10 Ridiculously Expensive Cat and Dog Breeds

white Khao Manee cat lying on its side atop wooden table

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There are hundreds of breeds of dogs and cats, and some are shockingly expensive. They may be intensively bred, have interesting histories, or are simply beautiful. Whatever the reason, they can cost thousands of dollars — or more. Here are 10 of the most expensive dog and cat breeds.

Millions of pets (including many purebreds) are available to be adopted from shelters at much lower prices. We always recommend adoption as a first choice. If you've decided to buy a pet from a breeder, be sure to choose a responsible breeder, and always avoid puppy mills.

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Bengal Cat

bengal cat with leopard-like fur curled up on gray towel

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The Bengal cat is a hybrid of a domestic cat and the Asian leopard cat, a small wildcat. They have been bred since the 1800s, but it has only been since the 1970s that they have been bred in any significant numbers. They weren't accepted to The International Cat Association until 1983.

Bengal cats are coveted for their wild markings, which sometimes include rosettes like those on jaguars, leopards, and other big cats. This and their rarity contributes to their high price tag — kittens can cost up to $4,800.

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Tibetan Mastiff

tibetan mastiff puppy with fluffy tan fur stands on brick path in sunlight

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The Tibetan mastiff is a large dog that originated in the mountains of Central Asia alongside the Tibetan nomads. They were traditionally used to protect homes, farms, and flocks, and they could scare off or even fight larger predators like leopards.

The median price for a Tibetan mastiff is about $2,000, though they can be as much as $10,000 depending on pedigree. At the highest end of the scale, in 2014, a Tibetan mastiff sold for almost $2 million at a luxury dog show in China. That price made it the most expensive dog in the world at the time of its sale.

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close up of face of löwchen with shaggy white, gray, and tan fur

John M. P. Knox / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The löwchen (German for "little lion") is one of the rarest dogs in the world. It hails from Europe as far back as the 16th century where it was a companion for the lords and ladies of the time. The fashionable way to groom the löwchen has remained the same for centuries: no trimming on the front half and a close trim on the hindquarters, so that it resembles a male lion.

Löwchen puppies can sell for up to $6,000 dollars.

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Khao Manee

face of white Khao Manee cat with different colored eyes, one gold and one blue

gopfaster / Getty Images

The khao manee is a rare breed of cat that originated in Thailand. It is known for its short white coat and distinctive eyes, which can be blue, gold, green, or "odd" (a different color in each eye). These creatures were kept and bred by Siam royals, and they are one of the cats mentioned in the "Tamra Maeo," a book of Siamese cat poems dating back to the 14th century. They weren't brought to the United States until 1999.

Taking in a khao manee as a pet can cost up to $2,000.

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Canadian Inuit Dog

pack of Canadian Inuit dogs on sled in snow pulling man in snow gear

Chensiyuan / Wikimedia Commons / CC by SA 3.0

Canadian Inuit dogs originated with the Inuit people of the Canadian Arctic. They are also known as the qimmiq, which is the Inuit word for dog. These creatures most often worked as sled dogs. They are particularly well suited to the extreme cold of the Arctic because of their thick coat that is capable of withstanding punishing weather conditions.

The Canadian Inuit dog nearly went extinct in the 1950s and 1960s. It was saved by an organization called the Eskimo Dog Research Foundation, which in the early 1970s bought and bred the last remaining dogs. As of 2018, there are about 300 registered with the Canadian Kennel Club. This is part of why the Canadian Inuit dog has such a high price tag: $3,500.

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Savannah Cat

Savannah cat sleeping on sofa showing spotted coat and big ears

Ketsara Chanket/EyeEm / Getty Images

The Savannah cat is a hybrid between a domestic cat and a serval, a wild cat native to Africa. The cat's most prominent features — its spotted coat; cupped, wide, erect ears; and long legs — can be attributed to its serval background.

The Savannah cat was first bred in the mid-1980s and has since become a desirable kitty choice on the luxury pet market. For an F1 Savannah cat, which is bred directly from a serval and thus is 50 percent serval, pet owners can expect to spend $16,000.

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Pharaoh Hound

tan Egyptian pharaoh hound with black collar and leash stands tall in snow

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The Pharaoh hound is a striking breed, commonly believed (but not confirmed) to have originated in ancient Egypt. They have a long history on the Mediterranean island nation of Malta, where they are known as Kelb tal-Fenek. Traditionally, they served as hunting dogs; today, they are Malta's national animal. Like other hunting dogs, Pharaoh hounds are strong, athletic, independent, and active.

Despite their long history, no Pharoah hounds were born outside of Malta until 1963, when a litter was born in the UK. These dogs are beautiful but expensive — a puppy can cost you $6,500.

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fluffy white samoyed dog lying on floor with pink tongue sticking out

Ben Cunningham / Getty Images

The Samoyed is known best for two things: its fluffy white coat and seemingly perpetual smile. The breed hails from Siberia, where it was used by the Samoyedic people for hunting, herding, and sled pulling.

These dogs are highly affectionate and extremely friendly, making them a sought-after family pet. Depending on the breeder, a Samoyed puppy can cost up to $3,000, but some sources cite pups that go for as much as $10,000.

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five rottweilers in a row running on beach with mouths open

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Rottweilers are a highly skilled breed. As far back as Roman times, these dogs were used for herding and guarding. They are still used as guard dogs today, and also as police dogs and rescue dogs. The rottweiler's penchant for work is evident in its physical characteristics, such as its muscular legs and broad chest.

Because the rottweiler is such a well-known dog, its costliness may come as a surprise. However, depending on lineage and breed lines, a puppy can cost as much as $8,000.

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Persian Cat

white persian cat lying on back on couch with fur mussed

Stefka Pavlova / Getty Images

According to The Cat Fanciers' Association, the Persian cat was the fourth most popular cat breed in the world in 2018. Loved for its looks, the Persian cat is best known for its flat face and long, thick hair. Unlike most other cat breeds, the Persian cat's coat requires extensive daily grooming with a comb.

They come in a variety of colors, but the white Persian cat is the most highly prized. That's why it has the highest asking price of the breed at $5,000.

Why Pets Matter to Treehugger

At Treehugger, we are advocates of animal welfare, including our pets and other domestic animals. The better we understand these animals, the better we can support and protect their wellbeing. We hope our readers will adopt rescue pets instead of shopping from breeders or pet stores, and will also consider supporting local animal shelters.

View Article Sources
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  3. "Lowchen." Next Day Pets.

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  5. "Canadian Inuit Dog." The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2019.

  6. "Canadian Eskimo Dog Breed." Dog Breed Plus.

  7. Mills, Michelle. "Savannah Cats." F1hybrids Savannah Cats.

  8. "Pharaoh Hound Puppies and Dogs." Adopt A Pet.

  9. Woods, Thomas. "How Much Does a Samoyed Cost? The Complete Buyer’s Guide." Perfect Dog Breeds, 2018.

  10. Larson, Jessi. "Rottweiler Price – How Much is this Loyal and Lovable Giant?My Dog's Name.

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