Bengal cats are prized worldwide as one of the most beautiful and alluring of all breeds of domestic cats.
From their beauty to their unique temperament and energetic disposition, people want Bengals for all variety of reasons.
Most people will “do the right thing” and get their Bengal from a reputable breeder (at this point in time we are actually working on developing a comprehensive database of the best, most reputable Bengal cat breeders from around the world).
However, there is always a criminal element in any society who will do underhanded things to acquire the goods or services they want – sometimes including living creatures like cats.
Do Bengal cats get stolen?
In this article we look at whether or not Bengals are liable to be stolen, and what you can do to prevent it.
Do Bengals Actually Get Stolen?
Finding precise data on cat theft is difficult, because unlike dog thefts (which are often tracked) most jurisdictions don’t seem to do much active tracking of cat thefts.
According to the American Humane Society, around 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen every year. However, this doesn’t give us particularly robust data to work with.
The Daily Mail (a UK news publication) published an article back in 2017 indicating that Bengals are the most frequently stolen “pedigree” cat breed in the United Kingdom, and that reported cat thefts had climbed by 40% over the previous two years.
Both anecdotal evidence and the available data support the notion that Bengal cat theft does happen.
Why Are Bengal Cats Stolen More Frequently Than Other Breeds?
The reason why Bengals are stolen more frequently than other breeds of cat is fairly simple:
As we alluded to at the start of this article, Bengals are a desirable, rare and valuable breed of cat. Kittens from reputable breeders can reach into the thousands of dollars, which makes them a desirable target for thieves. In fact, a Bengal cat can easily be worth more than commonly stolen electronic items like iPhones or laptops.
Bengal cats may be stolen for a few key reasons:
- The first is for “resale” – somebody wants a Bengal, and a criminal will effectively steal one to order. This may be because the buyer cannot locate a Bengal in their area, or because a reputable breeder will not sell to them. Furthermore, they will likely pay below market price for the Bengal because the thief themselves is potentially stealing to fund a drug habit (basically, the thief will steal a valuable item – whether that’s a cat, an iPhone, or something else altogether – and trade that item for either drugs or drug money).
- The second reason is because someone wants to steal one to keep as their own pet. Maybe their family wants a Bengal of their own but cannot get one, and the thief has seen a Bengal that wanders off of a nearby property.
- The third reason is that a Bengal (generally female) is stolen for breeding purposes. With Bengal kittens having such a high market value, if you can get yourself a breeding cat, then this represents a potentially large source of income for a criminal with no scruples. This is probably the most common reason for Bengal cat theft.
How To Reduce The Risk Of Your Bengal Being Stolen
If you are concerned about the risk of your Bengal being stolen, then there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce this risk. These actions will also help to minimize the risk of losing your Bengal cat as well, so it’s a “win win”:
- Secure your property if possible – for example, having a fence around your property won’t necessarily stop a Bengal from getting out but it will provide a discouraging barrier for them to get out, and also make it harder for would-be thieves to both see that you have a Bengal and also get in to your property.
- Get your Bengal cat a collar with ID tag – although this will not stop a committed thief, there is a chance that seeing a collar on a cat with an ID tag could put off a more “casual” catnapper. Consult our guide here to the best Bengal cat collars for more information.
- Invest in an LTE tracking collar/tag – there are a number of different cat tracking devices you can buy. However, most are bluetooth-powered and therefore stop working when your cat leaves the property. This Bartun unit on Amazon is LTE powered, meaning that you install a SIM card and your cat can be tracked anywhere with mobile coverage. Obviously this won’t help if a thief removes the collar, but it still does give extra reassurance.
- Bring your Bengal cat in at night – theft is more common at night, and the chances of your cat wandering and winding up in an area off your property where they have a greater likelihood of being stolen also goes up at night. Unless you have good reason to leave your cat outside at night, we recommend keeping him/her indoors if possible.
- Have your cat spayed or neutered – also make sure that this is indicated on their ID tag/collar. This will eliminate one of the key reasons why your Bengal may be stolen; for breeding purposes.
Conclusion – Do Bengals Get Stolen & What Can You Do About It?
The sad fact of the matter is that cat thefts do happen, including those of Bengal cats.
Some reported thefts are probably more likely to be cats going missing, but that doesn’t alter the fact that Bengal cat theft is a potential risk.
The biggest reason for this is that Bengals are rare, expensive and desirable cats (when compared to “ordinary” domestic cats).
Due to this, stats and evidence seem to indicate that Bengals are one of the more commonly stolen breeds of cat.
While you cannot completely eliminate the risk of theft, there are some steps you can take to reduce the chance of your cat falling victim to a “cat-napping”.
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