How I Trained my Bengal Cat: Mia's Epic First 3 Years of Life

How I Trained my Bengal Cat: Mia's Epic First 3 Years of Life

First Days with a Bengal Cat

When I first brought my bengal cat, Mia, home I thought I would have to give her away. I am allergic to cats and she was not as hypoallergenic as I hoped for.

A friend of mine recommended I wait a few days and see what happened. Allergies did not go away but I fell so in love with her curiosity and playfulness that had to find a solution for the allergy instead of a new home for my cat.

Bengal Kitten

She was a tiny ball of fluff with big green eyes that seemed to look right through me. As I tried to enrich her life I realized how much energy she had. All kittens are energy balls, but I just realized that bengal cats can be even more energetic than kittens from other breeds.

Are Bengal cats hard to handle?

I had to play with her for over 2 or even 3 hours a day to drain her energy. That's why I decided to train her. It was a way to keep her busy but maintain interaction time with her.

At first, I wasn't sure where to start. I knew that cats could be trained, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. I stumbled upon clicker training, a method of positive reinforcement that uses a clicking device to signal to the cat that they have done something right. I was intrigued by the concept and decided to give it a try.

Starting to Train a Bengal Cat

Mia was just 12 weeks old when we started training, but she was already showing signs of being a curious and intelligent little kitten. She would watch me intently as I moved around the room, and she always seemed to be exploring her surroundings. 

As we began clicker training, I was amazed at how quickly Mia picked up on the concept. She would hear the click and immediately know that she had done something right. It was like a lightbulb had gone off in her head, and she was eager to learn more.

Looking back on those early days, I feel grateful that I stumbled upon clicker training. It has been an incredibly effective way to train Mia, and it has helped us form a strong bond of trust and affection. As Mia enters her fourth year of life, I can't wait to see what new skills we'll learn together.

Walking on a Leash

When I was a kid I had a neighbor with an overweight cat and they started wlaking them to help him reduce weight. That got stuck in my head.

The decision to teach Mia how to walk on a leash was not one that I took lightly. I knew that it would take a lot of patience and effort on both our parts, but I also knew that it was possible, I had seen it before.

Mia had so much energy that I was almost certain she would love to be able to go outside. I wanted to find the best harness my money could buy. We tried almost all harnesses with over 4 stars on Amazon before I found one that I liked.

When I first put the harness on Mia, she was hesitant and unsure. I thought she would freeze up and refuse to move as if the weight of the harness was too much for her to bear. She didn't. She did not care at all about the harness, but it's not always this way.

This is the process you should follow to train your cat to walk on a leash:

We started indoors but she soon got used to walking on a leash and I decided to take her outdoors.

As we ventured outside, Mia's fascination with the world around her grew. She was curious about everything, sniffing at every blade of grass and every flower we passed. Her tail would be up and straight, with excitement, and I could see the joy in her eyes as she explored her surroundings.

It wasn't always easy, of course. There were times when Mia would get spooked by a loud noise or a passing car, and she would try to run back home. But with patience and perseverance, I was able to help her overcome her fears and continue on our walks.

Over time, our walks grew longer and more adventurous. We would explore new parks and neighborhoods, and Mia was always up for the challenge. We eventually started biking together and since then I've been thinking about taking her on a roadtrip around the US, maybe in the future...

Teaching Mia how to walk on a leash was one of the best decisions I ever made. Not only did it allow us to spend more time together, but it also gave Mia the freedom to explore the world around her.

Traveling the World

Thanks to her leash training, Mia has been able to travel with me all over the world.

A Roadtrip with my Cat

Our first trip together was a road trip around the American Southwest. We drove through Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, and Mia loved every minute of it. She was always eager to get out of the car and explore the new surroundings. We hiked through the canyons of Zion National Park, walked along the rim of the Grand Canyon, and explored the beauties of the Petrified Forest in Arizona. Mia was always up for an adventure, and her enthusiasm was infectious.

Here's how I trained her to enjoy car rides:

It was during this roadtrip that we decided to create our instagram account. She became my muse. She was so happy all the time during that trip that I forced myself to have a camera ready all the time and capture as much of her beauty as I could.

Mia and Albert

Bengal Cat in Petrified Forest

After our roadtrip, we moved to the Virgin Isalnds to enjoy the beauty of remote work to the fullest. Our instagram exploded then. Mia started to be considered a "famous cat" and our journey on cat training got started.

Perhaps our most memorable trip was when we sailed around Long Island with one of my favorite couples  (Alex and Mariana) and their cat, Coyote. Mia and Coyote became fast friends, and they spent hours chasing each other around the boat. We watched the sun set over the water, and Mia snuggled up in my lap, content and happy. This is how we learned how to sail together on our friend's boat.

Sailing with a Bengal Cat

The Future of Cats

As Mia enters her fourth year of life, I'm excited to see what else she can learn. With her intelligence and willingness to embrace new experiences, the possibilities are endless.

Training your cat will transform your bond.

Beyond just learning new tricks, I'm excited to see where Mia's wanderlust takes us next. We've had so many incredible adventures together, and I know there are many more to come. Perhaps we'll explore the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, or trek through the rainforests of Borneo or maybe we just move back to Barcelona.

Whatever we do, I know that Mia will be right there by my side.

Stay Wild, Stay Safe and We'll See You Outdoors!

Albert & Mia

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