FAQs for Pet Owners


Q: Is a Bengal the pet for you?

A: Bengals have many advantages over other breeds of cats, including easy care (little to no shedding). However, be aware that bengals are definitely:

  • Energetic
  • Athletic
  • Smart.

Although each individual cat will differ from the others, Bengals in general do not make good pets if you are seeking a quiet, lazy sort of companion or a companion who won't be able to figure out how to open those cabinet doors!

Bengals will entertain and amaze you. They will want to actively participate in your life, and they'll want you to actively participate in theirs. Don't choose a Bengal if you'd really rather have a pleasant dim-wit or a couch potato.

You can read more about Bengal traits here.

Q: What's the difference between Pet and Show/Breeder quality?

A: In general, we classify a kitten as Pet quality either because the cat would probably not do well in the show ring or because it does not have traits that we are specifically emphasizing in our breeding program. There could be a number of reasons for this, none of which would detract from the beauty of the cat. Some examples of these things are:

  • The cat might be the most beautiful Bengal alive but have a slight tail kink that can be detected only by feel.
  • All four of its paw pads (the bottoms of its feet) might not be all black.
  • The cat's spots might simply be too regular in pattern for it to compete well against more randomly spotted competitors.
  • We may have learned by experience and study of its genetics that, although the individual cat itself is Show/Breeder quality in appearance, it is likely to produce kittens that are not.

All Pet quality kittens are beautiful; it is just that others would do better in the ring or would produce offspring that are more in line with the look we are working towards.

Q: How much does a Bengal cost?

A: In general, the price of a Bengal is determined by several factors:

  • Whether it is classified as a Pet or Show/Breeder
  • Whether you are also buying breeding and/or showing rights
  • Age
  • Pedigree.

A Pet-quality Bengal kitten from us is usually between $1,800 and $2,200. (See the details about what is included when you adopt a Pet kitten from us.)

The price range is determined by a number of factors, especially the how beautiful the kitten is and how well it meets the Bengal Standard. Each kitten is priced individually.

Kittens sold as Pets shall not be bred. They will either (1) be sold with a contract requiring that they be spayed/neutered by 7 months of age or (2) be spayed/neutered prior to going to their new home.

Exceptions may be made in special circumstances. Please feel free to inquire.

Sometimes an adult cat of Show/Breeder quality may be available to a good home after it has been "retired" and spayed/neutered. These may be less expensive than Pet-quality kittens. You can often get an exceptional cat for a lower price in this way...the cat will be beautiful enough to have been a show cat or a breeder, and its personality traits will be well known. In addition, in getting a retired adult you will not have to go through all the high-energy antics of kittens. You can read more about our retiree placement policies.

Kittens that are Show/Breeder quality (which we will not generally place in "Pet" homes) are correspondingly more expensive than Pet quality kittens. If you are interested in one of these exceptional cats, please contact us and see the FAQs for Breeders and Show Homes.

Please take a look at some pictures of our available kittens and cats. If you are interested in a particlular individual or litter, let us know and we will send additional pictures to you by e-mail.

Q: What do Bengals eat? Do I have to feed them raw meat?

A: While Bengals, like any other housecat, will eat raw meat if it is set before them, they thrive on regular commercial catfood. Because Bengals are so high-energy, we do recommend that you feed a quality catfood made with lots of meat ingrediants, such as Evo, Iams, or Eukanuba. If you are interested, you can see our specific feeding regimen.

PrinceRoyal Ranger of HarvestMoon out for a walk on a sunny day.Q: Do Bengals Walk on Leashes?

A: The short answer is: some do, some don't. Note that almost all cats will act like they have a broken back as soon as you put a harness of them for the first time, but that they will get accustomed to it over a few short sessions with the harness over a few days.

We never use just a collar with our cats, and we do not use "figure eight" collar/harnesses either because it is too easy for the cat's body movements to tighten up the part that goes around the neck and cause difficulty in breathing or perhaps even strangulation.

Our favorite kind of harness is one that is sold for small dogs and has a "Y" around the neck and then (on both the top and the back of the cat) goes to a strap that goes around the cat's body just behind his front legs. This is the kind PrinceRoyal Ranger of HarvestMoon is wearing in the photo. However, this type of harness, even the size sold for "very small" dogs, is often too large for a cat. (Ranger, tipping the scales at 11.5 pounds in the photo, is big enough for the "Y" harness.)

The other kind of harness we use is one which has a neck collar and is connected by a strap along the cat's back to a longer strap that goes around the cat's body just behind the front legs.

There is a cat walking jacket that we think is also fine for cats; we don't use them solely because (1) they can get quite hot and it gets hot here in Tennessee and (2) they hide the cat's beautiful coat and markings. They may be a good choice, however, for a cat that is very insecure outside or in areas or seasons when it is cold.

BridlewoodQ: Do Bengals Like Water?

A: Most do. Most prefer to drink running fresh water (as in from a faucet or a water fountain) although they have no problem with drinking from bowls either. Many will play with the water in their water bowls...some will stroke their paw across the surface as if to clear the surface of debris, some will dip their paw in and then lift it up out of the bowl and lap up the water that runs off their paw, and some like to literally splash in it. (The picture shows Bridlewood Zelazny of PrinceRoyal fishing for a toy in a large bowl of water...which he dropped the toy into, of course, so he could then have the fun of fishing it out.)

Some bengals enjoy getting in the shower or tub with their people during bath time, and many enjoy splashing around after toys in, for instance, a child's inflatable swimming pool. Some bengals will actually swim in full-sized pools for fun---see the teriffic pictures of one of our "grandchildren" swimming for recreation.

Q: How large do Bengals get?

A: The average Bengal is not fully grown until it is between one-and-a-half and two years old. At maturity, an average Bengal female will weigh between 8 and 10 pounds, while an average male will weigh between 10 and 15 pounds. Some adult male Bengals may weigh in at 20 to 22 pounds, but this is unusual. Note that these average weights are for healthy, not fat, cats. A healthy Bengal's weight comes from its bone structure and muscle, not from excessive flab.

Q: Are Bengals good with other pets and children?

McKenzie Pearce and Leopardy. Click on photo to see photo credits.A: Yes. Being both independent and affectionate, Bengals thrive in both single-person and family homes and as either the only pet or as one of several pets. Of course, children must be old enough to understand about proper handling of a kitten or cat, and a Bengal who joins a household that contains existing pets will need to be properly introduced into the household.

If there is any difference in these respects between Bengals and other types of cats, it is that Bengals may possibly do better than other breeds in multi-person and multi-animal households because they are less likely to be bored.

Please check out the comments on our Happy Homes page from some of the families that have small children, and read about their children's experiences with their bengals.

You can see and read about Leopardy meeting area schoolchildren at a recent open house.

An example of a Bengal kitten joining a multi-pet home: Here little 13-week-old bengal Firenze, a newcomer to the household, stretches during a cozy nap with non-pedigreed friend Lichen, who at an age of 17 years was the well-established cat in residence.

Phone (USA) 865.483.5618 ~ ~ E-mail nlp@princeroyalbengals.com ~ ~ Ask for Nancy
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