What are the Rarest Cat Breeds? – From a Cat Expert’s View
The pets that we’ve come to know and love come in all different colors, shapes, sizes, and personalities. Cats have become one of the most common household pets; a close second to dogs, according to the American Veterinarian Medical Association AVMA. Any cat owner knows how special their little lovers can be. Our domestic cats have shown us a love that only we can understand. Although we all believe our felines are special (which come on, they are) some people really do own some of the most special cats in the world. These cats are considered to be top of the list when it comes to the rarest and most expensive cat breeds.
According to the Cat Fanciers Association cats that are 100% purebred are considered to be rare. Sadly, most of our household and “alley cats” don’t fall in that category. A cat breed that is totally purebred isn’t only difficult to come by but also can put a pretty heavy dent in one’s wallet. Thankfully the cat experts at CattitudeDaily have put together a hefty list with everything you need to know about the rarest cats.
1. Selkirk Rex
This curly-haired beauty is a cat that will make any household happy. This cat breed is known for its beautiful curls that entice her entire body. She will spend all of her time cuddling and loving up on her owners. She is a breed that is unique and certainly her own.
She has become known as the “the cat in sheep’s clothing” as she is covered with curls that can mimic a sheep’s wool. Don’t be fooled by her beauty though owners will definitely hear different opinions about this rare breed.
Prices of the Selkirk Rex primarily depend on the quality of her coat (some kittens are born with straight hair), body type, color, pattern, bloodline, and breeder. The geographical area also has a bit to do with the pricing of your cat.
Typical cost: $600-$1,500
2. Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold is a witty and interesting cat. The Scottish Fold Cat is known for his folded back ears, making him an extremely unique kitty. Although his ears might be a bit quirky and different, his personality will have you head over heels. This beautiful cat will become a family’s best friend and favorite cuddler.
Being one of the more inexpensive cats on this list the Scottish fold is a great choice for a family seeking a rare cat on a budget. Visitors will definitely have lots of burning questions about this interesting-looking cat and a true cat lover will be thrilled to answer!
Typical cost: $250 – $500
3. Havana Brown
The Havana Brown Cat is known to have the rarest coat of any cat out there. This silk-like animal is often referred to as ‘chocolate delights’ bringing our minds an obvious visual of the overall chocolate-colored look, while also mimicking a mink feel. The Havana Brown cat is special in a variety of ways. With her enormous ears and bright green eyes, one will be quickly attracted. Along with that, the affection and attention this cat loves to get will quickly make any cat lover fall much harder.
These rare lovelies are not easy to get. They can also be quite expensive. Depending on the markings, Genealogy, and age of the kitten the price can seriously vary.
Typical cost: $800 – $1,500
4. British Shorthair
This hypoallergenic feline is known for her dense, short, plush coat. This cat is easy to take care of and groom, making a seamless transition to any home. Known to be calm, affectionate, and easy-going she’s perfect for some nice teddy bear snuggles!
Although she seems like the perfect feline, she is quite an expensive cat. Obviously, this depends on a variety of different things. Specifically, her price will increase depending on the breeder’s ability to exhibit proof of her lineage.
Typical cost: $1,200 – $3,000
5. Turkish Angora
The Turkish Angora is one of the most ancient cats known to the current day. This rare cat breed is an increasingly unusual domestic cat. Adding a Turkish Angora to your household can certainly be an easier adjustment considering their adaptable nature, but be aware they will soon become the alpha feline.
Originating in Turkey it’s not too difficult to find breeders throughout the US with these beautiful rare kittens. Breeders have worked in the past few years to bring a variety of colors to the Turkish Angora and you can now find them coming in all the different colors that we love.
The price of this breed varies from a moderately expensive cat to a very expensive cat. Variations depend specifically on the lineage and breeding farms they come from.
Typical Cost: $1,000 – $3,000
6. American Wirehair
The American Wirehair cat is known specifically for its wiry coat and accented cheekbones. Both the fur and cheekbones separate these cats from their counterparts of the American shorthair. Firstborn out of an odd mutation, they have become one of the rarest cats in the world. These cats can be found throughout the United States and any cat lover will be happy to have them!
This wonderful cat breed not only comes with special and specific features but also comes with its very own spunky, highly favorable personality. A lively and playful domestic cat that will surely become the perfect addition to your home.
Compared to other rare cat breeds that have been seen, while still expensive American Wirehairs fall under a bit less expensive category.
Typical cost: $800 – $1200
7. American Bobtail
The American Bobtail was a naturally derived feline, that has been breaded throughout the years to make the beautiful colors we see today. This fun-loving, game-playing breed will have your entire family on their toes. Whether their begging you to play hide and seek, fetch or go for a walk you’ll almost never be bored. With that in mind, the American Bobtail requires attention and lots of playtime according to the CFA. Therefore, be careful when making the decision if this is the cat for you!
The American Bobtail also falls in a less expensive range than other rare breeds, the American Bobtail’s price can change mainly depending on the breeder. This uncommon breed’s breeder will definitely be asking lots of questions before just handing over this special kitten, so be ready to answer.
Typical cost: $600 – $1200
8. American Curl
This extremely special and totally unique cat breed has taken the show world by storm over the years. These beautiful animals were first discovered in 1981 and have been bred for the years following.
This breed has many unique features but its main specialty is its beautiful curled back ears. Life begins with straight ears and as kittens age, they quickly begin to curl backward. The curl’s intensity will start the breeder’s debate of whether or not these animals should be in a show or become domestic cats.
These family-orientated adorable kittens are perfect for every cat lover. As stated above, the curl will determine it all. As for cost, the tighter the curl the more expensive the cat becomes. In general, the American Curl is considered to be an expensive cat. The lowest prices are more than a grand, making it one of the more expensive cats on this list.
Typical cost: $1,000 – $3000
9. Devon Rex
Devon Rex is a rare cat breed that has a very unusual look. This feline will at first have onlookers a little taken back with its large ears and crazy coat but will soon have many totally in love. Devon is a natural lover and game player. With his dog-like personality, he will have your entire family enticed.
Whether he’s cuddled under your blankets, trying to play a game with your kids, or just nestled up on your shoulder while you’re reading; you will never get bored of this cat. This fun feline will always be a kitten at heart and will certainly steal your heart.
They sound great, don’t they? Well. . . before you decide that they’re the perfect cat for you, we better look at the price. Ranking at one of the more expensive cats on this page the Devon will definitely be worth breaking the bank.
Typical Cost: $1,200-$1,800
10. Russian Blue
This unique and unusual rare breed is a special one. Russian Blue cats are some of the most beautiful and highly rated cats on the planet. With their silky blue fur that has hints of silver shining through one will instantly be attracted to this feline. Not only is their fur absolutely delectable but the green eyes stand out among many other breeds.
Russian Blue’s are also amazing players. They love to play all different games, but also know when it’s time to chill with the family. They can keep up with the kids, but also hang out with the elderly members of the household. This rare breed is almost a close to perfect fit for any family.
A special note to make about the Russian Blue is that it’s a bit different than other rare cat breeds. These domestic cats only come in one beautiful color. This makes breeding them even more special but also hikes their price up a bit. Another expensive cat that varies greatly depending on the breeding farm it comes from.
Typical cost: $1,000 – $3,000
The Singapura Cat originated in Singapore and is known for its large facial features. Upon first glance, you can definitely tell that this cat’s ears are much bigger than the average domestic cat, but that’s not the only thing. Its considerably large eyes will also have it stand out among other breeds.
The Singapura Cat also comes equipped with a special personality. Coming up as a very intelligent cat, it can also be a bit pesky. Seeking out attention and trying to help in any way possible. Some cat lovers might find this cat to be a bit much for them, but it might also be the perfect fit.
Unlike most rare cat breeds, gender with the Singapura takes the cake. Female felines are known to be more expensive than their male counterparts. Of course, depending on the breeder and the show level readiness of this breed the price can vary greatly.
Typical cost: $1,200 – $1,600
The beautiful leopard-printed Bengal Cat has become a household name that many have heard of. These Bengals are soft-furred, loving, and lively. They will easily become an all-time favorite domestic cat.
Unfortunately, one thing to note with this beautiful breed of the feline is their health. Bengal’s have been known to have health issues. Although they may not necessarily be fatal, next to the high cost of purchasing a kitten vet bills can rack up quickly. The Bengal Cat definitely rates at the top as one of the most expensive cats on the market.
Typical Cost: $4,000 – $10,000
13. Lilac Burmese
The Lilac Burmese cat is typically a beautiful blue color. Although they can sometimes give off a brown tint giving them a lilac-looking color. This makes them very unique compared to other cats in the Burmese cat breed.
Burmese cats have a ton of different breeds all under the same general genealogy. Making the prices vary greatly. The lilac Burmese cat is typically between $600-$1,000 but depending on the breeder they can be as expensive as $2,500.
Typical cost: $600-$2,500
14. Exotic Shorthair
The Exotic Shorthair rare cat breed is hands down one of the cutest cats you will ever see. Visitors will love to stop by just to look at this sweet face founded and bred in North America. This lively cat that comes in a variety of colors will be considerably small compared to other cats.
This special domestic cat can be a bit pricy. Honestly, as an adult, this cat is adorable so a kitten is undoubtedly worth the price. Becoming a well-known exotic shorthair cat breeder can definitely be a daunting task, but it’s definitely worth it. Well-known breeders can charge thousands more than breeders that are less known. Which explains the price gap of the typical cost.
Typical cost: $1,200 – $5,000
The Peterbald Cat is definitely a sight to see. Peterbald Cats originated in Russia and have slowly become quite popular throughout the United States. Although these cats can initially be a little bit unappealing, you will quickly learn to love their affectionate personalities.
The Peterbald Cat falls into quite a normal price range of rare cat breeds, but be aware that they can often rack up on Vet bills. There are different reasons for visits to the vet with this breed, but one famous one is actually sunburn.
Typical cost: $1,200 – $2,000
16. Japanese Bobtail
The Japanese Bobtail is a generally friendly cat that is definitely an adorable breed. Coming all the way from Japan he is one of the oldest cats in the world. He doesn’t do super well with small children and works best in families with older children and loves the elderly.
This cat is a bit more uncommon in North America. Therefore, finding a breeder can be a bit of a challenge, but compared to other rare cat breeds on this list it is not ranked as one of the more expensive cats.
Typical cost: $800 – $1,500
Coming from the cold forests of Russia, the Siberian forest cat will constantly be looking for attention and giving off lots of loving vibes. This beautiful rare breed gets along with almost everyone. Although grooming and shedding can become a bit of a chore it’s totally worth it to keep your Siberian Cat’s fur beautiful and silky.
Another expensive cat with a range of costs. Like other rare cat breeds, the Siberian Cat’s cost will primarily depend on the level of recognition that the breeder has.
Typical cost: $1,200 – $4,000
Persian cats are some of the most beautiful cat breeds on the market. Originated in no other than, Persia, this cat can actually quickly become high anxiety. Therefore, a household with a high noise level or an energetic dog probably isn’t the best choice. On the other hand, though, she is affectionate and loyal.
Typical cost: $1,500 – $5,000
22. Kurilian Bobtail
Although not necessarily the rarest cat breeds out there, the Kurilian Bobtail is definitely an uncommon and often sought-out kitten. This sweet, short-tailed cat will surely have your family falling in love.
Being the rare breed that he is the Kurilian Bobtail can definitely rack up a price.
Typical cost: $700 – $3,000
20. Maine Coon Cat
The Maine Coon Cat is definitely a breed that owners will quickly learn to love. As a kitten, they can be so small and cuddly, but as they grow they will for sure, not be a lap cat. Weighing up to 25 pounds!
Therefore, being aware of how big and how much grooming these cats require is very important before purchase. This rare cat can vary in price. Depending on a variety of factors, but mainly focused on their colors and breeder.
Typical cost: $1,200 – $2,000
21. Norwegian Forest Cat
The lively, excited, and curious Norwegian Forest cat will have your home filled with so much excitement. This domestic cat is an absolutely divine pet to brighten up any home. Although, the Norwegian Forest cat is known for having some health conditions throughout its life.
Taking health conditions into consideration, the Norwegian Forest cat might end up costing you more and more as they age. Their price is much less than other cats on this list, but their importation levels are also quite low. This means that finding a breeder could potentially be very difficult.
Typical cost: $900 – $1,500
22. Savannah Cat
The Savannah cat has lineage connected back to its more serval ancestors, but it is actually a loving domestic cat. Looking at the Savannah cat might have you thinking that it is more of a wild cat and shouldn’t be brought home, but it’s quite the opposite. The Savannah cat actually gets along great with children and other household pets.
Being large and tall this cat is actually considered one of the most expensive. This expensive cat definitely varies in price depending on gender, and of course, breeder.
Typical cost: $12,000 – $20,000
23. Sokoke Cat
This African originating domestic cat has actually been recognized as the rarest cat breed. Being recognized by all and any cat associations as rare and beautiful, the Sokoke ends our list with a bang. Recognized by both the Cat Fanciers Association and the International Cat Association.
These beautiful and rare animals have markings that one will find themselves constantly studying. Making them glorious cats both on the outside and on the inside. Their curious and silly personalities will have you constantly laughing with them.
Typical cost: $1,000 – $2,000
When deciding which domestic cat is the best for you, it’s important to weigh so many different aspects. While most of us have fallen in love with our not so rare, but ultimately super special ‘alley cats’ many of us had no idea about the rare cat breeds out in the world.
Whether buying one of these cats has a person debating between personality, price, or lineage it is no doubt important to research and shop around before settling on one specific breed. After you’ve done research on which breed you love, take the time to research individual breeders and know exactly what to look for.
If you want more detail on each of the aforementioned breeds check out our related articles all about cat breeds!