Bengals first came on the scene in the 1960s and quickly shot to fame for their smooth, distinctly marked coats and ‘wild’ appearance. They’ve been an in-demand breed ever since. And if you are personally considering getting one, you will want to know how much they are going to cost you. Not just upfront but going forward and over the course of their lives? Well, this complete finance guide should provide you with all the data you need.
So, how much do Bengal cats cost? On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000 for a pure-bred Bengal from a reputable breeder. The wide price variation is down to a number of factors, including coat color, age, genetic generation, and level of breeder care. Any Bengal available for less than $1,000 is typically a red flag.
As wild hybrids, Bengals require high-quality food, plenty of toys, and regular vet check-ups as they are prone to certain diseases.
They simply need high-quality care to thrive in a domestic environment.
While entirely stunning, Bengals are expensive cats to own.
So you won’t just be paying a large fee upfront – this will likely continue long into the future!
As such, you must ensure you do your research to determine if a Bengal is right for you.
It can be an immensely costly error if not.
And unfortunately, this has all opened an opportunity for ‘backyard breeders; – offering these cats for cheaper prices.
Unfortunately, welfare standards are low, and cats born in this way often experience a whole host of health issues down the line.
This is something you need to watch out for.
But more on this later.
Let us now look at the expected cost for a Bengal kitten and how to ensure you get a properly bred cat for the price.
Then we’ll be looking at their care costs.
So keep reading!
Your future finances simply depend on it!
How Much Do Bengal Kittens Cost?
The best way to purchase a Bengal kitten is from a reputable breeder. However, this can come with a hefty price tag starting at $1500 and rising and surpassing $3000 in some contexts.
You may also be able to find Bengal’s that you can adopt from animal shelters which is a much cheaper option.
However, you will normally only find adult Bengals in shelters, and most will not be able to provide you with the cat’s medical history and breed information.
Reputable breeders should also perform genetic testing on Bengal kittens to ensure there are no inherited diseases.
If you find breeders selling Bengal kittens for less than $1,000, it is most likely going to be a backyard breeder, so you should walk away and find another breeder.
Backyard breeders are only out to make money, so they may compromise the welfare of the cats in their care to save dollars.
When you go to visit a breeder, pay close attention to the cat’s environment and body language; does it look calm? Bright-eyed? Active?
This will help you to determine whether the breeder is doing a good job.
Also, pay attention to the surrounding environment and the demeanor of the breeder.
If anything seems ‘off,’ then it is best to leave and look elsewhere.
As mentioned above, numerous other factors can affect the price of a Bengal kitten so let’s run through them now:
The brown spotted Bengal is the most common color variation; however other rarer colors and patterns are available.
There are two recognized coat patterns for Bengal’s; spotted (which look like rosette shapes) and marbled, however designs of these patterns and the sizes of the rosettes can also vary.
Bengals with large two-toned rosettes are often highly prized, so expect to pay more for this variety. The standard recognized coat colors are brown, silver, and the three snow colors.
Again, other colors are available, but these will usually be in higher demand, so they will come with a higher price tag.
This factor is particularly important for Bengals due to their wild ancestry.
When a Bengal is bred directly with an Asian leopard cat, their kittens will be rated as F1 (first generation).
When an F1 cat is bred with another Bengal, the resulting kittens will be F2 generation and so on.
F4 Bengal’s are considered to make the best pets as they are genetically separate enough from the Asian Leopard to be able to cope well in a domestic environment.
You can purchase F1 and F2 kittens; however, they will be more expensive and often come with extra specific care instructions.
A good breeder will not allow a Bengal kitten to be rehomed before the age of 12 weeks.
This ensures that the kitten has been socialized properly.
Kittens being sold at eight weeks old should be avoided, even if the price seems reasonable, as kittens that are weaned too early often have behavioral issues.
Many reputable breeders will also ensure your kitten has been spayed or neutered, dewormed, and has already had all the initial required vaccinations prior to selling.
You should also receive a health records book and a health guarantee, as well as plenty of additional care advice from the breeder.
This will mean your kitten is more expensive initially, but it will save you money in the long run!
Other Upfront Costs When Buying A Bengal Cat
You can expect to pay anywhere from $150-$250 and possibly more on required items for your Bengal cat. Some items are optional, others recommended, and then there are those you simply must buy, like food.
Buying a Bengal kitten can be very exciting; however, it is important to ensure you have all the additional necessities in place before you bring him home.
Perhaps the most important initial cost is registering your Bengal with a local vet surgery.
Most vets have payment plans which are designed to help you spread the cost of annual vaccinations and check-ups over the course of a year, so it is well worth looking into.
If your breeder has not already microchipped the cat, you will need to get this done at the vet’s as soon as possible.
For this, you can expect to pay between $35 and $50.
You will also need to consider the type of food you will feed your Bengal.
Bengals require high-quality cat food with a high taurine and protein content to ensure they grow up healthy and their coats remain in good condition.
A food type with a 60-80% protein content is ideal for Bengals.
Your breeder may provide you with an initial bag of food, and you can ask for advice on the best type to purchase long-term.
Remember that all cats are obligate carnivores which means they require meat to survive.
Below are a few other purchases you will need to consider when you first purchase your Bengal:
Bengals are highly active and athletic cats, so you will need to ensure yours has plenty of places to climb and plenty of toys to keep his mind stimulated.
A bored Bengal is often a destructive Bengal!
Prices vary widely, but a good cat tree will cost you upwards of $40.
Bengals also have a strong hunting instinct so ensure you invest in toys that fulfill this need. Wand toys or wind-up toys often go down well!
Litter Tray And Litter
These items are essential if you plan on keeping your Bengal indoors.
Expect to pay $15-$30 for these, and remember you will need to purchase new bags of litter regularly.
For those dreaded trips to the vet!
Depending on the type of carrier you go with, you can expect to pay around $40-$50.
Food And Water Bowls
Good-quality bowls will cost around $10-$20.
Collar And ID Tag
These are important as they will help you to identify your Bengal quickly if he gets lost.
You can expect to pay around $10-$20 for both.
As mentioned above, Bengals are very active, so purchasing a sturdy harness and lead will allow you to take your Bengal outside safely and provide him with more sensory stimulation.
A good quality one will cost around $10-$15.
Even though Bengals have short coats, it is still a good idea to brush yours regularly to keep the coat in good condition.
A simple good-quality brush will cost you around $10, although prices vary widely!
Many Bengal owners also choose to build an outdoor catio space for their feline companion, which provides ample room for your cat to climb and explore.
Although this is not strictly necessary, it may be worth considering investing in a space like this to ensure your cat gets plenty of exercise.
Ongoing Costs When Owning A Bengal Cat
Although the initial cost of purchasing a Bengal is the most expensive, many people are surprised at the ongoing costs involved over the coming years.
Food, litter, toys, pet insurance, and flea/worm treatments can all add up, especially considering Bengals can live for up to 15 years!
Finding a good, affordable pet insurance package is essential with this breed as they are predisposed to a number of health issues that can become costly if precautions have not been put in place.
However, if you set up a realistic monthly budget in the beginning, then it will make the ongoing costs much easier to deal with.
Below is a rough breakdown of the monthly costs you will need to consider:
- Cat food: $20-$40 depending on the brand
- Pet insurance: $40-50 dollars depending on the level of insurance you purchase and what is included.
- Flea/worm treatments: Many vets will include the price for these in long-term care packages for your cat, which are often paid on a monthly basis.
- Cat litter: $15-20
- Other items: You may also need to buy new toys (after your Bengal has destroyed the first one!), invest in new cat brushes, or buy new food bowls at some point in your cats’ life.
Finally, it is important to consider the additional costs of boarding your cat or paying for a cat sitter if you go on holiday.
It is a good idea to shop around to make sure you are happy with the services offered.
You can expect to pay $30-$40 for cat boarding, and a pet sitter can charge anything between $15 and $30 per day.
Why Are Bengal Cats So Expensive?
Bengals are expensive compared to other breeds because of their exotic appearance and wild ancestry, as they are very closely related to the Asian Leopard. Crossing domestic breeds with wild cats requires a much more rigid and thorough breeding process, so thoroughbred Bengals will never be cheap! Breeders of Bengal’s also have to adhere to stricter guidelines than breeders of more domestic well-known breeds, which ramps the price up further.
Saying that you may find that some breeders will try to sell ‘fake’ or cross-bred Bengals for a lower price, but it is essential that you avoid backyard breeders who are just trying to make money.
Bengals should be expensive because of the high quality of care required to raise them.
Bengal kittens also take more time and patience to socialize and train as their wild ancestry makes them less trusting of humans.
But how do you know if you are purchasing a pure-bred Bengal? Here are a few things to look out for:
The Bengal is the only cat breed with rosette-shaped spots on its coat, although these markings can vary in size and shape.
Marbled Bengals have stripes or swirls that usually run horizontally down the cat’s back.
Bengals are large muscular cats with large triangular-shaped heads.
Their tails should be thick, and their coats should be silky and short.
Bengals are notorious for being energetic cats who love company.
An overly docile cat is unlikely to be a pure Bengal. They also tend to be more vocal than other cat breeds and have an unusual love of water!
You will often find a Bengal playing in your bathtub or swiping at the water running from the kitchen faucet!
Despite their rise in popularity, Bengals have remained a controversial breed due to their hybrid nature.
However, they are also known to be incredibly affectionate, intelligent, and social creatures.
But they will cost you, as you have discovered today.
These are, without doubt, one of the more expensive breeds to purchase and raise.
If you have your heart set on purchasing a Bengal, then you must do your research and ensure you have the time and commitment to care for one properly.
Wondering how much other cat breeds cost too? Find out in my respective finance guides below:
- How Much Does A Calico Cat Cost?
- How Much Does a Tuxedo Cat Cost?
- How Much Does A Tortoiseshell Cat Cost?
- How Much Do Savannah Cats Cost?
- How Much Do Birman Cats Cost?
- How Much Do Russian Blue Cats Cost?
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.