Bengal cats are one of the most exotic felines you can have as a pet. This, along with their distinct personality and uniquely patterned coat they got from their Asian Leopard cat parent, makes them more expensive than other domestic cat breeds.
If you are one of the many cat lovers captivated by their eccentric beauty, it’s going to take much more than determination to get one for yourself.
Aside from preparing mentally and emotionally for this responsibility, you need to get your finances checked.
To help you prepare the right budget for your new Bengal kitten, I put together this financial guide, with a breakdown of expenses starting from kittenhood until your cat reaches its senior years.
The Average Cost of a Bengal Cat: How Much Do Bengal Kittens Cost?
On average, a purebred Bengal kitten from a reputable breeder costs around $1,500 to $3,000. This range varies depending on several factors such as the breeder’s reputation and their coat color and pattern. Generally, show quality Bengal cats are more expensive, ranging from $2,800 to $4,800.
Compared to the more common British Shorthair, Bengal cats are quite rare because their ancestry can be traced to the Asian Leopard cat.
It is also for this reason why their price range will always remain high for most Bengal catteries.
Crossing domestic cats to wild cats requires a more thorough breeding process. As such, Bengals will never come cheap.
For an idea of how much a pet Bengal kitten costs per Bengal variety, refer to the table below:
|Bengal Breed Varieties||Bengal Price Range|
|Pet/Companion Bengal Cats||$1,000 – $2,500|
|Show Quality Bengal Cats||$2,800 – $4,800|
|Senior/Retired Bengal Cats||$700 – $1,500|
As you can see, the Bengal cat price range differs depending on the age and pet quality of the kittens. Prices are higher for cats that qualify for pet shows than those that are of pet quality.
If you want a cheaper option, purchase a senior or retired Bengal cat instead of a newborn kitten. Similarly, you can also consider other cat breeds.
Why Are Bengal Cats So Expensive? Factors That Affect the Bengal Cat Price
It comes as no surprise that a Bengal cat costs more than most expensive cat breeds because of their pet quality. However, this, alongside their exotic status, is not the only factor breeders consider when calculating their price.
As cat breeders, they need to adhere to high breeding standards to produce healthy Bengal kittens.
This means they have to spend money on vet consultations, health tests, and vaccine shots. Of course, they also need to take into account expenses on food and other daily needs.
Here is a comprehensive list of other factors affecting the price of quality Bengal Kittens:
- Pedigree: Bengal kitten breeders produce purebred cats that can either be pets or for shows. Typically, the kittens with champion bloodlines are priced higher than those kept as companions. If you choose pedigreed cats, you can be sure that they have the best health condition, appearance, and temperament as these are prioritized by responsible breeders.
- Breeder Quality and Reputation: Different breeders who are well-established and have been practicing high breeding standards for a long time often have more expensive Bengal kittens than others who just started. With their years of experience in breeding cats, you can trust them enough to give you a high-quality Bengal kitten unlike backyard breeders with a questionable breeding program.
- Genetic Tests and Health Checkups: Bengal kittens are genetically tested for any inherited diseases before being put up for sale. They are also regularly checked by the breeder’s veterinarian to ensure that there are no complications before they are taken home.
- Age: Bengal kittens are more expensive because most people want to witness their pets grow up with them. They can also train them much easier and hone their behavior correctly. Older Bengal cats can also be purchased for a much lower price, but problems may arise when rehoming them since they already have established temperaments.
- Color and Pattern: The last but definitely not the least factor is the Bengal cat’s color and pattern. Silver, snow, and blue Bengal cats are priced much higher due to their rarity. Those with arrowhead rosette patterns are also expected to be much more expensive than normally spotted ones.
The factors mentioned above are only the primary considerations that affect the Bengal cat price.
Different breeders may also add in the cost of shipping, registration, other paperwork, and the fact that one of its parents is a wild cat.
Apart from this, some reputable breeders also consider gender and breeding rights to increase the Bengal kitten price.
How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Bengal Cat From a Shelter or Rescue?
If you can’t save enough money for a Bengal kitten from a breeder, you can go to your local cat rescue center and adopt a Bengal for around $100 to $300.
This adoption fee usually covers all medical expenses, including spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping.
Since rescues make sure that their cats are in the best shape before adoption, you don’t have to worry about their overall health.
They also offer training and rehabilitation for those cats who are victims of abuse by previous owners.
For senior Bengal cats, it’s best to ask about specific health issues and special needs that you may need to attend to. A reliable rescue organization will openly provide these details before any transaction.
Initial Cost of Bengal Cat Ownership
Before the scheduled pickup or arrival of your Bengal kitten, you should prepare items necessary not only for their growth and development but also for their successful adjustment to their new environment.
Here is a list of the cat items pet owners need to prepare for a Bengal cat’s transition to its new home:
- Premium Cat Food: While they’re still kittens, your biggest priority is providing your Bengal with daily nourishment through food. Bengal cat breeders often offer the initial supply of cat food. However, it is best to get premium cat food for your pet since it is essential for their growth and development. You can initially spend around $80 to $100 on cat food.
- Litter Box: To begin potty training, you need to purchase a litter box that usually costs around $15 to $30. Be mindful that you also need to replace the cat litter regularly.
- Collar and ID Tag: To identify your Bengal cat quickly, give them a collar and ID tag. This is quite helpful when they suddenly get lost. You can purchase both of these items for only $10 to $25.
- Carrier: If you want to bring your cat around everywhere you go, you need to have a sturdy and comfortable carrier. You need to prepare around $40 to $60 to buy one online or at your local pet store.
- Bed: Your Bengal cat sleeps for an average of 16 hours a day. For as low as $15 to $35, you can give your cat a comfy resting place.
- Scratching Post: Having a scratch post for your Bengal cat can make them really happy and promote healthier claws. You can purchase one made from wooden material for around $20 to $40.
- Shampoo: While quality kittens have a natural way of cleaning themselves, you also need to bathe them every once in a while. A cat-approved shampoo helps remove dirt, oils, and fleas. This costs around $8 to $24.
- Toys: For developing coordination and keeping them in shape, you need to provide your cat with cat toys. These toys will not only help them keep an active lifestyle but are also a great way to spend time together. You can get a wide range of toys for $11 to $32.
- Feeding Bowls: A good food and water bowl will allow you to feed your Bengal cat the right portion and keep them hydrated throughout the day. You can get them both for only $10 to $30.
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste: To prevent your cat from having dental diseases, you need to provide the necessary dental care. Daily oral hygiene can be achieved with a cat-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste that costs around $5 to $12.
- Hairbrush: Bengal cats have short but soft, elegant fur. To maintain their lovely coat, you need an excellent hairbrush that you can easily purchase online for around $7 to $15.
- Nail Clippers: Trimming your cat’s nails is also an essential part of your grooming routine. These are typically priced at $7 to $14 each.
- Harness: Bengal cats are adventurous cats just like the Maine Coon breed. To satisfy their outdoor curiosities, take them for a walk using a sturdy harness. A good quality one should cost no more than $8 to $16.
Here is a tabulated version of the initial expenses for easier reference:
|Type of Expense||Average Cost|
|Premium Cat Food||$80 – $100|
|Litter Box||$15 – $30|
|Collar and ID Tag||$10 – $25|
|Carrier||$40 – $60|
|Bed||$15 – $35|
|Scratching Post||$20 – $40|
|Shampoo||$8 – $24|
|Toys||$11 – $32|
|Feeding Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Toothbrush and Toothpaste||$5 – $12|
|Hairbrush||$7 – $15|
|Nail Clippers||$7 – $14|
|Harness||$8 – $16|
|Total Initial Cost||$236 – $433|
As a Bengal cat owner, there’s no escaping the initial cost of expenses. However, you can still save money by asking your breeder for cost-effective brand suggestions regarding cat food and other supplies.
First-Year Expenses of Owning a Bengal Cat
For the first year of owning a Bengal cat, you need to prepare around $3,250 to $6,095. This estimated amount includes the price of the kitten and the cost of ongoing expenses like food, litter, and other medical services.
To understand better, here is a list of the items and services your Bengal cat needs during its first year:
- Spaying/Neutering: The cost of spaying or neutering is often included in the final Bengal price. The surgery is usually done when the kitten reaches six weeks. Depending on the veterinarian, the procedure can cost anywhere between $300 and $500.
- Vet Consultation: Since they are still kittens, they will need regular visits to the vet to ensure that they are growing at the correct phase. This is also true for other cat breeds. A year’s worth of vet consultations can cost you around $200 to $400.
- Vaccinations: Breeders provide initial vaccine shots for your Bengal kitten before they can be taken home. However, it is your responsibility to complete these vaccinations before they reach a certain age. You might need to spend around $60 to $130 for these shots.
- Tick, Flea, and Worming Treatments: Aside from vaccinations, your Bengal kitten will also need to take some preventive medication for ticks, fleas, and worms. Without these, your cat will not have a lovely coat nor good health. You can expect to pay around $30 to $50 for these preventive treatments.
- Microchip and Registration: Microchipping your Bengal cat is a precautionary measure that can help identify your pet once they get lost. The procedure and registration of your cat’s information can cost between $50 and $75.
- Pet Insurance: Medical emergencies may incur expensive treatment. In order not to empty your bank account, you should invest in a good pet insurance policy. Depending on the insurance company, you might need to pay around $360 to $600 a year.
The table below shows the summary of your Bengal cat’s first-year expenses:
|Type of Expense||Average Cost|
|Bengal Kitten||$1,500 – $3,000|
|Cat Food||$480 – $600|
|Litter||$180 – $360|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$90 – $380|
|Spaying/Neutering||$300 – $500|
|Vet Checks||$200 – $400|
|Vaccinations||$60 – $130|
|Tick, Flea, and Worming Treatments||$30 – $50|
|Microchip and Registration||$50 – $75|
|Pet Insurance||$360 – $600|
|Total First-Year Expenses||$3,250 – $6,095|
The first year of owning a Bengal cat is typically the most expensive because of the health-related expenses and the varying Bengal cat prices.
To cut down a few hundred dollars from the estimated amount, you might want to find a local vet that offers cheaper service rates.
Monthly Cost of Bengal Cat Ownership
Frankly speaking, the annual expenses of a Bengal cat can catch anyone off guard. However, when we view it from a monthly perspective, the budget becomes manageable.
Your expenses will also be reduced significantly once you get past that first year of ownership.
For your financial reference, here is a projected monthly breakdown of expenses for your Bengal cat:
|Type of Expense||Average Cost|
|Cat Food||$40 – $50|
|Litter||$15 – $30|
|Other Supplies||$8 – $32|
|Pet Insurance||$30 – $50|
|Total Monthly Expenses||$93 – $162|
With this estimated value, you can expect to spend around $1,116 to $1,944 for the succeeding years after the first year.
This is, of course, given that you won’t need to pay more for vet visits and required medications. You may also need to add more if you need to replace carriers, beds, or feeding bowls.
Lifetime Expenses of Owning a Bengal Cat
Bengal cats are generally healthy felines just like other cat breeds. Most canine organizations claim that their average lifespan is between 12 and 16 years.
Throughout these years of companionship, you will need to provide their daily food, shelter, and medical needs.
Assuming that you spend $3,250 to $6,095 on the first year and $1,116 to $1,944 for the following years, the total lifetime expenses of your Bengal cat fall around $15,526 to $35,255.
Remember that this amount is just an estimation, and you may need to cash out more money for vet services in case your cat gets sick.
Miscellaneous expenses may also arise depending on your dog’s needs, your current situation, and your lifestyle.
Other Potential Expenses
After discussing the cost of the basic needs of Bengal kittens, we move on to the potential expenses that an owner should also allocate a budget for.
These consist of services that call for emergency and non-emergency situations.
Here is a list of these services and their respective prices:
- Cat Boarding/Pet Sitting: There are moments when taking your Bengal cat with you is just not an option. This can be a whole day affair or a week-long vacation. For your cat to have company, you can bring them to a cat boarding facility or hire a pet sitter. The former costs around $20 to $40, while the latter may charge $15 to $40 per night.
- Pet Fee/Pet Deposit: Not all landlords allow pets in their apartment units. Most of them who do permit animals often charge a pet deposit. This fee covers the potential damage that your Bengal cat may cause to the property. Normally, they demand around 40 to 85 percent of your monthly rent.
- Emergency Treatment: Your Bengal cat can also get into dangerous situations that will require emergency treatment. The cost for this is usually very expensive, so you better set aside around $800 to $1,500 in advance.
- Grooming: To maintain the shine and softness of your Bengal cat, you should take them to a grooming salon. This is still optional, given that you can groom your pet at home. If you still want to pamper your dog for a day, you can pay around $50 to $80 for full grooming service.
Common Health Issues of Bengal Cats and Their Cost of Treatment
Even though Bengal cats can live for 16 years, they can suffer from health issues requiring immediate or long-term treatment.
The cost of these treatments can be pretty expensive, depending on the severity of your cat’s condition.
Here is a list of the common health issues of Bengal cats and their cost of treatment:
Most Bengal kittens can suffer from lymphoma, a type of cancer that targets white blood cells. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are the most common treatment options.
Depending on the method, chemotherapy usually costs around $5,500 to $6,500 for a six-month-long treatment. On the other hand, radiotherapy costs anywhere between $1,000 and $7,000.
Chronic Kidney Failure (CKD)
When too much waste and toxin build up in the bloodstream of your adult Bengal, it can cause kidney failure.
There is currently no cure for chronic kidney disease (CKD), but adult cats should take medications for the rest of their lives.
Initial diagnosis often costs around $200 to $750, while long-term management can range from $100 to $500 a month.
This condition is characterized by the inflammation of the pancreas, a vital organ that produces necessary enzymes in the body.
Pancreatitis can be treated with medication and a change of diet. The treatment typically ranges from $400 to $1,500.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)
When your cat suddenly experiences difficulty and pain while urinating, it might be suffering from FLUTD. Urine samples should be taken, and other tests should be done to know the severity of the case.
This often costs around $500 to $600. For mild cases, pain medications are prescribed, which are priced at $100 to $200. If surgery is required, you need to prepare around $1,500 to $3,000.
Many Bengal cats end up in rescues or shelters due to these illnesses. This is why Bengal catteries should do genetic testing to make sure that owners won’t suffer from the cost of treating these conditions or, worse, the sudden death of their pets.
Places to Find Bengal Kittens for Sale or Adoption
Your pursuit of finding a Bengal kitten starts with a good and trustworthy person who is in the business of breeding cats.
It is preferred that you choose reputable breeders with a professionally made website and other social media platforms where you can read real testimonies from previous customers.
Avoid a backyard breeder or an unethical breeder at all costs as they may offer you unhealthy kittens.
Luckily, you don’t have to spend hours finding a good breeder. Here are some Bengal cat breeders that offer healthy Bengal kittens for sale:
- Sakura Bengals – Sakura Bengals is one of many home-based Bengal catteries in North Carolina. Their quality Bengal kittens are all raised with them and trained as early as six weeks old. These cats are also fed a high-quality raw food diet.
- Wild N Sweet Bengals – This is another family-owned responsible cattery that has been breeding exceptional kittens since 2010. All of their Bengal kittens are registered with The International Cat Association (TICA). You can learn more information about the breed in general on their website.
- Rio Grande Bengals – When you buy a pet quality Bengal kitten from this reputable breeder, you can ensure that they will have TICA registration papers, vaccination records, a health guarantee, and even some new toys for entertainment. All of their Bengal kittens are F5 generation, which means they are more domesticated than wild.
- Pedigree Bengals – This is a top-class Bengal breeder certified by both TICA and the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). They are an ethical breeder that doesn’t allow visits to their facility to see their current or upcoming litter. But you can see your reserved Bengal kittens through facetime.
Here is a video of how a young woman successfully raised a Bengal cat that she bought from a breeder:
For those who want to adopt a Bengal cat and avoid pet stores, you can definitely find one from this list of rescue organizations:
- Bengal Rescue – As a rescue committed to saving the Bengal cat breed, they closely work with other groups and individuals to transport, foster, and provide medical treatment for these adult cats. Owners of rescued cats are asked to shoulder the veterinary expenses.
- Great Lakes Bengal Rescue – Those who wish to adopt from the following states can submit an application to Great Lakes Bengal Rescue: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. They have placed over 800 Bengals since 2011, so you’ll be sure to find a suitable match for you. They look after various rescued Bengals and they may also have a retired breeding cat from time to time.
- Specialty Cat Breed Rescue – As the largest foster-based rescue group in the Midwest, this organization specializes in finding permanent families for different purebred cats and domestic cats, including female and male Bengal kittens. Appointments can be scheduled to see the adopter’s chosen Bengal cat once their application has been approved.
Whether you buy or adopt the Bengal cat breed, you will need to have enough patience to wait for the approval of the breeder or rescue volunteer.
Remember that they both need to review your profile first before you can take home your new adult Bengal.
Money-Saving Tips for Bengal Cat Owners
Purchasing a Bengal kitten along with the expenses of maintaining one can really cost you a lot. With house bills also piling up every month, cheaper alternatives can save you a few bucks.
Here are some practical tips that you can follow to save a few extra bucks if you are a Bengal owner or you own other expensive cat breeds:
- Try to DIY toys and treats. Instead of buying new toys from pet stores, why not try making your own cat toys? These can be easily made with the things you have lying around the house. To save a couple more dollars, you can also make homemade treats that are healthier for your Bengal.
- Invest in your cat’s essential items. Many owners buy cheap and low-quality products like beds, carriers, collars, and litter boxes for their cats to reduce costs. In the long run, you will be spending a lot more on replacing these items once they break. It’s best to purchase good products at a higher price since they will last longer.
- Prioritize their health. Bengal cats are generally healthy felines. However, poor diet and no exercise can take a toll on their health. To prevent the expensive cost of medicine and treatment, they need to stay active and be fed with nutritious cat food.
- Get pet insurance. In a separate section, we discussed the common health issues of Bengal cats and the cost of each treatment. Getting pet insurance that covers all these illnesses can save you a lot of money in the future, in case your cat suffers from these conditions.
- Keep your cat indoors. It is also recommended to keep your Bengal cat indoors so they won’t be at risk for vehicular accidents or other life-threatening situations that will require emergency treatment. Keep your house catproof as well for safety.
- Do your online research. Learning about your Bengal cat doesn’t stop after purchase. By reading Bengal-related articles and forums about domesticated cats online, you can find some hacks or recommendations about cat food brands, vet clinics, and grooming salons.
For the frugal cat owners among us, money-saving tips are instant lifesavers. However, it’s important to spend less without sacrificing the overall quality of your Bengal cat’s life.
Final Thoughts: Are Bengal Cats Worth Their Expensive Price?
The price of Bengal kittens alone is considered an enormous sum of money as compared to the cost of most domesticated cat breeds. They aren’t cheap kittens, that’s for sure.
Add that value to the maintenance costs, and you’ll be looking into years of spending a couple of thousand dollars for your pet. If you are financially capable of supporting your Bengal’s needs, getting them is totally worth it.
You’ll have a feline companion that is friendly, active, and fun. There will be no dull moment with these cats due to their daring and adventurous personalities.
If you are an owner that can match the Bengal’s energy and give them the attention they need, then it’s a perfect match.
Aside from the financial aspect of owning a Bengal cat, your time, effort, and sense of responsibility as an owner should always come first.