Before you get one, reading about how to buy a Bengal cat will give you the right tools to prepare yourself for the process and make sure everything goes smoothly.
The most important step is doing your research, especially about the breeder, their facilities, and the kitten.
This topic will explain the terms you’ll be dealing with when buying your Bengal, how much they cost, who to reach out to, where to start, and what things to expect after.
What Are the Steps to Buy a Bengal Cat?
This can be an intimidating process, but it’s 60% reading and researching and 40% finding the breeder and the Bengal.
Step 1: Read and Research
Learn about the Bengal cat, including its history, personality, and compatibility. Next, learn more about what you want with the Bengal cat: how many generations removed is it from the Asian Leopard cat? What colors and patterns do you desire? Do you want a solo cat or a pair?
Assuming you already know what you want, we are happy for your reading and researching! You have finished step 1. If you’re still deciding, scroll further down to know about the Bengal’s filial generation and its physical traits.
You can check this article discussing the Bengal’s quirky personality!
Step 2: Choose a Professional Breeder
This is where your journey starts to buy a Bengal cat – finding the right breeder. The right breeder finds the best match to your expectations, explains the limitations, and finds the best Bengal to your liking.
When looking to buy something, people will resort to the internet to look for what they want. One place to look for is at The International Cat Organization website (TICA), in their TICA Breeders page. There is a breeder for almost every state with a name, email, and website.
Other options include:
- Visiting a cat show in your community and interacting with the breeders. Check out TICA’s upcoming cat shows this year.
- Asking recommendations from your veterinarian and cat-owning friends who have bought healthy cats from good breeders.
- Joining Facebook Bengal cat groups and forums and learning from the members who have gone through the process of finding good breeders and buying healthy cats.
- Don’t buy just from anyone who says they’re a breeder. They may breed cats, but that doesn’t mean they produce quality ones with the right pedigree and good health.
- Ask for legitimacy. Are they part of a cat club or association? Are they licensed (if your state requires it)? Do they participate in cat shows? How do they prevent or screen for genetic defects?
- Don’t buy from the internet and have the kitten shipped to you as if it were an Amazon order. Ideally, you should request to meet the breeder and see and handle the cat.
Step 3: Meet and Greet with the Breeder and the Bengal
At this point, you should have a list of breeders you have researched about and heard of from cat lovers. In this step, reach out to one breeder at a time.
Discuss with them the Bengal you’re looking for. Ask for pictures and videos. Ask if someone in your area has bought from them. Talk about prices and what you can expect for each price. If the breeder says your desired Bengal is unavailable, ask when they plan to have the next litter or request a recommendation.
Be as curious as a cat! Eventually, you’ll want to see the breeder and the cat in person. Preferably, you’ll want to see where and how the breeder operates their facility or cattery.
TICA suggests asking these questions to your breeder:
- What are the characteristics of this breed?
- Do you provide a written sales agreement that includes a health guarantee?
- What diseases and conditions does your health guarantee cover?
- How do you raise your kittens?
- Can you provide references from people who have purchased kittens?
Read: Why Do People Love Their Bengal Cats So Much?
Step 4: Bringing Home the Cat
The kitten should have a clean coat with bright and clear eyes. The ears should be pinkish and clean. It should be playful, curious, and friendly. There should be no signs of sneezing, dried discharge on the eyes and nose, and fleas and flaking on the skin.
According to TICA, a responsible breeder should have had the kitten weaned, litter-trained, and vaccinated at least twice. You can bring home the kitten when it has reached three months old or 12 to 14 weeks.
When you have chosen your Bengal, all its documents should go home with you including its vaccination and health record, (a written sales agreement), and pedigree. Visit your veterinarian and have the kitten registered and assessed. Talk with your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your cat and have it scheduled.
When you have brought your kitten home, you should have prepared its necessities: a cat bed, litter box or pad, a pet carrier, cat food, eating and drinking bowls, grooming tools (a cat-friendly toothbrush, hairbrush, nail clippers), and cat toys.
How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Bengal Cat?
Expect to hear the word “thousand” and see four-digit numbers on paper. In general, buying a Bengal cat alone can cost $1,300 and higher (or lower) depending on many factors.
|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|
Pricing depends on each breeder and the quality of the kitten. What goes into that thousand-dollar cat? We have discussed the details in more depth in this article.
What Do F1 and F2 Mean in Bengal Cats?
What do F1, F2, and F3 Bengal mean?! Here’s a quick guide to the Bengal cat’s F scale generation.
Jean Mill achieved the Bengal breed through filial generation backcrossing, where the terms F1 to F4 stem from, meaning first filial generation (F1), second filial generation (F2), and so on. The term F4 is also known as SBT (Stud Book Tradition), which is a registered Bengal three generations removed from the F1 feline.
Backcrossing is mating a genetically preferred organism to another with more average traits. The hybrid offspring will then be paired with a mate similar to its genetically preferred parent. It can take more than two generations to achieve the desired traits.
In Bengals, the first three generations are considered “foundation cats”, and it can take up to three to five generations to produce one that has the temperament of the average housecat.
|Asian Leopard cat x Domestic cat||F1 Bengal cat (Foundation Bengal)|
|F1 Bengal cat x Domestic cat||F2 Bengal cat (Foundation Bengal)|
|F2 Bengal cat x Domestic cat||F3 Bengal cat (Foundation Bengal)|
|F3 Bengal cat x Domestic cat||F4 Bengal cat (Stud Book Tradition Bengal)|
|F4 or SBT Bengal cat x Domestic cat||F5 Bengal cat (considered a fully domestic Bengal)|
How They Behave?
F1 to F3 Bengals or Foundation Cats
The F1 Bengal is almost like a wild cat having been bred directly from the Asian Leopard cat. The F2 to F3 Bengals are more tamed but still in touch with their wild roots.
This type isn’t recommended for beginning cat owners, and although they can be a family pet, they have aggressive tendencies and behavioral problems, particularly with urinating and defecating outside the litterbox.
F4 Bengal or Stud Book Traditional (SBT) Cat
The F4 Bengal is the more desirable generational hybrid. They are considered domesticated while still being close to the “foundation cats” of their breed and retaining some of their fun-loving traits from the Asian Leopard.
The F5 Bengal can be comparable to your average housecat but with the coat of an Asian Leopard. They are more easily tamed and are just as adventurous as Bengals of any generation are portrayed to be.
Read: What Makes Bengal Cats So Special?
What Are the Colors and Patterns of Bengal Cats?
Bengals come with a range of unique colors that might make it difficult for you to choose
- Rosettes. This can come in different shapes, including paw-print, arrowhead, donut, clouded, and cluster.
- Marbled. You can find this pattern as symmetrical swirls on the Bengal’s back and sides.
You can also find spotting on the Bengal’s belly and stripes wrapping around the tail that ends in a dark point.
- Brown. It can be a shade of light gold, fiery orange, or rich auburn.
- Silver. Shades can be white to a dark, steely gray.
- Charcoal. This color is characterized by dark, smoky coat patterns.
- Blue. A rare find, shades can be a darker, steely hue to a light powder blue.
- Melanistic. It’s a beautiful black color with hard-to-spot patterns unless up close.
- Snow. This color has three beautiful shades.
- Snow seal lynx. This is a white-cream color on the coat.
- Snow seal mink. This can be a creamy tan or ivory color.
- Snow seal sepia. This deeper, warm cream color can range from pale to dark.
This special breed of cat is going to bring a spark to your life! To buy a Bengal cat, you must find a good breeder. Don’t skip out on research and reading because that will help you a lot with determining what you’re looking for in a Bengal and from a breeder.