Pet Wellness Guides > Bengal Cat Costs: Can You Afford This Exotic Feline? - Pet Insurance Review
Bengal Cat Costs: Can You Afford This Exotic Feline?
Bengal cats are striking looking and incredibly intelligent. There’s a good reason these felines are so exotic in their appearance, looking remarkably similar to a Bengal tiger, only smaller. Back in the 1800s, an Asian leopard was bred with a domestic cat and the Bengal cat was born, quite literally. If you’re thinking about bringing this exotic creature into your life you’re probably wondering about Bengal cat costs.
How Much Does a Bengal Cat Cost?
Are you sitting down?
Bengal kittens are usually purchased for between $1,500 and $3,000. There are a few different factors that affect the price, namely the kitten’s genetic traits, what is included with your fur baby, and most importantly, the level of care that went into raising the kitten.
Many people think that the only difference between pricier Bengal cats and “cheaper” ones is pedigree. But that’s simply not the case. The truth is, breeding bengals ethically is an expensive and time-intensive hobby. For instance, breeders themselves have to pay thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars for cats from quality blood lines with breeding rights. Breeders do this to preserve the beloved Bengal breed, but they have to pass on that expense to pet parents.
As mentioned, the price of your new, exotic fur baby will include a few things:
- Spaying or neutering
- All necessary vaccinations up to that point
- Deworming completed
- TICA blue slip for registration
- The kitten’s health records booklet
Some breeders will also microchip the kittens and include things like a cat wheel, toys and blankets, a pet insurance trial, food, and an airline approved carrier. So essentially the more you get, the more you will pay for.
And finally, the level of care the breeder offers his or her cats will also be reflected in the price. That’s why your goal should not be to find the “cheapest” Bengal cat, but rather to find the healthiest cat. And that’s why it’s so important that you do your research to find an ethical breeder who doesn’t cut corners.
Breeders who really care about the well-being of their cats will conduct continual health screenings to ensure their pride is healthy. As just one example, a breeder may have an HCM screening (heart test) done by a certified veterinary cardiologist and that can cost between $300 to $1,000. In addition to genetic testing, ethical breeders will also test for infectious diseases.
Ethical breeders also feed their cats a high-quality diet, because proper nutrition is one of the most important factors in raising healthy cats. Good food costs more, it’s as simple as that.
These are just a handful of examples of the costs that go into raising healthy Bengal kittens.
How to Find Quality Bengal Cat Breeders
As we mentioned a bit earlier, it’s really important for you to take your time to find these ethical breeders. You want to purchase a healthy kitten that you will enjoy for 15+ years. Here’s what you DON’T want to do: you don’t want to look for your new Bengal kitten in any classified ad. These ads are placed by unethical breeders, also sometimes referred to as “backyard breeders” or are outright scams. The old saying, “If it looks too good to be true” definitely applies here. You now know a purebred and healthy Bengal kitten will cost, on average, $2,000. So if you see an ad on Craigslist for Bengal kittens for $300, run for the hills!
You can speak with your veterinarian to see if they know of any reputable Bengal cat breeders in the area. The Internet can also be your friend here, provided you use your head and do your due diligence. Make a list of breeders in your local area, then schedule a meeting with each of them. You want to drive to their location and see their operation. You want to see with your own eyes just how well their cats are taken care of. Be sure to ask plenty of questions to know if they do regular health screenings, have kittens been vaccinated and dewormed, what do they feed their cats, etc. Any ethical breeder will welcome visitors and questions. If you find a breeder that does not welcome either, move on.
Common Bengal Health Issues
We can’t talk about Bengal cat costs without mentioning the potential veterinary costs you may incur. Bengals are a relatively healthy breed and have an average lifespan of 12-16 years. Having said that, they are prone to some specific genetic health conditions that you should be aware of.
All cats are at risk of developing cancer but there are those breeds that are genetically more likely to develop certain types of cancer. Bengal cats have been found to be more at risk of developing lymphoma than other breeds.
Lymphoma affects the lymphatic system, however intestinal lymphoma is the most common form in cats. Bengals who develop this cancer may need surgery and/or chemotherapy to treat their cancer.
Patellar luxation is a condition that affects the kneecap, causing it to become dislocated from its normal position. If you winced reading that sentence, you can imagine how painful this can be for your cat! Bengals diagnosed with this condition may require corrective surgery and/or anti-inflammatories depending on the severity.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
We mentioned earlier that ethical breeders will screen their kittens for genetic diseases. The HCM screening is what typically costs them between $300 and $1,000. HCM is a heart disease commonly seen in Bengal cats. It is characterized by a thickening of the heart muscle. Over time this can cause the heart to have a harder time pumping blood to all of the organs. If not caught and treated in time, this can ultimately lead to congestive heart failure and sudden death. This is a heartbreaking disease and one of the BIGGEST reasons you should absolutely get your fur baby from an ethical breeder who has tested both parents for this disease before breeding them.
Having said that, even the best testing can’t detect all forms of HCM, so yearly wellness visits are still required to catch any heart issues early.
Pet Insurance Can Help with Bengal Cat Costs
As you now see, buying and taking the very best care of a Bengal cat can be expensive! One smart way to cut down on costs is to purchase a pet insurance plan when your fur baby is still a kitten. Premiums are lower for young cats so you’ll lock in a great price. And, should you be faced with an unexpected illness or injury and a bill for thousands of dollars, you have a plan that may reimburse you for up to 90% of the bill!
Take two minutes to get a free customized quote and have peace of mind.
Thinking of insuring your pet?Get Quotes & Compare
- https://spotpetins.com/blog/cat-tips/how-much-will-a-bengal-cost “How Much will a Bengal Cat Cost you in 2023?”
- https://www.petmd.com/cat/breeds/bengal “Bengal Cat Breed Health and Care”