Before bringing a Bengal cat and dog together in the same home, you need to know that they can get along. As a result, we’ll tell you all you need to know about Bengal cats and dogs living together.
In general, Bengal cats and dogs get along. Over time, the dog can become protective of the cat as though it was part of the family. However, all cats and dogs are different. Introduce the Bengal cat and dog before moving both pets into the same home.
Do you still have concerns? Here’s proof to all of the sceptics!
Knowing that Bengal cats and dogs get along, you can bring the two safely together into your home. However, there are a few more things you should know to make the introduction safe and easy for both pets.
Bengal cats and dogs
Before bringing a Bengal cat into a dog’s home, or a dog into a home with a Bengal cat; you need to make sure that the two will be able to at least tolerate one another.
A classic view is that dogs and cats hate each other as much as Tom and Jerry do! From childhood, we’re taught that a dog chases a cat, a cat chases a mouse, and well, a mouse eats its cheese.
However, this perception of cats and dogs is often not true. In fact, a dog can be a Bengal cat’s perfect companion – no matter the size. In fact, many vets say that Bengal cats are the perfect cat breed for getting along with dogs.
Be warned that every cat and dog is different. Therefore, what works in one scenario might not work in another. For example, if you have an older Bengal cat that was used to living and roaming your house all of its life, then it will be much harder to introduce a dog than if the cat was a kitten.
Can I get my Bengal to like dogs?
Bengals, are very active and have a unique character and personality. If your cat lives indoors, then a dog could be the perfect playmate for when you’re not at home, ensuring you’re not left with a lonely cat. The bonus being is that both of your four-legged friends will burn off some energy together.
When introducing a cat to a new home, it’s expected that any existing pets (or even children) will try to protect their home and territory. Instinct becomes strong, especially if your existing Bengal cat hasn’t met a dog before, or if your dog hasn’t come across a cat.
Another thing that can make the process more difficult is if you have a baby, as the existing cat or dog may become even more protective, to the point of aggression.
None of this is to say that Bengal cats and don’t can’t get along. After all, we did say that Bengals are ideal for getting along with dogs. However, it would help if the cat was a kitten and it’s vital that you get the introduction right.
Which dog breeds fit best with Bengal cats?
If you already have a Bengal cat and are looking to find it a doggy friend, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that there are many options that will result in a harmonious relationship.
However, different breeds of dogs have different personality traits, just like Bengal cats are unusual compared to normal cats. As such, some dog breeds will be more suitable for cohabiting with a cat. Here’s what the American Kennel Club says:
Certain breed groups are more likely to get along with cats than others. For example, the Toy Group consists of breeds that are affectionate and sociable. They were bred to be companions and lap warmers. Members of the Sporting Group are friendly and outgoing. These happy-go-lucky dogs are pleased to make friends with anybody they meet, including cats.American Kennel Club
Why is the dog breed important?
Just like there are friendly dog breeds, there are also dogs that were bred to hunt and kill animals. For example, Terriers are not suitable to move in with a Bengal cat because of their speed and predatory instincts. The same can be said for dogs in the Hound Group or Herding Group, because they were bred to chase and herd, respectively.
Let’s just say that your cat wouldn’t enjoy being hunted or excessively chased around your home! After all, we want the cat to carry on feeling like they’re the most dominant animal in the room in order to minimise the risk of stress and the consequences that can come about as a result.
Keep in mind that these are just stereotypes. Each and every dog will have a different personality. Some may differ significantly from the norm. Therefore, make sure that your dog is well trained and acts appropriately when you speak commands such as “leave it” or “stay”. It can save your Bengal cat from getting hurt.
If your cat is older, they will prefer to be left alone. Not ideal if their doggy companion is an overly energetic puppy! Do your research and speak to vets and potential breeders about the suitability of your preferred dog breed before bringing a dog to live with your Bengal cat.
Another point you should keep in mind is that you should never leave your dog and cat alone until you’re 100% sure that they won’t have issues. Even if your Bengal cat and dog get on ok on the first day, you don’t know how the dog might react to getting scratched, or what your Bengal will do if your dog decides to lay on it or eat its food.
Dog breeds that work with Bengal cats
Generally speaking, these are the dog breeds that tolerate cats the best:
- Basset Hound
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
Introducing a Bengal cat into your home with dogs
We’ve written an article on how to introduce two cats to each other. However, how do you introduce a Bengal cat and a dog?
In short, it’s no different!
Don’t rush it
I know I keep mentioning this, but different cats and different dogs have personalities. Consequently, they will respond differently so they will take varying amounts of time to get used to each other. Just because your neighbour’s new dog fell in love with their cat at first sight, doesn’t mean that the same will happen in your situation.
By taking things nice and slow and not rushing based on any expectations, you’ll ensure that both animals are safe and comfortable. This also ensures that you don’t create any lasting bad first impressions between your Bengal cat and dog.
Therefore, to introduce a cat to a dog, you should place the new arrival in an empty closed room. They should everything they need, which in a cat’s case includes:
- cat litter and litter box
- water and food
- cat bed
- cat scratching post
Placing the new cat or dog in an empty locked room will allow it to get used to the new smells and noises in your environment. Even things like temperature and moisture may be the source of stress, so it’s vital that you allow the new arrival plenty of time to adjust.
After a day or so, take a blanket or something that your resident cat or dog sleeps on and introduce it into the closed room. This will allow the new Bengal cat or dog to get used to the scent of your other pet. You should then do the opposite so that your resident cat can get a good sniff of their new housemate!
You’ll notice when both animals become comfortable with each other’s scents. They may even go for the door and sniff underneath. When this happens and you’re positive that both the Bengal cat and dog aren’t a danger to each other, you can move onto the next step!
Briefly allow your cat and dog to see each other
After a day of getting used to each other’s scents, briefly open the door and inch so that the dog and Bengal cat can see each other.
If the cat and dog didn’t show any aggression or anger, then move onto the next step. Alternatively, you may need to repeat the process a few times as to make sure that neither animal will hurt each other.
When both the Bengal cat’s and dog’s reaction is much calmer, take the old pet out of the house or into another closed room, and allow the new cat or dog to go out into your home and have a wander around where your current pet spends most of their time. This will not only further help get them used to the other pet’s scent, but will also ensure that your new Bengal cat or dog knows the new area a little better for when you finally take them out of their separate room.
It’s finally time for the two to meet!
If you have a pen/cage then place your dog into this (usually the most energetic of the two) and allow your cat to enter the room and approach the pen. If you don’t have a cage, then ask a family member or friend to help (this is hugely important).
While you’re with the resident pet in one room, ask your relative or friend to open the door to the new pet’s room.
If either scenario doesn’t work out and you’re concerned about either animal, then immediately take one away. If both the Bengal cat and the dog are calm and simply sniffing each other, then give them treats so that they associate this meeting and behaviour as a positive experience.
The two pets won’t immediately become best friends, so watch both to make sure that they are safe. With time, both the Bengal cat and dog should get used to each other’s presence. At the very worst, they should at least learn to tolerate each other.
Overall, most Bengal cats and dogs can become best friends; to the extreme! You may find yourself coming home and seeing one laying on top of the other, or your Bengal cat cleaning your dog…
If after some time the cat and dog don’t get on, contact us for more advice. Alternatively, seek help from an expert:
- The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (worldwide)
- Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (UK)
- Animal Behaviour and Training Council (UK)
- American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (USA)