Bengal Kitten Pricing
I do not post prices of my kittens on my website for two reasons.
1) I'm constantly evaluating my kittens as they grow. If one starts to look better or worse the price will go up or down accordingly. If I was constantly changing the prices of the kittens on the website people who weren't aware of this process would probably think I was crazy. :)
The first evaluation is done when the kittens are 3-4 weeks old. When someone places a deposit on a kitten the kittens price is locked in and will not go up. However, if I felt the kitten was not worth the original price I had placed its price would go down.
2) I've had NUMEROUS clients ask me to take down the price of their kitten when I used to post them because of issues with friends or family members being nosy. I can completely understand this. There's been plenty of times I bought something for my girls and then had to listen to someone tell me how I should be spending MY money.
It really bothers me when people criticize the price of a gorgeous exotic cat who has qualities you will not find in any other animal. No one ever questions spending hundreds of dollars on a dog. Are dogs better than cats?? I would have to say no. Especially when you're talking about a Bengal cat. People (including myself) spend more money on more useless items, restaurants, etc in life and have nothing to show for it. A Bengal kitten is a new family member! It's companionship, love, entertainment, and happiness. It's the only time you can actually buy love or happiness! And when taken care of and fed properly Bengals easily live 15-18 years so the price is well worth it! :)
Please use our contact page and email me and I will send you a price range for the kittens or an exact price for an available kitten. :)
Pet deposits to hold a kitten or get on our waitlist are $300
Please consider placing a deposit and getting on the waiting list if you're sure you want a kitten. Many times the kittens all have deposits placed on them before they're even born and if you wait till the moms due date they are all taken by then.
We only place our kittens in loving homes where we know they will receive the absolute best possible care. These cats are not just our pets, they are our family members. Belle Ami Bengals reserves the right to refuse the sale of a kitten at any time if we are not comfortable with the buyer.
We hope we can help you find that special Bengal kitten of your dreams!!!
How Bengal cats are bred:
This page is meant to help make kitten buyers aware of the difference between a quality Bengal kitten and a Bengal kitten that's being sold at a far less price.
First of all most people who decide to start looking for a Bengal kitten to have as a pet are surprised at the price of this breed of cat. Bengals are a hybrid breed of cat. That's the first reason they are more expensive. To get a Bengal cat you must initially breed a domestic cat(Egyptian Mau) to an Asian Leopard Cat. This is NOT an easy job. Asian Leopards are expensive, some not very tame, not easy to care for, and require special housing and food. Plus you must have special permits to even own one.
After that you must keep breeding the F1 Bengal to other SBT Bengals to have it take on the domestic temperament and good litter box habits(usually 4-5 generations away from the original breeding). I only recommend F5(which would be 5 generations away from the Asian Leopard) and beyond for people to have as pets. Breeding these early generations is no easy task as the mothers can sometimes abandon or kill the kittens if they feel threatened. Almost all F1- F3 Bengal males are infertile and about half of the F4 males are infertile as well.
If you are considering getting an early generation Bengal as a pet please click on this link and read further about them. Foundation Generation F1-F4 Bengal Info
Then you have the fact that a lot of these Bengals' patterns actually look better than the Asian Leopard Cats! It's a wonderful thing but it didn't happen overnight. This is because of excellent breeding practices. It takes a long time to perfect a breed of cat to the degree that the Bengal has been perfected. With that comes a lot of cost. Breeding Bengals is NOT cheap at all, period. You would be shocked at the vet bills, cost of feeding high quality food, cost of genetic testing, the cost of preventative medications, the list goes on and on. When you have a large number of cats living together you are constantly having to do preventative medications, and if one gets sick they usually all get sick. Even if the other cats don't have symptoms the safest thing to do is treat everyone, and it's not cheap.
To many people who are new to the Bengal breed and perhaps saw a picture of one or has a friend who owns one and has decided they have to have one too, all Bengal kittens with cute little spots look the same. To the untrained eye all they see is an adorable kitten with spots and the price. Bengals drastically change during the first year of life. They go through a cute stage, then a fuzzy stage, and then their color and contrast continues to change until they are about a year old.
There are LOTS of things to consider when buying a Bengal kitten besides the spots!!!
Contrast: which is not fully developed until the Bengal is about a year old
Pattern: does if flow the way it should
Rosettes or Spots: will they open up into rosettes or stay as spots, are they random or flowing
Face: this covers soooo much; profile, ear size and set, rounded ears, whisker pads, whiteness of whisker pads, chin, nose width, eye spectacles, mascara lines, size and set of eyes (this is also one of the most important reasons a Bengal has a "wild" appearance)
Bone Structure: does it resemble that of the Asian Leopard Cat
Defects: is there are tail kink or locket, etc
Tummy: is white or creamy, is it spotted
Legs: are they striped and front legs shorter than back giving the cat a "wild" walk
Tail: is it striped or better yet rosetted, is the tip completely black
Glitter: does the Bengal have it, how much does it have
Coat: softness and thickness
And don't forget about good healthy blood lines that are proven through testing, excellent temperament, and socialization!
If you do not know how to tell what these features should look like in a kitten then ask someone who does for help or go the TICA website and read up on the "Bengal Standard." It's much harder to tell when they are kittens too because these features are not yet developed. Even breeders sometimes are surprised to see how a kitten turns out as an adult.
How to choose a Bengal breeder:
The BEST advice I can give anyone looking for a Bengal kitten is to do a LOT of research before you buy one. Don't pick one based on price, don't pick one based on looks, and don't pick one because it's ready to go home now. Look for awhile at different catteries and find one you really like and get on a waiting list if you need to. The time you wait will fly by and it's so much better to get the right cat from the right breeder. You need to make sure the breeder is: testing parents for PK Def, testing the parents for HCM, feeding the highest quality foods, socializing the kittens and REALLY doing it not just saying it on their website, using preventative medications on kittens, NOT keeping cats locked in cages, not just breeding as many cats as possible or basically running a kitten mill, sanitizing everything properly, giving proper shots and worming, having kittens vet checked, doing fecal exams, selling registered kittens, giving the breeders vitamins, retiring queens at the proper age, keeping cats on flea and tick medicine, has a legal contract, and giving clients a health guarantee. Please, please, please get the breeder on the phone and have a list of questions ready to ask. If they can't answer them, don't sound all that knowledgeable, or give you an answer you don't like do not buy a kitten from them.
***It would also be a very good idea to go on google and type in the name of the cattery followed by the word complaints. If the name of the cattery is "Teddy Bear" for instance, google this: "teddy bear Bengal complaints" Be sure to use the word Bengal even if it's not part of their registered TICA name. If you find a bunch of horrible sounding complaints on that cattery you may want to think twice about buying from them.***
Another thing you should check for is pictures on breeders' websites. Do they claim their Bengals are raised inside with the family, yet they only have a handful of pictures taken inside or none at all. Do they have lots of GOOD QUALITY pictures at different angles of the kittens they are selling. Texting you a pic from their iPhone is not good enough! Do they have pictures of past kittens and lots of pictures of the queens and studs? I know quite a few catteries that have it written on their website that the kittens are raised inside with children and other animals and are held and played with constantly and it's an absolute lie.
If you come across a breeder that does not have registered Bengal kittens DO NOT buy from them! There is no way to even know if your getting a pure blooded Bengal other than their word. Plus, breeders don't buy kittens meant for breeding that aren't registered, so if someone is selling unregistered Bengals it's probably because they didn't pay for breeding "rights" and can't get their registration papers because they paid for a "pet." TICA requires breeders to not give registration papers until proof of alter has been sent to the seller(this is why some breeders alter the cat before they let it go home). Paying for a "pet" and then breeding it without permission is a form of stealing! Bengal breeders have worked incredibly hard to make the Bengal breed what it is today and for someone who is "backyard breeding" and probably has little knowledge of the breed to start, breeding without permission ruins if for everyone! Bengal breeders who sell a cat with breeding rights to someone just getting started mentors that person for a very long time and this is how we keep perfecting the breed. We pass on our knowledge and the breed just keeps improving. If they didn't pay for breeding rights then they certainly didn't get any help from anyone and are probably just pairing up random cats to make money and in doing so are certainly ruining the "wild look" that the other breeders have worked so hard to achieve.
Please keep in mind that it is possible for a "backyard breeder" to be selling registered cats. Backyard breeding does not just mean your cats are not registered. It has to do with the manner in which you care for your cats. Having cats locked in cages where all the breeder does is feed them and clean up after them and breed them as often as possible to make money is WRONG. If the breeder isn't doing the proper testing for genetic disease, that's backyard breeding! If they are letting a kitten go home at six weeks old that too is backyard breeding. If they don't have the kittens vet checked and at least two sets of shots that's backyard breeding. I've had sooo many people tell me that they got a Bengal and when they picked it up it was terrified and it wouldn't let anyone touch it for weeks. A good breeder wouldn't even have cats that acted like this. These cats should be social and sweet when they get to your home.
Kitten mills can be another issue too. It's hard to say how many breeding cats someone has to own to be categorized as a "kitten mill." Look at how many queens the cattery has and ask yourself or that breeder if they are really able to properly socialize the 2 litters each of those queens has per year. 15 queens would be about 30 litters of kittens a year. Use your best judgement.
Bengals have become extremely popular in recent years which has caused a lot of quick start breeders popping up all over. Unfortunately a lot of people see dollar signs associated with the Bengal and that's why they want to breed. A new breeder should be studying the breed for years before they EVER even buy a kitten. Ask them a lot of questions and see how much they actually know about Bengals before you buy one from them.
On the other hand there are a lot of very good breeders out there too. These breeders spend endless hours putting their heart and soul into caring for their cats. They show their cats because they know by doing so they will continue to acquire new knowledge about the breed. They spend months looking through pedigrees to find that perfect kitten to add to their program. They are members of HCM awareness groups and other Bengal groups. They ask YOU questions about your family and your home before they agree to sell you a kitten. These are the breeders that you want to be buying from.
If you want a Bengal kitten that looks like it came off the cover of Bengal Illustrated it WILL cost you more than $350 dollars. Also, I can guarantee that if someone is selling a kitten at that price they are NOT spending the money they should be on those cats because if they were they would be losing money and I doubt anyone wants to do all that work just because they love cats.
Sorry if this page sounds harsh. If I had not had so many people tell me such horrible stories about breeders like this I would not have had to write this page. The only thing I can do is try to educate people on what to look for in a breeder and pray that the bad ones go out of business. I just really have a problem with people that don't properly care for their cats, don't spend any time socializing the kittens, over breed them, and let them live in horrible conditions so they can make a profit. Please don't help them continue this.
***If you would like an honest opinion on a kitten that you are looking at from another cattery please email me the picture of the kitten WITHOUT the name of the cattery and I would be glad to tell you what I think about it. :)***