When people think of expensive pets, it is often exotic creatures that come to mind. In terms of more common household pets, there are many who would expect that dogs are the more expensive choice with some of the more unusual breeds selling for thousands.
People are often surprised to learn that it is also potentially expensive to buy a cat, especially considering that many people give away kittens for free. However, there are many breeds of cat that are surprisingly costly, and this is often due to the rarity of the breed.
Here are 20 of the world’s most expensive cat breeds and a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay for such a cat.
20. Ocicat – $800
The feature of this cat breed that cat owners find the most appealing is that it has the nature of a domestic cat but the appearance of a wild cat. Despite its appearance, it does not have any DNA from a wild cat at all.
It was given its name due to its resemblance to the Ocelot but was originally bred from Abyssinian and Siamese stock. Later, the American Shorthair was added to the breeding mix and this is why Ocicats have distinct markings, a silver color, and a strong facial bone structure.
They were first bred by Michigan breeder Virginia Daly in 1964. Therefore, this is a relatively new cat breed. There are 12 official colors of this cat and they are known for their almond shaped eyes and dark markings.
They are a good choice for a family pet because they have a gentle temperament tht means they are good with children and they also mix well with other species of animal.
19. Norwegian Forest Cat – $800
This cat breed originates from Europe and has a long coat consisting of a wool undercoat and a glossy overcoat that means it is adapted to living in a cold environment. The origins of this cat date back to the era of the Vikings in Norway in around 1000 AD.
The Norwegian Forest cat faced extinction following World War II, but an official breeding program was established by the Norwegian Forest Cat Club to prevent this from happening. This cat is popular in Norway, France, Sweden, and Iceland.
This breed is good at climbing and has a sturdy body, weighing between 7.7 and 10 pounds. They also have a long lifespan of up to 16 years.
18. Egyptian Mau – $800
The Egyptian Mau is one of the few naturally spotted domestic breeds of cat, along with the Bahraini Dilmun cat. It is a relatively rare breed with under 200 cats registered each year and this is probably why they are one of the more expensive cats to buy.
Despite its name and the previous belief that this cat originates from Egypt, studies have shown it actually originates from European and North American cat breeds.
This is a slender cat with a medium body length and it is known for its fast pace as an Egyptian Mau can run at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Some distinctive features of this breed are the dark dorsal stripe that runs along their spine from their head to their tail and their green eyes. They come in six colors, including caramel, smoke, silver, bronze, blue, and black.
17. Siamese – $800
This breed is derived from the Wichianmat landrace and is one of the first breeds of Asian cat that was distinctly recognized. By the 19th century, the Siamese cat had become one of the most popular cat breeds in both Europe and North America. Distinctive features of this cat are a point coloration, a slender body, a triangular shaped head, and almond-shaped blue eyes.
As it is such a popular cat with appealing features, the Siamese has been used as the breeding stock to create many new breeds of cat. Some of these include the Bengal, the Burmese, and the Himalayan. There are four official colors of Siamese cat, including lilac point, blue point, chocolate point, and seal point. They have a lifespan of between 12 and 14 years if they are healthy.
16. Korat – $800
The Korat originates in Phimai, Thailand, and is one of the oldest stable cat breeds. In Thailand, they are known as a good luck cat and they are often given in pairs to newlyweds. It is only recently that this breed has been sold as previously, they were always given as a gift.
The breed is a silver-tipped blue-grey and short-haired domestic cat. Although they have only a small-medium build, the Korat is unusually heavy. They are distinctive due to their heart-shaped head, their coloring, and their large green eyes.
The Korat is an intelligent and playful breed of cat that is known to have good memories and will always find th3eir way home.
15. Selkirk Rex – $800
Although there are several breeds of Rex cat, the Selkirk Rex is distinctive as it has hair of normal length and there no missing sections, unlike the Cornish Rex and the Devon Rex.
This breed was first bred in 1987 in Montana, United States, by a breeder called Jeri Newman. He named the breed ‘Selkirk’ after his father. This makes this breed the first and only cat breed that is named after a person.
This bred comes in two coat lengths; short and long. This has a woolly look and feels very soft. The Selkirk Rex cat was officially accepted as a breed of cat in 1992 by the International Cat Association.
Unlike many other breeds where there is a list of officially accepted colors within a breed standard, the Selkirk Rex comes in all color variations, all of which are acceptable.
14. Siberian – $800
Originating in Russia, this landrace domestic cat has existed for centuries but has only recently become a formal breed as the standards were not created until the late 1980s. It is also known as the Siberian Forest cat and is a medium-large size. It is closely related to the Norwegian Forest cat and shares many similarities.
Although it is a natural breed in Siberia and is the national cat of Russia, it is now selectively bred and pedigreed. The coat of a Siberian cat has three layers and comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns.
This breed comes into reproductive readiness at a younger age than most other breeds of cat and some can breed from as young as five months. They also produce litters of five or six kittens which is greater than the average amongst other breeds, which is usually three or four kittens.
13. American Shorthair – $900
Despite the name, it is likely that this breed of cat descended from European cats and was brought to the United States by early settlers who wanted to protect their cargo from rats and mice.
In 2021, this breed was the seventh most popular breed in the United States, according to the Cat Fancier’s Association. These are large, powerful cats, with short hair, round faces and short ears.
An adult female can weigh up to 12 pounds while an adult male can tip the scales at 15 pounds. The list of colors in which the American Shorthair is available in is far too long to add as they come in over 80 recognized color and pattern variations. They are independent and playful cats that are usually good with children.
12. British Shorthair Cat – $1000
The British Shorthair cat originates from European cats that were imported into Britain and it is now the pedigreed version of the British domestic cat. Their distinctive characteristics include their broad face, their dense coats, and their chunky bodies. This breed has been developed to include a wide variety of colors and patterns, including colorpoint and tabby.
However, the most familiar color variant of the British Shorthair cat is the ‘British Blue’. This is a cat with a solid blue-gray coat, a medium tail, and copper colored eyes. Males of this breed can grow significantly larger than their female counterparts as the average female weighs between seven and 122 pounds, while the adult male weighs between nine and 17 pounds.
11. Ragdoll – $1100
The Ragdoll cat is a breed which was developed by Ann Baker, an American breeder, in the 1960s. They have a distinct colorpoint coat and blue eyes. This semi-longhaired cat has a soft and silky coat. They are name ‘Ragdoll’ because the original breeding stock tended to go floppy like a ragdoll when they were handles. This breed is particularly popular in the United States and the UK.
Their behavior is often compared to that of puppies as they are playful, follow their owners around, and enjoy being handled. It is one of the largest domestic breeds of cat as females can weigh up to 15 pounds and a healthy adult male can reach 20 pounds.
The Ragdoll comes in six color variants; chocolate, seal, red, cream, lilac, and blue. They also come in three pattern variations; colorpoint, mottled, and bicolor.
10. American Wirehair – $1200
The American Wirehair originates from upstate New York and is one of the rarest breeds in the United States. In 2003, there were only 22 cats of this breed registered with the Cat Fanciers’ Association and it is currently ranked in last position of the association’s list of breeds.
This breed is a spontaneous mutation of the American Shorthair and this mutation was first known to occur in Vernon, upstate New York, in 1966. Physically, the appearance of an American Wirehair is the same as an American Shorthair, with the exception of its springy and wiry coat. It has a similar texture to that of wirehaired terrier dog breeds.
Most American Wirehairs have golden eyes, with the exception of white cats which usually have blue or amber eyes. This breed is available in a wide spectrum of colors, but some are not accepted at competition. These include lilac, chocolate, and Himalayan.
9. American Curl – $1200
The American Curl is another cat that is the result of a spontaneous mutation. They originate from Lakewood, California, in 1981 and are distinctive because of their unusually shaped curled ears.
This medium sized cat comes in both long and short haired varieties and weighs between five and ten pounds. A strange fact about this breed is that the kittens are born with straight ears that begin to curl within 48 hours of their birth.
There are also strict rules about the angles of the curl. Show cats must have ears that curl to an angle between 90 and 180 degrees. However, too much curl is a bad thing because the cat will be disqualified from a competition if its ears touch the back of its skull. The American Curl has a soft and silky coat that lies flat against its body.
8. The Sphynx – $1200
The Sphynx cat is a breed that breeders began developing during the 1960s and in the following decade the inclusion of two hairless breeds of North American cats into the breeding pool led to the breed as it is known today.
The most distinctive characteristic of the Sphynx is its lack of coat, although they do have a fine layer of hair over their skins. The skin is soft to touch and is the color that their coat would be if they had fur, including any markings.
They also have distinctive facial features, including a wedge-shaped head, prominent cheekbones, large ears, a round abdomen, large paw pads, a thin tail, and a muscular body. This breed is intelligent, affectionate, curious, and energetic.
7. Scottish Fold Cats – $1500
This breed was originally known as the lop-eared cat but became known as the Scottish Fold in 1966. It is also known as the Longhair Fold, the Scottish Fold Longhair, and the Highland Fold. As its name suggests, this breed of cat originates from Scotland and has folded ears. The shape of its ears are caused by a genetic mutation that affects the cartilage.
This gives the cat an appearance which has been described as owl-like. This breed was not accepted for showing in Europe until 1971 as there were concerns that the genetic mutation affecting the cartilage could cause various deformities in this breed.
This breed is a medium-sized cat and females weigh between six and nine pounds while the males weigh between nine and 13 pounds. They usually have a round head and large round eyes. The Scottish Fold comes in both long and shorthaired varieties and their coats some in a vast range of colors, color combinations, and patterns. These are a generally good-natured breed of cat.
6. Russian Blue Cat – $1700
It is believed that this breed originates from the port of Arkhangelsk in Russia. As the name suggests, this is a blue cat, although it comes in a range of blue-gray colors, from shimmering silver to slate gray.
One of the main reasons this breed of cat is so popular is that they have amazing personalities that make them ideal for family pets. They are affectionate, loyal, and develop close bonds with their owners.
The coats of this cat are so dense that you can draw a pattern in their fur with your finger and it won’t disappear until you smooth it out with you hand. These are a medium-sized cat that usually weigh between five and 15 pounds.
This breed has a long life expectancy compared to many other breeds as they can live for up to 20 years. However, there are many examples of Russian Blues living for as long as 25 years.
5. The Peterbald – $2500
The Peterbald is a Russian breed of cat that comes from St. Petersburg. It was first created in 1994 by breeder Olga S, Mironova during an experimental breeding program. By 2009, it had been accepted for Championship class competition.
This is an unusual looking cat for several reasons. First, they have a very small, narrow, and long head. Second, they have large pointed ears, giving them a somewhat bat-like appearance. Finally, they have webbed feet.
There are similarities in its appearance to the Oriental Shorthair. This breed as a hair-loss gene that means they can be born either bald or with a coat. Those with a coat come in velour, flocked, and short-haired varieties.
The Peterbald comes in all colors and with a variety of markings. They are usually good with children and happy to live with other pets. Their temperament is described as curious, energetic, intelligent, peaceful, affectionate, and sweet-natured.
4. Persian – $3000
The Persian cat originates from Iran, formerly known as Persia. In the Middle East, they are also known as the Iranian cat while in Iran, they are called the Shirazi cat.
They are a long-haired cat breed that is characterized by its short muzzle and round face. This breed became popular in Europe when they were imported in Italy and France in around 1620.
The first time a Persian cat was shown in a competitive event was in London in 1871. It then made its way to the United States in the 1900s. Originally, the Persian cat had a much longer nose than the breed standard of today, but this has decreased in size through breeding.
According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, the Persian cat is the second most popular cat breed in the United States as it is only behind the Exotic breed of cat. In the UK, it is the sixth most popular cat breed.
There are several variants of the Persian cat. These include the Himalayan, the Exotic Shorthair, the Chinchilla Longhair, the Sterling, the Toy Persian, and the Teacup Persian.
3. The Bengal – $5000
The Bengal cat is a domestic cat that was deliberately bred to resemble a wild jungle cat. The exact origins of the breed are not known. However, the first mention of a domestic cat crossed with an Asian Leopard cat was in 1889.
The first officially confirmed cat that was a hybrid of an Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat was in 1934. These cats are called the Bengal cat because the taxonomic name of an Asian leopard is the bengalensis.
The characteristics of the Bengal cat include a white belly, large markings, and a body shape that is similar to, but smaller than, an Asian leopard cat. It is recommended that those who want a Bengal cat for their home should buy a fourth-generation cat as these have a temperament similar to a domestic cat.
The first-generation Bengals are usually kept for breeding purposes as they have a wilder nature.
2. The Savannah – $25,000
This is a hybrid cat breed that is a cross between a domestic cat and a serval, which is a large-eared wild African cat of a medium size. It first became popular with breeders in the 1990s and it was accepted as a new breed by The International Cat Association in 2001.
However, it wasn’t classed as a championship breed until 2012. They were first bred by Judee Frank who crossed a serval with a Siamese. The size of the Savannah cat depends a lot on the gender and the generation.
Usually the first-generation males are the largest variations of this cat. In general, they can weigh anywhere between seven and 20 pounds. Standard variations of this breed include brown-spotted tabby, silver-spotted tabby, black with black spots, and black smoke, which is a black-tipped silver with black spots.
1. The Ashera – $125,000
The most expensive of all the cat breeds to buy is the Ashera cat. Like the Savannah cat, this breed is a hybrid of a domestic cat and a serval. The difference is that for the Ashera, the African leopard was also thrown into the breeding mix.
This makes it one of the rarest and most desirable breeds of cat of them all. However, owning one of these creatures comes at a huge cost, so they are not available to the masses.
They are one of the newest cat breeds to have been developed and Lifestyle Pets lay claim to the development of this breed. They have both spots and stripes, pointed ears, and elegant features. Despite its wild genetics, the Ashera cat has been specifically bred so it is sutiable for living in a domestic environment.
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