Dogs may be regarded as Man’s best friend but there is no denying that cats are one of the most popular pets in the world. While it doesn’t take much to care for a cat, the creatures don’t need much attention and can live for quite a long time. As such, both the young and old favor them for companionship.
The feline creatures are beloved globally and many people seize any chance they get to grab one for themselves; be it free at the shelters or shelling out a couple of dollars for one. There are however some breeds of cats that would cost you a pretty penny to get and we have rounded up the 15 most expensive amongst them for you.
What It Cost to Own One of the Most Expensive Cats
15. Khao Manee (Price – $1,400)
Also known as the diamond eye cat, the Khao Manee was initially bred and kept by the Siam royal household in Thailand and was thought to bring good luck to their owners. They remain very popular in the Asian country today and their fame has spread to other parts of the globe. This fame may not necessarily be due to any belief in their abilities to bring good luck but rather due to their nature. They are curious and intelligent and also had a sense of naughtiness that owners find cute.
Unique fact – They were first imported into the United States by American conservationist and cat breeder, Colleen Freymuth, in 1999.
14. British Shorthair (Price – $1,500)
Found mostly in the farms and streets of Britain in the 1870s, the breed transformed to a pedigreed and retains that status till date. An average male British Shorthair weighs about 12lbs while the female also has a similar weight. Their colors range from white blue, cream, red-brown, silver, and even cameo. The British Shorthair is easy-going, placid, and fiercely loyal. They can be left alone for hours but they do need carefully-controlled nutrition as well as regular exercises.
Unique fact – the British Shorthair was decimated during the first and second world wars but they soon recovered their numbers.
13. Maine Coon (Price – $1,600)
The Maine Coon is one of the most popular cat breeds in the United States and this is due to the reputation its owners have cultivated over the years. They have proved the breed to be a gentle giant, showing that they are very friendly despite their massive weight (35lbs to 60lbs).
Some people have dispelled this notion, specifying that their average weight is 11lbs – 18lbs (for males) and 6.5 – 11 lbs (for females). They have also revealed that while the Maine Coon can be friendly and loyal, they don’t like to be picked up or hugged.
Unique fact – It is native to the U. S. state of Maine and is their official state cat.
12. Norwegian Forest (Price – $2,600)
The Norwegian Forest is classified amongst one of the few natural cat breeds in the world and this is because they resulted from natural selection based on their environment rather than any assistance or targeted selection by humans. The breed boasts of thick water-repellent fur as well as a thick undercoat. This is to enable them survive the tough winters in the Scandinavian region. Once these winters are over, they lose the coat in preparation for the hot summers.
Unique fact – They are very good at climbing thanks to their strong claws.
11. American Curl (Price – $2,600)
The American Curl gets its name from its unusual ears which curl backward rather than standing up. This trait is said to be the product of a spontaneous natural mutation rather than any human effort. An average American Curl weighs about 5 – 10lbs and has a lifespan of 13 years. They are suited as domestic pets and can get along with every member of the family, young or old. They also get along with other pets.
Unique fact – The America Curl first appeared on the doorstep of a Lakewood, California home in June 1981.
10. Scottish Fold (Price – $3,000)
The tenth most expensive cat breed in the world right now is the Scottish Fold. This breed originated in Scotland in the 1960s and just like the American Curl, has a distinctive folded ear that bends back towards the front of the head. This feature as well as their loving nature has made them quite popular around the globe with celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran owning them.
Some people have however called upon the government to impose a ban on the breeding of these particular cats. According to the British Veterinary Association, their folded ears are a result of a genetic mutation in the cartilage and this leads to problems in other parts of their body. They, therefore, have to struggle with incurable and painful diseases such as a form of arthritis, all through their lives.
Opponents of the ban have countered this argument, maintaining that they never mate one Scottish Fold with another but rather cross them with other breeds in order to reduce the possibility of congenital health problems
Unique fact – Scottish Folds only develop their signature ears after the first three weeks of birth.
9. Russian Blue (Price – $3,000)
The Russian Blues’ ancestry has been traced to the seaport of Arkhangelsk. They were brought to Britain and other parts of northern Europe by sailors in the 1860s. From there, they have spread all over the globe and are beloved universally; thanks to their curious, tranquil, intelligent, energetic, and friendly nature.
The fact that they are also super-cute with bright green eyes, a blue-grey coat, and lavender adds to their value. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that they are one of the most expensive breeds of cats in the world.
Unique fact – They have a short dense coat that has a silvery appearance.
8. The Sphynx (Price -$3,900)
Sphynx is famous for its hairless appearance which is a result of conscious breeding efforts by humans which dates back to the 60s. There have also been some instances of natural genetic mutation accounting for the feature. Most sphynx cats come completely hairless while some have short furs over their bodies or in isolated areas. Whichever one it is, owners have to take care to protect them from direct exposure to sunlight as it can lead to skin cancer
Unique fact – They have wedge-shaped heads with prominent cheekbones and large ears.
7. Peterbald (Price – $5,000)
Another furless breed that ranks amongst the most expensive cats in the world is the Peterbald. Its origin has been traced to a conscious cross-breeding by Russian felinologist, Olga Mironova. The Peterbald was recognized by the International Cat Association and the World Cat Federation in 1997 and 2003 respectively. Today, they have become trendy as they are affectionate, sweet, energetic, and curious.
Unique fact – They have a very fast metabolism and consume more food than the average cats.
6. The Persian (Price – $5,500)
Anything Persian has some sort of connection with Iran and the Persian cat is no different. This breed of cats was first imported from Iran into Italy as far back as the 17th century. They were then consciously bred by the English and American people and grew in population by the 19th century.
The Persian remains one of the most popular cat breeds in the world to date and are favored by people in Europe, America, and Asia. Physically speaking, the Persian boasts of a round face, short muzzle, and comes in a wide variety of colors. They don’t have high energy levels but make up for it with their friendly nature as well as adaptability to changes in routine.
Unique fact – They come with long and dense fur which requires regular grooming.
5. Allerca (Price – $6,000)
The Allerca was developed by an American company that promised customers that the cats were hypoallergenic, i.e. won’t cause them allergies. This made the cat popular and people shelled out from $4,000 to as much as $28,000 to get one. Investigations would later reveal some had their hopes dashed. Many customers complained that the cats still caused them allergies while some accused the company of collecting their money without delivering their order. Some scientists have also disclosed that even if the Allerca is less likely to cause allergies, its abilities are no different from that of other cats.
Unique fact – It produces the allergy-triggering protein, Fel D1, at a lower molecular weight than other cats.
4. Caracal (Price – $10,000)
The Caracal is not the average cat that you can keep as a pet in your home. It is rather a medium-sized wildcat that roams the forests, deserts, savannahs of Africa, and the Middle East. They can weigh as much as 42lbs and have strong legs that enable them to leap as high as 10 feet.
Such physical characteristics mean they are better suited to hunting and preying on other animals in the wild rather than having them in one’s home. Some people consider them to be dangerous and most American states would require you to get a license in order to own one. This has not affected its value though as it still is one of the most expensive cats in the world
Unique Fact – Their large pointy ears have over 20 muscles which act like a satellite dish that detects the sound of prey.
3. Bengal (Price – $30,000)
The Bengal boasts of leopard-like spots and this is the result of deliberate breeding by a California-based breeder, Jean Mill, who crossed a domestic Shorthair with an Asian Leopard cat. The result of the experiment was the Bengal cat. Much like the Caracal, a Bengal tends to be much bigger than the average cat and has the energy and skill needed to survive in the jungle. They are however more domesticated than Caracals and can be fun to have as pets. One however has to keep them occupied or they may get up to naughty behaviors such as making a mess of things in the home.
Unique fact – They are naturally resistant to feline leukemia.
2. Savannah (Price – $50,000)
The savannah is another product that came from breeding a wild cat (a serval) and a domesticated cat. They have an exotic beauty: tall, lean, and slender with fat and puffy noses, hooded eyes, and erect ears. Nonetheless, has generated lots of controversy in recent times.
Some people believe that it is unconscionable to crossbreed domestic and wild cats and that breeders get engaged in it so as to get designer cats they can sell off for high prices. Others argue that it is cruel to do such cross-breeding because of the disparities in gestation periods. Savannah breeders however reject these claims and maintain that they are safe and just like other cats
Unique fact – It has a long neck and is nicknamed the giraffe cat.
1. Ashera (Price – $105,000)
The most expensive cat in the world presently is the Ashera breed. The cat looks like a mini leopard and came to be as a result of deliberate cross-breeding efforts by humans. They are quite large in size and can weigh up to 40 lbs. They are also playful, intelligent, and sociable, and can be taught to walk on a leash, much like a dog. Their average life span is about 12-14 years.
Unique fact – It has a hypoallergenic version which is more expensive than the regular breed.
Why Is the Ashera Cat So Expensive?
The Ashera cat is so expensive because it is the rarest, biggest, and most exotic of cats. Simply put, it is a designer cat much like you have designer shoes, bags, clothes, and accessories. This breed of cats was specifically developed by a California biotech company, Lifestyle Pets, in 2007. The company wanted to fulfill people’s desires of owning tigers or leopards and so set out on a mission to create something that closely resembled the wild creatures but still domestic.
They crossbred a domesticated cat, a wild cat (a serval), and an Asian leopard. The result was a cat that can weigh as much as 30 pounds but is still homely and friendly. The company was able to sell about 100 in their first year of existence alone. Their prices ranged from $22,000 to $28,000, and they were mostly snapped up by customers in China and Russia. Since then, the cat’s value has kept increasing to its present price of about $105,000.
What Is the Rarest Home Cat and How Expensive Is It?
Going by the rankings of the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), the rarest home cat in the world is the American Wirehair. The American Wirehair originally descended from a breed of cats known as the Shorthair. Thanks to a spontaneous mutation that occurred in 1966 in upstate New York, one in a pair of five Shorthair cats that was born that year had a special wiry coat.
This quality set it apart and so a special breeding program was developed for it. The breeding program has not been able to replicate this wiry-hair feature substantially as the genetic mutation is very rare. This means that the number of Wirehair cats out there are few. When you are lucky to get your hands on one, you will be required to pay about $800 – $1200 for it.
A Rundown of the Most Expensive Cats in the World
15. Khao Manee – $1,400
14. British Shorthair – $1,500
13. Maine Coon – $1,600
12. Norwegian Forest – $2,600
11. American Curl – $2,600
10. Scottish Fold – $3,000
9. Russian Blue – $3,000
8. The Sphynx – $3,900
7. Peterbald – $5,000
6. The Persian – $5,500
5. Allerca – $6,000
4. Caracal – $10,000
3. Bengal – $30,000
2. Savannah – $50,000
1. Ashera – $105,000