Bengal Rescue – The Other Way to Get a Bengal

Rescue a Cat Today!Who doesn’t want a beautiful exotic Bengal cat?

The problem is a good Bengal from a reputable breeder averages $1800 and up.  A high quality Bengal from a winning lineage (on the cat competition circuit) can start at $3000, for a pet!  Few can afford the luxury of having a Bengal but there is another way!  A Bengal Rescue!

There are a number of place to find Bengals in need of rescuing.  There are some dedicated rescuers around North America who specialize in rescuing Bengals since they are’t a normal ‘house cat’ and in a normal shelter can get rehomed several times because they are hard to manage or might have behavioural issues.

Some things to consider before taking on a Bengal Rescue

Find out the reason the Bengal is in need of rescuing

In some cases I’ve seen as I’ve been following the rescue sites it’s something as simple as a husband or children with allergies, an elderly owner has passed away or gone into hospice, or the owner is moving and can’t take the cat with them.  Other times it can be because the Bengal can’t get along with other cats or animals in the home.  If you have other pets this is good to know.

Behavioural Issues

Sometimes people give up their Bengal because they can’t cope with how active a Bengal is or behavioural issues they haven’t bothered to correct or deal with in any way.  This is something you have to be prepared to accept and work with the cat through.

Cat’s Age 

We all dream of that kitten playing, but most of the Bengals up for rescue are past their kitten days and seem to be as young as 2 or 3 and upwards of 9-14.   You need to be ok with this cat not being a kitten and needing some adjustment time to acclimatize to their new surroundings.


In some cases an owner may have purchased 2 bengals (a great idea to keep each other company) and when given up they are both in need of a home.  Since they are bonded and already in a stressful situation they would be offered up together.  If you are interested in a pair of Bengals, or sometimes one domestic and one Bengal, this is a great way to rescue two cats who need to stay together and give each other comfort through the transition to a new home.

Papers or Proof

If you are dealing with the owner directly (which on some sites you do) ask for the papers if they are claiming the Bengal came from a breeder.  Sadly you have to protect yourselves because in some cases they ask you to pay a ‘smaller’ fee for their Bengal but it may not really be a Bengal.  If they don’t have papers ask for the name of the breeder and follow up with them that the person did in fact get the cat from them. Sadly scammers are everywhere! Be alert to anyone who could be scamming you.


Timbit doing the head tilt and then had to yawn.

Timbit doing the head tilt and then had to yawn.

Sometimes their health isn’t always known.  In our case our second Bengal was a rescue we believe came from a ‘puppy mill’ environment and most likely subject to in-breeding or at the very least not a quality breed line like you would get from a respectable breeder.  In Timbit’s case she neurological issues. She doesn’t have great balance, but thankfully it’s combined with an inability to jump very high.  It’s an effort for her to get on our bed or on the couch, so if she does fall it’s not from far up thankfully.  She also has to tilt her head to watch ‘prey’ and sometimes shakes it a few times when she’s really exited.

Like all adopted cats, this is a possibility with a Bengal rescue.


Some Places to Find Rescue Bengals 

Great Lakes Bengal Rescue – They go to the top of my list because I’ve been following them for a while now and they seem to really care about Bengals.  They always looking for people who can foster cats till they find a furever home, as well as those to give these beauties a furever home!  Start here if you are in their coverage area.   If you don’t see anything now, you can follow them on Facebook they are always posting new cats that are in need of homes all the time (sadly).

Bengal Rescue Me – This is where shelters and individuals can list Bengal’s in need of rescuing.  You can search throughout North America.  Here is one of the sites where you do have to do your due diligence.  I’ve seen people posting “I think it’s a Bengal Mix” or that they have a “Snow Bengal” but the picture doesn’t match what a Snow Bengal looks like.  An owner of a Bengal from a breeder will know exactly what kind of Bengal they have!

Bengal Rescue Network – I haven’t been following these guys for long and not every cat on their site is a Bengal but they do list across the USA and have some rescuer’s in Canada and are actively take surrenders as well as have their own network of foster homes which is a great sign they are serious about rescuing Bengals.

Pet Finder – Here you can search by breed in your area for adoptable Bengals.  Here is where you have to really take things with a grain of salt.  Most are listed as ‘Bengal mix’ and yes it’s possible but it could also be a lure to get you to adopt a cat that ‘might’ be a Bengal mix.   When I look through I can see clearly some simply aren’t Bengals at all just from the photo, so be cautious when looking through this site.   If you want to know what to look for check out my “Is My Cat A Bengal” post here.

Kijiji and Craigslist – You can of course find Bengals in need of new homes on both of these ad sites but again take it with a grain of salt. You have a higher chance of encountering scammers. I’ve seen people wanting money for the Bengals to be rescued all the way to claiming from a premium breeder when the photos look like they aren’t Bengals at all.

What’s your best bet.  Get in contact with a rescue agency in your area like the Bengal Rescue Network or Great Lakes Bengal Rescue and get put on their waiting list for your area.  Follow them on Facebook or social media for their latest updates.   You can scan the other sites and watch for listings that sound more confident they are a Bengal like they got them directly from a breeder etc.






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