Cats have held a special place in people's hearts for thousands of years - literally. The first cats were domesticated around 10,000 years ago, and some were even worshipped by ancient cultures. They've long kept us company, so it's no surprise that there are tons of different breeds that originate from different places worldwide. But some are rarer than others - and those cost the big bucks. Take a look at some of the most beautiful cat breeds out there, ranked by price.
Norwegian Forest Cat - $700
If you were ranking cats based on their coats, then the Norwegian forest cat would be near the top of that list. This breed has a stunning and unique long fur coat that helps it get through the rough winters of northern Europe. Despite what its name suggests, the breed is entirely domestic and makes for a very social family pet. That said, they are somewhat independent when they want to be.
Maybe a bit unsurprisingly, it's thought that the ancestor of these cats may have been introduced to Norway via the Vikings hundreds of years ago, but it's not entirely clear, being so long ago. Still, it's a really cool story to tell if you happen to be lucky enough to own one of these pricey cats.
Korat Cat - $800
Korat cats are another breed that are easily recognizable by most people. They originated in Thailand, and it's thought that the breed brings good luck to those who own one. The breed has a very distinctive pale grey coat and is somewhat muscular compared to other breeds of cats. In Thailand, pairs of Korats are sometimes given to new brides since it is thought that they bring about luck.
These cats are known to be really good with children and love to play, although they also love to just get close and show affection towards their owners when given the chance.
Egyptian Mau Cat - $800
The Egyptian Mau cat may not be the first breed that comes to mind when people think of Egypt, but that's where this unique cat originated from. These cats have a really beautiful and unique spotted coat that's grey instead of brown or orange. They are also reportedly more affectionate and owner-oriented than some other breeds. These guys are extremely fast, maybe one of the fastest domestic cats, and they love to play.
Egyptian Mau cats come in a couple of different colors or shades of grey, but the most stunning are arguably the cats with the darker, charcoal grey coats.
Selkirk Rex - $800
As a rule of thumb, any cat with the word "Rex" in its name probably has the Rex gene, which gives them wiry coats. As you can see from this photo, these cats have an extremely curly coat that looks more like something you'd see on a sheep than expect to see on a cat. However, because of their long, curly hair, this breed requires a bit of grooming, and it sheds often.
The breed has also been known to suffer from some of the same health risks as Persian cats since Selkirks descend from that breed and others, which is something to watch out for.
Devon Rex Cats - $1,000
Devon Rex cats earned their name because they carry a gene called Rex. It's what's responsible for the breed's signature curly hair. They might look a little standoffish at first glance, but this breed actually loves affection and attention from humans. They actually prefer to use touch instead of vocals to let you know when they want something. The other part of this cat's name comes from the fact that the breed originated in England.
These cats look a bit lanky, but they've actually got pretty powerful leg muscles, and it's suspected that a random mutation gave rise to the breed instead of the usual human interference.
Siamese Cats - $1,000
Siamese cats are a very popular breed that's prized for their deep blue eyes and unique coat. Along with their looks, Siamese cats are known for their high level of intelligence, and it's not hard to find videos online of these cats "speaking" to their owners. That is, meowing back and forth as their owners have conversations with them. Despite originating from Thailand, these cats have been extremely popular in the West since the 19th century.
Siamese cats are really friendly, but as we said before, they do like to vocalize, so they may not be the best choice for those looking to get a quieter cat.
Maine Coon Cat - $1,000
The Maine coon cat is another breed with an exceptionally beautiful coat. The breed, considered the largest domestic cat in the world, has been the subject of many folk tales, and people aren't really sure when the first Maine coons were introduced. One legend says that these cats originated from Norwegian forest cats brought to New England by the Vikings (notice the similarly styled coats). However, the science says that's most likely just a folk tale.
Despite their almost-menacing size, Maine coons are known for their gentle nature and their sweet disposition towards their owners, making them an excellent choice for families and anyone who wants a more affectionate cat.
American Wirehair - $1,200
You've probably seen an American wirehair represented in movies or shows, but this cat is one of the hardest breeds to find. They originated from a breeder in New York and command around $1,200 a piece. Reportedly, they're very playful and energetic while also being perfectly content when left to their own devices. You've probably guessed by now, but their coat is unique, and their hair is rather wiry, as the name suggests.
While they do love being adopted by families, they're also very curious and energetic, meaning that they can be a bit mischievous if left alone or not given proper training.
American Curl Cat - $1,200
American curl cats have a unique trait that causes their ears to curl back towards each other. However, that's not the only thing that sets these cats apart from other breeds. Reportedly, they're known for their kitten-like attitudes, which stay with them and don't go away, not even long after they're adults. Because of this, they love to play and require a bit more attention than other breeds of cats.
However, that's part of the charm of an American curl. They're known to be a pretty healthy breed and don't have a whole lot of genetic health problems, but their ears can be sensitive.
Ragdoll Cat - $1,300
Ragdoll cats might just have one of the coolest names on this list, but there's also something else that makes them stand out from other cats. They're reportedly very doglike and love showing affection. They also have a stunning coat and deep, blue eyes, which makes them stunning to look at. While they do love to show affection, they're also very laid back and prefer to lounge around than play most of the time.
Ragdolls were first produced relatively recently, around the mid-20th century, but their popularity makes them relatively easier to find than some of the other newer breeds on this list.
Ocicat - $1,500
The cat in this photo might look like it just came in from the wild, but it's actually a fully domestic cat. It wasn't bred through any recent mix of wild cats, either. Instead, it was produced by mixing Siamese and Abyssinian cats. It just happens to have the same type of patterned coat you'd expect to find on a cat in the wild, and it's a really gorgeous pattern.
These cats actually prefer living with other pets, but that might be due in part to the fact that they love play so much. Don't expect a lazy cat if you decide to pick up this breed.
Pixie-Bob Cat $1,500
Pixie-bob cats are unique in a couple of different ways. For starters, they have a bobtail, hence the name. Secondly, their ears are pointed and sort of resemble the ears of a bobcat. Thirdly, some, not all, pixie-bobs have an extra toe. Legend has it that these cats are related to bobcats, and the story around some of the first pixie-bobs does sound like it might support that legend at first.
Supposedly, the original couple of pixie-bobs that were bought by a breeder were unusually large and possessed a couple of unique features. However, the cats have been DNA tested, and scientists couldn't find any genetic links to wild bobcats.
Turkish Angora Cat - $1,500
This breed is really popular, and it's not hard to see why. Their snow-white coats are really very pretty to look at and even better to cuddle. They've also been around for a while, and many other popular cat breeds can trace some of their ancestry to the Turkish Angora. Despite their elegant appearance, these cats love to play, and you'll need a bit of energy in order to keep up with them.
Turkish Angoras are one of the oldest breeds of cats on this list, and their lineage stretches all the way back to the 15th century, though their ancestors were probably from the same region.
Japanese Bobtail - $1,600
Japanese bobtails are a breed of cat with a curiously short tail or bobtail. Despite being around for a while, they're still relatively rare to find in the U.S. The breed originated in Japan, hence the name, and they're known to be exceptionally smart and loving towards family and kids. However, you'll need a bit of energy if you can afford the $1,600 it takes to own one of these cats, as they love to play.
Uniquely, these cats have been reported to respond to their owners calling their names, which, if you know, isn't something that most cats are known for. In fact, it's quite the opposite.
Serengeti Cat - $2,000
Serengeti cats are named so for their unique pattern, which can be found on a lot of other animals that call the Serengeti home. However, these cats were produced by mixing Bengal and oriental cats. They were only introduced in 1994, so they're still relatively hard to find, and if you do find one, expect to pay around $2,000. They have a very lanky body and pointy facial features.
Many serengeti cat owners find their features elegant. These cats are very friendly, and many say they're a very patient breed, at least as far as patient cats go.
Sphynx Cat - $2,000
Sphynx cats are probably one of the most recognizable breeds out there, and you don't really have to know anything about cats to immediately recognize them. Some Sphynx cats are completely hairless, while others may have a very short coat. The breed may get its name and its look from ancient Egypt, but the first of these cats was actually bred in the New World. They were introduced in Canada, to be specific.
Despite their somewhat hawkish looks, they are reportedly one of the friendliest breeds of cats out there. However, like other cats on this list, expect to pay up for a Sphynx, as they can set you back around $2,000.
Siberian Cat - $2,000
Siberian cats possess coats similar to many other breeds, whether cat or dog, that come from colder climates. Their long fur is beautiful if a bit high-maintenance like other long-haired cats, and they're known for being extremely sweet towards both people and other pets. These cats have been raised for centuries, but it was only around the 1980s that people started to recognize them as a distinct breed of cat.
If you're looking for a more patient and quiet breed that still enjoys a bit of playtime, then you could hardly go wrong with a Siberian cat, although they do prefer colder climates.
Munchkin Cat - $2,000
Munchkin cats truly live up to their names, and they're one of the smallest breeds of cats. These cats have really short legs that can remind you of a wiener dog. However, they're known for their big personalities, and they're full of energy, so this isn't a breed to get if you're looking for a cat that's comfortable lounging around all day doing nothing. That said, there are some downsides to this cat's small size.
For one, they have been known to be prone to some health conditions, and it's not super uncommon for them to have back or chest pains. These cats were originally bred in Louisiana.
British Shorthair Cat - $2,000
For some odd reason, this cat just looks like it's from the U.K. The British shorthair cats have a distinctive round face and puffy appearance. These cats were originally bred to hunt mice and small rodents, so it's not uncommon for them to do just that today. The breed is great with families, loves to play, and is perfectly content just enjoying some alone time every now and then.
British shorthairs come in all sorts of different colors, but one of the most iconic is grey. Expect to pay a hefty sum of around $2,000 if you want one of these cats for yourself.
Singapura Cat - $2,000
There are a couple of smaller breeds on this list, but the Singapura is the smallest of them all, usually weighing in around only six pounds, give or take. Despite its small size, it's a generally very healthy cat, and so long as you don't accidentally crush it, they usually go on to live for quite a while. These cats are very energetic and require a lot more attention than many other breeds.
Their short coats don't require a whole lot of maintenance, and they love showing affection towards their owners but expect to pay a lot for this tiny feline, which is also really rare.
Bombay Cat - $2,000
Bombay cats are among the rarest breeds of cats in the U.S., and there is only a small number of breeders in the country. This cat is said to have a very unique personality that requires a lot of attention and play. Don't plan on getting one of these cats if you aren't a very active person or if you can't afford the really huge price tag of around $2,000.
Along with their personalities, these cats are known for their shiny black coats that are anything but bad luck. In fact, these guys are guaranteed to bring you joy and happiness.
Abyssinian Cat - $2,200
Abyssinian cats are thought to have originated in Egypt or close by, and some think they could even be the closest living relative we have to the cats that ancient Egyptians were known to worship. It's still a matter of debate, but what isn't debatable is that this breed is really gorgeous. They have a unique coat and eyes that set them apart from many others. Abyssinians are known to be affectionate cats.
Abyssinian cats love to play, and they can have a lot of energy, but don't let that worry you because even when they're playing really rough, they mean well.
Exotic Shorthair Cat - $2,200
Exotic shorthair cats have the look of a rough alley cat that's always ready for a tussle, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, these cats are really social and are known for showing affection towards their owners. However, they do need some time to get to know people, and they only come up to you if they really like you. These aren't super hyper cats, making them great for someone who wants a feline companion that's a bit more laid back.
Exotic shorthair cats were bred to look like Persian cats, only with shorter coats, and many of these cats are shorter but a bit larger in build than other breeds.
Himalayan Cat - $2,500
Cat owners adore Himalayas for their thick, long coats. However, that long coat also means that they require plenty of grooming, and it's pretty common for these guys to return to the house with all kinds of twigs and other things entangled in their hair after a short trip outside. Still, these cats are very sweet and affectionate and make for great pets. Many of these cats also have blue eyes.
Unlike some other breeds, Himalayan cats will often come right up to you and feel at home lounging around with their owners, often in their laps or right next to them.
Scottish Fold Cat - $3,000
Scottish fold cats are different from other breeds in that a genetic mutation causes their ears to fold over, like with the cat in this photo. They come in many different colors, but grey Scottish folds are especially prized for their uniquely ghost-grey coat. The breed is reportedly very loving and affectionate; however, there is one problem. Their genetic mutation makes them prone to health problems, and they can't be bred with other Scottish folds, making them very expensive.
Additionally, while their ears are their signature trait, not every kitten in a litter will possess the gene that causes it, adding to the rarity of this unique cat.
Russian Blue Cat - $3,000
Their iconic grey coats make Russian blue cats special, but there's something else that makes these cats stand out from other breeds. They tend to form a special bond with only one person. That's not to say they aren't friendly because they are. This breed is both comfortable showing affection and disappearing for a bit in order to get some alone time. They're also known to be very intelligent.
Russian blues make great family pets for the simple fact that they love to both play and don't need a whole lot of attention. However, they may take a little while to warm up to strangers.
Kinkalow Cat - $3,000
Kinkalow cats are one of the few breeds with curly ears, and they were produced by mixing two other breeds on this list. Breeders mixed American curl and munchkin to get the kinkalow. The latter breed gave the kinkalow its small size. Like their cousins, these cats love to play and pack a lot of energy into a small frame. However, they aren't as demanding of attention as some other breeds of cats.
Many have reported their Kinkalows jumping incredibly high for their small size. That, along with their curiosity and energy level, means that they love playing on cat condos and other toys that allow them to make use of their natural instincts.
Peterbald Cat - $5,000
Peterbald cats are a hairless breed of cat that are among the rarest breeds around today. Peterbalds originated in Russia in the early 1990s and have come to be beloved by their owners ever since. Being a relatively new breed, they're pretty expensive and can cost as much as $5,000. However, they're reported to be playful and affectionate, making them great for owners who want a cat that enjoys a bit more of an active lifestyle.
These cats do really well with children and usually get along with other cats in the family. They're also really kind towards dogs, as long as the dogs are kind back.
Minskin Cat - $5,000
Minskin cats are a really unique breed that was produced by crossing munchkins and Burmese cats and then throwing in some sphynx for good measure. Unlike some of the cats that were used to produce the Minskin, this breed is not entirely hairless. Instead, they have a very short-haired coat, but they're also hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for someone who has allergies and can afford the $5,000 price tag they're sometimes sold for.
They're known to be sweet and very smart while also being good with children and families. Since they're a newer breed, they're still somewhat hard to find and very unique.
Toyger Cat - $5,000
Toyger cats might sound like they have a really weird name at first, but once you get a look at this breed, you'll begin to understand their name. Their distinctively striped coats look similar to that of a tiger's. The name toyger is actually a mix of the words "tiger" and "toy." Toygers are descended from domestic cats, and really, the only thing they have in common with their tiger ancestors is that they have the same striped pattern.
Toygers are known to be very smart and sociable towards both their owners and other pets, including dogs. For some reason, they also like to play in the water, not dissimilar to actual tigers.
Persian Cat $5,500
One of the most recognizable cats in the world is also one of the most expensive. Persian cats are a really old breed that dates back hundreds of years. Unlike some of the other long-haired cats on this list, Persians generally do act as elegant and fanciful as you might expect. They generally enjoy lounging around and don't require a whole lot of attention. However, they're also not afraid to show affection towards their owners.
Because of their popularity, a Persian cat can set you back around $5,500, which is a huge sum of money to invest in a cat. However, Persian cat owners would probably say they're worth it.
Bengal Cats - $10,000
Bengal cats weren't actually produced by someone from Bengal. They were produced by an American breeder who managed to cross domestic cats and Asian leopard cats. Asian leopard cats resemble domestic cats in size, but they're totally wild. You can kind of tell that this cat has some wild ancestry due to the patterned marks on its coat. Bengal cats are reportedly kind towards their owners, making them great companions.
They're a very energetic breed of cat and enjoy playing and roaming around, making them almost like owning a canine. They are also supposed to be very smart and clever.
Khao Manee Cat - $11,000
Khao manee cats are a really old breed of cat that originated in Thailand. However, they've only been registered as a distinct breed outside of Thailand relatively recently. Obviously, the star of the show is the eye color. It's not as uncommon for these cats to have two differently colored eyes, although not all Khao Manee cats have this. Their eyes will always be either blue, green, or both.
Kao Manee cats are one of the rarest breeds of cats in the world, which can be seen in the huge price tag. These cats are sometimes referred to as "diamond eye" cats or "white gems."
Savannah Cat - $25,000
You'll probably be able to guess where these cats hail from just from their name alone. However, if you can't, then their uniquely patterned coat should be a dead giveaway. Breeders combined both wild and domestic cats to produce this special feline. However, because of this, they need plenty of space to roam around and play. Reportedly, they're still pretty affectionate towards their owners and won't outright ignore you, at least not all the time.
Unlike some other breeds of cats, these guys actually enjoy playing in the water, probably at least in part due to some of the wild cats in their lineage.
Ashera Cat - $17,000 To $125,000
Asheras are the most expensive breed of cats in the world. They can set you back as much as $125,000, and it's because of their rarity. These cats are a mix of wild serval, Asian leopard cats, and domestic house cats. There were originally only 100 of these cats born, meaning it's extremely hard to get your hands on one. These lanky cats are also rather large, owing to their wild ancestry. They can stand as tall as 24 inches and weigh in at around 33 pounds.
Despite their wild ancestors, these cats are reportedly very sociable and curious around strangers. They're also reportedly very intelligent. If you were somehow able to afford an Ashera, you'd be spending anywhere from $150 to a little over $400 a month to keep the cat happy and healthy.