So you love the wild and exotic look of Bengal cats? You’ve done your research and learned all about what an engaging, energetic breed Bengals are. You can learn here what breeds make a Bengal cat.
Are you ready to add a Bengal kitten to your family but are confused by the varying prices that you see all over the internet?
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
Pet Quality Bengals $1,500 – $3,000
Pet pricing is for the individual 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.
The price range for a Bengal kitten in this tier, from a quality breeder who is health testing and following the code of ethics outlined by their breed association 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, but 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 in order to fit the Bengal standard.
Because Bengals are hybrid cats, it takes a ton of effort and careful selection for specific physical characteristics. Unfortunately, selecting a kitten for one trait to further your breeding goals may lead to another trait leaning more towards the domestic side than the wild side. These Bengal cats are still gorgeous, and for someone who is not interested in showing them, it can be a great way to get your wild housecat at a great price!
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. If you are buying a Bengal to take into the show ring, you should be looking for a breeder who has been established for a long time and knows the breed standard VERY well.
They should have at least participated in a few shows and they should have gotten their breeding cats from champion bloodlines. A Bengal cat that is priced as a show Bengal can run anywhere between $2500 to $5000.
Breeders who sell show Bengals should be completely transparent with you about the adult Bengals’ flaws as well as their successes.
Breeder Quality Bengals: $3,000 – $5,000
Breeder pricing. There is a lot that 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 comes to them wanting to buy a breeding cat and often will only sell to other established breeders.
There are a lot of reasons for this. First, depending on who you sell a breeding cat to, sometimes their quality of life will not be up to the standard that you want for your kittens. Most ethical breeders want their kittens to have wonderful lives, this is easier to be sure of when their kittens are sold to loving families.
There is no way to ensure someone is going to treat their breeding animals well rather than just as a kitten mill with low quality of life. Another reason that breeders are often picky about where their kittens wind up is that 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. These kittens should be show quality kittens so that only the breed standard traits are 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
When you are buying a pedigree Bengal cat, you have made the personal decision that you would prefer to own a pet with a known genetic health history. Sure you could probably find a backyard breeder out there who will sell you a Bengal kitten for $500 and will tell you that breeders who charge $1500-$3000 are greedy scammers. But what you are actually often being sold for such a cheap price, is a Bengal kitten that doesn’t come with a health guarantee, supporting breeders that don’t genetic test their Bengal lines and won’t back up their kitten sales with health tests. These kittens often are afforded the cheapest care options available and 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 is not to say that breeders who charge in the normal price range are all ethical, so you should definitely do your research and ask for proof of genetic health tests from any breeder you are communicating with before you choose your kitten 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.
If a Bengal kitten is priced too high for you or you are more interested in a more mature cat that will require 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 and should be able to determine if your home would be a good fit for them.
Retired breeding cars 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. It’s often harder to integrate an older cat into a home than it is a kitten.
The Bengal Personality
Knowledge of your new Bengal Kitten’s personality is a huge part of why you might decide that a pedigree Bengal kitten is right for you.
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 are known to be very people-oriented cats. Like dogs, they often choose the person to whom their extremely attached. When you buy a Bengal kitten from a breeder, part of what’s included in that price is a huge amount of knowledge about each kitten’s personality.
If the breeder is socializing the kittens properly, they should be able to tell you all about their personality and whether they take after their mom or dad more. What to expect as the kitten grows up etc.
Appearance and Colors
The appearance will play a role in the price of Bengal kittens. Sometimes there are trending colors, as well as certain colors or patterns that are more difficult to produce.
There is a huge range of Bengal colors and patterns, with more being created every day through selective breeding to cats with specific genes. 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, which is a pattern modifier, 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 than Bengals that have a less defined pattern.
Supply and Demand of Bengal Kittens
We’ve touched on this a little bit above but the buyer-to-kitten ratio is another thing that can move the prices of a Bengal kitten up or down.
While some breeders are established enough to have massive waiting lists that require very long wait times, a lot of breeder’s prices will fluctuate depending on the number of inquiries they are receiving for kittens.
The cost of keeping kittens for long periods of time will often drive breeders to discount their kittens in order 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.
In 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 to ensure that 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 and have chosen to wait for one of them rather than taking the first kitten that comes their way!
You Get What You Pay For
This is not necessarily true. While buying from an ethical, quality Bengal breeder will ensure that you’re receiving a healthy well-socialized kitten that meets breed standards, it can be hard to differentiate between an ethical breeder and someone who is simply 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’re considering buying 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.
Registration is a tiny fee, so if someone is trying to sell you an unregistered kitten, they are most likely breeding their cats when they don’t have breeding rights, which leads to a question of ethics in all aspects of their breeding practices. After that its up to you to ask for proof of health testing 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, and 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, as the breeder wants to make sure you are committed to their kitten for the length of its 15-20 year lifespan.
People most often value the things that they have to work hard for. So 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 and indication to the breeder, that you will value it for life.
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 and the kittens arrive at your house healthy and ready for a stressful transition.
Quality Breeders genetically test their breeding cats to make sure that, to the best of the breeder’s ability to predict, the healthiest kittens will be produced from their adult Bengal cats.
Breeders spend lots of time at the vets. They send their kittens home with their favorite toys in order to make sure that the kitten is as happy as possible in its new home. A breeder’s whole family is involved and on board for the socialization process with rearing the kittens and cat-proofing the house to make 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 of their development. 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. Part of what you are paying for when you buy a Pedigree Bengal kitten is the breeder’s time, knowledge of each kitten’s history, and peace of mind about each kitten’s genetic background.
Finding the Right Breeder
Ultimately, determining how much your Bengal kitten should cost, should be 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.