Bengal cats are known to get along with dogs, and dogs provide the perfect match for a Bengal cat’s energy and dominating personality.
While these two animals usually do well together, there are still things to consider to give their friendship the best chance of success. Keep reading to learn which dogs do best with Bengal cats and how you can introduce them safely.
The Benefits of Dogs Companions for Bengal Cats
Unlike other types of cats, Bengals love to socialize. They need regular interaction to lead a healthy life, and Bengal cats that are left alone for extended periods can become depressed.
These cats are much happier when they have another four-legged friend to spend their time with while you are out of the home. This can be another cat, but many Bengal owners find that their cats form great relationships with canine companions.
Bengals have quirky, dog-like personalities, and many can be trained to play fetch or go on walks just as easily as a dog.
Dogs are usually better equipped to handle a Bengal cat’s dominating personality, and they hold up well to roughhousing. Some cats may be put off or bullied by a strong-willed Bengal cat, but dogs can usually engage and return the energy.
A Bengal cat will see a dog as a unique socializing opportunity, and every interaction will stimulate their mind. They can have fun while trying to figure out how to communicate with the dog, and the dog will love to have another member to add to their pack.
Which Dogs do Bengal Cats Get Along With Best?
It is important to make sure that any dog you introduce to your Bengal cat is not aggressive towards cats. Many dogs see cats as prey, regardless of their breed, and this instinct can be difficult to control.
If you have the opportunity to choose a dog to add to your household, look for one that has been around cats without issue.
The opposite route should be taken when adding a Bengal to a household with a dog. Try to find a breeder that raises the kittens alongside a cat-friendly dog. A cat that has no negative experiences with dogs will have an easier time adjusting to the change.
Male vs. Female
While gender is not a major determining factor in choosing pets, most animals do better in opposite-gender pairs. Keeping animals of the same gender together can lead to more attempts to assert dominance. This is true with different species as well.
Keeping an opposite gender, spayed and neutered pair will give you the best chance for maintaining peace in your home.
It is more important to look at the individual temperament of a dog before introducing it to your Bengal cat, but some breeds outperform the rest.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- Golden Retrievers
Look at breeds that do not have a strong drive to chase down prey.
How to Introduce Your Bengal Cat to a Dog
The introduction is driven by the behavior of your cat. They deserve to take the lead.
Start by giving your Bengal a safe room where they can hole up and stay far away if they want. They should be able to deal with all their needs in this room, including eating meals and using the litter box.
After the cat gets used to the idea of the dog being around you should perform a scent swap. Wipe a clean cloth on the cheeks and forehead of your Bengal, and use another to wipe the armpits and sides of the dog. Swap the cloths so the cat can smell the dog and vice versa.
Pay attention to how each animal responds to the scent swap.
When you feel like it is safe to introduce the two, start with a glass barrier. This will let them get used to the sight of each other without any chance to physically interact. You can graduate to a grilled or mesh gate when they calm down.
When it is time for face-to-face interaction, start with the dog on the leash. Give your Bengal free reign and somewhere they can jump high up if they feel threatened.
Soon enough the pair should be best of friends!
The Difference Between Playing and Fighting
Your Bengal cat is bound to play rough with a dog, but there may be times that you need to intervene. You can usually leave them alone as long as there are no whimpers or growls and your Bengal is not slashing out with claws. Bites should be loose with the jaws open.
Signs that you need to step in include:
- Growling with canines displayed
- Hair raising
- Ears flat to the head
This is not necessarily a sign that the two need to be kept separate, but either animal may need a break from time to time.