Cats have a unique allure that draws many into their orbit. Their mysterious demeanor, paired with their varied characteristics across breeds, makes them one of the most beloved pets worldwide. However, certain breeds carry a hefty price tag. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the world’s most expensive cat breeds, focusing on the illustrious Ashera and Savannah.
In 2023, which cat breed takes the crown for being the most expensive? Meet the Ashera, a breed reminiscent of the snow leopard, producing a limited five litters annually. Owning one is akin to possessing a rare treasure, especially with its price tag of $125,000. Here’s a breakdown of the priciest cat breeds in 2023, ranked by their cost:
- The Ashera: As high as $125,000
- Savannah: $50,000
- Bengal: $25,000
- Persian: $5,500
- Peterbald: $5,000
- Sphynx, Scottish Fold, Russian Blue: Each at $3,000
- American Curl, American Wirehair: Each priced at $1,200
- British Shorthair: Ranges between $800 and $1,000
- Maine Coon: $1,000
In the US, cats hold a special place in the hearts of pet enthusiasts. On average, cat lovers are ready to invest over $1,200 annually on their charming companions. According to Americanproducts.org, the US pet industry saw a whopping expenditure of approximately $69.4 billion in 2017. Breaking it down, pet enthusiasts allocated $29.7 billion for food, $14.9 billion for supplies and over-the-counter meds, and a substantial $16.6 billion went to veterinary services. Additionally, $2 billion was dedicated to live animal acquisitions, and another $6.1 billion catered to miscellaneous services. It’s clear that the US pet market thrives, with cats playing a pivotal role.
In the US, cats reign as the second favorite pet, finding their way into 47.1 million homes. In contrast, dogs lead the pack, being the choice of 60.2 million households. This results in an impressive total of approximately 94.2 million domesticated cats across the country. According to Petfoodindustry.com, the US pet food industry is on an upward trajectory, with expectations to see a 4.4% surge in 2018, hitting the $27 billion mark.
For affluent pet enthusiasts with a penchant for uniqueness, investing in rare cat breeds is nothing short of a passion. This article unveils the 12 most extravagant cat breeds from around the globe. So, if your wallet is brimming and your heart aches for feline companionship, dive into this list and perhaps bring home a rare and adorable gem.
World’s Top 12 Priciest Cat Breeds
1. The Ashera – Priced at a Stunning $125,000
The Ashera commands a breathtaking price tag, potentially reaching up to $125,000, due to its exceptional rarity. A firm based in Los Angeles reveals that only 5 kittens of this unique breed are produced annually. Acquiring one places you in the exclusive club of a handful of Ashera owners globally. This striking breed, with its snow leopard-like patterns, isn’t just about aesthetics. While it may visually echo a snow leopard, its temperament aligns more with the Savannah cats. In fact, some connoisseurs even suggest that genetic evaluations indicate that Ashera cats might essentially be Savannah F1 cats.
A captivating blend of the Asian leopard cat, a standard domestic cat, and the African serval results in this exquisite breed. Characterized by loyalty, affection, and remarkable intelligence, the Ashera stands uncontested as the world’s most coveted pet cat. If you have deep pockets and a penchant for the unique, this might just be the perfect feline companion for you, despite the ongoing genetic debate.
2. Savannah Cat – $50,000
Originating from the unique blend of the wild African serval and the domestic Persian cat, the Savannah breed marked its beginning in 1986, thanks to Bengal breeder Judee Frank. This innovative fusion swiftly gained traction, securing its acceptance in breeder communities by the mid-1990s. Reminiscent of dogs in their loyalty, Savannah cats thrive in social settings. Early training ensures their receptiveness to both other pets and unfamiliar faces. However, those unacquainted with strangers might exhibit defensive behaviors like growling and hissing. Boasting formidable strength and agility, don’t be surprised to find them scaling tall cabinets, fridges, or doors. With their sharp intellect, spirited curiosity, and boundless energy, Savannahs crave substantial exercise.
The classification of Savannahs spans from F1 to F5. F1 variants have a serval heritage of approximately 50%, while the F5 counterparts carry roughly 11% of serval genes. The breed’s pricing varies, contingent on both its gender and classification. A prime F1 female Savannah can demand an impressive sum of up to $50,000.
3. Bengal Cat – $25,000
Bengal cats, with their wild and exotic aura, are the epitome of the ideal feline companion. Renowned for their uniquely spotted coats and robust physique, they bring a touch of the wilderness into your home. While Bengal cats comfortably nestle in domestic settings today, their lineage takes us back to the 1970s. It was during this period that a fusion between the wild Asian leopard cat and domestic shorthairs gave birth to the Bengal breed. Their vibrant intelligence and zest for life make them delightful companions. However, their ceaseless curiosity can sometimes lead to adventurous escapades, from diving into fish tanks to swinging from chandeliers.
Contrary to the diminutive size of many domesticated cats, the Bengal, partly due to its feral ancestry, boasts a grander stature. A prime Bengal cat, judged on pedigree, generational lineage, and coat quality, can command an astonishing price of up to $25,000. Beyond their appearance, Bengals are characterized by their affectionate nature, compatibility with children and dogs, social tendencies, and an inexhaustible playful spirit.
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4. Persian Cat – $5,500
The origins of the Persian cat weave a tale rich in history. While many attribute their roots to 19th-century Persia (now Iran), historical records hint at their existence several centuries before Christ. Distinguished by their enchanting pansy-like faces and lush, long coats, Persians exude elegance. Their amiable demeanor allows them to seamlessly fit into bustling households. These felines, with their playful disposition and captivating eyes, radiate charm. However, their magnificent mane demands meticulous care to ward off hairballs and prevent tangles.
The Persian’s iconic squished face and voluminous coat make it easily identifiable. While it’s a breed that revels in affectionate moments and cozy cuddles, it tends to be on the quieter side, expressing itself with more purrs than meows. Their opulent fur calls for daily grooming rituals. With a variety of shades and patterns, the Persian’s weight aligns closely with that of the conventional American Shorthair.
5. Peterbald Cat – $5,000
The Peterbald, a regal Russian feline, offers a diverse range of coats – from hairless to a texture mirroring that of a peach. Some members of this breed boast a velvety touch, while others might remind you of a coarse, stubbled beard. The world was first introduced to the Peterbald in 1988 when an unusual coat variation emerged in Russia. Subsequently, the breed started gracing various European countries, establishing itself as a sought-after pet, celebrated for its sturdy physique.
This distinctive breed originated from the union of a Russian Donskoy and an Oriental Shorthair. The Peterbald inherited a dominant gene from the Donskoy lineage, often resulting in its hairless trait. Beyond its unique appearance, the Peterbald is a fusion of intellect and warmth, content to snuggle up on a welcoming lap. Given its delicate skin, it demands gentle handling, especially from younger family members. Also, prospective owners should note its vulnerability to sunburn, mandating limited outdoor exposure.
6. Sphynx Cat – $3,000
Characterized by its signature hairless appearance, the Sphynx emerged due to a unique genetic mutation, resulting in a robust and thriving breed. Its journey began in 1966 when a domestic cat in Toronto, Canada, birthed a hairless kitten. Remarkably hardy, the Sphynx isn’t predisposed to any major genetic or health complications. In terms of temperament, this breed is the embodiment of loyalty, playfulness, and an insatiable desire for human interaction. They effortlessly mingle with other cat breeds and even canine companions.
Contrary to popular belief linking its name to Egypt, the Sphynx’s true roots lie in Toronto. The absence of fur is attributed to a recessive gene. Sociable by nature, these cats warmly embrace new faces. Caretakers, however, should be prepared for frequent baths due to the accumulation of body oils on their skin. Moreover, it’s best to keep these felines sheltered indoors, away from the challenges of the external environment.
7. Scottish Fold – $3,000
Originating from a farm in Scotland’s Tayside region in 1961, the Scottish Fold’s tale began when shepherd William Ross chanced upon this distinct breed. Captivated, Ross acquired a kitten and became instrumental in the breed’s development. The Scottish Fold stands out with its unique, flexible ears that curve forwards and downwards, bestowing upon the feline a whimsical resemblance to a teddy bear, owl, or even a pixie — features that have enamored cat aficionados across America.
While their hallmark folded ears result from a dominant gene influencing cartilage throughout their bodies, they often wear a seemingly melancholic expression. But don’t be deceived — these cats are bubbling with joy and vitality. Sociable and attention-seeking, they’re the life of the party. However, prospective owners should be aware: the breed may be predisposed to degenerative joint issues, necessitating proactive health care measures.
8. Russian Blue – $3,000
With its dazzling green eyes and lustrous silvery-blue coat, the Russian Blue never fails to captivate admirers. Marrying intelligence with playfulness, this breed fits seamlessly into any home, proving to be both loyal and intuitive to their owner’s emotions. While they bond closely with their families, they often exhibit a touch of reticence around unfamiliar faces. With a price tag around $3,000 per kitten, they offer the allure of elegance without demanding excessive upkeep.
Often referred to as “the Archangel cat”, the Russian Blue’s lineage hails from the city of Archangel in Russia. Its introduction to the broader world took place in England in 1875. Although their aloof demeanor with newcomers might paint them as distant, their facial structure often gives them a serene, smiling appearance, showcasing their underlying contentment.
9. American Curl – $1,200
Beloved for its playful and affectionate nature, the American Curl has found a special place in the hearts of feline enthusiasts. Characterized by a smooth, flat-lying coat, a medium-sized, rectangular frame, and emotive eyes, it’s the curling ears that truly set this breed apart. The tale of the American Curl begins with a stray long-haired black cat with peculiar ears, discovered by Joe and Grace Ruga in Lakewood, California, in 1981. Fondly named “Shulamith,” every American Curl can trace its lineage back to her.
Attributed to a spontaneous genetic mutation, the iconic curly ears define the breed. Beyond their unique appearance, American Curls are renowned for their sociable disposition, building strong bonds with both humans and fellow felines. Although not particularly talkative, their sharp intellect shines through. Those with longer coats among them do require regular grooming to maintain their lustrous sheen.
10. American Wirehair – $1,200
Originating in the heart of upstate New York in 1966, the American Wirehair stands as a proud symbol of American feline breeds. The birth of this breed, characterized by its unique wirehaired coat, was due to a spontaneous mutation among farm cats. With a robust resistance to diseases and low-maintenance coat, it’s no surprise that the American Wirehair has won the hearts of both casual cat enthusiasts and dedicated breeders.
Drawing parallels to the American Shorthair, this breed embodies playfulness, warmth, adaptability, and even a touch of mischief. Boasting athletic prowess, the Wirehair maintains moderate activity levels, and its sharp intellect is evident when engaging with interactive and puzzle toys. Sociable and ever-curious, it enjoys mingling with visitors and tailing family members throughout the home. When it comes to grooming, this breed remains fuss-free for most of the year, requiring attention primarily during the spring shedding season. Their amiable nature makes them ideal companions for children and other pets.
11. British Shorthair – $800
The British Shorthair is an embodiment of elegance and charm. Loyal and affectionate, these felines form strong bonds with their human companions. They’re social butterflies, mingling seamlessly with both family members and other pets. However, while they enjoy being around their loved ones, they prefer not to be picked up.
Tracing their roots back to the domestic cats of the Roman Empire, British Shorthairs were once lauded for their hunting prowess and strength. Over time, and with a nudge from urban environments, they’ve adopted a more relaxed and slightly clumsy demeanor. Initially sourced from UK street cats, breeders have meticulously fine-tuned the breed over the years, ensuring their resilience against various health challenges.
Sporting a delightful chubbiness and a rounded physique, the British Shorthair distinctively stands apart from its American kin. With their iconic copper eyes, bluish-gray coat, and broad face, they exude an unmatched aristocracy. Their price tag, ranging from $800 to $1,000, makes them a luxurious choice for cat enthusiasts. Despite their regal appearance, they possess a serene and laid-back personality, often content with just basking in your presence.
12. Maine Coon – $1,000
Hailing from the chilly terrains of New England, the Maine Coon stands out with its impeccable mouse-hunting abilities, resilience to the harsh northeastern US climate, and distinctive large tufted ears. Draped in a thick, shaggy coat and flaunting a luxurious fluffy tail, this cat’s size is rivalled only by its gentle and bright nature.
Surprisingly, some Maine Coons tip the scales at over 20 pounds, taking between three to five years to reach their majestic full size. Their amiable disposition ensures they blend seamlessly with varied personalities and lifestyles. While they enjoy accompanying their human companions, they maintain a comfortable independence, avoiding any clinginess. The male Maine Coons are often the life of the party with their goofy antics, while the females exude a quiet elegance. Perfect for households with children and other cat-friendly pets, the sociable and serene Maine Coon easily earns its spot as a top family favorite.
For more information about cat breeds, visit the website for The Cat Fanciers Association, a breed registry founded in 1906. CFA currently recognizes 45 cat breeds as well as non-pedigreed companion cats that make up more than 95% of the cat population.
Another cat registry organization, The International Cat Association (TICA), currently recognizes 73 cat breeds for championship competition. Visit their site for photographs and details about the breeds they register.