Dogs are man’s best friend, although some would give that honor to cats. While adopting a puppy or a kitten from a shelter can be rewarding, many would-be owners don’t mind paying up — sometimes top dollar — to buy the breed they want.
Animal advocates urge people to adopt rather than buy a puppy or kitten. Still, many look for a purebred, and breeders can make hundreds and even thousands of dollars selling a puppy of the right breed with a good pedigree. Many of the priciest dogs and cats have a family history of competing in dog shows.
Puppy prices — even of the same breed — can vary by thousands of dollars depending on a range of factors, including location, breeder reputation, and the dogs themselves. High-quality German Shepherds can go for $2,300, or even less in some cases, but other purebred, high-end German Shepherd puppies can sell for as high as $10,000.
Most items for sale tend to decrease in price if there are many similar items on the market, but dogs are a notable exception. Many of the most expensive dogs are also near the top of the American Kennel Club’s list of the most popular dog breeds. Both French and English bulldogs are two of the priciest dogs, and both rank among the most popular breeds for dog owners.
Many of the most expensive cat breeds, on the other hand, are rare and less popular. In the case of some breeds on this list, only one or two official U.S. breeders are registered with The International Cat Association. Examples of rare breeds include the Peterbald, Russian blue, and Lykoi.
Advances in genetics have allowed some breeders to create new cat breeds that may align closer with consumer tastes. Such experimental cat breeds are not recognized by TICA and were not included on this list.
Many of the most expensive cat breeds are relatively recent discoveries and may not be as common as some of the older, more well-known cats. The Lykoi cat, for example, was first bred in 2011 and has yet to be bred on a large scale. There are currently only two TICA-registered Lykoi breeders.
Many high-end dogs and cats from upscale breeders cost significantly more than someone would expect to pay for an average pet. Dogs without any dog show championship pedigree will likely be much less expensive than award-winning dogs. People seeking out experimental cat breeds can also expect to pay much more for a new feline than for established breed.
With or without papers, cats and dogs make great companions and faithful family members.
To determine the most expensive dog breeds, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed several rankings of the rarest dog breeds, as well as rankings of the most popular and most expensive breeds. Prices for puppies of breeds identified by these list came from nextdaypets.com, a site which connects prospective dog owners with breeder listings. The rankings are based on the average of the minimum and maximum price for a “high-quality” pet from each breed. Additional information such as life expectancy and dog group came from the American Kennel Club. Cat prices are primarily estimates from registered breeders. Information on life expectancy, weight, color, and coat by cat breed came from catbreedslist.com and other sources.