How much do Asian leopard cats cost?

After considering it, my guess is that an Asian leopard cat might cost up to around US$2,000, which is a similar price to that of a very nice purebred domestic cat. A bobcat costs around $900 (a better pet) and a tiger cub around $7,500. I think, therefore, that my pricing is about correct even if it seems low but read on, please. There is very little information on the internet on the value of a leopard cat. This is probably the case because very few people buy them. The Asian leopard cat should be called the Asiatic leopard cat or “leopard cat”. Note: some sellers are asking US$4,000 for an Asian leopard cat. Perhaps this price is for breeders of Bengal cats. Breeders will pay more and they’ll create F1 Bengal cats.

People asking how much it costs to buy an Asian leopard cat are obviously considering buying one and they shouldn’t because this is not a cat which is suited to domestication or living with a person as a pet.

Yes, they look amazing with their high contrast coat and yes, they’re quite small so on the face of it they could be a pet. But they can’t. You’ll have to do take that as gospel from me but I can’t provide any specific information except the following.

An American who lived with an Asian leopard cat for a long time kept the cat in an enclosure outside his home and made it clear to readers that this small wild cat species is too independent to behave like a domestic cat.

A woman adopted a half leopard cat half domestic cat hyrid (F1 Bengal cat) against her husband’s wishes and quite quickly decided that the cat was unsuited to life as a pet.

Story of a failed attempt of owning a leopard cat as a pet

Asian leopard cat
‘Tigger’, the 6-month old female leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) referred to in the story below. Photo: WFFT – they rescued the cat from the owner because they could not cope.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Also on the Internet there is the story about a person keeping a female leopard cat in a high-rise apartment in Bangkok city centre. As is probably typical, the cat was stolen from their mother when they were a kitten to be sold as a pet. People are fascinated with owning an exotic wild cat. The buyer probably had this fascination in mind and as a kitten the animal was possibly enchanting for a while.

The person already had two domestic cats so they had adopted this wild cat to live with domestic cats without any consideration for how they would integrate (she wouldn’t and she didn’t). Predictably as the animal grew up it became more aggressive and intolerant of the domestic cats. The owner quickly realised that they were living with a dangerous animal. The cat was rescued from the owner with the intention of reintroducing the animal into the wild from where they had been taken. This is just another example of the failure of trying to tame or domesticate this small wild cat species.

It is said that there are probably many leopard cats kept as pets in the United States and Asia. I would dispute that. I don’t think that there are many Asian leopard cats kept as pets in America for the reasons stated unless they are in enclosures or cruelly kept in cages in which case they are not pets but possessions.

Leopard Cat Photograph
Leopard Cat. This photo taken in China. The leopard cat is distributed across large parts of Asia.

Price kept low because the cat is not a good candidate to be a pet

At the beginning of the article, I had a stab at deciding what an Asiatic leopard cat might cost. As mentioned, they are often bought as a kitten. Anybody who knows what this cat is like would not be prepared to pay much for one or anything at all. Why should they? They are not good pets so why buy an animal that’s meant to be a pet when it is not a good pet. The only person who would spend a lot of money on buying an Asian leopard cat as a kitten would be somebody who had no idea what they were buying except that the cat looks nice.

I would have thought, therefore, that a price range of somewhere around $500-$1000 would be ballpark correct for a kitten of this wild cat species. The real expense comes with looking after the cat for the lifetime of the cat. This will go into many thousands of dollars and perhaps up to about $20,000+ over the lifetime once you factor in an enclosure and the specialist food and care required if the owner does a proper job. Sadly, many don’t.

6 thoughts on “How much do Asian leopard cats cost?”

  1. I live in New Zealand and have brother and sister Bengals. The Asian Leopard cat is banned here as well as Australia.If any one wants a cat that is very similar to it’s wild cousin then buy a Bengal. They make great pets and have beautiful markings and yes they love water and having the 2 they play together as well with my Chocolate point Siamese.But I would say they can be destructive,furniture etc but are great pets if you get 2. They amuse each other then. In New Zealand they cost between $1300-$2000 so you will look after them!

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  2. In Texas they are priced around $3,000 to $4,000. I currently own a male Asian leopard cat. They make fine pets if you’re willing to put in the time. In the first year or so they are extremely hyper, so you have to devote time everyday to playing with them. I think this is why people get in over their head. If you don’t give them the proper attention they will become destructive and aloof. Expect to have things broken and knocked over in the beginning. Some animals need specialized attention, this being one of them.

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    • You don’t want to have an Asian leopard cat pet. They are no good as pets. And you will be harming conservation work if you adopt a small wild cat species. Please give up the idea about adopting a small wild cat as a pet. It is a very bad idea.

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