Bengal Cats Use Their Litter Boxes!

10/31/08 - by TheCatCoach
Bok Choi, a Bengal

Bengal Cats do not have more inappropriate elimination issues then any other breed of cat.

Unfortunately there are many people who believe or want to believe that Bengal Cats have more inappropriate elimination challenges then other breeds of cats. Many of these people have a biased against Bengals, or I should say, the idea of Bengals, since Bengals have an Asian Leopard Cat as an ancestor. Additionally, through the years, there has been a lot of false information out on the internet about Bengals, information that if you have common sense, makes no sense…

This false information is very harmful. This is the type of myth that gets Bengals euthanized and discarded. Yes, they can have inappropriate elimination challenges, but so does every other breed of cat., some more then Bengals.

The number one behavior problem that cats are surrendered to shelters for is inappropriate elimination. All breeds of cats, including moggies… it doesn’t matter. This is not a breed specific problem. As a certified cat behavior consultant, the number one problem people come to me for consultations about is inappropriate elimination. I see all breeds that have this challenge, including moggie kitties, and, I will add, the majority of the time the triggers are related to something either in the environment or actions that the cat’s human companions are doing, or not doing. But that’s a future blog…

Bengal Cats are not prone to peeing outside of the litter box. I keep a record of the cats I see in my practice and what their challenges are. There is one breed of cat that hands down rightfully has earned the title and it is not the Bengal Cat, but yet people still perpetuate the myth that Bengals have litter box issues.

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21 comments on “Bengal Cats Use Their Litter Boxes!”

  1. Agreed 100%. I've talked with other rescuers that take in other breeds of cats and the number one reason cats are surrendered is litter box issues. Unfortunately I think the reason we hear about bengals having problems is they are the breed we are most interested in and whenever you are dealing with rescues as on rescue yahoo list we hear about behavior problems. And again the number 1 behavior problem is inappropriate elimination.

  2. agreed. the number one reason cats are surrendered is inappropriate elimination, regardless of breed. i think i can name the breed that is number one in having this issue! it's not the bengal. it's another extremely popular breed though and this popularity is what causes the problem. everyone thinks they should have one! bengals have become very popular. as a result more and more of them appear in rescue, voila, the untrue reputation. it's the same thing that threatens to ruin a number of dog breeds as well. when a breed becomes too popular, there is too much breeding and the animals end up in the wrong hands! examples are the pit bull, rottweiler, doberman.... all can be very nice dogs if properly treated and trained and have terrible, mostly undeserved, reputations and are even banned in many places.

  3. Having been in FELINE rescue for over 24 years...I can honestly say that peeing outside the box is NOT A BREED ISSUE!!!!!!! Its a CAT thing!!! AND a HUMAN thing!!!!! If you can't realize that CATS have a problem with maxium density in population that they can tolerate, or YOU do not provide them with appropiate amount of litterboxes for the population OR YOU don't keep those litterboxes clean, OR you don't reduce stress in the house, YOUR cat is going to PEE outside the box!!!! Grant you there are some circumstances that need special attention to slueth out the problems (hey we can't know everything!!! we need help finding out what is wrong and how to correct it).

    BUT generally if there is no cat aggession, or other stresses in the home, the cat is altered, and the litterboxes and locations are appropiate for the population...and CLEANED and no medical issues....its fixable and ITS NOT A BREED THING its a CAT THING and a HUMAN Thing...

  4. I'm not sure where you get the stats. At the shelter where I volunteer, I'd venture the main reason the cat is surrendered is "does not get along with" fill in the blank - other cat, other dog, new baby, new husband. And quite frankly, most of the time I don't believe it. And there are a few cats out there, mostly males, who just like to pee on things.

  5. One of my bengal boys likes to pee in empty boxes--cardboard, plastic, buckets, even empty litter boxes. I wouldn't mind the empty litter box except his paws get wet. I have tried boxes with grates for this--but he won't go on the grates. Otherwise--he uses the litter boxes just fine (minimum of 4 for two bengal boys--with different types of litter-yes, they are spoiled). I even accompany him to the box when he voices his "I'm gonna pee" meows and starts looking around for a place to go. He will settle for a box if I stay right with him. So puzzling . . .

  6. Not an early bengal-- he is SBT quite aways. Hmmm--never thought I might be reinforcing the behavior by staying with him-- oops--duh! Naughty me! He just did it again-- went to all 3 litter boxes in the room and then tried to get into a tall clothes hamper to go. All of the boxes are clean--and he has gone in one of them a couple of times today (which I scoop right away). I had something in my hands and I just gave him "the look", said his name firmly and told him to go to a litter box--which he did. He went to the grated box and peed in a litter-free corner. Then I had to clean the box. I have had his urine checked by my vet--no issues there. tee hee--he is not hard to get a sample from since he likes to pee in empty boxes.
    My other bengal (from the same breeder) perches on the side of the boxes like a bird.
    I was thinking of trying the "Cat attract" herbs to add to the litter. Any thoughts?

  7. When I got my first Bengal I read horror stories that Bengals don't use their boxes and even worse.

    I have 3 cats and a 4th Bengal Foster. The foster is/was feral. She is my best potty trained of all, digs them down low into the littler. My male pet Bengal never misses the box. My Russian Blue female-perfect. And my Savannah male who is very young is also hitting 100% now. Either I just "lucked out" or these cats were really easy.
    I built cat enclosures outside in my back yard for the cats to birdwatch, roll in teh grass, deer watch, rabbit watch and get sun and fresh air. Maybe this helps keep them happy too.

    If I did have potty training issues I would get counseling ASAP.

    Constanza in San Rafael, CA

  8. Amy,
    Hard to know what is going on with your cats without doing a consultation. Not uncommon for Bengals to perch on the side of their boxes. I do not recommend covered boxes or regular cat boxes. They are too small, and the covers keep odors in and cats can feel trapped in them. I recommend using 66qt Sterilite Clearview storage containers (12 " high) for cat boxes.

  9. I don't think we have a huge problem-- the "bird percher" just has a peculiar way to go. The other boy just has this "thing" about going in boxes--he knows where the litter is--we offer different kinds of litter-- we have Feliway diffusers and spray (not near the litter boxes)--we keep the litter boxes clean-- maybe he just wants attention. I will find some of those Sterilite containers though. The boxes that we do have are larger-- and this cat will go in a plastic dish pan so I don't think size is an issue. He doesn't really pick the same spot twice either--so I don't think it is the smell attracting him. We will plug away for a bit-- I may consult for another issue though-- we have an older cat that does not like any different cats. She was fine with my 18 year old cat--but hates any other critter.

  10. Say--I think I might have figured it out-- I think his "sniffer" is sort of broken-- sometimes he doesn't appear to be sniffing around much -- but today, after a long time walking around on his leash outside (very windy today), he has been sniffing everything in the house. I think his nose is cleared out and he is smelling things better. This must come and go--he does get crusty nose black stuff occasionally--hmmm. Could be part of it.

  11. Two and a half days ago, I bought an 11 wk old Bengal SBT (ancestry tree all SBT for over 7 generations). He didn't eliminate for over 24 hrs and then went next to the litter box - but not in it. Then he urinated last night ON the guest bed where he is sequestered instead of IN the litter box. I bought the 'worlds best litter' corn litter to use in the box because that is what the breeder said he was used to. The breeder also said 'this kitten never makes any litter box mistakes.' (Was he lying in order to sell him?) the litter box is obviously clean as he hasn't used it. The litter is familiar to him. I'm going out today to buy a plastic box instead if the disposable one. But I'm thinking about having buyers remorse and taking him back. I cannot have a cat that has this problem!

    1. There are many reasons for cats not to use their litter boxes. I am adding a menu item to my site that will include infographics. The first one is focused on litter box issues. It might give you some answers. (should be available within a couple of days. If it isn't e-mail me and I will send it to you)

  12. I have a different type of "problem", my Bengal cat is the best--she pees and poops in her litter box like an amazingly good girl, never once had a problem with her pooping or peeing anywhere else--but as she's peeing in her litter box, she'll raise her butt up and pee outside the box. EVERY TIME. It never fails. And if we put the lid on the box she feels enclosed and will step in her business and gets it everywhere. Ick. I mean we so would NOT get rid of her for that lol, we just want to know what we can do to make that stop. Maybe we just need to find a better/bigger litter box? Does anyone know of any that might work?
    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Instead of litter boxes, buy 66 qt translucent storage boxes. They are about 12 inches high. Buy a few of them, place them in different locations throughout your home.

  13. My bengal h as had two b atches o f kittens each batch died at 6 weeks. We have a new batch now and wqant to insure they stay well and healthy. Any suggestions?

  14. Hey I have a 2 yr old female seal lynx point bengal who has been peeing on our carpet in 3 main spots and sometimes on our bed. We are not sure why she had been doing this, we were told by her breeder to confine her in a bathroom for a couple days with her litter box and food as well with some toys, but once she came out she would do well for a couple days and then all of sudden started peeing again. She has two litter boxes now that are always clean, we keep food on the spots where she has peed on the carpet but yet she still pees.
    We don't want to feel stressed about this, but it's such a Hassel to deal with all the time. Help please, what are we doing wrong?

  15. My Bengal girl (3 y.o) has been superb in peeing in her litter box (as long as it's clean) until this year. We have to keep all bedroom dors closed as she pulls up vents in our ducted heating so now..... she is banned from these rooms and as a result ... likes to pee against these doors. We almost view it as "a protest". Would love to knows if other Bengal owners have experienced such a level of "belligerence" and how they've addressed it. Very frustrating!!! Diva behaviour!

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