Bengal cats are beautiful animals that have won over many feline lovers’ hearts. Their gorgeous markings, whether they are spots, marble, or rosettes, are highly distinctive. Their personalities match their larger size combining the qualities of a wild jungle cat and a housecat but those who love them will pay a high Bengal cat price.
How much does a Bengal cat cost? Those who want a purebred Bengal cat will need to pay a lot of money for a kitten. A Bengal kitten typically will cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3000 but that depends on the type and the breeder. Some breeders start their pricing at $3,000 and go up to $5,000 for a kitten.
You will also need to pay extra for certain things like a genetic certification to go along with the pedigree or breeding rights. Those can be another $2,000.
Cato, a Bengal bought by a London woman, is the most expensive cat on record with the woman paying $41,435.
There aren’t a lot of breeders in the United States and Canada. Most are family businesses that do it more of a hobby than a full-time business.
All have waiting lists for their kittens and anyone serious about obtaining a Bengal kitten will need to be on the waiting list, then be ready to plop down some money for a reservation before a litter is born.
Some may need to wait on two or three litters to get the exact color and markings desired.
Here’s a look at the cost of buying and owning a Bengal cat.
Why Bengal Cats Are So Expensive
Bengal cats are expensive because they are rare and are a hybrid.
Bengal cats are not naturally formed in the wild, at least not often. They are the result of an Asian leopard mating with a domestic house cat.
While there are cases of this happening both in the wild and in the United States naturally, it isn’t the norm.
One case of natural breeding in the U.S. happened in the 1960s when a California cat breeder Jean Mill found her female Asian leopard pregnant by a black tomcat that was her companion.
Mill never dreamed of such a union because the two were of different species.
The unlikely litter became the basis for Mill to develop the Bengal breed.
However, the bulk of Bengals were produced through an experiment at Loyola University in New Orleans in the 1960s. Scientists used the Asian leopard in the breeding experiments in an attempt to create a feline leukemia-resistant breed. The leopard was known to be resistant.
The litter didn’t have a resistance to feline leukemia but the kittens were adopted out. Those who adopted them, including Mill, began working with developing the breed into one recognized by The International Cat Association (TIPA). Bengals became a formal feline classification in 1993.
The fact that Bengals must come from a breeder in itself makes them more expensive. Breeders have higher-than-normal costs in keeping the breed above standards and pedigreed.
Besides all the licensing and registration requirements, breeders also must have proper facilities for both the kings and queens. Most also have separate facilities for moms and their babies.
Bengals have special diets that include raw food like meat and organs along with organic food. There are also regular vet bills on both the adults and kittens. Most quality breeders also perform genetic testing to ensure each kitten is healthy and not prone to a genetic disease.
Also, any quality breeder isn’t going to constantly have kittens available. Most only do a few litters a year to give their queens a time to rest and not constantly be pregnant. They are not a mass-produced business.
Breeders are also careful about their pairings. Certain kings and queens produce certain types of Bengals. Each pair is carefully selected and genetically predisposed to certain traits that produce Bengals of a certain color, markings, and temperament.
This carefully controlled process also makes the cost of a Bengal kitten more expensive.
The fact that Bengals are rarer than other felines, in general, adds to the price tag but those Bengals that are rare even among their species will cost even more.
Are Different Types of Bengal Cats More Expensive Than Others?
Certain types of Bengal cats are more expensive than others and the price of a kitten can depend on several factors including:
- Pedigree and lineage
- Color and markings
Pedigree and Lineage
The primary factor in determining the price of a Bengal kitten is its pedigree. Quality breeders will provide new Bengal owners with a pedigree when they purchase a kitten.
Beyond the pedigree, the price can go up depending on who the parents are. The price will be higher if one of the Bengal parents was a champion or if championship status is anywhere in the lineage.
The price will be escalated if the Bengal kitten is bred as a champion. That means the breeder used genetic testing and two adults of champion bloodlines to produce a litter. A champion kitten can foreseeably win numerous titles so it will cost more to buy.
|Type of Bengal||Breeding Rights||Price|
|Pet Quality||No||$1500 to $2000|
|Top Quality||No||$2000 to $2500|
|Breeder Quality||Yes||$3000 to $5000|
|Show Quality||No||$6000 to $10,000|
|Retired Breeders||No||$500 to $1200|
Color and Markings
The color of a Bengal cat and its markings is what makes some of them rare. Rarity is what makes a certain Bengal kitten more expensive than others.
Remember, Bengal cats are created by using genetic factors. Some genes are rarer than others or are passed down less often than others because they are recessive genes. The fact that it is more challenging to produce some Bengal colored cats more than others makes some more expensive.
For instance, the Snow Bengal cat price is going to be more than Bengal tabby mix kittens for sale. The Snow Bengal, in any of the three variations, is rarer than other mixes because it specifically comes from a mix of the leopard with a Siamese cat. Any white Bengal cat price is going to cost more than a more common and popular Brown Bengal.
The Snow Lynx Bengal is the only one that is guaranteed to have blue eyes. The Snow Mink is the only Bengal guaranteed to have either blue-green or aqua eyes. Other colors and variations of the Bengal have green, gold, hazel, or brown eyes.
Bengals that are in the more unusual colors are going to cost more. That could include the Blue Bengal, the Silver Bengal, and some golden Bengals. Black Bengals and the solid Silver Bengal are also rare. Bengal cats that have “glitter” where their coat sparkles will also have a higher price tag.
Here is a look at some prices of how Canadian breeders charge for different markings and colors. You can see the Snow Bengal cat price and the Silver Bengal cat price show the higher demand for those rarer variations.
|Brown Spotted||$ 1500 – 2600||Silver Marbled||$ 2500 – 3000|
|Brown Marble||$ 1300 – 2300||Silver Spotted||$ 2000 – 4500|
|Snow Marbled||$ 2500 – 3000||Show, breeding||$ 4000 – 8000|
|Snow Spotted||$ 2000 – 4500||Retired Adults||$ 450 – 1500|
Another type of Bengal that is being developed now is the Cashmere Bengal cat. This cat is different from all other Bengals because it is a long-haired cat. Until recently, Bengals were created by various breedings with only domestic shorthair cats.
The Cashmere cat costs $1,500 from breeders but finding a breeder for this particular type of Bengal is like searching for a diamond in a stone quarry. The breeders that work with this breed place a priority on placing kittens with legitimate catteries to further develop the breed and, eventually, gain TIPA and Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognition.
The teacup Bengal is another division of the feline breed that is getting some attention. These are smaller versions of the Bengal, which typically are larger cats that can grow up to 22 inches in length, without the tail, and weigh up to 18 pounds.
The teacup Bengal is genetically a dwarf cat. It has all the markings and temperament of a Bengal but weighs three to six pounds. The largest is 10 pounds.
A distinctive teacup Bengal is the Genetta which is the mix of a teacup cat, Savannah, Bengal, and another domestic shorthair cat. Teacup Bengal cats for sale at a breeder will cost between $700 and $2,700. That depends on the mix, the breeder, and the quality of the kitten.
Markings can add more to the cost. There are three types of markings on a Bengal:
The spots are the most familiar markings when people think of a Bengal. They are solid and look most like the leopard. The marble markings are lines and sometimes they blend like a marble countertop, making the cat complete in the jungle look.
Marble Bengal cats for sale can range in price from $2,000 in the U.S. and up to CAD 2,300 while the spotted ones start at $1,500 in the U.S and CAD 1,500 in Canada.
Rosettes are a type of spot but are more than a solid spot. Breeders worked to achieve this look and rosettes started making an appearance after 2000. A rosette is when another color is incorporated in the spot.
There are three types of rosettes:
When a rosette has one color in the middle and another color surrounding it.
An arrowhead rosette will have one color on the wider section and another in the pointed part.
These rosettes look like kitty paws with one color in the center and another in the “toes.”
Additionally, rosette patterns play a role in the rarity or quality of a kitten, which affects the price. There are three rosette patterns to pay attention to when looking at kittens.
These are large rosettes that seem to fit together with a little spacing in between. The pattern is almost like a snake-like design and is inspired by the coat on the Clouded Leopard.
Rosettes that are in chains are a connected row. They are linked horizontally and run parallel. They can be seen on either the cat’s side or spine and are also seen on the Ocelot, a wild cat.
These are small circles that make a cluster around one center color. These are seen on Jaguars, Leopards, or Ocelots.
The more expensive Bengals have beautiful larger rosettes. Clouded versions are also more expensive.
Bengal cats that are genetically prone to good temperaments are going to be priced higher than other cats. The Bengal typically has a good temperament but some may have distinctions, depending on exact breeding and lineage.
Also, kittens that are heavily socialized with other animals and children tend to bring a higher price because of the extra effort put into their foundational learning.
Prices are going to be higher for Bengals that are closer to their Asian leopard ancestors too. That F1 Bengal cat price is between $2,000 and $10,000 compared to $1,500 to $5,000 for any of the F2 Bengal kittens for sale.
One of the additional problems of seeking an F1 or F2 Bengal is they may be illegal to own as pets in some areas as they are considered exotic, wild cats. A Bengal must be at least four generations away from its wild leopard ancestor to be registered.
Compare those prices of the early generation Bengals to the Bengal F5 price of around $1,500. The F5 kittens are the fifth generation from the leopard and are not illegal anywhere.
How Is Buying a Bengal Different From Buying an Exotic Animal?
A Bengal cat is an exotic feline but it isn’t an exotic animal by legal standards, as a leopard or cheetah. A leopard cat cost would be substantial, even if it were legal to have as a pet. Some Bengals or other exotics like Savannahs could be listed as a leopard or as a “cheetah cat for sale” but that is a miscategorization.
A Bengal cat is still a domesticated cat just as any other cat available in the United States and Canada. It is registered with TIPA and CFA as a feline breed.
Being such, Bengal cats aren’t regulated by federal governments like exotic wild animals are.
Where Can I Buy A Bengal Cat?
Bengal cats are available from quality breeders. There are several good ones in the United States and Canada. It’s important to research any breeder you think you may use before putting down a deposit on a kitten.
Breeders include things like health checks, disease testing, vaccinations, and even spaying or neutering in their prices. They should also provide a pedigree and a health guarantee.
Bengal experts state those wanting this type of cat shouldn’t respond to ads on places like Craigslist. Those are usually scammers and typically don’t have true pedigreed Bengal cats. They also wouldn’t guarantee the kitten’s health as a quality breeder would.
Also, avoid ads that read things like “cheap Bengal kittens” or “leopard looking cats for sale” and similar language. No true, pedigreed Bengal cats are cheap.
How do I find a reputable Bengal cat breeder?
It takes some computer research to find reputable Bengal breeders. The first thing to look for is registration with cat associations. Also, look for pictures of their cattery and adult cats. That will give you a good indication of their quality of breeding.
A great breeder will be able to tell you all about the cat, the breed and answer any questions even after you take the cat home. Also, be prepared for the breeder to interview you. They want their kittens to go to good homes so most have a lengthy questionnaire to fill out and will want to interview you before allowing you to come see the facilities.
Some breeders, for safety reasons, won’t let you come see their cattery or cats but will send you videos and pictures. Some will send you videos of your kitten as it develops. A reputable cattery will allow a kitten to go home when it is between 12 and 14 weeks old. Some will let them go as young as 11 weeks but not before.
Bengal cats can also cost differently depending on the breeder and their location, as some areas have a higher cost of living, additional governmental fees to own a cattery, and a variety of regulations to follow. All can add to the cost.
For instance, $1,500 to $3,000 is the average Bengal cat price Texas while $975 and up is what the Bengal cat price Florida runs. Bengal kittens for sale Los Angeles cost between $3,000 and$4000 while Bengal kittens Chicago cost $4,000 and up.
The Bengal cat price Canada starts at CAD 1,500, which is also the standard beginning Bengal cat price Ontario. Overseas, people pay RM 800 as a Bengal cat price Malaysia.
Reputable Cat Breeders
Here are seven catteries listed in the U.S. and Canada.
|Indian Creek Bengals||Harleysvile PA||Cashere Bengals||$1800 to $4000|
|Amazon Bengals||Oakwood, Texas||Brown, Silver, Lynx||$1500 to $3000|
|Poolside Cats||South Florida||Bengals, Cashmeres, Savannahs||$975 to $1675|
|Urban Exotic Cats||Chicago, IL||Variety, Clouded Leopard||$3000 to $3500 plus|
|FastPaws Bengal||Los Angeles||Variety||$4000 – $4500|
|Bengal Kittens Canada||Near Edmonton, Alberta||Brown, Charcoal||CAD 1700 – 2000|
|Ontario Bengals||Ontario, Canada||Brown Rosetted||$1,300 – $2000|
Why You Shouldn’t Get a Bengal Cat?
Owning a Bengal cat isn’t for everyone. There are some valid reasons why you shouldn’t get a Bengal cat.
1. You work long hours away from home.
Bengal cats get lonely quickly and also get bored fast. Those who leave them home alone all day could come home to some destroyed pillows and other destruction.
2. You don’t have time to properly play with them.
Bengal cats are hyperactive and need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. They are also demanding and require their owners to pay them a lot of attention. The ideal Bengal owner will be able to pay with them between one and two hours a day.
3. You don’t like vocal cats.
Bengal cats are highly vocal and can get loud when they need or want something. That is the jungle cat in them.
Are Bengal cats high maintenance?
Bengal cats are more high maintenance than typical domestic cat breeds in some areas but are relatively low maintenance in others like grooming. They have different needs than standard cats including:
1. Their food. Bengal cats eat a combination of organic cat food of both wet and dry as well as a mix of raw meat, organs, salmon, and tuna. This can be a bit more complicated to provide over the diet of most cats.
2. They require a lot of toys. Bengal cats need constant physical and mental stimulation and, since they are larger, they need bigger, sturdier toys like a cat gym, tunnels, and a cat wheel.
3. Bengal cats need time and effort to be trained. Bengals can’t like to roam but shouldn’t be allowed to do that. They need to be harness and leash trained to take walks with their owner.
4. Grooming isn’t as much of an issue as with some domestics. Bengals are mostly short-haired varieties that don’t shed a lot and don’t need constant grooming.
Owning a Bengal cat is something to think about because they have advantages and disadvantages. They are expensive and could be more expensive to maintain, considering their diets and other needs, but also are an interesting mix of personality and good looks. Many say is worth the price.