If you're thinking about becoming a cat owner, it pays to do your research. Not only do different cat breeds possess distinct personalities, but the prices also vary widely, and you might not be able to afford the breed you've had your eye on.
To help you out on your quest to become a proud cat parent, GOBankingRates.com went to the experts to find the priciest (and cheapest) options from all around the world.
Click through to see how much these felines really cost:
Most and least expensive cat breeds
Most and least expensive cat breeds
Most Expensive Cat Breeds
Rare, unique, striking and aristocratic — the most expensive cat breeds in the world often possess an air of luxury to go along with their sometimes staggeringly high prices. Texas-based cat breed expert Lana Fraley Rich walks us through which cats come attached to the highest price tags and what types of homes they're best suited for.
Price: $75,000 – $125,000
The world’s most expensive cat might also be its most controversial, said Rich.
“Some people believe that the Ashera is just a different name for the Savannah cat, and there might be a scam going on with some breeders touting it as a different and rare breed.” If you’re looking to invest in this distinctive-looking kitty, make sure you research your breeder. “Ask to see the cat's pedigree papers to prove that they actually don't have a Savannah in an 'Ashera' suit!”
A cross between the African Serval and a domestic housecat, the Savannah’s personality reflects both its ancestors. This feline has striking spotted markings reminiscent of wild cats, with long ears and hooded eyes that give it an exotic look. The Savannah bonds closely with its family, and has an adventurous and assertive personality that will keep owners on their toes.
Price: $2,000 – $5,000
Like the Savannah, the Bengal cat boasts both wild and domestic ancestors — it's descended from Asian Leopard Cats bred with domestic cats. Sporting unique spotted and striped markings that give it an exotic, leopard-like appearance, the Bengal was originally bred to have a calm personality. However, Bengals love to play and climb.
Bengals bond closely with their owners and love cuddling up in laps — when the mood strikes them, of course.
4. Maine Coon
Price: $1,000 – $3,500
The Maine Coon was bred more than 100 years ago to stand up to harsh New England winters. So, it’s no surprise that this cuddly cat has a distinctly “rugged” appearance, from its large size to its long, shaggy, water-resistant coat.
While the Maine Coon loves its human family, it prefers a low-key “hangout” to cuddling in your lap. This cat's laid-back and gentle disposition makes it the perfect companion for children.
From its inquisitive, round face to its long and silky coat, the Persian is a symbol of luxury. It’s no wonder that the cat was once popular with British aristocracy.
Persians remain popular today due to their laid-back personalities, sweet dispositions and ability to thrive in virtually any home. Their long coats must be brushed daily, though — not only are the tangles unsightly, but they’re also uncomfortable for the cat.
Price: $1,700 – $3,000
A refined and sophisticated Russian breed, Peterbalds can be totally hairless or sport short, soft, fuzzy coats reminiscent of a peach.
Peterbalds are perfect for those seeking a playful, affectionate cat. They’re likely to greet you at the door, spend hours playing with you and your other pets and then snuggle up in your lap at the end of the day.
7. California Spangled
Price: $800 – $3,000
California Spangled cats boast an exotic appearance paired with a friendly and outgoing personality.
“Like most other domestic cats, they enjoy climbing and lounging on a tall, sturdy cat tree,” said Rich. “If you are lucky enough to find and afford one, you need to have plenty of good, safe cat toys to satisfy this cat's love of chasing and 'hunting.'“
8. Russian Blue
Price: $400 – $3,000
A refined silver coat, intelligent green eyes and fine boning give the Russian Blue its distinctly aristocratic look. These features also helped it become a favorite of Russian czars and British royalty.
While the Russian Blue has a reputation for being aloof, the cat is actually just intelligent and observant. Once you and your Russian Blue have bonded, the cat will welcome you home with cuddles and affection.
9. Scottish Fold
Price: $800 – $1,500
The Scottish Fold’s distinct folded ears, combined with its naturally round face and large inquisitive eyes, give the cat an adorable appearance reminiscent of an owl. The cats are outgoing, social and affectionate — in fact, they like to cuddle up to sleep in your lap. The Scottish Fold is also highly intelligent, and some of the cats even play fetch.
Price: $900 – $1,200
While the Sphinx is most recognizable for its wrinkled and bald appearance, owners say its most distinct trait is its limitless affection. A Sphinx is the ultimate lap cat, happy to snuggle in your lap all day and sleep under the covers with you for more cuddles at night. That’s not to say these animals don’t love playtime, too — a Sphinx can entertain itself for hours, and some even play fetch with their owners.
11. American Curl
Price: $800 – $1,200
The American Curl’s sweet, expressive eyes might be adorable, but its curled ears are its most distinct (and arguably, adorable) feature. These felines are actually born with straight ears, which curl into their unique shape over the first 16 weeks. The American Curl is ideal if you want a social cat that curls up in your lap to watch TV.
12. British Shorthair
Price: $800 – $1,000
With its chipmunk cheeks and dense, plush coat, the British Shorthair is an adorable cat that you will want to shower with affection. British Shorthairs have quiet, laid-back, intelligent personalities, and they bond closely with their human friends. While they’re not usually lap cats, British Shorthairs are happiest when they can spend hours cuddled up beside you on the couch.
Ocicats possess the wild beauty of Savannahs or Asheras, but their domestic breeding makes them affectionate, cuddly kitties with distinct “house cat” personalities. They’re outgoing animals ready to greet you at the door, keep your guests entertained and cuddle up in your lap for restorative naps. Ocicats are highly social and love to be around you as much as possible, so they’re ideal for active households.
Price: $600 – $800
The Korat’s silky, silver coat is loaded with meaning: the cat’s color signifies wealth and good fortune in Thailand, where it was bred. Korats are energetic, athletic and always ready to play, but at the same time they have quiet, gentle dispositions that are well suited to children. Korats form strong bonds with their human families and show their attention by cuddling up for hours of attention.
15. Egyptian Mau
Price: $500 – $800
This distinctive cat has been a friend of humans for thousands of years; in fact, early Egyptian artwork captures the unique spotted and striped markings, inquisitive green eyes and graceful body shapes we still see in the Egyptian Mau today.
While this breed has a reputation for being shy, an Egyptian Mau will form strong and loyal bonds with its family. Although it might be secure going about its business some of the time, an Egyptian Mau will also shower you with affection to show its devotion.
The Least Expensive Cat Breeds
Let’s face it: a kitty doesn’t need to have a luxury price tag to deserve a loving home. The cheapest cat breeds still have plenty to offer and, in some cases, share the exotic or aristocratic-looking traits of pricier breeds.
Cat breed expert Lana Fraley Rich recommends these felines if you’re looking for a less expensive cat breed — there’s an option for every type of household.
Price: $200 – $500
The Manx looks like an adorable ball of fluff, thanks to its round body, lack of tail, round face and rounded ears. These animals are also inquisitive, adventurous and clever and love exploring every inch of your home. Manx cats are devoted companions, so they’re best suited to families who are home a lot to shower them with attention.
Price: $200 – $600
While the history of the Siamese cat remains elusive, the breed first appeared in the 1300s in texts from Siam. Siamese cats demand attention from their human families but reward them with endless loyalty, affection and play. After all that playtime, a Siamese cat is happy to curl up in your lap for even more affection.
3. Turkish Van
Price: $200 – $600
Intelligent and curious, Turkish Vans are the perfect choice for human families who don’t mind a bit of mischief. They’re highly active cats who love to run and enjoy exploring their homes. And unlike most cats, they also love to play in water, making bathtime double as playtime.
Price: $200 – $1,000
The Snowshoe rocks the silky dark coat of a Siamese along with adorable white feet. While the breed's history is uncertain, cat experts believe its ancestry dates back to the U.S. in the 1960s.
Snowshoe cats have varied personalities that can range from shy and aloof to fiercely loyal and affectionate. Their dominant personalities aren’t necessarily fits for all cat owners, but according to the Cat Fanciers' Association, “Once 'owned', you will probably never want to be without one.”
5. Havana Brown
Price: $300 – $500
The Havana’s bright eyes and heavy, hooded lids can give it a concerned expression, but this breed is actually a bundle of fun. Havanas are naturally curious and playful and thrive on attention from their human families. Expect this kitty to keep you company and greet you at the door when you get home.
Price: $300 – $500
Boasting the bright eyes of a Siamese and the luxurious coat of a Persian, the Himalayan is among the most popular cat breeds. It’s also a great companion who prefers snuggles to exploring and is the perfect choice if you want a beautiful but affordable pet.
Himalayans do require constant grooming to prevent matting, so their human families need free time to devote to pet care
Price: $300 – $500
Munchkins get their name from their shortened legs, which make them distinctly small in stature. That doesn’t mean these cats are inactive — a Munchkin loves playtime and will happily spend hours racing around and exploring a home. Great company for both children and other household pets, Munchkins are ideal for busy and active households
8. Oriental Shorthair
Price: $400 – $500
Oriental Shorthairs are a close relative of Siamese cats and share their lean, angled appearance. They also share the Siamese’s striking intelligence and curiosity, and they’re best occupied with a plethora of cat toys. Oriental Shorthairs also tend to be a social breed, so they’re perfect for larger families (including ones with other pets) and for entertaining guests.
Price: $400 – $700
With curious blue eyes and long silky fur, the Birman is a cat you'll want to shower with cuddles and attention. Birmans are fantastic companions that love to “talk” and prefer single-cat households, so they can bond closely with their human families. While the Birman's long fur looks high maintenance, it tends not to mat and requires just weekly brushing to stay healthy
Price: $400 – $1,100
If you’re looking for an affectionate pet who never leaves your side, the Ragdoll is the perfect breed for you. The Ragdoll’s name comes from its mellow disposition and tendency to go limp in your arms when cuddled (like the child’s toy). While Ragdolls are not the most energetic cats, their calm personalities help them blend seamlessly into households with children or other pets, making a busy and active household even happier.
Price: $500 – $700
With their long ears, intelligent eyes and banded fur, Abyssinians look like small, domesticated bobcats. They’re incredibly energetic and playful, and they love to explore every corner of your home. While their active natures mean they’re not your typical lap cats, Abyssinians still love to curl up on your lap — or in your bed — for occasional snuggles
12. American Bobtail
Price: $500 – $700
The American Bobtail’s alert ears, intelligent expression, shortened tail and lean, muscled body give it the appearance of a hunter, but this kitty is a big softie at home. The felines get along well with children and other family pets, even if they don't tend to be lap cats.
An American Bobtail is happy with moderate activity and easily trainable (so you can take her for a walk to get some exercise)
Price: $550 – $1,000
An ancestor of the Tonkinese, the Burmese also boasts striking eyes — though theirs are a rich gold instead of blue. Burmese cats are exceptionally friendly. Devoted lap cats, they enjoy hours of (gentle) playtime, a fact that makes them the perfect furry companions for busy households with children.
Price: $600 – $1,200
With its bright blue eyes and silky, mink fur, the Tonkinese is among the most luxurious-looking (but still affordable) cats. The Tonkinese is incredibly social and loves cuddling in your lap or on your shoulder. It's also a relatively low-maintenance cat — brushing once a week is enough to keep a Tonkinese’s coat healthy.
15. Cornish Rex
Price: $700 – $800
While a Cornish Rex might look thin and fine-boned, it's actually a powerful cat with an acrobatic ability to keep you entertained for hours. Cornish Rex cats are incredibly outgoing and playful and keep their kitten-like attitude throughout their lives. A Cornish Rex is happy to play with a child, guest or other pet in your home, so it's ideal for a busy household.