These 25 Exotic Pets Cost a Pretty Penny
Between the initial cost of owning a pet to the food and vet bills, let’s be real — owning a pet can be expensive. But it could cost a whole lot more.
What you pay for your pet is a mere fraction of what it costs to own one of the world’s most expensive pets. We’re talking about the unique, exotic pets that unusual pet enthusiasts go crazy for.
Just how crazy, you ask? Let’s just say, you’ll need hundreds of thousands of dollars to own some of the pricey pets that made this list.
25. White Peacock
Price Tag: $1,000
White peacocks, striking to look at, have long been associated as a symbol of wealth, parading around the grounds of manors and mansions of the ultra-rich. So, while they make the list of expensive and unusual pets, you may be surprised to see they have the lowest price tag of those included here.
At around $1,000 each, white peacocks are no more expensive than some purebred dogs and cats.
If you’re thinking of getting a pet peacock, keep in mind that they’re not meant for homes with neighbors. They’re extremely noisy and particularly loud.
Peacocks won’t be housebroken, but they are domesticated and will allow physical contact with their human families if treated well.
24. Micro Pig
Price Tag: $1,200 to $2,000
Micro pigs, or mini pigs, are a fairly trendy pet these days, though not an affordable one. There are a lot of things to consider before jumping into pig ownership.
“Micro” pigs are often sold as babies, so while they may arrive tiny, they still won’t stay that way. A micro pig will be 50 to 150 pounds when fully grown, and if you don’t buy from an accurate source, they can be even more massive.
Keep in mind that pigs aren’t allowed in all settings, since they’re classed as farm animals, and they require plenty of space and lots of stimulation (they are super smart, after all).
However, they can be rewarding pets, too, since their smarts and capability of great affection means they have similar characteristics as dogs.
23. White-Tufted Marmoset
Price Tag: $1,500 to $2,000
For a much more unusual pet choice, heading into the realm of primates, marmosets are small monkeys that generally live in trees. As pets, they require a huge amount of commitment and live around 20 years, so it’s not a purchase to take lightly, even beyond the price tag.
Marmosets are quite social, which requires them to have a companion or someone constantly around; otherwise, they can easily become anxious and destructive due to their social nature. Their food, vet care and supplies can also rack up sizable bills.
That said, with the right care, they’re affectionate pets who will keep you entertained (to say the least)!
22. Peterbald Cat
Price Tag: $1,700 to $3,000
Peterbalds are unique in the realm of hairless cats. Unlike Sphinx cats, whose hairlessness is a recessive gene, the Peterbald’s is a dominant one. Their coat instead feels like a soft velvet, but each one has a slight variation in the texture and feel of their coat.
This breed is affectionate, playful and typically gets along well with dogs and cats.
They are a bit more high maintenance, though, requiring more frequent and involved bathing to keep them healthy and happy.
21. Ayam Cemani Chicken
Price Tag: $2,500
These chickens are average sized, average weight and lay a below-average number of eggs per year.
So, what’s with the crazy price tag? Due to a dominant gene, these chickens are pure black in color, from head to toe.
These chickens originate in Indonesia and have become so popular in the U.S. that they’re often sold out and have waiting lists.
And the thing you’re all wondering? No, their eggs aren’t even black, just cream with notes of pink.
20. Racing Pigeon
Price Tag: $2,800 on average (but up to $1.4 million)
This might be the most surprising one on this list. Who would ever assume that a pigeon could average almost $3,000?
To be fair, this isn’t just any pigeon. It’s a trained racing pigeon, which means it’s more of an investment if you’re fond of pigeon racing.
Some of the most competitive racing pigeons have sold for much more, and the all-time highest price tag was $1.4 million for the world’s best long-distance pigeon of all time. Who would’ve thought?
19. Boelen’s Python
Price Tag: $3,500
While not the most expensive snake on this list, Boelen’s Pythons are one of the more sought after, even though they can be tricky to own as pets. This is due to the fact that they were never bred for captivity, as they’re native to the mountains of New Guinea.
Boelen’s Pythons are typically quite shy and unlikely to attack. However, just because it’s uncommon doesn’t mean care shouldn’t be taken.
If they do bite, they’re highly dangerous.
18. Bengal Cat
Price Tag: Up to $5,000
This athletic cat breed has an ancestor among wild Asian leopards, but it’s fully a domestic breed — just a particularly pricy one!
Bengal cats are prized for their unique and beautiful markings, intelligence and agility, though they’re also affectionate and playful with their families.
They’re medium to large in size, compared to other cat breeds, and live about 10 to 16 years.
17. Afghan Hound
Price Tag: Up to $7,000
Another unusual and coveted breed of a common pet, purebred Afghan Hounds can range in price depending on the reputability of the breeder but can often cost up to $7,000.
Their long, silky coats require frequent grooming, and they’re predisposed to cataracts and hyperthyroidism, all of which can rack up expenses quickly.
That being said, Afghans are sought after for their beautiful unique coat and appearance. They’re an independent and confident breed, sometimes even seeming a bit more aloof. On average, this breed lives around 13 years.
16. Capuchin Monkey
Price Tag: $5,000 to $10,000
Among pet monkeys, capuchins are likely the most popular and widely available. Appreciated for their small size and adorable appearance, it’s not unheard of to meet people who own one.
Remember Ross’ pet monkey, Marcel, in “Friends”? He was a capuchin.
But there’s plenty to know before taking the leap of owning a pet monkey. These animals are extremely energetic and need lots of constant interaction and supervision.
They’re cute and very manageable as babies, but past age five, they get bored easily and may be more prone to aggressiveness or even biting. And keep in mind the costs for their vet care and space needs, too!
15. Tibetan Mastiff
Price Tag: $6,000 to $10,000+
Another pricy dog breed, purebred Tibetan Mastiffs are both huge and highly sought out. While the cost for one can range significantly based on the breeder, be prepared to spend up to $10,000 or more.
In recent years, one red purebred Tibetan Mastiff was sold for a whopping $580,000!
This large dog breed can weigh up to 160 pounds and live around 12 to15 years.
If you’re dedicated to their training, they’ll prove to be very intelligent, strong-willed dogs.
Price Tag: $8,000 to $10,000
For those fond of exotic birds, a toucan may be a highly sought after pet. Prized for their beautiful colorful feathers and distinctive beaks, toucans are native to South and Central America, but they make surprisingly good pets if you can afford them.
In general, these birds are playful, curious and sweet, particularly if you raise them from a young age. Other bonuses? They’re quieter than parrots and have beaks too soft to bite. They’re also intelligent, able to be trained to do tricks.
Just know going into toucan ownership that you’ll need plenty of supplies, space and the right temperatures to let them live their best life.
13. Monsoon Ball Python
Price Tag: $12,000 to $15,000
This beautiful snake species is coveted in the herptile community, and their price reflects that, with well-bred females going for up to $15,000 easily.
This is a newer breed, first available in 2015, and because of their unique markings, they’re constantly in high demand, even with the price tag.
So, if you want to own one, make sure to get on a list somewhere pronto!
11. Hyacinth Macaw (tie)
Price Tag: Up to $14,000
Another beautiful and unusual bird for the list, the hyacinth macaw is most notable for its rich blue plumage.
It’s important to take note: Even if you have the money, these birds are not recommended for novice bird owners.
They can live more than 60 years and, while they can be trained to an extent, they can also be loud, nippy and a bit hard to manage.
11. Samoyed (tie)
Price Tag: Up to$14,000
Often listed as the most expensive of commonly available dog breeds, Samoyeds are beautiful, strong and intelligent, but you’ll pay for those qualities. Samoyeds, if well-bred and from reputable sources, can cost up to $14,000, and that doesn’t factor in any of the dog’s lifetime expenses.
This rare breed is affectionate and great with families.
They can also run for miles, so it’s best to keep a close eye on them.
10. Palm Cockatoo
Price Tag: $16,000
This beautiful bird is consistently the most expensive cockatoo in the world, with an average cost easily around $16,000. Their beautiful plumage and uniqueness is the main draw for these birds, which are endangered in the wild.
Like most bird species that are available as pets, they can be affectionate and gentle with the right care and training.
But again, these aren’t birds for first-timers, as beyond the high price, they require particular care and plenty of attention to stay happy.
9. Masked Angelfish
Price Tag: $20,000
Paying many thousands of dollars for a tiny fish might seem crazy, but for those who are passionate about rare fish, it’s worthwhile.
Masked angelfish are among the more sought-after fish species, prized for their simple and elegant beauty — a bright white body and white masked face.
They’re not easy to come by, as they’re not often even seen in the wild. For those who do want to find one for their aquarium, patience and money are key.
8. Savannah Cat
Price Tag: Up to $22,000
Savannah cats, while a domestic breed, are extremely unique and not particularly similar to the average cat you have in mind. They have recent ancestors in the African Serval family and are quite large and tall for domestic animals.
In fact, Savannah cats hold the record for tallest domestic cats and typically weigh 15-25 pounds.
Savannah cats have beautiful distinctive markings and are highly intelligent, two of the things that make them so sought after and expensive.
They’re also a particularly high-energy breed, requiring lots of engagement and playtime to stay content.
7. Sunset Ball Python
Price Tag: Up to $25,000
Ball pythons, with their many variations and types, have always been popular pets for snake lovers and collectors. The sunset ball python, however, is considered to be one of the rarest among the popular and coveted species.
While a standard ball python isn’t a particularly huge price investment, any variety with “morphs,” nontraditional genetic makeups causing unique coloring and patterns, always fetch much higher prices for their uniqueness.
The sunset ball, for example, is extremely eye-catching, with its rust, orange and reddish shades all blending in a beautiful pattern.
6. Peppermint Angelfish
Price Tag: $30,000
Its coloring living up to its name, the peppermint angelfish is lovely to look at, with alternating stripes of bright white and red.
These are small aquarium fish, usually reaching a maximum of 3 to 4 inches in length.
But it’s quite rare, and as a result, fish collectors are willing to pay up to $30,000 for the chance to own one. Talk about an investment!
5. Lavender Albino Ball Python
Price Tag: $40,000
The priciest snake on this list, the lavender albino ball python is as unique and lovely to look at as its name suggests! The price is due to a combination of the breed’s rarity and its fascinating coloring.
These large snakes are a light lavender shade, with gold spotted markings and bright red eyes. It’s not hard to see why they come in with such high price tags for those who are avid snake owners.
Thankfully, these snakes make up for their cost by being easy pets, just like any other ball python.
4. Friesian Horse
Price Tag: $40,000 to $100,000
This startlingly beautiful horse breed, originally from the Netherlands, is typically deep black in color, with feathered feet and an impressively strong body. Well-trained, show-worthy Friesians are typically a minimum of $40,000, and it’s not at all unheard of for prices to be much higher for particularly impressive breeding stallions.
They have a long history of being used in wars and agricultural development.
But, today, they are most popular for dressage competitions or as carriage horses, though they make good, pets too!
3. Stag Beetle
Price Tag: $10 to $80,000+
Surprised by that price range? Yep, these fascinating beetles are often cherished and collected, for those who don’t mind their pets more on the creepy-crawly side.
This is most common in Asia, where it’s possible to find them for relatively cheap prices in some places, while other well-bred and rarer stag beetles have been sold for up to $90,000!
In Japan, home of the stag beetle, there is a much more common tradition of keeping exotic insects as pets, and the stag beetle is often a prized part of that collection for insect enthusiasts.
These small insects can live up to five years, so the investment may certainly pay off for those who are willing to take the leap.
2. White Asian Arowana Fish
Price Tag: $70,000 to $80,000
One of the most expensive fish you could ever possibly hope to have in your aquarium, the $80,000 price tag of a white arowana fish is nothing to take lightly.
What makes these fish worth so much? For starters, these aren’t small fish. Bred around South Asia, they can grow to be 3-feet long as adults.
They’re also believed by many in Asia to bring good luck and wealth. And these rare white arowanas are also unique in their coloring and beautiful to behold. In recent years, these fish have become something of a status symbol for wealthy people around Asia.
1. Arabian Horse
Price Tag: $100,000 to $150,000
While it seems fitting that the priciest pet on this list also be the largest, the price tag for a purebred Arabian horse is still no joke. While the prices can range substantially based on the lineage and abilities of the horse (with some pet-only Arabians going for much lower prices), costs for the best of the best in the breed (whether speed, endurance, heritage or other selling points) are massive.
Arabian horses have fluctuated in and out of popularity over the decades but are currently on another upswing.
While they haven’t yet reached their previous “fad” status, they are much more prized today than in other recent decades.