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? The answer would be no. Bengal cats are not rare. The only thing which makes their availability a little bit difficult is the cost factor involved. Bengal cat price is higher than other pet cats which makes them special, but not rare.

To know more about this incredible cat breed and whether or not it’s rare, keep on reading.

Bengal cat’s history

Bengal cats’ earliest history dates back to 1889 when an English writer named “Harrison Weir” talked about Bengal cats in his book.

But, there was no significant evidence of this breed’s presence at that time.

Later in 1924, a Belgian journal took a dig at Bengal cats, but couldn’t find circumstantial evidence of Bengal breed’s presence.

Following the footprints of the Belgian journal, a Japanese journal wrote a story on the “possible” presence of a leopard-like cat in 1941.

The existence of Bengal cats was not confirmed until 1963 when a California based psychologist Jean Mill bred two Bengal kittens.

Interesting story:

Jean bought an Asian Leopard cat from a pet store and introduced it to a domestic pet cat.

The two animals mated and produced two kittens, one male, and one female.

However, she couldn’t report this unique kitten to any cat association, just yet.

Later in 1982 she imported a pet cat from Delhi (capital of India) zoo and copulated it with one of the female hybrids she bred earlier.

This cross was a success, and 5-6 healthy kittens were produced from this cross.

In 1986, The International Cat Association (TICA) accepted Bengal cats in their registry and gave this breed a championship award later 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 catch different diseases.

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

However, the 5th and later generations are readily available for domestication now.


Hybrid breeds are not allowed in New York and Hawaii which is why you cannot have a Bengal cat if you live in these 2 states.

If you adopt a Bengal cat now, it is most probably a 5th generation (F5) or an even later one.

Bengal cat breeding

Bengal cats used to be rare during the early days of their breeding, but the case is completely opposite now.

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

This number had dramatically increased from 125 breeders in 1992.

The reason for this incredible growth is that people find it a profitable business to breed this cat.

A lot of new pet parents opt for Bengal cats.

Bengal cat’s personality and features

Bengal cats are one of the most favored pet cats nowadays.

The following are the reasons behind their popularity

1. They have good health

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

They do not fall sick very quickly, and even if they do, they can cope with it.

Once you give your Bengal cat its essential vaccines, there is no need to worry about its health.

Seasonal viruses, temperature changes and exposure to the outdoor environment don’t affect their health.

2. They are beautiful

Bengal cats are adored for their striking coat patterns and their soft fur.

People adopt them for their eye-catching colors.

Mostly Bengal cats have red, grey, blue, ticked, and brown coats or markings.

Their fur is very short, and there is a glittery shine in it.

This fella’ looks mesmerizing in bright sunlight.

3. They are talkative

Unlike most pet cats:

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

Each time a Bengal cat jumps up or does something interesting, it needs your attention right after it.

Here’s the thing:

Bengal cats are attention seekers.

They need your affection and attention all the time and keep you busy with their 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 not a tough job, as I said earlier.

You need to fix a budget for them and start looking for the best option.

Firstly, you need to know that a Bengal cat’s price range varies dramatically

You can get buy a Bengal cat in the range of $1000 up to $10,000!

Here are the reasons why the price of Bengal cats varies so much:

1. Pedigree

As I said, Bengal cats are a result of a cross between two different types of cats.

And their generations are rated based on the “purity” of their genes.

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

When the first Bengal kitten is produced, it has an equal share of genes from the Asian Leopard cat and the domestic cat.

This first generation is the most expensive, but it is illegal to keep them as pets in most places around the world. That’s because the first generation (F1) of Bengal cats is considered wild and exotic.

First generation kittens are called F1, and their price varies from 2000 USD to 10,000 USD for females.

Males are mostly sterile in the first generation; that is why their regular price is 1500-2000 USD.

The cats we get to see now don’t have a mixture of genes and are entirely the Bengal breed.

Today, you can get a Bengal female in a price range of 500-2000 USD because they are in abundance now.

Fun fact:

One can adopt a Bengal cat from a rescue center. This will cost no more than a few hundred dollars. Although it is absolutely rare to find a Bengal cat in a rescue center, yet it’s worth a shot to pay them a visit.

2. Coat type

Bengal kittens can be spotted, marbled or snow.

Spots are circular in shape and are found in many colors i.e. clue, 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.

This is interesting:

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 leopard cat and Siamese cat (which is a rare species).

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.

An interesting fact:

Some Bengal kittens have a glitter gene which makes their fur shine.

This glitter is believed to be inherited from Bengal cat’s Indian ancestors.


Bengal cats are not rare.

You can conveniently buy beautiful feline depending on your budget.

Either you want the rarest snow Bengal or the most common marble cat, it depends upon your budget and preference.


Are Bengal cats dangerous? No, they are not.

People often think that the wild genes of Bengal cats make them dangerous.

But this is not true.

In fact, Bengal cats are believed to be very calm and composed pets.

They do not nag un-necessarily and they keep themselves busy in numerous activities.

These two facts make them a very good pet.

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

Are Bengal cats expensive? Yes, they are.

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

The reasons are many.

  • They are newly bred and are not so common.
  • They have a strong immunity which increases their demand.
  • And they have a playful and intelligent nature which makes them desirable by many owners.

Pro tip:

If you do not want to spend a lot on a Bengal cat, just stroll around and find a cat rescue center in your region.

You will definitely find an affordable and lovely Bengal feline there.

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 buying a Bengal cat:

Search for a legalized and listed breeding center, inquire about the pedigree of your desired Bengal tabby and bring it home.

Photo of author

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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