The 15 Most Expensive Cat Breeds in 2024

Written by Heather Hall
Updated: October 7, 2023
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Key Points:

  • The American curl cat was born of a genetic mutation in the litter, resulting in a cat whose ears curl back towards the center of the skull. American curl cats can have long or short hair, have silky, soft fur, and are affectionate, social, and lively.
  • The largest domestic cat breed is the Maine Coon, native to the state of Maine and one of the oldest natural North American cats. Known as a “gentle giant” and “the dog of the cat world,” Maine coons are social, loyal, and loving, and even enjoy swimming!
  • The rarest and most costly of cat breeds is the Ashera, whose median price is $75,000. A California-based company breeds about 100 of these cats a year, a cross between a domestic and wild cat.
Are Cats Mammals

The Maine Coon is the largest housecat.

©Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock.com

Cats have stolen people’s hearts everywhere for being independent, affectionate, playful, and adorable. Many perfect feline companions can be found at local shelters and rescues for free or very small costs.

But for some people, there’s one particular cat breed they’ve just got to have, with a certain personality and look. An expensive cat is a worthy investment for that special pedigree.

Why are some cat breeds so expensive? There are many annual fees that breeders have to pay to remain in business, in addition to fees to register new pure-bred kittens.

While there are vast amounts of kittens available for willing pet enthusiasts, cat breeding is done to advance a certain breed, producing the highest quality offspring and expanding the breed’s lines.

Here are the 15 most expensive cat breeds with the biggest price tags around.

An overview of the 15 Most Expensive Cat Breeds

#15. Scottish Fold: $500-$2,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Scottish Fold
Beautiful Scottish Fold silver tabby lying down. They have round faces and big round eyes, and their folded ears make them appear even rounder. In fact, they’re often compared to teddy bears or owls.

©DK13/Shutterstock.com

The first entry on our list of the most expensive cat breeds is the Scottish Fold, whose dominant genetic mutation causes the ears to fold forward towards the front of its head. The first of its kind was found in 1961. Its long or shorthaired coat can come in any color. Docile, tolerant, affectionate, and good-natured, it is a breed that gets very attached to its owner.

#14. American Curl: $800-$2,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: American Curl
An American Curl cat lying on a shimmery brown background. They’re often described as kitten-like, as they maintain their youthful, playful temperaments throughout their lives.

©Linn Currie/Shutterstock.com

A genetic mutation in the litter of a regular cat resulted in the American Curl, whose ears curl back towards the center of the skull. This second entry on our list of most expensive cat breeds comes in both longhair and shorthair versions, both featuring silky, soft coats that are low-maintenance.

American curls may have coats in black, brown, cream, red, or white, and eyes that are blue, gold, green, or even orange. They are renowned for their laidback, easy-going nature, and their affectionate and inquisitive kitten-like behavior.

#13. British Shorthair: $800-$2,300

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: British Shorthair
The British Shorthair is one of the world’s oldest cat breeds. Experts think that the feline is descended from cats imported to Rome from ancient Egypt.

©MELNIKOVA OLGA/Shutterstock.com

Next on our list of the most expensive cat breeds is the British Shorthair. Also known as the British Blue, it is known for its short, dense coat, which is often that unique shade. However, it can also come in black, calico, cameo, cream, red, silver, or tortoiseshell. Its eyes may be influenced by the color of its coat and may be blue, gold, green, hazel, or orange.

The breed was christened the Domestic Shorthair following its move stateside at the beginning of the twentieth century and is known for being easygoing and ideal for households with pets and children.

#12. Russian Blue: $300-$3,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Russian Blue
Russian blues are known for their thick, gorgeous blue-gray coat and bright eyes. These cats are sweet, loyal, and cautious animals who love having a routine.

©palllna/Shutterstock.com

The coolest solid-colored fur is the trademark of the Russian blue, featuring a dense, short coat in colors ranging from silver to slate grey, but a standard of blue-grey with silver-tipped guard hairs. It also has emerald-green eyes. Originating in the Arkhangelsk port, it was brought from the Archangel Isles in the 1960s to Northern Europe and Great Britain. Personality-wise it is curious and intelligent, with a friendly, reserved, and quiet temperament.

#11. Maine Coon: $400-$4,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Maine Coon
Maine coons are highly intelligent pets, and they can be trained to perform simple tricks on command.

©Aleksei Verhovski/Shutterstock.com

The largest domestic cat breed is definitely the Maine Coon, which is about twice as big as other domestic cats. It’s native to the state of Maine and is one of the oldest natural North American cats around, though its origins and arrival remain a mystery. Known as a gentle giant and the dog of the cat world, the Maine Coon is social, loyal, loving, and enjoys the water. It’s likely related to the Siberian as well as the Norwegian Forest Cat, which it is often confused with.

#10. Siberian: $700-$4,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Siberian
Winter portrait of a beautiful Siberian cat sitting on the snow. Known to be an exceptionally agile jumper, the Siberian is a strong and powerfully built cat, with strong hindquarters and large, well-rounded paws and an equally large full tail.

©fantom_rd/Shutterstock.com

A large domestic cat second only to the Maine Coon, the Siberian is also one of the most easygoing out there, being friendly to guests, children, and dogs alike. It’s a centuries-old Russian breed that was formally developed in the 1980s. In spite of having a thick double coat, it’s actually hypoallergenic due to its saliva creating fewer allergens than other cats.

#9. Ragdoll: $800-$5,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Ragdoll
A Ragdoll kitten on a pillow looking up. These cats are probably the most laid-back breed available. They are sweet, affectionate and love being hugged and handled.

©madeinitaly4k/Shutterstock.com

With such a large price range, you may wonder why the Ragdoll has a cost that can vary greatly. That’s because it depends on whether you’re choosing a simple pet, a show-quality cat, or a show-quality cat fit for breeding. Regardless of your choice, however, this breed features semi-long, soft, silky fur, a color point coat, blue eyes, and a large, muscular body. Famous for its gentle temperament and affectionate personality, it was first developed in the 1960s by American breeder Ann Baker.

#8. Peterbald: $1,700-$5,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Peterbald
The Peterbald cat is sensitive to extreme temperatures and should rather be an indoor cat.

©Ires003/Shutterstock.com

The Peterbald is a rare Russian breed that is fairly new, first bred in 1988. It looks like a muted Sphynx. That is, it can range from totally bald to having soft fuzz and even coarse hairs. Its ancestry is a cross between the Oriental Shorthair, Siamese, and a certain Sphynx. The result is a cat that is low-maintenance, social, loving, and loyal.

#7. Toyger: $3,000-$5,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Toyger
Toyger cat plying in a tree. They are normally active and very curious and tend to be very vocal. 

©Kutikova Ekaterina/Shutterstock.com

Like the Bengal, the Toyger features striped fur. The resemblance in markings is obvious, considering it’s a cross between a Bengal cat and a domestic shorthair tabby. Other than that, though, there are a number of subtle differences in physical appearance and big differences in personality. Although it has exotic looks, its temperament is easygoing and friendly, rather than demanding and high-energy.

#6. Persian: $1,500-$5,500

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Persian
The dignified and docile Persian cat is known for being quiet and sweet. Although Persians tend to be relaxed and easygoing, they also command an air of royalty.

©pavels/Shutterstock.com

Another very recognizable cat is the Persian, noteworthy for its fluffy fur and tail, flat face, and beautiful eyes. It’s also got a sweet and playful personality to match, making it appealing for people seeking an easygoing cat that is as content lounging about or being a lap cat as it is being feisty. The old breed has a history dating back thousands of years.

#5. Sphynx: $900-$9,800

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Sphynx
The Sphynx cat is known for being clingy. And they are happiest when they are in the presence of their owners. They love to cuddle and are often reported as being equally sensitive and sweet

.

©Yuryi Oleinikov/Shutterstock.com

How can anyone forget noticing this hairless wonder with large eyes and ears? The Sphynx’s hairlessness results from a genetic mutation, which affects nothing else but the need to be kept warmer than its furry counterparts. This means they love dressing up in sweaters, shirts, and other fashionable feline fares. Personality-wise, it is goofy, playful,l and loves to cuddle with its owners.

#4. Khao Manee: $7,000-$11,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Khao Manee
The Khao Manee hail from Thailand, where they’re considered an ancient breed and harbingers of good luck. These lucky charms are outgoing, playful pets who are totally dedicated to their humans.

©Bram Alamsyah Tjahjadi/Shutterstock.com

Thai people’s best-kept secret has actually been around for hundreds of years! Even more fascinating is the fact that it’s naturally occurring. Sporting all-white fur and jewel-bright eyes which often come in different colors, it’s also called the Diamond Eye Cat.

#3. Bengal: $3,000-$25,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Bengal
A Bengal Cat hunting outdoors, on a branch in a tree. The Bengal cat is a highly intelligent breed characterized by its wild, leopard-like appearance.

©Seregraff/Shutterstock.com

Another hybrid cat breed, the Bengal is a cross between the Egyptian Mau and the Asian leopard cat.

Unlike most cat breeds, it loves the water and isn’t afraid of dogs. It is also fearless. Like the other very high-price designer breeds that cross a wild cat with a domestic, it’s challenging to breed, with premature kittens resulting in few surviving ones per litter.

#2. Savannah Cat: $10,000-$25,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Savannah Cat
The Savannah cats are known for their love of water, and it is not unusual to find them swimming around, splashing and having the time of their life!

©Kolomenskaya Kseniya/Shutterstock.com

The runner-up on our list of the most expensive cats is the Savannah Cat. A cross between the tall, lean, and big-eared wild serval and a domestic cat, its price range in part results from how many generations it has been crossed with a domestic cat. Hence, an F1 is a half-serval.

An F1 is also the hardest to produce because of the differences in the gestation period between the serval and the domestic cat.

#1. Ashera: $22,000-$125,000

Most Expensive Cat Breeds: Ashera
The Ashera is not as aloof as some cats, is very vocal, and can open doors and walk on a leash.

©Mirencats/Shutterstock.com

By far, the most expensive cat breed is the exotically gorgeous Ashera. Their median price is $75,000. A company based in California does most of the breeding for this cat, which amounts to only about 100 a year. It is large, friendly, and with a dog-like personality.

The feline that tops the list of the world’s most expensive cats is actually part African leopard, part African serval, and part domestic tabby. It is also known for its fondness for heated blankets

Although prices for the same cat breed can vary, the cost for a show-quality cat will always be much higher than a pet-quality one, and even more so if used for breeding. After the aforementioned bunch of felines, the cost of cat breeds can fetch you a maximum of $2,000 down to the moderate price of $1,000 and even as low as $200.

The demand for recognized, designer and new cat breeds is big, which is why they have such a high purchase price. Their cost is also about ensuring the right ancestry, confirmation of health screenings, compensation for the breeding process, and for certain coat colors.

A lot of factors are at play for continuing lines of the most expensive cat breeds, especially when getting them from a reputable breeder.

cat with kittens

Common breeds of cats like the tabby still make wonderful companions.

©Esin Deniz/Shutterstock.com

How Much Does an Average Cat Cost?

Most breeds of cats can be adopted from your local animal shelter or cat rescue for little to no cost upfront, however, there are many expenses to take into account when properly caring for any feline. The ASPCA estimates it costs about $634 annually to care for a cat. This includes vaccines, food, litter, and checkups. Once you’ve formed a bond with your cat, you’ll want to spoil them with treats, toys, and attention any chance you can get!

What Breed of Cat is Garfield?

Lazy ginger cat sleeping on the table in the sunlight for a little nap

Garfield has a great look, but what kind of cat was he?

©Jérémy Stenuit/iStock via Getty Images

There might not be a more familiar known illustrated cat than the beloved Garfield. You can find the cartoon feline depicted worldwide, and he can be seen in anything from t-shirts and mugs to animated series and live-action movies.

As popular as Garfield has been for decades, it is a little tricky to try to figure out what cat breed he is supposed to be.

Let us start with what we do know, and that is that Garfield is an orange tabby. No problem there, but Tabby is a coat pattern with stripes and light and dark orange areas, not a breed.

For fun, it has been debated that Garfield’s breed could be a Maine Coon or a British Shorthair. Some even think he is a Persian cat. It really is hard to say because of the grumpiness of the kitty and his super-large eyes.

Jim Davis, Garfield’s creator and illustrator, was of course asked about which breed the cat was. It turns out that Garfield is not meant to be a specific breed at all! Jim Davis grew up with many cats and had them throughout his life, so he pulled different aspects from many of them to build Garfield’s look.

Summary of the 15 Most Expensive Cat Breeds

Here’s a review of cat breeds that are the most expensive cats in the world:

RankCat BreedAverage Cost
1Ashera$100,000-$300,000
2Savannah Cat$10,000-$25,000
3Bengal$3,000-$25,000
4Khao Manee$7,000-$11,000
5Sphynx$900-$9,800
6Persian$1,500-$5,500
7Toyger$3,000-$5,000
8Peterbald$1,700-$5,000
9Ragdoll$800-$5,000
10Siberian$700-$4,000
11Maine Coon$400-$4,000
12Russian Blue$300-$3,000
13British Shorthair$800-$2,300
14American Curl$800-$2,000
15Scottish Fold$500-$2,000

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Heather Hall is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on plants and animals. Heather has been writing and editing since 2012 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Heather enjoys hiking, gardening, and trail running through the mountains with her dogs.

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