Expensive Pets: 15 Rare Breeds That Come With a Hefty Price Tag

Owning a pet has become increasingly expensive. Puppies cost thousands of dollars, and then there’s insurance, veterinary fees and food bills. So, if you’re considering a rare breed, it could cost much more.

Unique, rare, exotic pets like white lion cubs, palm cockatoos, and masked angelfish are expensive. We’re not talking about a few hundred dollars. Nope. It’s more like thousands of dollars.

After paying for the rare breed, you’ve got additional costs for caring for these pets, such as special diets, cages, and more. We picked 15 rare breeds at prices that will make your jaw drop, and some might surprise you.

1. White Lion Cubs

White Lion Cub
Image Credit: Gary Whyte, Own Work – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

White lion cubs are exceptionally rare, which, of course, means the price is high. You won’t get much change from $140,000 for one of these sought-after cubs. Owning a white lion is a status symbol representing prestige and wealth. These unique white lions take a lot of care. They need a special diet and an enclosure for living and exercise; when you need a vet, a lion specialist may be more expensive.

2. Savannah Cat

Savannah Cat
Image Credit: Savannah Clark, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Savannah cats are a cross between a Serval (a big-eared wildcat native to South Africa) and a domestic cat. They look like dainty wildcats but are elegant, active, and social creatures with playful, friendly personalities. They need a special diet and a lot of space. They love attention from their owners and aren’t like a typical cat, happy to snooze on the bed when you’re at work. They are a scarce breed, and prices can be as high as $20,000.

3. Masked Angelfish

Masked Angelfish
Image Credit: Waikiki Aquarium.

If paying $20,000 for a fish is your bag, the tiny masked angelfish might look good in your fish tank. These fish aren’t particularly striking looking. They have a white body and a black and white masked face. They are a prize catch for Hawaiian divers as they are scarce in the wild. If you have a masked angelfish, it could soon lose its value due to successful breeding in captivity.

4. Palm Cockatoo

Palm Cockatoo
Image Credit: JJ Harrison, Own Work – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

The beautiful palm cockatoo (also known as the great black cockatoo or goliath cockatoo) is an endangered species in the wild. It is a large black bird from Australia with red cheeks and impressive plumage. They can make gentle and affectionate pets with training. Still, palm cockatoos need their owners’ attention to keep them happy. Prices vary but can be around $16,000 if you buy from a private breeder.

5. De Brazza’s Monkey

De Brazza’s Monkey Mother with Young
Image Credit: J. Patrick Fischer – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

De Brazza’s monkeys originate from central Africa and reside in the swamp forests. It got its name from Pietro Savorgnan di Brazza, an Italian explorer. It’s an odd-looking monkey with a white beard extending to its nose and an orange crest above the eyes. They can cost up to $10,000, but it’s worth noting that primates don’t make the best pets, and most states ban home ownership.

6. Toucan

The Toco Toucan
Image Credit: Basa Roland – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Toucans are exotic birds native to Central and South America valued at around $10,000. They have a distinctive beak and gorgeous coloured feathers. If you can afford one, Toucans make great pets. They are intelligent, playful and curious, enjoy interacting with their owners and are typically quieter than parrots. Toucans need a lot of space, a suitable temperature, the correct diet and plentiful attention.

7. Hyacinth Macaw

Hyacinth macaw
Image Credit: Charles J. Sharp, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Hyacinth macaws are birds native to Central and South America, with a price tag of around $14,000. It is the largest macaw and can measure one meter from the top of the head to the tail. Hyacinth macaws have deep blue plumage with yellow spots around the eyes and beak. They are not ideal pets for novice owners as they can be challenging to manage. They tend to be nippy and loud and can live for 60 years in captivity.

8. Monsoon Ball Python

Monsoon Ball Python
Image Credit: World of Ball Pythons.

The beautiful monsoon ball python can cost up to $15,000 because of the high demand for this rare snake. The reptile has a stunning and intricate pattern that looks like a labyrinth. The monsoon ball python can grow up to three feet long. They like to be warm but have a place to cool when needed. They enjoy burrowing, so you will need a box in their enclosure.

9. Samoyed

Adult Female Samoyed
Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Samoyeds are white fluffy dogs with double-layer coats. They originated from Siberia, where they assisted with hunting, pulling sleds, protection, and herding. They are intelligent dogs with a friendly disposition. Because of their thick coat, grooming can be expensive, and they aren’t suited to hot countries. They are one of the most expensive dog breeds, costing up to $14,000 from a reputable breeder.

10. Capuchin Monkey

Capuchin Monkeys
Image Credit: Noah Israel, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons

Capuchin monkeys are small with adorable facial expressions that may look cute, but aren’t necessarily good pets. They are highly energetic and curious and need space and constant stimulation to keep them from becoming destructive. They can become bored and prone to aggression after age five. Prices can be as high as $10,000.

11. Tibetan Mastiff

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Purebred Tibetan mastiffs are giant dogs originally bred to protect livestock, monasteries, and even palaces in ancient times. They are the world’s largest dog, weighing up to 198 pounds, and can cost over $10,000. That said, a red Tibetan mastiff was sold in China in 2014 for $2 million. Because of their size, taking care of a Tibetan mastiff is expensive, with a high food bill and veterinary costs if they become ill.

12. Bengal Cat

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Bengal cats are playful, affectionate, and intelligent. They have beautiful leopard-like markings and are graceful and agile cats. Priced at around $5,000, they are a domestic breed, but before buying a kitten, check that a lower-priced Bengal isn’t a subbreed. They can live up to 16 years and are relatively low-maintenance cats.

13. White-Tufted Marmoset

Common White Tufted Marmoset
Image Credit: Leszek Leszczynski – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

The white-tufted Marmoset is a small monkey from the northeastern coast of Brazil. They cost around $2,000 and can live for around 20 years in captivity, so it’s a long-term commitment to care for one. They are affectionate and friendly monkeys, so they won’t do well if you buy one and leave it alone for long periods. They can become anxious and destructive if they don’t have a companion.

14. Ayam Cemani Chicken

Ayam Cemani Chicken
Image Credit: Thomon, Own Work – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Would you pay $2,500 for a rare chicken that lays fewer eggs than an ordinary chicken? If so, the Ayam Cemani chicken may be your rare pet. These chickens are entirely black, even their beaks and internal organs. They originate from Indonesia and are so popular in the United States that you’ll have to get on a waiting list just to buy one.

15. White Peacock

A leucistic Indian peacock
Image Credit: Félix Potuit, Own Work/Wiki Commons.

Peacocks are striking, elegant birds, and the white peacock is no exception. They are the lowest-priced rare breed on this list, costing around $1,000. Still, be prepared that you’ll need a lot of space for this big bird, and they can be notoriously noisy. If you have neighbors, they won’t enjoy the raucous squawking. If treated well, white peacocks can be responsive to their family.

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