Are Bengal Cats Rare?

If you heard someone saying that “it’s hard to find a Bengal cat,” then this cat’s unique breeding history might be the reason behind this notion.

Let’s find out more.

So, are Bengal cats rare? Contrary to popular belief, Bengal cats are not considered rare. While their availability may sometimes be perceived as challenging, it is primarily due to the higher cost associated with them.

The price of Bengal cats tends to be higher compared to other common pet cat breeds, which adds to their exclusivity and perceived uniqueness.

To know more about this incredible cat breed, keep on reading.

Bengal Cat’s History

The history of Bengal cats can be traced back to 1889 when English writer Harrison Weir mentioned them in his book. However, there was no substantial evidence of the breed’s existence at that time.

In 1924, a Belgian journal also attempted to investigate Bengal cats but found no conclusive evidence.

Similarly, a Japanese journal speculated about the presence of a leopard-like cat in 1941. It wasn’t until 1963, when California-based psychologist Jean Mill successfully bred two Bengal kittens, that the existence of the Bengal breed was confirmed.

Interesting story:

Jean Mill obtained an Asian Leopard cat and bred it with a domestic cat, resulting in two kittens.

Later, in 1982, she successfully bred a pet cat from the Delhi Zoo with one of the female hybrids she had bred.

The International Cat Association (TICA) officially recognized Bengal cats in 1986 and granted them championship status in 1991.

Bengal Cat Generations

Although this breed was registered in 1986, they were not domesticated until their 6th generation.

The reason behind this was that most early-generation males were infertile, and the females were prone to catching different diseases.

Bengal cats’ first 4 generations (F1-F4) were strictly regulated and monitored in many states.

Nowadays, Bengal cats of the 5th generation (F5) and beyond are readily available for domestication.

However, it’s important to note that hybrid breeds like Bengals are not permitted in New York and Hawaii. Therefore, if you reside in these states, owning a Bengal cat may not be possible.

If you choose to adopt a Bengal cat today, it is highly likely to be a 5th generation or a later generation, reflecting the advancements in breeding and domestication.

Bengal Cat Breeding

From being rare in the early days of breeding, Bengal cats are now widely available and more common than ever before.

According to the international cat association (TICA), there are almost 2000 Bengal cat breeders in the United States as of the year 2019.

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This number dramatically increased from 125 breeders in 1992.

The increase in the popularity and availability of Bengal cats can be attributed to their growing demand as a profitable breeding business.

Many new pet owners are opting for Bengal cats as their preferred feline companions.

Bengal Cat’s Personality and Features

Bengal cats are one of the most favored pet cats.

Here’s why they’re so popular:

1. They have good health

Thanks to their wild predecessors, Bengal cats have a robust immune system.

They have a lower susceptibility to falling sick, and even if they do, they can handle it well. Once you ensure your Bengal cat receives the necessary vaccines, you can have peace of mind about their health.

They are less affected by seasonal viruses, temperature fluctuations, and exposure to the outdoor environment, further contributing to their overall well-being.

2. They are beautiful

Bengal cats are highly admired for their captivating coat patterns and luxurious fur. Their eye-catching colors make them a popular choice among cat lovers.

Bengal cats commonly exhibit coat colors and markings in shades of red, grey, blue, ticked, and brown.

Their fur is notably short and has a beautiful, shimmering quality to it.

3. They are talkative

Unlike most pet cats:

Bengal cats make noise and keep their pet parents busy with them.

Bengal cats have a natural tendency to seek attention and crave affection from their owners. Whenever they jump or engage in interesting behaviors, they often desire your immediate attention.

These attention-seeking traits make Bengal cats entertaining companions, as they constantly keep you engaged with their playful and amusing antics.

4. They are sophisticated

Now, using the word sophisticated for pets might surprise you.

But believe me, these cats are very well-behaved.

They know their limits and don’t disturb you during your essential activities.

Once you define their territory and play area, Bengal cats don’t evade it and stay in their confined area.

Aren’t these reasons enough to explain why Bengal cats are one of the top cat breeds being domesticated?

Bengal Cat Price and How to Get It?

Finding a Bengal cat is relatively straightforward, but it’s essential to establish a budget and carefully search for the best option.

It’s important to note that Bengal cat prices can vary significantly, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. The wide price range is influenced by several factors:

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1. Pedigree

A Bengal’s generation is rated based on the “purity” of their genes.

You must be confused as to what I mean by purity, so let me explain.

First-generation (F1) Bengals, with equal genes from both parents, are the most expensive but often illegal as pets. F1 females cost $2,000 to $10,000, while males are priced around $1,500 to $2,000. Bengals now have a distinct breed without gene mixing, making them more affordable, ranging from $500 to $2,000 for females.

Occasionally, Bengal cats can be adopted from rescue centers at a lower cost.

2. Coat type

Bengal kittens can be spotted, marbled, or snow. Spots are circular in shape and are found in many colors i.e. blue, grey, red, brown, etc.

The marble coats are in the form of horizontal lines, which are mostly dark brown. The color and markings of Bengal kittens play a crucial role in their price.

A type called “snow Bengal cat” is the rarest one because it has a silver variant in its coat.

The silver variant came from the cross of the leopard cat and the Siamese cat.

The second rarest type of Bengals after the snow variant is the spotted Bengal cat.

These Bengal cats have three types of spots:

  • Leopard Spots
  • Charcoal spots
  • Sorrel spots

These spots are unique amongst Bengal cats, and this fact makes them the 2nd most expensive Bengal cat.

Some Bengal kittens have a glitter gene which makes their fur shine. This glitter is believed to be inherited from the Bengal cat’s Indian ancestors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Bengal cats dangerous?

No, they are not. In fact, Bengal cats are calm and composed pets. They do not nag unnecessarily, and they keep themselves busy with numerous activities.

You just need to give your Bengal cat some toys, and your love and affection, and it will be the happiest and calmest pet you’ll ever see.

Are Bengal cats expensive?

Yes, compared to the other domestic breeds, Bengal cats are expensive.

As mentioned earlier, they are the second most expensive cats (after Savanah cats).

The reasons are many.

  • Their stunning appearance is eye-catching.
  • They have strong immunity, which increases their demand.
  • And they have a playful and intelligent nature, making them desirable by many owners.

Are Bengal cats illegal?

It depends on your state. In New York and Hawaii, hybrid breeds of animals are not allowed.

So if you are a resident of these two states, you cannot keep a Bengal cat as your pet.

Before you set your heart on a Bengal kitten, make sure to search for a legalized and listed breeding center and inquire about the pedigree of your desired Bengal tabby.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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