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Why Are Bengal Cats So Expensive – Price Chart & Guide

Why Are Bengal Cats So Expensive – Price Chart & Guide

Bengal cats are a kind of exotic cat that has grown significantly in popularity in the last few years. With that popularity comes plenty of costs. Bengal cats are some of the most expensive cat breeds in the world. The average price for Bengal cats is between $600 – $2750 depending on the coat coloration. So you might be wondering, why are Bengal cats so expensive? 

Bengal cats are expensive because they are rarer than most domesticated cat breeds. Bengal cats are a hybrid with Asian Leopard cat genetics. Breeding Asian Leopard cats and raising them is more challenging and costly for cat breeders.  The costs to breed and raise Bengal cats combined with their rarity and unique coloring contributes to their high cost. 

Bengal cats are one of the more expensive cat breeds you can own. You can get a slightly more affordable cat by purchasing an adult, especially a retired breeding cat (often called Kings and Queens by Bengal catteries), but kittens generally run a thousand dollars (USD) or more. Let’s take a look at some of the prices associated with various types of Bengal cats. 

Bengal Cat Costs: Price Comparison

This table is an estimate based on the prices of several Bengal Catteries, but you may pay more or less for your cat depending on local availability and the cost of caring for a Bengal cat in your area.

Prices are based on the age of your cat and how rare and desirable their coat coloration is. Prices vary widely, this guide helps you estimate what it might cost to own a Bengal cat, but you should also know that these cats can cost as much as $3,000 and more.

Bengal Type Brown Spotted Brown Marbled Seal Lynx Spotted Seal Lynx Marbled Silver Spotted Silver Marbled Mink Spotted
Kitten $1,750 and up $1,500 and up $1,750 and up $1,500 and up 2,750, and up $2,000 and up $2,500 and up
Adult $700 and up $600 and up $750 and up $700 and up $800 and up $750 and up $850 and up

 *note, different breeders use different terms to describe Bengal coats. These are standard designations, but you may see the same coloration referred to with slightly different terminology.

Prices increase as your cat receives more medical care, and as your cattery provides more equipment for your cat. For instance, some catteries will send you home with your cat’s favorite toys and a litter box, but that will increase the cat’s price.

As you can see, the more exotic the coat coloration, the more expensive the cat will be. You can expect to pay north of $2000 if you have a spotted or marbled Bengal cat that also has a rare coat color. The more common colors such as brown will cost less because this Bengal cat is more available from breeders. 

One important thing to note is that Bengal kittens cost significantly more than adult cats. So, if you’re looking to get a Bengal cat but want to avoid some of the expensive fees, consider getting a cat that is at least 2 – 3 years in age. The older the cat, the less expensive it will be. 

Are Bengal Cats Rare

We’ve already mentioned that Bengal cats are rare compared to other domesticated cats. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Bengals are rare in the traditional sense of the term.

Consider some other rare breeds of cat, like Savannah cats, and even popular but less common breeds like Maine Coon, Manx, and Norwegian Forest Cats. Bengal cats belong with those breeds not only because they are similarly rare, but also because they are a larger cat breed with specific care requirements.

They aren’t necessarily challenging to find, but they are more expensive and less frequent than smaller non-hybrid breeds. 

For that reason, you can expect to pay a hefty price tag for this cat. 

Bengal Cats Are A Hybrid

Like Bengal cats and Savannah cats, hybrid cats are a little rarer than other breeds thanks to the difficulty in breeding them. Hybrids also tend to be higher maintenance than other cat breeds, which reduces their numbers.

Most breeds don’t allow cats that are too distantly related to a wild cat. That means that an Asian Leopard cat’s great-great-grandchild might be eligible for breed inclusion, but their great-great-great grandchild may not be unless bred to an Asian Leopard cat or a Bengal that’s more closely related to an Asian Leopard cat.

Bengal Cats Aren’t Universally Legal

One barrier to growing the population of Bengal cats is that Bengal cats aren’t 100% legal in all areas. Many states regulate their Bengal cats more heavily than other breeds, and they aren’t authorized to breed or own at all in a few states.

Those legal barriers make it more difficult for responsible breeders to get established, and makes the breed slightly rarer.

High Breeding Standards + Breeder Incentive to Keep Bengals Rare

These last two factors are incredibly important. Responsible catteries have incredibly high breeding standards, and the selection of Bengals that meet the requirements is relatively small.

Catteries also work hard to make sure they aren’t inbreeding their cats since we have a better understanding of the costs of inbreeding thanks to some purebred breeds of cats and dogs.

Avoiding inbreeding makes suitable matches between breeding cats even more select, limiting the options for a cattery that wants to maintain healthy animals.

Breeders also have an incentive to keep Bengals rare because of their high costs of care. Many catteries would not break even on their costs if Bengal cats were cheaper. Keeping the breed a little rarer and ensuring there is more demand for Bengal kittens than supply, helps breeders maintain their high standards for genetic quality and care of the cats.

Bengal cats from a responsible cattery are also generally more expensive because they have invested a lot of resources, time, and attention into the care of their kittens.

Most Bengal catteries will have their cats spayed/neutered before giving the kitten to their forever homes. They’ll also have had their first rounds of immunizations, will have been checked for diseases, and may even have undergone genetic testing to ensure health.

Bengal kittens, especially the kittens of Asian Leopard cats, can also require extra work to socialize and train since they are a hybrid with a wild cat breed that doesn’t trust humans the way domesticated cat breeds do.

Your cattery has also likely already put in the vital work of getting your kitten litter trained. Some will have also helped train your cat not to bite or claw people and other fundamental training.

Where To Buy A Bengal Cat

If you’re looking to buy a Bengal cat, you should look for a reputable breeder. Avoid your local pet store unless they are working with a shelter to sell rescued cats. While some pet stores do an excellent job of sourcing their animals from reputable breeders, many do not.

Not all catteries are reputable, either. Look for a local cattery that will let you come and visit the kittens before you adopt them. Ask to see where the kittens and their parents are housed.

You should also ask about their training and medical care since responsible catteries work closely with a vet to make sure all their animals are healthy.  

How Can I Buy A Bengal Cat

Most Bengal cats are still purchased through a cattery, and you’ll often reserve a kitten in a current or upcoming litter before you meet the animal. It’s essential to look over the terms of your contract since part of your deposit is usually refundable, but not all of it.

If you change your mind at the last minute and don’t end up adopting your kitten, you’ll likely pay part of their adoption fees since the breeder now has to house and care for the kitten until they can find someone else to adopt them.

Many breeders open reservations for their cats as soon as a litter is confirmed, so it’s good to follow your breeder on social media and sign up for a newsletter (if they offer one) so that you know when new kittens might be available.

Should I Buy A Bengal Cat

The debate between buying and adopting cats is as heated as the same debate for dogs. Ultimately, it depends on what you want, your budget, and what kind of animal you want to bring home.

There are some definite advantages to purchasing a Bengal. Here are a few of the most important advantages for you to consider:

  • You get health records when you purchase from a Breeder
  • You’ll receive information about your cat’s lineage
  • Your cat is more likely to have had basic health care
  • Your cat is more likely to be fixed when you purchase them
  • Your cat may already be registered with the breed

For many people, the comfort of knowing that their cat is likely healthier and less likely to develop a severe disease is worth the additional costs.

One other major factor with owning a Bengal cat, or a cat, in general, is whether you’re committed to actually raising them. Raising a Bengal cat is not easy. It requires a large financial investment over the life of the cat. From kitten to adult, you’ll be responsible for feeding them healthy foods, investing in toys and shelter, regular vet checkups, and more. 

However, while Bengals are less likely to come up for adoption, there are some advantages to adopting your new Bengal.

  • Not supporting overbreeding
  • Helps to reduce the burden on shelters

Bengal Cat Adoption

The last major factor to the cost of a Bengal cat is that your adoption fee not only pays for the expenses and care that your cattery has given your kitten, it also helps to pay for the care of your kitten’s parents.

If you’re looking to adopt a Bengal, that’s fantastic. Bengals can be high-maintenance felines, and they put a lot of burden on the shelters that take them. A lot of Bengals also end up at wildlife rescues instead of shelters because of their wild ancestors.

The best way to adopt a Bengal cat is to let your local shelter know that you’re interested in that kind of cat. Some will call you when one comes in. However, you may need to shop shelters since not all cat shelters will accept a Bengal cat. You may also need to watch the shelter adoption page since not all shelters will contact you when a Bengal arrives.