Bengal cats are one of the most distinctive cat breeds. They’re spotted coats with a red-orange glow that causes everyone in the room to turn their heads and stare. Can you blame them? These cats are gorgeous! And owning one is a real treat.
Granted, it’s not easy to own a Bengal. These cats have a lot of energy, and sometimes it’s challenging to keep up with. But if you’re set on owning one, you should know how much you will spend to have this fur baby creeping around your house.
Bringing Home a New Bengal: One-Time Costs
First, let’s cover one-time costs for bringing home a new Bengal. One-time costs are fees you only pay once, and then you’re done. Let’s take a look at some of these fees.
Truthfully, it’s hard to find a Bengal cat for free, but it’s not impossible. Online places like Craigslist, Facebook, and adoption fairs are good places to start. Usually, the people using these sources are cat owners who can’t care for their cats anymore. The personal section in the local newspaper is also a good place to look (both paper and online)!
Adoption is the cheapest option for purchasing a Bengal. It does come with some drawbacks, though. You don’t always know a pet’s history before adoption, so you might adopt a cat with behavior issues.
Most of the time, adoption and rescues are open and honest about what to expect with your cat. But there’s only so much they can tell you. So, keep that in mind.
If you’re okay with this, you can start your search with a Bengal rescue or local shelter.
Bengal kitties aren’t cheap. It varies based on the breeder you buy your Bengal from and whether or not you buy a Bengal with a superior bloodline. Thankfully, it’s a one-time fee.
Whatever you choose, be sure to always buy from a reputable breeder. Some breeders factor in other costs like vaccines and microchipping. Check with your breeder about what the cost of your Bengal covers.
Initial Setup and Supplies
After you purchase your Bengal, you’ll need to set up your home so your kitty can live in an optimized environment.
Initial setup and supplies are crucial for your kitty’s overall wellbeing. Your Bengal needs a space to scratch, jump, eat, drink, and use the litter box. If you already have a cat, you’re halfway there. You may need to buy some extra supplies to keep all the cats in the house happy.
List of Bengal Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and Collar||$15|
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$7|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10|
How Much Does a Bengal Cost Per Month?
Thankfully, after the initial fee, Bengal cats don’t cost much. They’re relatively healthy and require only a few basic necessities.
Some owners love spending money on their Bengals, though. What you spend on your Bengal is totally up to you. As long as you can cover basic needs and health care, why not celebrate your beautiful kitty?
Unless your cat gets sick, you shouldn’t have to pay much per month for veterinary care. You could pay for a wellness plan at Banfield, which only covers exams, vaccines, flea and tick prevention, and possibly a couple of dental cleanings. But overall, monthly health care shouldn’t cost more than $50 per month.
How much you spend on cat food depends on how many cats you have and the quality of food you purchase. The higher the food quality, the more expensive the food. The best cat food contains a high amount of animal-based protein.
You also have to consider treats. Like food, the higher the quality, the more expensive the treats. But you can cut costs in this area by opting for chicken, chicken liver, tuna, and fish. Cats love meat (and need it), so this is a great way to provide fresh nutrition to your cat’s diet.
Some cat breeds indeed need frequent grooming. Luckily, Bengals don’t require much more than a weekly coat brushing and nail trim.
If you can, it’s wise to brush your cat’s teeth as well. A simple finger toothbrush or baby toothbrush with some enzymatic toothpaste will get the job done.
Medications and Vet Visits
How much you spend in this category depends on your cat’s health. As we said earlier, Bengal cats are a relatively healthy breed, but that doesn’t mean your cat won’t get into some trouble from time to time. Keeping your cat indoors and feeding your Bengal the best diet you can afford is the best way to prevent injury and illness.
Still, your cat needs to visit the vet at least once a year. Exam costs vary depending on your clinic, but you can expect to pay at least $50 for the basic exam. Cat vaccines cost more than dog vaccines, around $30 bucks per vaccine.
If your cat is a senior, vet visits will become more frequent since it’s more prone to illness and disease.
Bengal cats are expensive to insure since they’re considered a pedigree breed. We can’t stress enough how crucial it is to buy a Bengal from a reputable breed. If you don’t, you’ll have to use that pet insurance policy sooner than you think.
Pet insurance prices vary from company to company. But you’ll have to pay a higher fee for a Bengal, which can reach up to $80 on the high end.
You can always opt for an accident-only plan if you can’t afford a comprehensive policy. Accident-only plans cover accidents like lacerations and broken legs—the things you can’t plan for.
Unfortunately, it won’t cover hereditary or congenital conditions, but it’s a good start! Accident-only plans are cheap and can start at around $10 per month.
Introducing an animal to your home means more cleaning. There’s more pet fur, vomit, and sometimes urine and feces outside the litter box. Thankfully, these aren’t pricey, and many people already have these items in their houses.
For instance, a simple vacuum cleaner will go a long way. Sweeping is fine for litter, but a vacuum cleaner will clean any fur balls, dust bunnies, and furry cat trees.
|Litter box liners||$20/month|
|Deodorizing spray or granules||$18/month|
|Paper towels or rags||$10/month|
Kitties need entertainment just like dogs, especially Bengals. You’ll want plenty of toys, cat trees, and cat shelves for your Bengal to release energy and enjoy being a cat.
Toy subscription boxes are a great way to try new toys and treats for your cat. They run about $15 a month and offer all kinds of different toys for you to play with your Bengal.
You can also run to the pet store and pick up a few toys or new scratching boards. Every cat has a preference for what they like, so expect to buy different toys until you know what your cat likes.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Bengal
The total monthly cost of owning a Bengal isn’t bad! They’re high-maintenance cats but affordable after paying a heft breeder fee.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Keeping any pet comes with hidden costs that sneak in from time to time. Your cat may break some knick-knacks, knock over the Christmas tree, or pee on the carpet and stain it. These things happen, but they cost money to fix, so keep that in mind. Some months may cost more money than others.
You also might have to pay for a professional pet sitter if you go on vacation (about $20–$30 per day). Maybe your cat gets sick and needs an emergency hospital instead of your regular vet.
And that carpet your cat stained? It needs to be replaced.
Owning a Bengal on a Budget
So, how do you keep costs low while owning a Bengal? There are a few things you can do to keep your kitty on a budget.
Saving Money on Bengal Care
For veterinary care, you can always go to low-cost clinics or local shelters for spaying and neutering, microchipping, and vaccines. These places won’t cover emergency care but will help with annual wellness.
As for toys, be wary about spending money on items your cat doesn’t care about. Sometimes a simple cardboard box, cat tree, and some form of string will suffice.
Professional pet sitters are always good because they’re trained to handle specific animal behavior and emergency scenarios. But trustworthy friends and family members are a good second. Ask a family member or neighbor to watch your cat if you can’t afford a professional pet sitter.
Lastly, buy supplies in bulk if you can. It seems more expensive, but it saves you money in the long run by avoiding convenience items and pricier, smaller portions.
You should expect to pay around $1,500–$3,000 for a Bengal cat since it’s a pedigree breed. After that, monthly costs average between $53–$175. Most of your money will go toward basic supplies like food and litter.
But you have to think about the unthinkable. A good idea is to keep a sinking fund available for your cat. The money you save each month by keeping costs low can go into the fund to pay for the unexpected.
This is just an idea. Do what’s best for you and your cat. No matter what you decide, we know you’ll enjoy your Bengal. They’re great cats to have for company!
Featured Image Credit: Seregraff, Shutterstock