Can You Take Bengal Cats for a Walk: An Interview with Tala and Mara (@travel.with.tala)
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Can you take Bengal cats for a walk? Tala and Mara are two Bengal cats who regularly go for walks, to the beach, kayaking, and paddle boarding. They are living their best nine lives.
Tala and Mara are two beautiful Bengal cats who love to go on adventures. They live in Fife, Scotland with their owners, Jada and Ben, who document their journey on their Instagram page @travel.with.tala
“Two Scottish Bengals, living their best 9 lives & (hopefully) inspiring others to do the same!”
These cats are breaking the stereotype that cats should be left at home; why should dogs get to have all the fun? Tala and Mara love going to the beach and walking through the forests and meadows near their home. They’ve even been camping, kayaking, and paddleboarding!
Jada works remotely for an e-commerce brand that sells cat harnesses. Her job is perfect as it’s cat focused and working from home allows her to spend lots of time with the cats.
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jada about Tala and Mara to find out what the cats have been up to recently. It sounds like they have some exciting adventures planned for the rest of the summer!
How old are Tala and Mara, and how long have you had them?
Tala is 18 months old – we got her when she was around 12 weeks old and Mara turned 1 in July, we’ve had her since she was 14 weeks old.
How did you train your cats to walk on a harness?
I started training both of them when they were young. Tala took to harness training like a duck to water – she’s also been very comfortable exploring and spending time outdoors. Mara took more time and patience. She was naturally more apprehensive, so we took a really slow and steady approach.
We introduced various elements of training over days, weeks, and months to ensure that our cats were comfortable. I think Instagram makes it look easy, but most people cut out the parts where it’s constant backwards and forwards with skills and confidence.
Mara was really wary and never left her bag at first. We worked on confidence building at home and helped her get used to loud noises, dogs, and being picked up before she became a confident explorer cat. And training never ends! There’s always something new to learn or an area to improve on.
What are Tala and Mara’s favorite places to visit?
Tala and Mara love adventuring in rural, quiet places like woodlands, meadows, and lochs. We have lots of nice places to explore in Scotland! Tala also really likes the beach.
How often do you walk your cats?
It really depends – the weather is a big factor in Scotland. They usually get outdoor time daily (in our garden), and then at the weekends, we take them on an “adventure.”
Are your cats scared of anything for example dogs? Do you have to avoid busy places?
Tala isn’t really afraid of anything, although she isn’t a huge fan of children. She’s had a lot of exposure to different environments and sounds. We can take her anywhere – we’ve taken her to Starbucks a few times!
Mara is a little more wary, but it really depends on the situation. She met a few dogs at the weekend and got close for a sniff!
Can you tell us a bit about your kayaking and paddleboarding adventures?
Do you mainly stay in Scotland, or do Tala and Mara have pet passports and go abroad?
We live permanently in Scotland, but this year in June, we took the girls on their first vacation – we drove to France! They loved it. They were an absolute dream on the journey, and we stayed in a Travelodge halfway. Our car journey was over two days – stopping in Kent (half way for the night), and we crossed the channel on the EuroTunnel. Each day we drove around 10 hours. The girls were happy in the car before we considered a trip this length.
We were really fortunate to stay at Mimosa Cottages in Lagonnet – which are pet-friendly! This idyllic Gite is on a couple of acres of land in a rural setting, perfect for cats. We stayed for a week, and the garden space allowed the cats to explore each day – this is where Mara’s confidence began to grow. There was also a lake nearby where we went to most mornings and paddle boarded. The girls loved lying in the shade, exploring the grassland, and chasing dragonflies!
They settled in really well – after a sniff around, they got back into their usual routine. They seem to be happy wherever we are. Our time there was super chilled, and it was nice for us all to get away and spend some quality time together.
Do you have any funny stories about Tala and Mara?
Oh, this is a hard one! Nothing instantly comes to mind, but both of them are absolute characters.
Mara loves to talk – you can have a full conversation with her.
What adventures do you have planned for the future?
We’d love to take them aboard again, but in the immediate future, we have plans to take them camping. This month (August), we’re taking them to Arran, an island off the west coast of Scotland, and then to the horse trials in Blair Atholl.
We’re super passionate about finding new cat-friendly locations, so we’ll try and scope out a few more of those too!
Can you take Bengal cats for a walk: Final thoughts
Bengal cats are known to like water and are fun-loving and adventurous. They are often compared to dogs as they like to be with their owner and can walk on a lead. If you want to train your cat to wear a harness and go for a walk, start young and take things slowly. Let your cat try out the harness and leash at home and start by going for short walks; you can always increase the distance over time.
It’s also a good idea to take a bag with you so that your cat has somewhere to hide if she feels overwhelmed or doesn’t want to walk any further. Walking a cat isn’t the same as taking a dog for a walk; you may find that you have to walk a lot more slowly.
Thank you, Jada and Ben, for agreeing to be interviewed. You can check out their Instagram page, @travel.with.tala, for more tips to help train a cat to walk on a leash, as well as stunning photos of Tala and Mara and their adventurers. You can also have a look at their website for some product recommendations.
For advice about camping with a cat, check out our interview with Aaricia and Munro.