Savannah cat growling at the camera

What are the most expensive cat breeds in the world today?

That’s what we’re looking at today!

I bet a few will really surprise you, too!

Keep reading to find which cats cost the most and how to care for them.

Expensive Cat Breeds

How much would you be willing to pay for a cat?

While you can typically adopt kitties at a shelter for roughly $100, if you’re dreaming of a specific breed, the costs can get higher. MUCH higher, as you’ll see!

Let’s start with the least pricey of the most expensive cat breeds, then work our way down to one with a price tag that will absolutely shock you.

#1 American Shorthair

Price Range – $600 to $1200

a large American shorthair cat

The American Shorthair is a pedigree cat breed that is believed to have originated from Europe.

They were brought to the United States by settlers, and they bred them to help with rodent control both at the ships and in the areas they settled.

Selective breeding of these cats started in the 20th century. And in 2012, they were ranked at position 7 among the most popular pedigreed cat breeds by the Cat Fanciers Association.

American Shorthairs are characterized by round faces, short pointed ears, and a muscular body.

They’re also healthy, low-maintenance, social, and affectionate.

While they were bred as working cats, they’re not that athletic. They also come in 80 different colors and patterns.

Here’s the thing: while they’re among the most expensive cats to buy through a breeder, they’re also among the easiest to find in shelters.

So, if you dream of owning an American Shorthair, look to local cat rescue groups first.

Related: Healthiest Cat Breeds

#2 Siberian

Price Range – $1000 – $2000

a Siberian cat beside a wide cat tree

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Siberian cats are native to Russia – they’re actually the Russian National Cat.

And even though they came to the United States in the late 1980s, they date back to 1000 A.D. They’re also considered as some of the first long-haired cats.

Siberian cats are strong, well-built, and some of the best jumpers in the cat world.

They don’t have any specific colors and patterns, but they’re available in all recognized patterns, including tabbies, tortoiseshell, solid colors, and colorpoint.

The fact that they’ve not been in other parts of the world for that long makes them quite expensive and not easy to come by.

#3 Maine Coon

Price range – $400 – $3500

Maine coon cat relaxing on the table

The Maine Coon is one of the most popular cat breeds in the USA.

They’re characterized by an extra-large appearance, long-haired coat, and a unique vocalization.

A Maine Coon can be as large as 3-feet, and they also have uniquely large paws for navigating the snow and a long thick tail.

Despite being quite large, they’re referred to as “gentle giants” due to their social and lovable nature.

They also come in all recognizable colors and patterns thanks to crossbreeding with other cats.

Their origin is not that clear, but one of the stories associates them with the last Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, who was executed in 1793.

The story goes that Queen Marie attempted to escape, and her cats were among the treasures that were loaded on the ship.

Since she didn’t make it, the ship sailed without her, and it landed on the shores of Wiscasset, Maine, USA. Currently, the Maine Coon is the state cat in Maine.

It’s believed that they’re expensive because they’re considered the “American Cat”, or one of the cats bred exclusively in the United States.

Check: 10 Cat Breeds With Thick Tails

#4 American Curl

Price range – $800 – $1300

side view of a serious-faced American Curl cat

American Curls are known for their unique ears that curl backward.

Their ancestor is a stray cat named Shulamith, who first appeared at a couple’s home in Lakewood, California.

She had unique ears and gave birth to kittens with the same characteristics. Selective breeding went on from there.

American Curls are born with straight ears, but the curling starts a few days later and goes on until they’re at least 4 months old. A genetic mutation causes the curly ears.

Overall, American Curls are pretty healthy, active, relatively quiet, and affectionate.

There are long-haired and shorthaired American Curls, and they come in all color types and patterns.

They need special maintenance, especially when dealing with the ears since they are quite sensitive.

It would be best if you also cleaned their ears regularly since they tend to accumulate dirt fast.

#5 Scottish Fold

Price Range – $800 to $1500

a cute Scottish fold cat lying on the floor

The Scottish Fold is another cat breed that has bent ears. But instead of bending backwards, they fold forwards.

This bending is also a result of a genetic mutation, but this mutation is different from the one in American Curls.

However, that mutation is associated with bone and cartilage development, explaining why the Scottish Folds suffer from mobility and other health issues.

And it’s also the reason why breeding of Scottish Folds is banned in the U.K.

In fact, many cat organizations worldwide are discouraging continued breeding, which accounts for the higher price, at least in part.

If you desperately want a Scottish Fold, please consider adoption. If people keep buying, breeders will keep breeding.

#6 Sphynx

Price range – $300 – $3000

a basket loaded with Sphynx kittens

The Sphynx cats are some of the most popular exotic cat breeds.

Considering how hard they are to come by, you may have to spend more than $2000 for a purebred Sphynx cat.

They have a unique slender body, a triangular face, webbed feet, and a hairless coat.

Hairlessness is a result of a genetic mutation. The first hairless cat, named Prune, was born in 1966 in Toronto, Canada.

And selective breeding carried on from there. The coats can either have a solid color, tabby, point, and many more acceptable colors and patterns.

Sphynx cats are very energetic, intelligent, and good at bonding with their owners.

Sometimes they can be quite demanding for attention. And they’re known to suffer from separation anxiety.

Due to the lack of fur, Sphynx cats need special care. For instance, they get cold quickly, and you may have to invest in a thermostat to regulate your home’s temperatures.

Their coats are also sensitive and prone to sunburns, skin infections, and irritable bowel syndrome. They also accumulate body oils fast and need regular cleaning.

You should avoid taking them outdoors, especially when it’s too cold or too hot.

Sphynx cats may develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, so make sure you schedule heart scans for your cat every year.

If you can handle this type of care, Sphynx cats are some of the best lap cats you can own.

#7 British Shorthair

Price range- $800 to $2000

sleepy British Shorthair cat

One of the most popular pedigreed cats in the U.K., the British Shorthair is a sight to behold.

They’re known for their sweet-natured and easy-going personality.

And even though they have been around for a long time, British Shorthairs aren’t reproduced in large numbers, which explains the hefty price you’ll have to pay to get one.

British Shorthairs are probably some of the oldest breeds. They date back to the 1st century where Romans kept them for their rodent control and hunting skills.

They then interbred naturally with the wild cats and developed a muscular build and a thick coat to withstand the harsh climate.

Selective breeding of these felines started in the 19th century. The modern-day British Shorthair has a round head, large body, strong legs, and a dense, luxurious coat.

British Shorthairs with a grey-blue coat, also known as the British Blue, are the most common, but British Shorthairs come in several colors and patterns.

#8 Bengal

Price range – $2000 to $10,000

two cute bengal kittens

If you’d love a cat that resembles a leopard or any other wild cat, then you’ll love the Bengal.

This breed is a result of crossing domestic cats such as the Egyptian Mau or the Abyssinian with an Asian Leopard Cat.

The first attempt to cross a domestic cat and an Asian Leopard cat was by Jean Mill, but other breeders joined in the late 1970s.

The result was a cat with a wild appearance, spotted coat, and an athletic body.

While they may look wild at first glance, they’re friendly, affectionate, and have the same activity level as other domestic cats (sometimes they can be too energetic).

Most Bengal owners agree that these cats are intelligent. They can learn to fetch stuff, open doorknobs, or learn any other tricks. They’re also good jumpers. So make sure you can handle this level of activity before getting this cat.

Bengal cats are rare because in one of their generations, the males are infertile, and it takes 4 generations for a cat to be recognized as a Bengal cat.

Note – All generations of Bengal cats are illegal in Hawaii, Seattle, and New York City. Their ownership is also restricted in some states.

#9 Persian

Price range – $1500 to $5500

beautiful green-eyed Persian cat

IF glamour had a symbol in the cat world, it would be the Persian cat – from the pansy-like face, the long luxurious coat, to the long fluffy tail.

You have every reason to spend thousands of dollars on this cat. They also come in several colors and patterns. There’s coloration for every cat lover.

Persian cats date back to the 16th century, and they’re believed to have originated from Persia (modern-day Iran). But they were first recognized by the cat registries in the 19th century.

Persian cats are quiet and placid for the most part. But when they decide to express themselves, they do so in irresistible vocalizations.

However, these cats aren’t all glamorous and maintenance-free. As a matter of fact, they’re high maintenance.

The long thick hair needs regular combing and regular visits to a professional groomer.

While the pansy face may look cute and out of this world, it results from shortened nostrils, which cause breathing difficulties, eye problems, and other health issues.

But that doesn’t outweigh their other good qualities, explaining why purebred Persian cats are highly sought after and quite expensive.

#10 Savannah

Price range – $10,000 to $50,000

Savannah cat lying on the floor

This is another cat breed that’s a cross between a domestic house cat and a wild cat, the African Serval.

And it’s not only one of the most expensive cat breeds, but it’s also one of the largest cat breeds, some weighing up to 30 pounds.

Savannah cats have not been around for that long. Breeder Judee Frank made the first cross between the African Serval and a domestic cat in 1986, and the breed was approved for the championship in the 1990s.

These felines are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and dog-like traits. You can train them to walk on a leash and to fetch stuff.

They’re not always friendly to strangers unless you teach them from a young age.

If not well-trained, they may resort to hissing and hiding every time they see a stranger.

There’s a debate on the food requirements for a Savannah cat. Some breeders state that they need raw meat in their diet, but not all cat owners can manage that. So consult with your vet on the best foods to feed your cat.

Note – There are restrictions to owning Savannah cats (and other hybrids between domestic cats and wild cats) in most jurisdictions.

Make sure you check if they’re allowed in your region before getting one.

#11 Ashera

Price Range – $20,000 to $125,000

a close-up shot of Ashera cat's green eye

If you thought the Savannah cat is expensive, wait until you met the Ashera cats.

This is one of the most recent and rarest designer cat breeds, and you may have to spend more than $100,000 to get your hands on one.

Besides the extremely high price tag, you’ll also have to join a waiting list to get this cat since only a handful of them are reproduced every year.

A California-based company, Lifestyle Pets, developed this breed in 2006 by crossing a domestic cat with an Asian Leopard Cat and the African Serval.

The result is a hyperactive mini-leopard with a lifespan of up to 25 years.

Even though they carry two wild cats’ genes, they’re friendly, loyal, and love to curl up in heated blankets for warmth.

There are some controversies about this breed, with some people claiming that they’re actually Savannah cats, but they’re still recognized as the most expensive cats.

How Do You Take Care Of The Expensive Cat Breeds?

You’ll realize that most of the cat breeds I mentioned in this list are cat breeds you’ve adopted before, probably at a lower price.

The prices on this list are for purebred cats and some rare cat breeds. Expensive cat breeds need the same care that regular cat breeds would get.

All you have to do is understand each breed’s health and grooming requirements.

For instance, the Sphynx cat is a hairless breed and needs cleaning rather than brushing. And they should be kept inside due to their sensitive skin.

On the other hand, a Persian cat has thick long hair that needs regular brushing.

Some cat breeds may be genetically predisposed towards some diseases due to the breeding techniques, so make sure you get the breeding history from the breeder.

A qualified breeder should have it.

Remember, expenses don’t end at purchasing the cat. You’ll need to pay more for their food, accessories, and even veterinary visits.

Some vets charge higher for exotic breeds.

Expensive Cat Breeds FAQs

Which of the most expensive cat breeds in the world is the nicest?

If you’re looking for a cat that cuddles, welcomes you home from work, and one that’s your forever devoted friend, go for the Maine Coon, Sphynx, and the Siberian cats.

Which of the most expensive cat breeds is the most aggressive?

Cats were domesticated from the wild. And as we’ve seen, some of them are hybrids between domestic cats and feral cats. So they all have an aggressive streak in them. While you can tame them, some can be quite aggressive, especially when they need something. Some aggressive cat breeds include the Savannah, Bengal, Scottish Fold, and sometimes the Sphynx.

Which of the most expensive cat breeds in the world is the smartest?

If you’re looking for cats that are intelligent, trainable, and intuitive, you love the Scottish Fold, Bengal, and Savannah cats.

Which of the most expensive cat breeds is the laziest?

The Persian, Siberian, and Maine Coon are some of the laziest cat breeds. Rather than climbing up stuff and going for adventures, they prefer lying on the couch. They’re perfect for people who can’t manage hyperactivity. However, all cats need some physical activity, so get them appropriate toys and schedule time to engage them both physically and mentally.

Conclusion

There are more than 70 cat breeds in the world.

Whether you get one of the most expensive cat breeds, or one from the regular cat breeds pool, taking care of them doesn’t differ that much.

Bet the food, grooming, and vaccination requirements from the breeder, get them the appropriate toys, and make sure you visit a vet often to have them checked.

It’s not about how much money you spend on the cat. It’s about the companionship the cat offers and the moments you spend together.

References:

  • “Bengal Cat Laws.” 2021. Ct.gov. 2021. https://www.cga.ct.gov/2000/rpt/2000-R-0680.htm.‌
  • News, Flanders. 2020. “Flanders Bans Scottish Folds.” Vrtnws.be. November 25, 2020. https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/en/2020/11/25/flanders-bans-scottish-folds/#:~:text=Flanders%20is%20banning%20Scottish%20fold.‌
  • “Top Breeds 2020 – the Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc.” n.d. Cfa.org. https://cfa.org/cfa-news-releases/top-breeds-2020/.

a Savannah cat looking at the camera. this cat belongs to top 11 Expensive Cat Breeds in the World

Do you own any of these expensive cat breeds? What’s your experience with them? Feel free to share in the comments section!

Peter W
Peter W

Peter is a cat dad who loves sharing his experience with other cat parents.