For many Bengal cat owners the cost of acquiring a member of the breed is well worth their lovable personalities and handsome appearance. But be warned, acquiring a Bengal kitten from a breeder is not cheap due to their popularity and high demand.
Bengal kittens can cost anywhere from $400 to $10,000 depending on the gender, location of the breeder and generation of Bengal cat. The average price for one, though, is about $1500 to $3000.
It’s important to note that a Bengal cat being offered at a discount could indicate that the breeder is not of high quality or that there is something wrong with the cat, such as genetic disorders or a cat that isn’t a purebred Bengal (but being advertised as one).
Some factors that affect the cost of a Bengal cat include:
1. Breeder Reputation
High quality breeders with a reputation for high quality litters are going to fetch a higher price. This usually means the Bengal kitten will have a great personality and will be healthy and void of genetic disorders. Any good breeder will also provide proof of the cat’s purebred status and provide any necessary genetic testing and vet visits before handling over the Bengal kitten.
2. Bengal Cat “Quality”
The quality of the Bengal cat is defined by breed standards which outline several levels of quality that a Bengal cat can have, all of which will demand a different price:
- Pet Quality – This level of Bengal cat quality is unsuitable for cat shows (they lack necessary characteristics according to breed standards) and range from $1000 to $1500.
- Show Quality – This Bengal cat quality is suitable for cat shows and usually ranges between $3500 and $7000.
- Breeding Quality – This is the highest quality of Bengal cat and is defined by the cat being able to pass on their show quality characteristics. Prices for this level will vary greatly, but usually start around the same price range as that of a show quality Bengal.
3. Bengal Cat Generation
For the Bengal cat breed, generation is important. Most Bengal cats are the result of breeding Bengal cats together, and are referred to as F4. Some breeders, though, will breed Bengal cats with Asian leopard cats and their generations will be closer in genetics to their wild counterpart (referred to as F1-F3). These lower generation cats will cost more and have additional care requirements.
4. Bengal Cat Gender
The cost difference between Bengal cat genders is closely tied to their generation. Low generation male Bengals (F1 and F2) are generally cheaper because they’re oftentimes sterile from recent cross breeding between different species. Low generation females are the most expensive as their genes are closest to that of the Asian leopard cat and they are able to reproduce.
5. Bengal Cat Age
Whether you buy your Bengal cat as a kitten or adult will affect the price. Because most people want Bengal kittens, they’ll be more expensive, oftentimes double or triple the price of an adult Bengal cat.
Keep in mind, though, that a Bengal kitten being sold too young (before 8 weeks of age) is a red flag and could mean the breeder is trying to cut costs on care by selling the Bengal kitten early.
The optimal age range to buy a Bengal kitten is between 12 and 16 weeks. They will be the most expensive age range to buy at, but for good reason. It will cost the breeder more money to raise them for longer, but they will have more time to socialize and rid them of any potential behavioral issues such as fear and aggression.
Adult Bengal cats for sale are usually retired breeding cats, but that doesn’t mean they will be any less lovable or suitable for your home.
6. Vet Care and Genetic Testing by the Breeder
As mentioned before, all the care a breeder puts into the Bengal kitten as it’s developing will end up in your final price as a buyer. Bengal kittens will almost always come with:
- Regular examinations and a clear bill of health by a licensed veterinarian
- Spay or neuter surgery
- All necessary vaccinations up to date
- Health records
- Official TICA registration
- Health guarantee
- Lots of support and advice from your breeder
A high quality breeder might also provide:
- Microchip with registration
- A pet insurance trial
- An airline approved carrier
- Food to help you transition
Bengal cats are predisposed to certain genetic health issues, which can and should be tested for. The main three tests a Bengal cat should get are for HCM, PRA, and PK-def. Of those, the HCM test is the most expensive, costing from $300 – $1000.
Finally, Stay Aware of Scams
Because of the high popularity of the Bengal cat, there are many scammers and shoddy breeders out there just trying to make a quick buck. Any breeder trying to sell a Bengal kitten for under $1000 is a red flag, and should give you pause. Although the idea of getting a Bengal cat at that price is tempting, it could indicate that the cat was raised in very unhealthy conditions and might not even be a purebred Bengal cat. It’s important that backyard breeders are not supported and are not incentivized to continue breeding and raising cats in terrible environments and with significant health issues.