Are you currently searching for a kitten, or trying to learn as much as you can about the breed before taking the plunge?
You are doing the right thing to take this kind of decision seriously, because bringing a pet into your home is a lifetime commitment and there’s a price to pay emotionally but also financially!
In this article we are going to be looking at all of the costs involved into owning a Bengal.
Bengal Cat Price and Costs Involved
Buying any cat or dog from a breeding program costs more than rescuing or adopting a cat of unknown breed.
From the right breeding programs, that extra cost goes into getting you a cat that is well-behaved, healthy and has the traits you want from a Bengal cat.
Knowing what to expect in terms of costs involved is the first step to be a responsible pet guardian. You are going to be responsible for providing care to an animal and you should be prepared financially for the well-being of your cat.
What’s The Price Range?
The cost of a Bengal cat, as with any price in the pet world, can vary significantly based on several factors that are more significant to the industry than the owner.
A Bengal cat can cost you anywhere from $1000-$3000 from a breeder. Prices go down significantly if you’re lucky enough to find a Bengal at a shelter.
This is an extremely broad range in price. For people just looking for pets, it should be easy to find a Bengal at the lower end of that spectrum, between $1000 and $1500.
Knowing of the price range you should be paying for a Bengal cat can stop you from getting ripped off. But knowing about which factors will make that price cheaper or more expensive, is also something you should learn about.
What Influences the Price of a Bengal Cat?
Breeding cats is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Cats evolved not to be around other adult cats after reaching maturity.
This means that the more cats breeders have, the more they need to pay in vet costs.
In addition, the first cats a breeder buys will cost a couple thousand dollars, and that’s just before starting their breeding operation.
This and other factors mean that buying a Bengal from a breeder will never be cheap.
There are a few things you should know about that can get you a higher or lower price.
The most cost-effective option when looking for a pet is always a shelter or rescue program.
If you are interested in buying from a breeder, you should know that different breeders will charge different amounts for Bengal cats based on their individual overhead expenses.
Things that can lead to a difference in base price when buying from different breeders include:
- Whether or not that breeder abides by a code of ethics.
- The size and scale of that breeder.
- The individual cats that are a part of that breeding program.
- The location of a breeder or breeding program, which can have an influence on overhead costs such as rent and other associated fees.
Different cats are assigned different “quality levels” by the breeding industry.
These levels have nothing to do with how nice, gentle, or beautiful the cat is. Instead, they measure how well that cat would do at a cat show or as a potential breeding cat.
The quality levels of cat are:
- Pet quality cats, which are the least expensive. They tend to have minor “imperfections” that make them not ideal for cat shows, but that doesn’t make them any less “purrfect.” This tier of cat starts at around $1000 to $1500.
- Show quality cats, who represent the desired qualities of Bengal cat by the cat show industry. This is the second most expensive level, and these cats will usually cost you at least $1500. A show quality with linage reputation will usually go at minimum $3500 up to $7000.
- Breeding quality: cats destined for breeding. Usually breeding quality Bengal cats would represent both the traits desired of Bengals at cat shows, and have a likelihood to pass those traits on. Breeding quality cats will cost you between $2500 to $3500.
Even within quality levels, other traits can lead to extremely different prices. Here are some other things to look out for when you go to your breeder.
The main thing that drives the prices up for reputable breeders is the amount of time and money they invest into genetic and health.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common heart disease of cats, whether they are random bred or pedigreed.
HCM scanning each cat yearly can cost a couple hundred dollars.
Buyers should look for breeders who get have their breeder cats scanned for HCM, PRA-b and PK-Def.
The breeder should be willing to show their health reports without hesitation.
Age has a significant influence on the price of a Bengal cat, especially at the higher tiers.
Older, retired cats are a lot cheaper than kittens. Retired cats usually start at $750-$1000.
This applies not just to the pet level, but also to cats of show and breeder quality.
The best part about retired Bengal cats is: in spite of being so much cheaper than show quality kittens, they’re just as pretty and well-behaved.
As with most pets, adult cats are significantly more low-maintenance and well-behaved than kittens or juniors. Though even with a senior Bengal cat, you should still be willing to give your attention to this smart and energetic breed.
The pedigree of your cat will influence its price. With this measure, you should keep in mind that unless you’re planning on using your cat for cat shows or breeding, having a “high pedigree” pet isn’t important.
Pedigrees are especially useful to gauge genetic diversity. It allows breeders to see if a cat’s ancestors are at risk or have been known to have HCM in their lines.
It’s also used to determine what the trend is in that family for traits desirable to Bengal cat breeders and judges.
If you’re looking for a pet: pedigree does not matter. You agree to neuter your Bengal cat kitten after buying one at pet quality from a breeder unless it has already been neutered.
So don’t let an industry measure raise your Bengal cat price for no reason if you are just looking for a pet.
How Expensive Are They After Purchase?
Buying a cat or a kitten is a big decision and can be an expensive one.
Know about all of the expenses associated with your pet before buying it.
Don’t get shocked by a high vet or food costs just because you thought you could find a low Bengal cat price.
When you buy an adult pet quality Bengal cat, it has already been neutered or spayed.
When you buy a kitten, you will have to sign a waiver agreeing to neuter them within 4 to 6 months.
Spaying and neutering are the healthiest choices you can make for pets. This is especially true with cats, where it can help you avoid being part of the stray and feral cat epidemic.
Spaying or neutering usually costs around $200.
The good news is, Bengals are no different than any other domestic cats so they can eat a raw meat diet. Preparing a raw diet for your cat can be cheap if you know what you’re doing.
So although you can take some trips to the butcher shop off of your calculated Bengal cat price, cat food is still an expense.
When buying food for your Bengal cat, try to stick to a meatier brand to fit the diet of a Bengal cat. We always recommend giving the best quality food .
Whatever brand you choose to buy, avoid cat food with a lot of fillers, such as grains and corn, at all costs. Cats require more protein and meat in their diet than other animals.
Be aware that wet cat food is more expensive than dry cat food but it’s also much healthier.
If you feed cheap food, you may end up with high veterinary bills in the future if your cat develop urinary or intestinal problems.
All pets need to go to the vet regularly for checkups, shots, and treatment.
Young cats should go to the vet twice per year, and older cats need to go more often.
The average vet visit costs $50. So when calculating the cost of a Bengal, consider the extra $100 a year you will need to pay.
After doing that, keep in mind that cost is only for expected visits to the vet. If you think your cat is sick or has an allergy, the prices of vet visits may go way up in both the short and long run.
What Else Should I Know?
Bengal cats are a breed unlike any other.
Their behavior has been classified as very “dog-like.” They’re social and energetic, and some will even walk on harnesses.
This means that owners looking for a “low-maintenance” cat breed should avoid Bengals. This is not a matter of Bengal cat price, but of Bengal cat behavior.
Bengal cats are also very intelligent. Expect them to find their way past “obstacles” you set for them, into places you may not think they’re supposed to be.
Looking for advice on Bengal cats? We’re here to help.
Join our community for advice on everything from finding an affordable, competent, and ethical breeder to making sure your Bengal cat stays well behaved in the house.
We also write articles on a variety of topics related to Bengal cats to give you all the help you need with your new little buddy.
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This post is also available in: Français (French)