Ever wondered how much the most expensive pets in the world cost?
Whether it's cats, dogs or another creature altogether, it's no secret that the beloved animals we choose to share our four walls with can cost a pretty penny when it comes to buying them the very best dry dog food or best kitten food amongst the various other essentials. But the most expensive pets to buy right now take things to new extremes.
How does $70 million for a racehorse sound? Would you be happy to pay $1.2 million for a cow? Or how about parting with $40,000 for a python? And that's before you've forked out for any vet bills, food, toys or other essential pet paraphernalia, like clothing or bedding for your much-loved addition.
From micro-pigs and dogs to monkeys and camels, depending on what pet you've got your heart set on, these cute and cuddly creatures can cost thousands.
To find out more about the most expensive pets to buy right now and how much they cost, we’ve pulled together a list of the most costly animals you can legally keep as pets in certain states, countries and places. So brace yourself (and keep scrolling) to enter the world of the most expensive pets.
The 25 most expensive pets
1. Thoroughbred racehorse
Now we knew horses could be expensive but we didn’t know they could cost $70 million. According to reports, thoroughbred horse Fusaichi Pegasus was sold for this price in 2000 after winning the Kentucky Derby. Fusaichi not only tops this list as the most expensive pet to buy, but for being the most expensive horse to have ever graced this earth too.
2. Tibetan Mastiff
Big, strong and fairly rare, a Tibetan Mastiff is the most expensive breed of dog you can own. This comes after a purebred Red Tibetan Mastiff, named Big Splash, was sold for £1.5 million in 2011. Then another Tibetan Mastiff puppy went for $1.9 million in 2014.
3. Belgian pigeon
You read that right. A racing pigeon enters the list of most expensive pets to buy right now after the award-winning bird, New Kim, was sold at auction in 2020 for a record-breaking $1.9m.
4. Holstein cow
Farmers, bovine breeders and those who love milk — listen up. For the price of $1.2 million, you could have your own Holstein breed of cow after Missy was bought for this price tag in 2009.
5. Labrador Retriever
Not all Labrador Retrievers will set you back $155,000. But in 2009, a couple paid this price after winning an auction to have their beloved pet, Lancelot, cloned by BioArts.
6. Arabian horse
Originating on the Arabian Peninsula and praised for their beauty and speed, Arabian Horses can go for anywhere between $15,000 to $130,000.
7. White lion cubs
Extremely rare and coming with a unique coloration, white lion cubs can cost up to $140,000. However, there are only some states where it’s still legal to own one of these cat creations.
8. Stag beetle
A stag beetle might not be the first pet you think of buying, and for more reasons than one. But this insect makes its way onto the list of most expensive pets after a Japanese beetle-lover handed over $90,000 in 1999 for a larger-than-average one.
These humped-back beauties might not be classed as a pet in the U.S., but in Middle Eastern countries and North Africa camel racing is a serious sport. Camel owners can expect to pay $20,000 to $50,000 for these majestic mammals.
10. Lavender Albino Ball Python
As its name suggests, the red-eye snake comes with a lavender coloring with yellow stripes. It’s due to this rare and hardly seen-before appearance that these pythons have sold for a hefty $40,000.
11. Savannah cat
Tall, long-legged, slim and coming with a leopard-looking pattern on its coat, a Savannah Cat is a hybrid breed that is the blend of a domestic cat with a Serval. It can cost up to $20,000.
12. Palm cockatoos
Generally breeding only every other year, it’s no wonder why this loud species of cockatoos are so rare and expensive. Also referred to as the great black cockatoo, these charmers can cost as much as $20,000.
13. Hyacinth macaw
These rare, cobalt-blue-and-yellow parrots can live for more than 60 years so make for great companions. Despite being more common in zoos than they are in homes, if you’re lucky enough to find a breeder you can expect to pay up to $14,000.
14. De Brazza’s monkey
One of the oldest monkey species, the De Brazza’s monkey is known for its fleck of orange hair above its eyes and thick white bead. Coming from Central Africa, most De Brazza’s monkeys take up home in zoos, although some pet owners have paid up to $10,000 for infants.
Living for anywhere between 15 to 20 years, if you live in a country that allows these exotic birds to be kept as a pet, be prepared to pay anywhere between $8,000 to $10,000 for one.
Cute, adorable and (as their name suggests) super small in size, micropigs can sell for anywhere between $50 to $6,000 depending on who you buy or adopt one from.
17. Capuchin monkeys
For the price of $5,000 to $8,500 you could welcome these charming and energetic primates into your home. Although here’s a word of warning: these exotic monkeys require a lot of stimulation so if they get bored they may result in increasingly destructive behaviors.
Often referred to as the ‘little lion dog’, Löwchens are one of the rarest dog breeds on the planet. So it’s no wonder they’re also one of the most expensive pets, setting you back around $5,000 to $8,000.
19. Afghan Hound
Another dog you’ll need deep pockets for includes the long-haired, unique-looking Afghan Hound, which can cost between $5,000 to $7,000.
20. Bengal cat
With its striking good looks, outstanding athletic abilities and chatty personality, the Bengal cat makes for a wonderful companion if you can part with $3,000-$5,000.
Hailing from Siberia, you can't help but smile when you spot a smiley-faced Samoyed. What might not make you smile is their price tag, which is anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000.
22. Peterbald cat
Originating from Russia, this hairless cat breed is an easy-going housemate. They like to play and climb, but they love nothing more than following their humans from room to room. They are priced at around $3,500 to $4,000.
It’s illegal to own these middle-sized marsupial mammals in most states. But if you’re lucky enough to live in a place that allows for wallaby-keeping, you can pay anywhere between $2,000 to $4,000.
Talking of marsupials, for the lesser price of $3,000 you could be the proud keeper of a baby kangaroo. Although it’s forbidden to own a kangaroo in most states, places like Texas and Illinois still allow this.
25. Ayam Cemani chicken
Originating from Indonesia, where many keep the Ayam Cemani as a much-loved pet, this rare breed of chicken that is completely black (including its bones, muscles and organs) can cost $2,500.
So there we have it, a collection of pets that will be perfect just as long as you have the budget to match. The only other issue is deciding which one to go for, be it the Tibetan Mastiff, that Arabian Horse or the very desirable racing pigeon. Whichever one you choose, these are the most expensive pets to buy right now
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Becks is a freelance lifestyle journalist who has more than 9 years of experience in the world of digital and print journalism. She covers health, wellness and family interests for a range of titles. When she's not putting pen-to-paper (or finger-to-keyboard) she's reading, in the gym, or taking her Dog Aunt title very seriously looking after the handful of four-legged creatures in her life.