Americans have a love affair with felines. Next to dogs, cats are the most popular pet in the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute. And some people are willing to shell out big bucks to get their hands on the feline of their dreams.
An estimated 47.1 million U.S. households have a cat as a pet, according to the institute. Altogether, about 94.2 million cats call the U.S. home.
If you’re thinking about becoming a cat owner, make sure you do some research first. Several factors — including the cat’s rarity, purity, personality and physical appearance — can impact the price you’ll pay for a feline.
Cat breeder Anthony Hutcherson — the incoming chairman of the International Cat Association’s Bengal cat breed committee — considered feline pricing, animal temperament and physical appearance, to help CBS MoneyWatch identify the most expensive cat breeds in the U.S.
These are the five costliest cat breeds in America:
- Bengal: up to $25,000 for a cloned kitten
- Savannah: up to $7,000
- Sphynx: up to $6,000
- Toyger: up to $5,000
- Maine coon: up to $4,000
In addition to the kitten purchase price for the cats listed above, pet owners must also be ready to shell out big bucks for veterinary care, food, grooming and other maintenance, not to mention the time to socialize and train them to use a litter box and avoid behavior problems such as shredding the furniture.
It’s important to factor in all those costs when purchasing a pet, writes Donna Freedman in “The Real Cost of Cat$ and Dog$.”
When choosing a cat or dog, beware the kinds of costs that novice owners can’t anticipate. Certain breeds need specific types of grooming, so unless you plan to buy clippers you’ll need to budget for visits to the pet beauty salon.
Before you purchase or adopt a pure-bred kitten, check out the advantages of adopting an older rescue pet in “5 Ways Adopting an Adult Dog or Cat Pays Off.”
Are you surprised by how much money some Americans pony up for a pet? Sound off below or on Facebook.