Due to high demand and their wild cat lineage, Bengal cats will cost you more than most other breeds. Several other factors impact the price of Bengal kittens, including their color, markings, pedigree, and generation. If you're looking for a Bengal as a pet, it's helpful to know what characteristics contribute to this higher price point, so you can feel confident searching for and buying a Bengal cat.
How Much Do Bengal Cats Cost?
Bengals are one of the most expensive cat breeds in the world and range in price from $1,500 to $5,000, and in some cases, breeders may charge more. On average, many breeders list Bengals for sale as pets between $1,500 and $3,000, and most Bengals cost around $2,000 to $2,500. If you've ever met one of these beauties, it's easy to see why they cost so much. These cats are absolutely stunning. But their good looks aren't the only reason Bengal cats cost a lot.
One Bengal, a cat named Sarez Zeus bred by Esmond Gay of Sarez Bengals, sold for $150,000 in 2003!
Factors That Influence the Price of a Bengal Cat
The price you'll pay for a Bengal ultimately depends on several factors.
Bengal kittens cost more than adult cats because they're in higher demand. Most breeders allow their kittens to go to their permanent homes around 12 weeks of age, though some might have older kittens or even adults - often, these are retired breeding cats - available. You can expect to pay less for these older Bengals, though they can still make excellent pets in the right home.
Earlier generations of Bengals, or those that are closer to their Asian leopard ancestors, are generally pricier than Bengals further removed from their wild origins. The first generation, also known as F1 - for "Filial 1" - are generally the most expensive, costing up to $10,000 in some cases, followed by F2 and F3 kittens. Most pet Bengals are F4 or later generations and are the type priced between $1,500 and $5,000.
Bengals that are priced for sale as pets - where spaying or neutering are required for purchase - are typically less expensive than cats sold for breeding purposes.
A cat's lineage plays a role in cost. For example, if the kitten's parents were award-winning show cats, the price often reflects that. In general, Bengals are categorized as either pet-quality, breed-quality, or show-quality.
- Pet-quality kittens are those that are intended to be kept as pets, which is what most people are looking for. These kittens are friendly, stunning, and have all the desirable Bengal qualities but aren't necessarily optimal quality. Most breeders will have owners sign a contract stating they will have the cat neutered or spayed by a certain age to ensure they won't be bred. Pet-quality Bengal kittens cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000.
- Breeder-quality kittens are sold with the intention of breeding. The price of $3,000 to $6,000 or more includes breeding rights.
- Show-quality kittens meet the Bengal breed standard and cost anywhere from $4,000 and up.
Bengals come in several colors and patterns, some of which can fetch really high prices. Snow Bengals are one of the rarest colors to find, so these kittens generally cost more than those with brown coats.
When you purchase a kitten from a breeder who's not local, you'll need to pay to have the kitten transported to you. Kitten travel costs can range from $300 to $500 or more, which will increase the price of your kitty. Some breeders include these costs in the price of the kitten, whereas others don't.
Buying from a Breeder
If you've reviewed the cost of a Bengal cat and would like to add one to your family, you'll need to locate a breeder. Do your research to find a responsible breeder so you bring home a healthy kitten. This is not a task you should take lightly. You can also ask for references to make sure other people who've bought from a breeder you are considering were happy with the process and have a healthy cat.
Where to Buy a Bengal Kitten?
The International Cat Association (TICA) is a valuable resource to start your search for Bengal breeders. All catteries listed have signed the TICA Breeder Code of Ethics and are members of the association. You can also search for Bengal breeders through the Cat Fanciers' Association.
Be aware, not all breeders have the best interests of the breed at heart. Only consider purchasing a Bengal from a responsible breeder. Vet all potential breeders, ask questions, and carefully consider whether the person you're considering buying a cat from is in it for the Bengals, or something else.
How to Avoid Breeder Scams
Unfortunately, some unscrupulous people may try to sell you a cat listed as a Bengal that is not a true purebred Bengal. They may not even have cats and simply want to steal your money or information.
If someone is trying to sell you a Bengal at an incredibly low price, this usually is a red flag. Verify the cattery using a reputable cat breeder directory like TICA or CFA if you're concerned. You can also ask to see copies of the pet's pedigree papers or request videos of the kittens.
Bengal Cat Adoption
Adopting a Bengal is also an excellent option if you're interested in giving a homeless cat a second chance. It's also generally less expensive than buying a Bengal from a breeder.
In some cases, you can find adoptable Bengal cats for as low as $200. Browse for available cats on Bengal Rescue, which is a national organization. Your local shelter may also have purebred Bengal cats or Bengal mixes. Reach out to them directly to inquire or filter cats by breed on PetFinder.
Decide What You Want
There's quite a bit of variation in Bengal cat prices because each cat is so different. Do your research to determine what type of Bengal kitten you're looking for. Do you prefer marbled patterns over rosettes or an F3 kitten or F4? If you don't have a preference, reach out to responsible breeders to review their available kittens, then see if one catches your eye. The perfect Bengal kitten for you is out there.