Every cat is priceless to its owner, no matter what its actual monetary value. Some cats are worth more than others, however, when it comes to dollars and cents. Purebred cats can cost a pretty penny. You may or may not be surprised to learn that some of the world’s most expensive cat breeds are sold for thousands of dollars each. From highest to lowest, here are the 24 most expensive cat breeds in the world.
Ashera (Price Tag: $16,000 to $125,000)
The Ashera is one of the rarest, and the most expensive, cat breed in the world, hands down. Developed in 2007 by former Delaware-based designer cat breed company Lifestyle Pets, the Ashera is the result of a hybrid mixture of several wild cats, including African serval, Asian leopard, and domestic house cat.
- Body: long torso, long legs
- Face: big ears a
- Colors/patterns: beautiful, leopard-like spots and stripes
- Weight: can weigh up to 30 lbs.
- Lifespan: can live for up to 25 years
- Personality: Very dog-like (leash-trainable), friendly, energetic
- Gets along well with: children
Due to its hefty price tag, only 100 Ashera have been sold each year since the breed’s creation in 2007. If you want to buy an Ashera, you will need to get on a waiting list that is at least nine months long.
Savannah (Price Tag: $10,000 to $25,000)
The Savannah is the hybrid result of a domestic Persian crossed with an African serval. This breed of cat was accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2001. It is one of the largest domesticated breeds of cat.
- Weight: up to 20 lbs.
- Height: a Savannah holds the Guinness Book World Record for world’s tallest domestic cat (with the winner standing one foot 7.05 inches tall!)
- Face: strikingly large ears
- Colors and patterns: Standard variations of the Savannah include brown-spotted tabby, black with black spots, silver-spotted tabby, and black smoke (black tipped silver with black spots)
- Personality: a fierce hunter, athletic, active very loyal to its owner, may not like strangers, curious, intelligent
- Potential problems: litter box refusal, tendency to only eat raw food
While the average price for a full-grown Savannah is $25,000, some Savannah kittens have sold for $125,000 each! These cats are quite rare, as breeding servals and Persians is not an easy task. Fertility rates of the Savannah are also very low, driving its price even higher.
Khao Manee (Price Tag: $11,000)
Originating in Thailand, the Khao Manee is not yet officially recognized as an international cat breed. It is a natural cat breed, developed without human intervention, and has also been referred to as the Diamond Eye Cat as it often has two differently light-colored eyes (usually blue and green).
- Weight: 8 to 10 lbs.
- Height/length: 10 to 12 inches
- Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
- Color: white
- Personality: energetic, intelligent, sociable, outgoing, athletic
- Gets along well with: children, other pets (both cats and dogs)
- Potential problems: loneliness if left alone for too long
The Khao Manee arrived in the United States about 1999 to start a breeding program in order to preserve the breed. This beautiful white cat is very rare and hard to come by.
Bengal (Price Tag: $4000 to $10,000)
A hybrid between a domestic cat and Asian leopard, the first official Bengal was bred in 1934.
- Body: sleek and lanky, shaped like an Asian leopard, large round paws, very muscular, can jump quite high
- Colors and patterns: white belly, leopard-like markings, and the only domestic cat breed with rosette markings.
- Weight: 15 lbs. on average
- Personality: active, intelligent, talkative cat, loves to climb and play in water
First-generation Bengals are typically kept for breeding purposes only, as they are quite wild in nature. True Bengals must be only four generations removed from a wild animal in order to be classified that way. Bengal cats are therefore banned in some areas, such as New York City and Hawaii, due to being considered undomesticated. They may also be quite pricey, with one Bengal in the United Kingdom selling for $50,000.
Persian (Price Tag: $1800 to $5500)
This breed originated in Persia (modern-day Iran) in the 1600s. In the Middle East, the Persian is called the Iranian cat; and in Iran, it is referred to as the Shirazi cat. The Persian was imported to Italy and France in 1620, and was first shown in a competitive cat show in London in 1871. This breed of cat was brought to the U.S. in the 1900s.
- Coat: long-haired
- Face: short muzzle, round face
- Gets along well with: adults, kids, other cats and dogs
- Personality: calmer and less athletic than other breeds, loving to cuddle.
- Potential problems: If you purchase a Persian, beware that it is a high-maintenance cat, with a long-haired coat requiring extra care from you.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association says that the Persian is the second-most popular cat breed in the U.S. Variations of the Persian include the Exotic shorthair, Himalayan, Chinchilla longhair, Toy Persian, Sterling, and Teacup Persian.
Toyger (Price Tag: $5000)
The Toyger breed was created about 25 years ago by the same breeders who created the Bengal. It is a mixture of a Bengal and a domestic shorthair, producing a domestic cat with the appearance of a wild cat. The name “Toyger” indicates that it is a hybrid of a toy and a tiger (which is why it has the appearance of a toy tiger).
- Weight: 7 to 15 lbs.
- Height/length: 18 inches
- Coat: short, plush, soft
- Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
- Body: long body with shorter front legs (like a tiger)
- Color and patterns: tiger-like markings
- Personality: laid back, friendly and trainable (can also be leash-trained)
- Potential problems: tendency towards heart murmur
The Toyger breed is recognized by TICA but not by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
Maine Coon (Price Tag: $400 to $3500)
The Maine Coon is a large luxury breed that has a wild appearance. It evolved through natural breeding and is known as a gentle giant (being one of the largest breeds of domesticated cats). Its meow is more like a chirp or a trill and is very distinctive.
- Weight: can weigh 20 lbs. or more
- Coat: long, shaggy hair, great for colder climates
- Face: large, tufted ears
- Height/length: measures three feet long from nose to tail
- Personality: very intelligent and trainable, friendly loves water, excellent hunter
- Gets along well with: humans and dogs
Peterbald (Price Tag: $1000 to $3000)
A popular, typically hairless breed, the Peterbald is a newer breed of cat derived from Russia. Created in 1994 in an experimental breeding program, the Peterbald is the result of a cross between a hairless Donskoy and an Oriental shorthair. It was accepted for championship class competition in 2009.
- Coat: not always completely hairless – it can have no hair, a fuzzy layer, or short hair
- Face: small, narrow, long head; large pointed ears
- Body: webbed feet
- Weight: 7 to 14 lbs.
- Height/length: 8 to 12 inches
- Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
- Colors and patterns: comes in all colors and may display a variety of markings
- Personality: friendly, intelligent, curious, playful, athletic cat
- Gets along well with: children and other pets
Due to its lack of fur, the Peterbald has a higher metabolism than cats with longer coats. This means that it will need to consume more food than other cats, and that it will heal more quickly if scratched or wounded. Although it may be hairless or nearly so, it is not always hypoallergenic, as many humans are allergic to the dander or saliva of cats, not the coat.
Russian Blue (Price Tag: $500 to $3000)
This breed from the port of Arkhangelsk in northern Russia is hypoallergenic and needs little grooming. The Russian Blue was brought to London by sailors, and was named Archangel cat (after the port where it was discovered).
- Colors: gray and looks blue in certain light
- Weight: between 5 and 15 lbs.
- Lifespan: 20 years
- Personality: affectionate, loyal and close to their owners
Russian Blue kittens sell for $500; while adults usually cost about $3000 each.
Sphynx (Price Tag: $900 to $2000)
The Sphynx is a soft, hairless, affectionate breed that originated in the 1960s in Canada and is very popular worldwide.
- Face: wedge-shaped head, large ears, prominent cheekbones
- Body: round stomach, large paw pads, dexterous toes that can pick up objects, thin tail, and muscular body
- Coat: hairless (actually extra-short coat, may have fuzz or down covering its body)
- Weight: under 12 lbs.
- Personality: very affectionate, intelligent, curious and energetic
- Potential problems: because of its hairlessness, the Sphynx can have many skin issues, such as sunburn and skin infections. They must be kept warm as well, and bathed with special shampoo. They are prone to a genetic heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, causing thickening of the heart muscle.
Scottish Fold (Price Tag: $800 to $2000)
One of the cutest as well as one of the most expensive cat breeds, the Scottish Fold originated in 1966 in Scotland and was accepted for showing in Europe in 1971.
- Face: the Scottish Fold is known for its folded ears that are the result of a genetic mutation causing them to flop forward; it also has a round head and large, owl-like eyes
- Body: medium-sized
- Weight: about nine to 13 lbs.
- Coat: long- or short-haired
- Colors and patterns: variety
- Personality: affectionate, friendly, social, active, will bond with one person typically
- Potential problems: arthritis in tail
The Scottish Fold is popular with celebrities Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. Kittens may cost just $250 each, and adults sell for as much as $2000 apiece.
British Shorthair (Price Tag: $1500 to $2000)
This older breed of cat was developed in Rome and introduced to Great Britain in the 1870s. They are known as superior hunters and are quite rare today, resulting in their hefty price tag.
- Face: broad
- Coat: dense
- Body: chunky
- Colors and patterns: variety
- Weight: 9 to 17 lbs.
- Length: 22 to 25 inches
- Personality: intelligent, affectionate, playful
Siberian (Price Tag: $800 to $2000)
Another breed originating in Russia, the Siberian was bred to survive cold Siberian winters, explaining their hefty size (it is one of the largest breeds of domesticated cats). The formal Siberian breed standards were not developed until the 1980s. Also known as Siberian Forest Cat or Moscow Longhair, the Siberian is the national cat of Russia.
- Colors/patterns: white, black or grey
- Coat: medium to longhaired coats that are water-resistant
- Weight: up to 25 lbs. as adults.
- Personality: affectionate, easygoing
- Gets along well with: children, dogs
The Siberian produces litters of five to six kittens (more than the average cat breed of three to four) and may be ready to reproduce as young as five months. Siberian cats are low-maintenance additions to the family that may be more expensive in the U.S. and countries outside of Russia.
Egyptian Mau (Price Tag: $500 to $1800)
The Egyptian Mau is one of the few domestic breeds of cat that is naturally spotted. Despite their name, they originate from European and North American breeds, not Egyptian breeds.
- Body: slender, medium long, and can run up to 30 miles per hour
- Colors/patterns: Six colors are usually seen in the Egyptian Mau: black, blue, bronze, silver, smoke and caramel. They have a dark dorsal stripe along their spine from their head to their tail.
- Eyes: green
- Personality: friendly cat that may be wary of strangers
The Egyptian Mau is rare, with less than 200 cats registered each year (accounting for the higher price).
American Curl (Price Tag: $800 to $1300)
The American Curl has been called the Peter Pan of cats – a cat that never grows up. It originated in California in 1981.
- Face: Like the Scottish Fold, the American Curl has ears that curl due to a genetic mutation. Their kittens are born with straight ears that begin curling about 48 hours after birth.
- Body: medium-sized cat
- Weight: about 12 lbs.
- Lifespan: 9 to 13 years
- Coat: may be long- or short-haired
- Personality: lively, interested in people, needs daily exercise
An interesting fact about American Curl cats: Show cats of the American Curl breed must have ears that curl to an angle between 90 and 180 degrees. Too much curl will disqualify a cat from competition.
Ragdoll (Price Tag: $1000 to $1300)
The Ragdoll was developed in the 1960s by American breeder Ann Baker. It is named Ragdoll due to its tendency to go limp in a human’s arms.
- Coat: fluffy silky long-haired coat
- Face: big blue eyes, and triangular-shaped ears
- Weight: average of about 20 lbs.
- Colors and patterns: may come in one of six colors–blue, lilac, cream, red, seal and chocolate; with three patterns–bicolor, mottled, and color point.
- Personality: friendly, affectionate, dog-like, quiet
- Gets along well with: children, other cats and dogs
The breed is especially popular in the U.S. and United Kingdom. In fact, as of 2018, the Ragdoll is the most popular breed of domestic cat, per the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
American Wirehair (Price Tag: $1000 to $1200)
Originating in the 1960s in upstate New York in from a spontaneous mutation, the springy wirehair coat is the distinctive feature of this breed.
- Coat: wirehair springy
- Colors: variety
- Eyes: golden, except for white American Wirehairs who have blue or amber eyes
- Personality: affectionate, active, loyal, playful
- Gets along well with: children, other cats and dogs
In 2003, there were just 22 American Wirehairs registered with the Cat Fanciers’ Association, making it a rare (and expensive) breed of cat.
American Shorthair (Price Tag: $600 to $1200)
This breed likely originated in Europe and was brought to the U.S. by early settlers who wanted to protect their cargo from mice and rats.
- Weight: 12 to 15 lbs.
- Colors and patterns: 80 recognized variations
- Personality: playful and independent
- Gets along well with: children
As of 2012, this breed was the seventh most popular in the U.S. per the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
Ocicat (Price Tag: $800)
The Ocicat was first bred in the 1960s as a cross between an Abyssinian, Siamese and American Shorthair. A wild-looking, exotic-appearing cat, the Ocicat is more domesticated than the Savannah (and actually contains no wild cat DNA).
- Colors: 12 colors are available in the Ocicat
- Body: well-muscled
- Weight: 6 to 15 lbs.
- Lifespan: 12 to 18 years
- Personality: good-natured, friendly, sociable, intelligent
- Gets along well with: kids, other cats and dogs
Siamese (Price Tag: $800)
Originating in Thailand, the Siamese is one of the first breeds of Asian cat that was distinctly recognizable. It had become one of the most popular cat breeds in Europe and North America by the 19th century.
- Colors and patterns: point coloration in four colors– lilac point, blue point, chocolate point, and seal point
- Body: slender
- Face: triangular-shaped head, and almond-shaped blue eyes
- Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
- Personality: sociable and affectionate, dog-like, talkative
- Potential problems: may become depressed if left alone for too long
The Siamese has been used to create other breeds, such as the Bengal, Himalayan and Burmese.
Selkirk Rex (Price Tag: $500 to $800)
This rare breed of cat is often referred to as “the cat in sheep’s clothes.” It originated in Montana in 1987 and was named after the breeder’s father, Selkirk. The breed was accepted by TICA in 1992.
- Coat: curly, wooly, soft, oily coat that may be short or long
- Colors: all color variations
- Body: larger-boned cat
- Face: curly whiskers
- Personality: energetic and playful
- Gets along well with: kids
- Potential problems: Because the Selkirk Rex doesn’t shed often, it will require much brushing, and frequent bathing for its oily coat.
Norwegian Forest Cat (Price Tag: $500 to $800)
Originating in Europe, this breed can be raced to the Vikings in Norway in 1000 AD. Also called the Skogkatt, the Norwegian Forest Cat is a natural (not man-made) breed that is popular today in Norway, France, Sweden and Iceland.
- Coat: Its long coat has a wool undercoat and a glossy overcoat, making it perfectly suited for colder climates.
- Weight: 15 to 22 lbs.
- Body: one of the largest domesticated cats, strong and muscular
- Lifespan: up to 16 years
- Personality: active, independent, gentle, friendly, and great at climbing
The Norwegian Forest Cat was first imported to the U.S. about 40 years ago and is still fairly rare (explaining why it is so pricey).
Korat (Price Tag: $500 to $800)
Hailing from Thailand, the Korat is one of the oldest stable cat breeds in the world. They are known as good luck cats in Thailand, and are often gifted in pairs to newlyweds.
- Color: silver-tipped blue-grey in color
- Coat: short hair
- Body: small- to medium-sized cats
- Face: heart-shaped heads and large green eyes
- Personality: intelligent, playful
The Korat is quite rare today, as only a small gene pool exists within Thailand. If you can get your hands on one, you are truly lucky!