Generally, we don’t think of cats as being ‘exotic’ pets, yet the number of rare and expensive cat breeds has risen dramatically over the years. Pet owners are a bit more discerning these days, opting for more unique and/or special cats.
While this trend is growing, you can expect to see more of these breeds of cats in households, and you might even be considering buying one yourself. If you’re looking for a cat with luxurious long hair, a distinct pattern, or a particularly kind personality, you’ll likely have to fork out the money for it. Read more to find out about the most expensive cat breeds in the world.
So what are the cat breeds that are the most expensive and just how much do they cost? There’s a large range of them – and new breeds are being experimented with all the time. As of 2022, these are rated as the most expensive cat breeds across the globe.
The Most Expensive Cat Breeds in the World
1. The Ashera
This feline has taken the top spot as THE world’s most expensive cat as of 2022, due to its extreme rarity. This breed is known to fetch as much as $125,000 and is considered a cat for the “rich and famous”.
One Ashera cat will only produce a litter of up to 5 kittens a year, making them very hard to come by. The breed was created by Lifestyle Pets in the 2000s, as a cross between a domestic cat breed, an African serval, and an Asian leopard, though there have been claims also that it’s actually a variant of a Savannah cat.
In any case, the beautiful leopard pattern and big pointy ears are hard to resist. And those who are rich enough to purchase this cat are likely doing so more as a status symbol than due to the cat alone.
Behaviorally, they are known for being the opposite of what one may assume, being part wildcat. However, they are often described as loyal, affectionate, and calm. So don’t be fooled by their exterior, they can make a great feline companion.
You can expect an Ashera to live up to 25 years, so it’s a big commitment as well as a big price tag.
In second place we have the Savannah, a cross between a wild African Serval and a domestic Persian cat. These cats cost in the range of $1000 to $20,000, depending on its filial rating. Filial ratings tell just how many generations they have been removed from Africa. An F1 rating is the first generation domesticated. F1 cats are the most exotic generation, and they fetch the highest price.
Similarly to the Ashera, this cat is known for its leopard-like spots and has an exotic look yet is has more variety of color in its markings.
The Savannah cats can be black, brown or silver or have darker spots.
Described as having a mild temperament, being playful and adventurous, owners must be warned that these cats have strong hunting instincts so may not be suitable in households with other small pets such as hamsters and birds.
Contrary to our common beliefs about cats, the Savannah cat actually loves water, which can be a real bonus if they are getting into mischief.
The Bengal cat is relatively modern and can be traced back to the 1990s when an Asian leopard mated with a domestic shorthaired cat. The price for a Bengal kitten ranges from $1,500 – $3,000.
Owners should be aware of their Bengal cats ‘F number’ when purchasing; this indicates how many generations apart your cat is from the first generation. For example, an F1 is considered to be a wild animal and therefore requires a wild animal license in some places.
Similarly to the previous felines, the Bengal can also be seen as exotic looking with a beautiful thick spotted coat, yet more muscular than the Savannah and Ashera. Look for different colors and patterns, such as these silver Bengal cats.
They are known for being excellent pets as they are friendly, inquisitive, and have been known to be on the talkative side, so if you’re looking for a chilled-out lap cat I have some bad news for you.
New owners must be warned that these cats require a lot of exercise and enrichment play to satisfy their curious minds, so it would help if you have a large home or extensive outside space.
4. Khao Manee
Khao Manee cats (pronounced cow man hee), originate from Thailand, where they were said to have only been kept by Siam royals. Since this breed is relatively unknown outside of Thailand, and it can be very difficult to import one, the price for one ranges between $7,000–$11,000.
Their name means white gem, which perfectly suits them, with their brilliant white coat that is smooth and short. They often have blue, gold, or odd eye colors.
It’s important to find a reputable breeder when purchasing a cat at this price range. One of the more prevalent medical characteristics of a Khao Manee is deafness which can be common among all white cats with blue eyes, but not 100% of the time.
They aren’t typically considered a child-friendly breed, and they prefer to have adults around. They are communicative and intelligent and often need to be entertained or given enrichment tasks and games.
Famous for their ‘squished’’ looking faces and beautifully long and soft coats, Persian cats have been a beloved cat breed for centuries. It is thought they were exported from Persia (now Iran) in the 17th Century, with hieroglyphic references depicting the cats found as early as 1684 B.C.
The modern Persian cat spans different breeds such as the Longhair, Doll Face, Shorthair, and more. They range in price from $1500 to $3000, though they can be as expensive as $6000, depending on a number of factors.
Their calm and sweet nature can make them a great companion and although they can adapt to a noisy household they do prefer a more calming environment.
The most important thing to bear in mind when welcoming one of these pretty kitties into your home is the volume of grooming required to keep your cat happy and knot-free. If you don’t have the time for daily grooming, you may want to consider a shorthaired cat.
The Peterbald is the famously hairless breed which was the result of breeding the hairless Donskoy and an Oriental Shorthair.
This Russian breed was first thought to be reported in 1988 and soon began being exported to Europe. They can cost as much as $2000 but are also a very expensive breed to maintain, due to their unique needs.
Although some are completely hairless, others have a more ‘peach-like’ fur, in total there are 5 different variations of the Peterbald coat.
Due to the nature of their skin, they can’t spend long periods of time outdoors as they are susceptible to hot and cold temperatures i.e. they can easily get sunburnt.
Even though they have little to no fur, their skin requires weekly bathing or wipe-down to avoid oils building up and causing skin irritation.
If you’re looking for a loyal, affectionate, intelligent pet who wants nothing more than to be around their humans, the Peterbald is right for you. Unsurprisingly, they are often compared to canines.
7. Maine Coon
There is a lot of hype over Maine Coon cats these days. They are a large cat breed with a regal stature, like a wild cat, with long fluffy hair, a fluffy tail, and tufted ears. Check out all of the colors and coat patterns are available.
These cats can go for as high as $3500, though you can get one for $900 to $1200 if you’re not seeking out one of the more rare colors and depending on quality, timely vaccination history, certifications, and pedigree status.
Maine Coons are known for being friendly, affectionate, and playful, so they make great companions. They have big personalities to go along with their large size. If you’re looking for an obedient, loving cat, a Maine Coon is a great addition to the family.
As you can tell by the name, these cats are native to Siberia, a region in Russia that has very harsh winters. Their long hair and dense undercoat, which can easily become matted, are there to protect them from the long, cold winters.
Siberian cats are fairly rare outside of Russia and are much harder to come by in the U.S. They typically cost $1,200 to $2,500, depending on pedigree, but can reach as much as $4,000, depending on availability.
These cats are curious, attentive, and loyal to their family members. They like to play and are quite affectionate. They won’t much like being cooped up in the house and like to wander around and establish a territory in the neighborhood where they can exercise their more primal instincts.
Because of their thick undercoats, they require regular grooming and detangling. You’ll also want to invest in enrichment toys to keep them occupied.
9. American Curl
The American Curl is a unique cat with either long or short hair and a distinctive set of curled ears that you don’t find on many other cats. This breed was discovered in 1980 when a litter of cats was born to a single female who produced this genetic mutation. All future American Curl cats are descendants of that one cat.
Because this specific mutation is quite unique, it’s also rare, and that always makes the price a bit higher. You can expect to pay around $800-$2000 for an American curl kitten.
These cats are known to be social and affectionate. They aren’t very vocal but are playful. If you get a short-haired version, it will have a relatively maintenance free coat.
That’s all you need to know about the 5 most expensive cats in the world.
If you’re able to afford one of these exotic pets, be sure to do your research to ensure you can meet all of your pet’s needs to keep them happy and healthy.
Taking on any pet, regardless of price, is a huge responsibility, but it can be the most rewarding one!
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