A very controversial topic in the Bengal cat community is whether or not you should let your Bengal outside. As I understand it, some countries consider it cruel to keep a cat locked up inside. People will do what they need to do to give their cats access to the outdoors, even when living in an apartment NOT on ground level. In the US, it is very common for people to keep their kitties as indoor pets, especially Bengals because they are a rare breed and there is the added risk of theft when they are outdoors unsupervised.
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A few months ago, some events went down that made me question whether or not I should let my indoor Bengals outside. Despite living in a large two story home, working from home, having two Bengals so they can play with each other, interacting with the cats constantly, trying to play with them vigorously multiple times a day, giving them a variety of toys to play with, and practicing positive reinforcement, my one Bengal grew more and more unhappy indoors. I had to do something since my Bengal was miserable, not to mention the rest of my household.
After trying everything possible to keep my Bengals happy indoors despite them wanting to go outside, I finally decided to let them have free roam of the outdoors. This decision has not been easy and I’ve gotten a lot of mixed feedback from people. My family thinks that I am irresponsible for letting my cats have their freedom and frequently remind me of the risks for letting my Bengals outside. Other people tell me that I am selfish if I don’t let my cats outside.
I have created a 3 part video series (so far) documenting the entire process of letting my Bengals outside and what it has been like. For the most part it has been great but also, something happened to my Bengal that I would have never expected as you will find in Part 3.
Whether or not you let your Bengals outside is a personal decision and my intention is not to sway you one way or the other. My goal is to raise awareness of the pros and cons to letting your Bengal outside and ultimately, help you make the right decision for your Bengal.
I welcome you to engage in the conversation on this topic whether on YouTube or right here on the blog! I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
If you have any questions or tips to share on this subject, you can also visit our Bengal Cat Facebook Group.