Since the very dawn of civilization, the domestic feline has been a subject of human fascination all over the world. That may sound crazy at first but it’s true – our interaction with cats dates back as far as, literally, anything else in recorded history.
We don’t know who their first owners were, but Ancient Egyptians were the first society to worship kittens. That much is obvious from the thousands of hieroglyphs, drawings and statues that survived for over 5,000 years. And, if you think it’s even a tiny bit strange to obsess with cats, depicting them over and over again for no apparent reason, then welcome to the Internet (you’re obviously new here).
Though the world is nothing like it was in 3000B.C., some things never change. In fact, the lineage of some modern cats can be traced back to ancient Egypt. And a few breeds are still worth their weight in gold.
Today, Americans house about 77,000,000 canines and over 85,000,000 felines. And although only 7% of kittens registered in the U.S. are pure breeds, high-class kittens are definitely in demand. Alas, not every cat lover can afford the mouser of their dreams.
Still, every single year, thousands of people do choose to buy a house pet for the price of an actual house.
If you ask us, that’s a totally sound investment for ANYone (who won the lottery or just happens to be totally bonkers.) Besides, a few breeds on our list cost no more than a new iPhone does on its release date. An average, middle-class American can save up for one of the more expensive specimen within just three years (right in time to start catching up on those missed mortgage payments.)
And, if you refuse to settle for anything but the best, all you have to do is sell you car and take out a loan for another $100,000-200,000. It’s that simple!
The point is – we’re with you, crazy cat people!
So, without further adieu, we present the 19 most expensive kittens in the world!
#19 Siamese – $600
Originally a Korean “mutant” breed, Siamese cats gained massive popularity in the West right after being introduced in the early 1800’s. At first, the energetic, short haired kitten was a highly desired gift for kids of royalty. By 1900, Western breeders used the Siamese to create many other exotic felines, including the Oriental, Persian and Himalayan cats.
The Siamese don’t require grooming, display a remarkable intellect and, thanks to their unique features, look elegant in any situation. However, now there are so many of them around that prices are at an all-time low.
#18 Korat – $600-700
Depictions of the Korat date all the way back to the 13th century. It’s known as the “good luck” breed in Korea, though more of these cats are registered in the U.S. then anywhere else in the world. Just like those almond-shaped emerald eyes and muscular build, the Korat’s complex personality remains unchanged throughout the centuries.
As kittens, they follow their owners everywhere but shy away from other people and animals. At the age of 12-18 months, these short-haired, majestic cats start to be more territorial then most dogs. They also enjoy spending time outdoors and often exhibit primal hunting instincts. This phase usually lasts for about two years, until the feline reaches maturity. After that, Korats become loyal and affectionate – the perfect “lap cat” breed.
#17 Egyptian Mau – $500-800
The spotted color pattern is just one of the Egyptian Mau’s many distinct traits, which instantly attract people with exotic tastes. This is the world’s only domestic feline breed with a tiger-esque coat that is 100% natural. Collectors may not care about that but true animal lovers prefer to avoid funding barbaric breeding techniques. Plus, it’s the only one priced under the $1,000 mark.
#16 Selkirk Rex – $700
Most high-class felines were “designed” by professional breeders. But some, like the Selkirk Rex, are designed exclusively by mother nature. The first S.R. kittens were born just a few years ago, from a Black Persian cat and a regular house cat. Some of the offspring had a feature that was previously unseen in felines. From any successful breeding pair, only 1 out of 10 siblings are born with the thick, curly coat that make the Selkirk Rex so desirable.
#15 Siberian – $700
As the name suggests, these feral cats were first brought to the U.S. from not-so-sunny Siberia – Russia’s coldest province. Being one of the most ancient known breeds, the Siberian still remains a subject of debate for historians. Some say they evolved to adapt to a cold climate, while others are convinced their looks are a result of cross-breeding. What we do know is that there’s more to the Siberian cat’s thick, luxurious coat then meets the eye.
The hair structure, layering and length give the Siberian a remarkable tolerance for low temperatures. Their coat nearly eliminates loss of body heat, not unlike a Polar Bear’s fur. With constant sub-zero temperatures, these cats might not even be around today if not for this trait. Not to mention that it made them the world’s softest and silkiest housepets, which is probably why over 12,000,000 kittens were sold in the U.S. last year.
#14 American Shorthair – $500-800
Pure American Shorthairs are easy to spot. They are robust, surprisingly silent and quick to attack anything that moves. These rodent-killing machines were the first European cats to “step paw” on U.S. soil. They range in price mainly according to color. Orange American Shorthairs are almost twice as expensive as others.
Settlers needed felines on their trade ships to keep mice away from goods they were transporting. As such, only the most vicious mousers were chosen and only the strongest of them survived the journey. This brutal, accelerated version of natural selection, resulted in the Shorthair’s 20-year lifespan.
#13 Peterbald – $700-900
Contrary to common belief, 85% of all “bald” cats aren’t actually hairless. Most Peterbalds have extremely short coats but leave skin unexposed. The thickest of them are similair to fine velvet. Basically, these exotic felines have the skin type of a peach – it’s pink/yellow, seems hairless from afar, and feels thin to the touch. That being said, the Peterbald doesn’t need hair to be a loyal, affectionate, energetic pet.
And, no, Peterbalds aren’t magical house elves. (Though they do look a lot like Dobby from the Harry Potter films.)
#12 Maine Coon – $1,000
Since many still live in the wild, it may be unfair to call the Maine Coons a breed. The unique feral cat was first domesticated by early settlers of (what is now) the Northern states. Maine Coons may seem shaggy in a photo but they’re actually quite intimidating. If it wasn’t for their friendly disposition, the large, nimble hunters would have never been considered for the role of house pets.
#11 Ocicat – $1,100
Though, in many ways, the Ocicat resembles a miniature tiger, it has no genetic link to any wild felines. Creating this breed took over 25 years; and it might have taken twice as long if not for a stroke of luck. A Michigan breeder isolated a “spotted coat trait” almost immediately using the process of elimination – Mrs. Daly had 200 possibilities but she only needed four guesses. To add the slick fur, muscular frame, quickness and playfulness of a tiger, she crossed American Shorthair, Abyssinian, Siamese and Tobby cats until the Ocicat was perfected.
Though they look intimidating, Ocicats are friendly and playful. They love laser pointers, hate baths and freak out when someone turns on a vacuum cleaner, completely oblivious of their tiger-hood. If the breed was twice it’s size, you’d definitely want to think twice before bathing one.
#10 Sphynx – $900-1,200
Kicking off the Top 10 is the Sphynx – the most underrated and misunderstood feline of all time. For starters, people don’t think wrinkly skin and baldness are disgusting. Have you ever seen an elderly person that made you cringe? No one goes “ew, gross” when they visit grandma. Okay, so old people don’t walk around naked but they also don’t get neutered.
All the Sphynx wants is a chance to fit in. First it was the big screen debut on Austin Powers, then the whole tattoo phase. Clearly, the cats are spiralling down in the footsteps of Shia Labeouf. We have to cut the Sphynx some slack before he grows a beard, does a bunch of weird TV appearances and just, kind of, disappears…
#8 Russian Blue – $1,200
The low-maintenance, high-profile Russian Blue has three unique physical features. The signature look consists of a pair of disproportionately large ears, brilliant green eyes and a memorizing silver coat. In natural lighting, the feline seems to have a blueish glow, which is why it’s also knows as the Archangel Blue.
This breed is considered to be more intelligent then any other domestic feline. Somehow, these cats sense human emotions and know the appropriate response for any given mood. They will be eager to play when you’re happy and, if you’re bummed out, they’ll curl up next to you.
#7 Scottish Fold – $1,000-1,500
Every single Scottish Fold ever sold can trace his origin to the Tayside province of Scotland. It was there that a shepherd by the name of William Ross developed this breed from a single kitten. He received her as a gift in 1961 and, with the help of his family, began breeding two years later.
Needless to say, the Scottish Fold attracted attention pretty fast. Since there are so few to go around, they’re in demand regardless of color or size, which tend to vary. Each one of these cats has a distinct expressions of their own, ranging from menacing to deeply confused. Here’s a Scottish Fold who’s constantly distressed and baffled at the same time.
#6 American Curl – $2,200
In 1981, Grace and Joe Ruga took a stray cat with silky black hair and funny curled ears into their California home. Every single American Curl in the world is a descendant of Shulamith, the stray cat that made the Rugas a fortune. Their pixie-like features are thought to be the results of a Lynx cross, though some believe it to be a mutation.
#5 British Shorthair – $3,000-3,500
The British Shorthair wasn’t always an expensive breed. Before World War II, their population was numbered in the tens of millions. However, so many died during the Nazi occupation of Europe that they were considered extinct in the 1950’s. In 1967, the American Cat Association surprised everyone by confirming one breeder’s claim of having a pure British Shorthair.
#4 Persian – $4,000
The Persianis king among long-haired breeds. The kittens look like fur-balls with eyes and they grow up to look like larger fur-balls. There are over a dozen different types of Persian cats, but they all have the same trademark “squished” faces and long, fluffy tails. Though our list is based on average prices, it should be noted that white Persian kittens sell for up to $8,000.
‘No One Knows About Persian Cats‘ wasn’t their first debut on the big screen. Snowbell from ‘Stuart Little’ was actually played by four different Persians. Unfortunately, most people only remember the Persian as the master villain in ‘Cats & Dogs’ or the evil/crazy psychedelic Cheshire cat in ‘Alice In Wonderland.’ Everyone’s a critic.
#3 Bengal – $12,000-14,500
The first successful cross of an Asian Leapard and a domestic cat was conducted in the early 1970’s, by Jean Mill. His original Bengal “batch” resembled tigers physically but had all the loyalty and playfulness of a regular domestic cat. Well, Mill did lose three fingers “playing” with his kitties, so the breed wasn’t exactly an instant success.
Today’s Bengals are three generations removed from wild leopards, so they’re not prone to, you know, eat their owners. Females are about the size of regular cats, while males can be up to twice as large. And that’s not the only reason why hey’re often compared to dogs – Bengal cats are very loyal and protective of their owners.
#2 Savannah – $22,000-35,000
Unlike the Bengal, the Savannah is hybrid of domestic and African wild cats. The breed is so rare that it wasn’t fully recognized by the International Cat Association until 2012, despite being developed as early as 1987. Before you decide to buy one of these 25-pound predators, check with your local police department – the Savannah is considered a deadly predator in some parts of the U.S.
If you have a small dog or an aquarium, this is definitely not the best cat for your home. Savannahs ARE predators and they’re not afraid of water. As a matter of fact, they like water and can even be taught to swim. They play catch too, though the fake-out throw won’t work on them unless, of course, you have cat-like reflexes.
#1 Ashera – $100,000-180,000
Lifestyle Pets, one of the world’s largest breeding companies, introduced the Ashera in the 1990’s, claiming it was a leopard-wildcat hybrid crossed with a domestic cat. However, DNA testing showed that there was no leopard genes present, meaning this was just a new type of Savannah. That being said, the difference is apparent.
These cats look, walk and even growl like tigers. Fully grown males can jump up to 9 feet into the air, despite weighing about 30 lbs. Owning an Ashera is as close as you can get to being a lion-tamer. Of course, at $100,000, buying one isn’t any less insane.