When one of our Bengals is adopted into it's new forever home, it comes with "extras". Here are a few things that it will be or will accompany it, airline willing:
- Born from health screened parents.
- Small bag of premium cat food it's currently eating.
- Up to date on vaccinations and deworming.
- Check up by at least two licensed veterinarians
- Few of its favorite toys & a blankie.
- It will be micro chipped
- Written care instructions
- Written health guarantee, including a one year congenital defect guarantee
- Contract that defines everyone's responsibilities and actions. To view our contract, CLICK HERE.
- Our shoulder to lean on as a friend and advisor for life.
- Pet kittens will already be altered.
CLICK HERE to learn more about early spay/neuter by visiting Dr. Susan Little's webpage. Dr. Little is a world renown, feline, specialty board certified, veterinarian that sits on CFA's health committee & on the board of the WINN Feline Foundation. Plus she writes and lectures extensively on pedigreed cat health issues for breeders and other vets. An expert in the field.
Parting with our Babies
People often ask, "how can you part with these beautiful babies?"
Here is our response... It is quite difficult! We are so attached to our babies but we know that part of being a dedicated breeder means having to let some of the kittens go to other responsible, loving, forever homes. We would love to keep them all, but a home can only house so many cats & each one needs its own individual snuggle time. The only way we can let these little treasures go is to know that they will be as loved and spoiled in their new homes as we would continue to do here...plus the new owner has to have less pets so the kitten can receive more "me time" than we feel we can provide. :-)
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Purchasing a new feline friend is not inexpensive. The purchase price of a quality companion is just the beginning. There is still quality food, litter, grooming supplies, vet care/maintenance, miscellaneous cat necessities, cat furniture and toys on a continuing basis. So be sure to purchase wisely. Trust us, there is not such a creature as a "cheap Bengal", or any pet for that matter.
One gets what they pay for! It's much easier on the heart strings and pocket book to purchase a quality kitten from a reputable breeder than to buy a "cheap one" from a mill or backyard breeder, only to have it become ill or have an unstable temperament that will cost the new owner more in health care and furnishings than a quality kitten's purchase price. Plus the heartache is simply not worth any price. We speak from our experiences with rescues.
Quality does not cost - It Pays!! If one can not afford to purchase a quality companion from a reputable breeder we STRONGLY suggest adoption either from a rescue, shelter or a retired adult. Every dollar given to an unethical breeder just encourages and enables them to continue. Please help us stop the vicious cycle of abuse and neglect by not buying from mills, pet shops or BYBs. "If you are not part of the solution--You are part of the problem!"
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Please do not expect us to constantly have litters of kittens available. We breed selectively for the improvement of the breed. We choose to have Quality over quantity. As stated, being a responsible breeder is a labor of love, and quite expensive in many areas. We only have litters when we have the optimum time and resources to properly care for them and we feel they will meet or exceed the TICA standard of perfection. Most reputable breeders do not have constant litters. If we do not currently have exactly what you are looking for, we will be happy to place you on our waiting list for your purrfect kitten. Please be aware this will take time and please be patient. Just remember, this will be your new buddy for probably the next 10-15 years. Isn't it worth the wait for your purrfect baby? :-) If you absolutely can not wait, contact us for a referral. We only refer folks to breeders we trust to adhere to our high standards.
Partial payments: Partial payments to hold kittens/cats are non-refundable & are required to reserve a kitten/cat. Down payments are considered a partial payment and ensure the purchaser will follow thru and honor the transaction. Down payments are $300 for pets & $500 breeder/show. If the kitten/cat should become unfit, then the deposit may be transferred to another one.
PRICING: Each Bengal is individually evaluated and priced according to how close it mirrors the standard of perfection. Pets can vary from $800-$1,500, depending on color, pattern/markings, pelt clarity and caliber. Top quality and show alters at the high end-$1,500-$2,000. Average pet kitten costs about $1,000 and this includes spay/neuter surgery. Breeders range from $2,500-up. Occasionally we have retired adults we offer at reasonable prices.
Sometimes folks say they found an ad for cheaper kittens. Yes, you can find Bengals in newspapers or online for sale. Sometimes cheaper, but one has to ask themselves... the "why" questions. Where is this kitten coming from? Why is it so cheap? Who is the true dam and sire of the kitten? Did the "producer" have permission to bred the cats or were they dishonest and breach a breeder's contract? Will this kitten be TICA registered? Is it a good representative of the breed? Does it come with a written guarantee? A lifetime of friendship & advice? What health issues were the parents and grandparents screened for? Do they do DNA testing for PK-Def? Do they do annual echocardiograms with a board certified cardiologist? Have they had physical exams, vaccinations, deworming and care by a licensed veterinarian? and etc. Properly raising kittens is expensive and there has to be some sort of balance in expeditures. Grandmother always said, "If it sounds too good to be true...it probably is"
There is a huge difference between ethical Breeders and those "producers" just looking to make a few dollars and have not educated themselves on the breed of cat they are offering. (Like black market items/look-a-likes) Again, one gets what one pays for! Ask many questions and if they are not answered to your satisfaction, do not adopt the kitten.
PICK UP & SHIPPING: We prefer to meet people in person and encourage them to visit us, but realize that is not always feasible. We do ship within the continental US at purchaser's expense. Currently it costs about $300 to ship a kitten within the continental USA, but as fuel and services increase so, unfortunately, will the price. This includes a health certificate from the vet, an airline approved shipping kennel, appropriate bedding for traveling and more. Feel free to contact us for a quote.
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Pet vs. Show Quality Kittens
Often responsible breeders have a waiting list from other established breeders for top show potential kittens. Thus they are unwilling to sell their "creme de le creme" kittens to pet homes. After all this is their "pride and joy" and the goals they are striving to perfect. They do not want to "hide their shining lights under a bushel basket". They want them to be seen, appreciated and loved by many. Remember our goal is to improve our beloved breed, not just have a litter of kittens. "Extra" kittens that go to loving , forever pet homes are special angels sent to enrich their humans' lives. Every kitten-whether simply an adored pet or a supreme grand champion-ARE first and foremost someone's TREASURED companion. Championship titles are just "icing on the cake". Beware of any "producer" who tells you that every kitten they produce is a "Top Show Potential" kitten. Every kitten is a beloved pet, but only the best of the best rate "show/breeding potential".
Don't be bashful... most breeders enjoy answering questions and educating. Get them to show you the difference between a pet and a show kitten. You will probably be surprised. Differences can occasionally be obvious: size, temperament, or an "off" marking. But often, the factors that determine the difference are so slight that only experienced breeders and judges can pick up on them. Sometimes, even experienced breeders debate over whether or not they are making the best selection in evaluation. No one is perfect and even we make mistakes and occasionally let a supreme kitten go as a pet. Like they say, hind sight is twenty-twenty.
The "flaw" could be a white spot or locket on the chest, color or pattern fault. Not enough spots on tummy, ears or eyes set a fraction of an inch too close or far apart, eyes that angle just slightly too far up or down, even just the expression in a cat's face. Could even be a tiny tail fault that can only be felt-not seen. So you see, there are several factors that can cause a breeder to evaluate a kitten as a "pet" rather than "show prospect". You may even find that you prefer the pet look vs. the show look. Sometimes, the kitten is almost purrfect but they have a breeding restriction set down by the breeders of the kitten's parents. Possibly, the breeder simply doesn't like that "look" and thus, will not allow it to represent their cattery in the show halls. Pet quality kittens are certainly not inferior kittens. They are just as socialized, spoiled and loving as show potential kittens...plus they are much less expensive for their new owners. ;-)
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Why Do Kittens Seem So Expensive?
Pet mills, pet shops and BYB's may make money selling kittens or puppies. In our experience, most ethical and responsible breeders do not even recoup their own expenses. Remember it's a labor of love for us-so we aren't expecting to make money. It's actually a very expensive hobby. Most of us WISH we could just break even, but can't. It may look like a gold mine to one from the outside-looking in, but once you see it on paper, most are shocked, if not horrified. We do this for the love of our beloved breed, not money. Remember we have good careers that allow us the luxury of our expensive hobby. Even so, many of us hide the ACTUAL expenses from our spouses! This is so they do not realize how much we really do spend on our hobby, least they want us to retire and choose a less expensive hobby.
As an example, buying a top show quality female, with breeding rights, which often has restrictions on how we can sell the kittens, may cost $3,000 or more. Males are even more expensive. Showing the queen, runs about $1,000 a weekend, more as the price of gas & hotels continues to increase. Showing either a male or female to the title of Grand Champion or Regional/National Winner, can be from $5,000 to more than $20,000-depending on the shows! Maintenance, supplies and veterinary care generally cost breeders about $1,500 per cat per year. Plus having pedigrees researched, health testing/screenings, cat toys, furniture and etc are all quite costly but done for the betterment of the cats & future kittens and cost additional monies.
By the time one breeds their queen, at about one year of age, the breeder will have invested several thousand dollars. Then there is a stud fee for the breeding, which may be $2,500 - $3,500 per litter. One wants the best top studs and not just ones that are "conveniently located"-that wouldn't improve the breed. One breeds the best to the best and hopes for the best! Then there is the health screenings, shipping and related expenses to get the queen to the stud and back-around $800-$1,100 barring any problems. If all goes well, fat healthy kittens are born, but disasters are always lurking. C-sections that run $325-$1,000+, depending on time of day/night. Failure to thrive kittens that fade despite your and your vet's best efforts. Kittens that need to bottle fed every two hours around the clock 24 x7, pyometra, mastitis and more. Sometimes, after all this investment is made, a cat is found to be infertile and the breeder has to start all over again. So your health screens, shipping and stud fees are just large expenses and without yield of any kittens. Plus you need to spay mom and either keep her, or since you are limited to the number of cats you can successfully keep in your home-you may need to adopt her out= hours screening applicants + advertising costs.
Kitten vaccinations, deworming, blood tests & vet checks cost breeders about $250 or more per kitten. That's if you are blessed and there are not any problems to be treated. Then, if the breeder has access to a vet that does early spay/neuter another $150-$250 per kitten for the surgery and related expenses. Kittens stay with breeders for at least 12 weeks or so. Many hours are spent feeding (premium cat food-wet and dry), socializing, and cleaning-up-after those adorable "mess makers". Let me tell you, a healthy active litter of kittens can create messes quicker than one can clean up. LOL Anyone with toddlers will understand this. Just for kitty waste, one has: multiple litter boxes, litter, scoops, bags, disinfectant & more. Then there are the beds, linens, toys, cat furniture, brushes, shampoo, nail trimmers, scratching posts and more. Special areas of the house are often designed and created for the cats to use as a nursery, as they need their privacy and quarantined away from others until they are of age. Some even have little cattery set-ups built and they can cost $5,000 or more to build. Next comes advertising expenses, which can easily cost $1,500 or more. Advertising can range from socializing at cat shows, websites, magazine or newspaper ads and is not cheap, whichever route is taken. Many hours are somehow spent screening and educating applicants. All this work, plus your career that allows you the luxury to be able to have a litter. Remember, it's a labor of love and we somehow manage to juggle all this... usually with sleep deprivation.
Pet shops, mills and BYB's reap profits, by cutting corners at the animals', the breeds' and new owners' expense. Some aspects are: not having quality cats for breeders, as reputable breeders would not place cats with them and their conditions. Not showing/exhibiting, not keeping abreast of breed issues, not screening for health problems, not keeping kittens until the proper age (selling them too young=less time and expense for them), Plus they do not provide proper prenatal or kitten veterinary care. This simply boils down to kittens=commodity to them and not a treasured companion. Less time and money put into kittens/and their care=profit for BYB, shops and mills. The shocking thing is...they often charge the same price (sometimes more!! and sometimes less) as the responsible breeders and... often well meaning, unknowing people do buy from them. Which, BTW, enables and encourages them to continue doing so. We, ethical breeders, make huge sacrifices in our personal lives from many aspects: time, financial, physical, and emotional. We even shed tears, on the quest to try to improve our beloved breed. BYB's are "fly by nighters" - there to take your money one night and are gone the next. Most legitimate breeders are here for "the long haul" and are there for one with their questions and concerns for the life of the kitten. We even feel slighted if one forgets to send photos and check in every now and then!
Yes, breeding is definitely a labor of love for most responsible breeders. Just can't seem to make that "big profit" people claim is there. Check out our little Outline On Breeding Expenses to learn even more....you might be surprised. ;-)
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Feel free to contact Judi of Regal Air at 646-0898 area code (731)
or email RegalAir_Bengals"at"yahoo.com