How Much Are Bengal Kittens?
So you love the wild and exotic look of Bengal cats? You’ve done your research. You’ve learned all about what an engaging, energetic breed Bengals are. You can learn here what breeds make a Bengal cat.
You are ready to add a Bengal kitten to your family. There’s just one problem. You are confused by the varying prices that you see all over the internet. How much are Bengal Kittens?
Just how much should you be paying for your new little bundle of fun, and why? There are several factors that affect how and why breeders price the way they do.
Three Tiers of Pricing Bengal Kittens
There are typically three ways that Bengal Breeders price their Bengal kittens.
Pet Quality Bengals $1,500 - $3,000
Pet pricing is for a person or family that wants a Bengal kitten for their health, personality, and looks. Generally in that order. Looks are the lowest on the totem pole.
Let’s assume you are buying from a quality breeder. One who health tests and follows the code of ethics outlined by their breed association. The price range for a Bengal kitten in this tier is generally going to be between $1500 to $3000. These are kittens that won’t come with showing or breeding rights.
They are lovely kittens and will make great family pets. They may be missing a couple of key physical traits that are important for them to do well in the show ring. Or they may have some traits that the breeder is trying to breed away from to fit the Bengal standard.
Bengals are hybrid cats. As a result, it takes careful selection to produce specific physical characteristics. When you select a kitten for one physical trait it can lead to other traits being less desirable. The goal is to keep as many wild physical characteristics as possible. But keep a domestic temperament. Bengal cats who fall into the pet tier are still gorgeous. For someone who is not interested in showing them, it can be a great way to get your wild house cat at a great price.
Let’s take a look at the second tier for pricing Bengal cats.
Show Quality Bengals: $2,500 - $5,000
Show pricing is for the avid cat lover who specifically wants to be part of the pedigree cat world. When you buy a Bengal to take into the show ring, look for a breeder who is well-established in the Pedigree cat world. They need to know the breed standard VERY well.
This breeder should have participated in a few cat shows. They should have gotten their breeding cats from champion bloodlines. A Bengal cat priced as a show Bengal can run anywhere between $2500 to $5000.
Bengal Breeders selling show Bengals should be aware of the Bengal’s flaws. They should be transparent with you about its negative and positive conformations. No cat is perfect.
The next tier we’ll talk about is Bengal cats with breeding rights.
Breeder Quality Bengals: $3,000 - $5,000
Breeder pricing. A lot goes into selling breeding cats and there are a lot of Bengal breeders who do not offer this as an option. Most breeders heavily vet anyone who wants to buy a breeding cat from them. Bengal breeders often will only sell to other established breeders.
There are a lot of reasons for this. Who you sell a breeding cat to can affect a kitten’s quality of life. Most breeders have high standards for the households they place kittens. Most ethical breeders want their kittens to have wonderful lives. It’s easier to be sure they will when their kittens are sold to loving families as pets.
There is no way to ensure someone is going to treat their breeding animals well. There are such things as kitten mills. The animals in this situation have a very low quality of life. Breeders are often picky about who their kittens go to, as it affects their reputation. Their cattery name is attached to that kitten for life on its registration papers.
Who they sell a breeding cat to, directly affects how their cattery is represented. It also affects their role in the Bengal breed.
There is a huge range of pricing when it comes to breeding cats. It can range anywhere from $3000-$5000. Bengal kittens sold for breeding should be show quality kittens. You only want breed–standard traits getting passed down to future generations.
We have talked about the three tiers of pricing, now let’s talk about what drives prices up and down in those tiers.
Health, Age, Personality, and Appearance
Buying a Bengal cat is a very personal decision and there are lots of reasons to make it. One of the benefits is that you know its genetic health history. Sure you could find a backyard breeder out there who will sell you a Bengal kitten for $500. They will tell you that breeders who charge $1500-$3000 are greedy scammers. What you are actually getting for such a cheap price, is a Bengal kitten that doesn’t come with a health guarantee.
This Supports breeders who don’t genetically test their Bengal lines. They usually won’t back up their kitten sales with health tests. These kittens often are afforded the cheapest care options available. They can come to your home with a whole host of genetic and social problems. You are playing Russian roulette at this point, with the health of your Bengal kitten.
This doesn’t mean that breeders who charge in the normal price range are all ethical. Research the breeder you are considering. Ask for proof of genetic health tests from any breeder you may adopt from. Preferably before you choose your kitten and get attached.
The age of the Bengal kitten or Bengal Cat can play a large part in pricing. Bengal kittens are often going to be a lot more expensive, as the demand for kittens is much higher. Most families want to be there for the development of their kitten.
Bengal kittens may be priced too high for what you are willing to spend. Or you may be more interested in a mature cat that will need slightly less work. A good option is to reach out to your chosen breeder and see if they have plans to retire one of their breeding cats. The breeder should have a huge amount of knowledge about their adult cats. They will be able to determine if your home would be a good fit for them.
Retired breeding cats are often priced between $500 and $1000 and can retire any time between 1 and 7 years old. Sometimes, without even having produced a litter of kittens. Keep in mind it can be harder to integrate an older cat into a home than it is a kitten.
But health and age aren’t the only factors for how much a Bengal cat costs.
The Bengal Personality
Knowing your new Bengal Kitten’s personality is a great reason to adopt a pedigree Bengal kitten.
When you buy a Bengal kitten, you’re buying a known personality. Bengals are known to be very engaged and energetic cats. They’re not going to hide in a closet all day. Instead, they’re going to be underfoot everywhere you go.
Bengals can be very people-oriented cats. Like dogs, they often choose the person to whom their extremely attached. You can buy a Bengal kitten from an ethical breeder and know a lot about its personality already. Part of what’s included in a Bengal’s price is confidence that they will fit your lifestyle.
Breeders who socialize their kittens properly can tell you all about their personality. Whether they take after their mom or dad more. What to expect as the kitten grows up. If they are cuddly or more standoffish. Essentially a huge amount of information.
Bengals have great personalities. But they also stunningly beautiful cats.
Appearance and Colors
The appearance will play a role in the price of Bengal kittens. Sometimes certain colors are trending. There are also certain colors or patterns that are more difficult to produce.
There is a huge range of Bengal colors and patterns. More are being created every day through selective breeding. Rare colors are typically in higher demand. Colors like silvers, blues, and melanistic are often harder to find and will be higher priced. Charcoal Bengals are much less common than regular marble and spotted Bengals. These are also more likely to be priced higher than average.
Bengals with very clear patterns are priced higher. While Bengal cats with a less defined pattern will be priced lower.
There can also be changes in prices based on how many people are looking to adopt and how many breeders there are.
Supply and Demand of Bengal Kittens
We touched on this a little bit above but the buyer-to-kitten ratio can affect Bengal prices.
Some established breeders have massive waiting lists that require very long wait times. But some breeder’s prices change based on how much interest there is in kittens. A lot of times this can be seasonal. With fewer people wanting to adopt in the summer months.
Keeping kittens for long periods costs money. It can drive breeders to discount their kittens. They try to find them homes right when they reach the appropriate age. We do a hybrid version of a waitlist at Buckaroo Bengals.
We only accept 4 to 6 people on our waitlist at a time, depending on how many litters we have planned. This way, you are almost guaranteed to get your Bengal kitten from our next 1 to 2 litters.
We’re also being responsible and only producing kittens that we know we can find quality homes for. Most breeders who offer a waitlist require a deposit. We also follow this practice to make sure you’re invested in the kittens and are willing to wait for one. The deposit goes toward the price of your kitten.
Payment Options for Our Bengal Kittens
- Pay a deposit now and then the balance one week before the kitten goes home
- 14 Week Payment plan to break the cost up over several payments
We offer a lot more flexibility to people who have a strong interest in our kittens. People who have chosen to wait for one of them rather than taking the first kitten that comes their way! Are Pedigree Bengals really worth the price?
How Much Are Bengal Kittens? You Get What You Pay For!
This is not necessarily true. Ethical, quality Bengal breeders want to sell you healthy well-socialized kittens. That meets breed standards. But it can be hard to differentiate between an ethical breeder and someone who is out to take your money.
The first place to look would be on the cat association websites. Two are the most well-known are TICA and CFA. The breeder you buy a kitten from should have their prefix listed on the website of their registry. Sometimes they’ve not paid for an ad, so sometimes it’s harder to find. The kittens should be registered as well as the parents.
Registering a litter is a tiny fee. Some breeders try to sell unregistered kittens. Probably because they are breeding their cats without breeding rights. This leads to a question of ethics in all aspects of their breeding practices. After that, it’s up to you to ask for proof of health testing. You need to determine their cattery practices. And see whether they line up with the registry’s code of ethics.
An ethical breeder will be completely transparent with you about their cattery practices. As well as their breed’s temperament, and will be vetting you just as hard as you question them.
Their goal is not just to “make a sale” it is to ensure that their kittens are going to have a quality life in your home.
This can also drive the price of Bengal kittens up. The breeder wants to make sure you are committed to your kitten for the length of its 15-20 year lifespan.
People most often value the things that they have to work hard for. Whether you spent a long time saving for your Bengal Kitten. Or you already had savings set aside for the new addition to your family. Being willing to spend money on your Bengal Kitten is a good sign. It indicates to the breeder, that you will value the kitten for life. Speaking of spending lots of time and effort, breeders do a fair bit of that themselves.
Investment of Time
Quality Bengal breeders put a lot of time, money, and sacrifice into a breeding program. The Bengal breeder is there for the highs and the lows of breeding. They skip that family vacation because a litter is due. And experience all the heartache and stress that goes along with losing a kitten.
Lots of money goes into specialized cat food so that their queens have the best chance at a healthy litter. Quality food helps your kitten arrive at your house healthy. Ready for a stressful transition.
Quality Breeders genetically test their breeding cats. They want the healthiest kittens possible from their adult Bengal cat pairings.
Breeders spend lots of time at the vets. They send kittens home with their favorite toys to make sure that the kitten is as happy as possible in its new home. A breeder’s whole family is involved in socializing and rearing the kittens. Cat-proofing the house. Making it a safe environment for tiny animals that have no fear of anything.
The very last aspect of a Bengal kitten’s cost is what has been put into your kitten behind the scenes. Your kitten has been loved from day one. Knowledge of its genetic history and social history is invaluable. Most quality Bengal breeders will offer support for the kitten for life in its new home. When you buy a Pedigree Bengal kitten you are paying for the breeder’s time and knowledge of each kitten’s history. As well as peace of mind about each kitten’s genetic background.
Finding the right breeder is a process. But there are some good things to consider while you’re looking.
Finding the Right Breeder
How much are Bengal kittens? This is partly determined by what your goals are:
- Do you have a preference of color or gender?
- Are you looking for a pet Bengal, a show Bengal, or a Bengal to add to your breeding program?
- Do you want a kitten or an adult cat?
- What kind of temperament will work with your family, your lifestyle, and your other pets?
- Does the breeder you found share the same values that you do when it comes to animal care
- Do you like a certain Breeders practices enough to buy a Bengal Kitten from them?
If you know what is important to you, then finding the right breeder and the right kitten should be easy.