The most expensive cat breeds were created through decades, sometimes centuries, of breeding for specific traits. Today, you can find a cat with leopard spots or with the size and temperament of a small, friendly dog.
These cats are pricey, but the good news is that part of the expense includes extensive health screening and selective breeding of the healthiest animals of each litter.
After purchase, the annual costs of owning one of these pricey felines mainly come from food, toys and yearly vet examinations. Annually, those costs start at $360 and increase if you're buying extra toys or pricier food.
And despite their expense, it's also possible to find purebred cats at your local shelter or ASPCA.
Cat breeder Anthony Hutcherson, the incoming chair of the International Cat Association's Bengal cat breed committee, offered his insights to CBS MoneyWatch on pricing, temperament and looks for the most high-end cat breeds.
Read on to see America's most expensive cat breeds.