one cat gets fixated on something outside the boundary of the fence line, he runs so quickly after it that I don't think he even senses the fence is there. Also, other animals can still come inside their yard and their cats have been involved in some nasty fights in the yard. Leaving a collar on a cat is a hazard as well. My b-i-l's cats' collars are definitely not the type that will come off if they snag on something.

I can't generalize on indoor/outdoor cat-keeping but, personally, I wouldn't let a cat roam freely. Sure, Quasar wants to go outside but we exercise him enough inside as well as take him for walks. This works well for us. I feel that I can control his environment enough for him to be safe and happy.

Good luck with the kittens! Pictures????

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:24 pm 
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
I can't say that I understand the notion that giving your cat a nice catio or beefing up your fencing with those 45 degree fence tops is cruel, but running a bunch of voltage through them as punishment for wanting to roam, or let them inevitably die in the street is not.

To me there are 4 sane options:

1. Get those purrfect fence tops, then let you cats roam free in your garden.
2. Get a catio / cat enclosure
3. Keep your cat indoors but then take walks with your cat
4. Have your cat be indoor-only

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:46 pm 
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My back yard has a large enclosure around it like most of the homes in my South Florida community. My cats love it out there especially when it gets dark. There is a lake back there with all sorts of bird life. And at night raccoons and possums roam around. One day there was even a river otter that showed up on the banks! My cats can watch all this from the safety of the screened in patio. I could never let them roam free. I would be too worried. One neighbor lets her cats roam and one of them got hit by a car last year. She survived, but was hurt pretty bad. I just want my girls to be safe and happy.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:09 pm 
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brianj12 wrote:
I can't say that I understand the notion that giving your cat a nice catio or beefing up your fencing with those 45 degree fence tops is cruel, but running a bunch of voltage through them as punishment for wanting to roam, or let them inevitably die in the street is not.

To me there are 4 sane options:

1. Get those purrfect fence tops, then let you cats roam free in your garden.
2. Get a catio / cat enclosure
3. Keep your cat indoors but then take walks with your cat
4. Have your cat be indoor-only


I'd love to get the purfect fence but that's a no go as I said above as my boyfriend has vetoed it. His house, his ruled I'm afraid. Same goes for cat enclosure.. As for the invisible fence, that was my concern too but it's apparenty vet approved and not electric but more static (like those finger buzzer games you played as a kid) not my ideal first choice but preferable to roaming free in my opinion. I might just harness train and take for walks to see how that goes :-) thanx for the advice


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:12 pm 
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Kyenta1 wrote:
I do not let Quasar roam freely. He is harness trained but does escape to the backyard on occasion. We've not had any trouble catching him, however.

His kitten contract stipulated that he was not to roam freely out of doors.

I would not use a tethered harness. Harnesses are never inescapable. Lines become tangled and a cat could get tied up on something and/or hang himself.
When we are camping and can't hold onto a leash to control Quasar, we have a portable, pop-up kennel that he hangs out in. You could do something like this in your yard while enjoying a bbq, etc.

My brother in law uses invisible fencing with collars on his cats. It works with one cat but not the other. If the one cat gets fixated on something outside the boundary of the fence line, he runs so quickly after it that I don't think he even senses the fence is there. Also, other animals can still come inside their yard and their cats have been involved in some nasty fights in the yard. Leaving a collar on a cat is a hazard as well. My b-i-l's cats' collars are definitely not the type that will come off if they snag on something.

I can't generalize on indoor/outdoor cat-keeping but, personally, I wouldn't let a cat roam freely. Sure, Quasar wants to go outside but we exercise him enough inside as well as take him for walks. This works well for us. I feel that I can control his environment enough for him to be safe and happy.

Good luck with the kittens! Pictures????


Thanks Kenya! Yeah im going to see if I can at least convince my bF to get a small enclosure at least so they can hang out a little and harness train them so we can go for walkies. Don't have to worry about it just yet though. I will be getting my kittens in 2 weeks. I will post some photos when they arrive :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:18 pm 
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They are not bothered at all about going outside, what they haven't had they don't miss.

If we go outside in the back garden for any reason I just keep the door shut between the front room and kitchen, they just go to sleep.

The windows I don't open wide for obvious reasons, I keep them open on the latch and locked so there is still some air coming in.

I have lots for my babies to do, they have cat tree and extra large scratching posts, we have a speed circuit toy which Pearl my 8 month old loves, a play tent and sturdy play box and lots of other toys they chase each other round all the time aswell.

I would just have a good think about what you want, I think the secure garden sounds like a good idea, harness training is OK but I definitely wouldn't do it again because believe me they want to go out non stop in all weather's and will howl until you do.

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Magic (brown spotted boy born 31 March 2012)
Pearl (seal Lynx Point girl born 1 October 2015)
Bristol, UK


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:18 pm 
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Congratulations on your upcoming arrivals!!! The decision to allow a cat outside is a personal one. I've had indoor/outdoor cats for 50 years. When I got my bengal, he was six years old and used to being an outdoor cat. Unfortunately, he was severely injured in several cat fights, so when I took him, he became an indoor cat.

We built a large 12'x12' enclosure on our deck that he can access 24/7 through a cat door. We also do two walks a day. It is next to impossible to walk two cats without two people. Know that many bengals are perfectly happy being indoor kitties. They can be escape artists, however.

Once a kitty gets a taste of the outdoors, that's where they want to be! Google pictures of "cat enclosure" or "catio" and see if something pops up that might be good for your kitties. The Purrfect Fence sounds nice, but it's not that pretty.

The problem with the tethered harness is that if your kitty develops a problem, you may not be there to catch it. Either tangled in the tether or another neighborhood cat attacks a cat who is unable to escape. If you are out there supervising, then all is well.

It's wonderful you're trying to come up with something in advance, but you do have plenty of time. I would not allow new kittens outdoors the first several months.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:13 pm 
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Sherry wrote:
Congratulations on your upcoming arrivals!!! The decision to allow a cat outside is a personal one. I've had indoor/outdoor cats for 50 years. When I got my bengal, he was six years old and used to being an outdoor cat. Unfortunately, he was severely injured in several cat fights, so when I took him, he became an indoor cat.

We built a large 12'x12' enclosure on our deck that he can access 24/7 through a cat door. We also do two walks a day. It is next to impossible to walk two cats without two people. Know that many bengals are perfectly happy being indoor kitties. They can be escape artists, however.

Once a kitty gets a taste of the outdoors, that's where they want to be! Google pictures of "cat enclosure" or "catio" and see if something pops up that might be good for your kitties. The Purrfect Fence sounds nice, but it's not that pretty.

The problem with the tethered harness is that if your kitty develops a problem, you may not be there to catch it. Either tangled in the tether or another neighborhood cat attacks a cat who is unable to escape. If you are out there supervising, then all is well.

It's wonderful you're trying to come up with something in advance, but you do have plenty of time. I would not allow new kittens outdoors the first several months.


Thank you! Yes I need to make it clear actually, my idea about attaching them to the clothes line by a long lead or invisible fence would always be with our supervision. I will not be letting my cats roam free or have a cat flap but wanted something so that they could enjoy the outdoors with us when we are outdoors. I want them to be able to explore the garden whilst we are out there so at the moment harness training seems like the best option :-) I don't want to deprive them of outdoors but I understand they will be nagging us to go out all the time.. Not necessarily a bad thing as it encourages me off the sofa too :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:05 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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There are portable enclosures sold at pet stores or through Amazon! They collapse and store easily! Some of them have extensions you can put on and basically creative a mansion out there in your yard!!! Cats do seem to love fresh air. Mine loves to sit on the nightstand in our bedroom that is in front of a window. In the milder weather, when I can open the window, he will lay there for hours. Thankfully, he does not bother the screens!!! Many breeder contracts state the cat will not be allowed outdoors without supervision. That rule is not always followed, but for the safety of your kitty, it needs to be. I don't know the layout of your yard -- you do! I think a harness and leash would be perfect for just allowing your kitty to sniff around your yard. However ... as they get more confident, they want to wander farther and farther and soon you'll be down the street. :biggrin:


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