Animals & Nature

Expensive & Exotic Pets Of The Rich And Famous

For anyone looking to add an exotic pet to their collection, you’ll need to have quite a bit of money stashed away. These animals can cost anything from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars, with some even going to auction for more than a million. Only the very rich and famous can afford to keep these as pets which, of course, they have.

These pets have cost the stars so much money that some of them were even forced to give up their beloved companions because they simply couldn’t handle the cost. They might be making the big bucks filming Hollywood movies and recording number one albums, but even they can’t afford everything. That doesn’t mean they won’t still try to buy whatever exotic pets they can. Pets require so much upkeep that no matter what they are, they’ll always drain your bank account. Of course, some animals cost more to care for than others, which is why so many celebrities like to keep these exotic creatures as their household pets.

De Brazza’s Monkey ($10,000)

There’s no mistaking the De Brazza’s monkey if you spot one in the wild. With that distinct white fur that acts as a beard, there’s no other monkey quite like it. However, don’t be fooled by this breed’s elderly appearance. They’re just as agile as the rest of their species, which means they can be tricky to keep as pets.

Anyone unable to focus a lot of their energy on their primate companion would be best to steer clear of keeping one in their house. However, if you think you’re up to the challenge – and you can afford it – these make for intriguing animals to keep around. Just ensure you have $10,000 to buy it in the first place.

Palm Cockatoo ($16,000)

Keeping birds as pets isn’t anything out of the ordinary. From parrots to canaries, people regularly welcome feathered friends into their homes. Of course, not every bird sets people back $16,000. That’s the price you’ll have to pay if you want a palm cockatoo flying around your home.

The reason the Palm Cockatoo is so costly is that they’re included on the CITES list, meaning you can’t own one without a permit. Anyone willing to part ways with all that money should remember that these birds love attention and will do anything to get it, no matter how loud they have to be. This can result in some aggressive behavior, so always take precaution when around your new pet.

Pastel Butter Stripe Ball Python ($7,500)

Snakes are often considered an edgy choice for pet owners around the world. Their potentially vicious nature paints them as risky for a lot of people, although it usually just comes down to how sensible the owner is. A snake can’t harm you if you don’t give it a chance, although picking one that isn’t deadly is usually the best option.

That’s why the Pastel Butter Stripe Ball Python is a relatively popular choice among the rich and famous. This python species isn’t particularly aggressive, meaning the $7,500 you spend buying it likely won’t go to waste. Given the snake lives for 20-30 years, you won’t be losing your companion anytime soon. It’s a good investment for the future.

Chimpanzee ($60,000)

While many people think monkeys make good pets because of our connection to them, that isn’t always the case. Certain breeds are more ideal than others, but there are dangers with having these animals as pets. That’s why it’s not very often you see people with chimpanzees.

They’re intelligent creatures who have the capacity for affection, but their behavior can quickly turn aggressive. That’s something that Michael Jackson found when he famously owned his chimp, Bubbles. The singer eventually had to give the monkey up because of its behavior, even though the star likely paid $60,000 to have it as a pet. At the very least, the two enjoyed some good times together before parting ways.

Two Humps Bactrian Camel ($55,000)

If you’re in the desert, you’ll want a camel by your side. These animals are perfectly adapted to the conditions of these arid locations because they’ve spent centuries carrying travelers across the sand. That’s why many people who live in these areas want to keep camels as pets.

Unfortunately, only those with $55,000 to spare can actually afford the privilege. That’s more than most people make in a year, which is why you don’t see these animals wandering around your neighborhood. Luckily, if you can afford the upfront payment, it only costs $250 a month to care for your new camel. Just be sure to treat it well if you want to avoid getting bitten or spat at.

The Löwchen ($5,000-$8,000)

With so many different types of dog in the world, there’s basically a breed for everyone. For those who love companionship, something like a Labrador retriever is an excellent choice, although they’re not the only option. One that’s often discounted is the Löwchen, mainly because they’re so hard to find nowadays.

If you’re hoping to take on one as a pet, you might need to travel back to the Renaissance era when they were all the rage. They were popular with the aristocracy several hundred years ago, and they’re still the pet of choice for the wealthy of the world today. However, that’s more to do with the fact that they’re now so rare they cost $5,000-$8,000.

Lemur ($3,500)

If you’ve ever watched Madagascar, then you’ll probably be familiar with what a lemur is. These small creatures are only found on this African island unless someone’s bought them as a pet, that is. It’s not surprising that some people have taken to keeping the animals in their homes because they’re incredibly friendly beings.

They enjoy the company of others and often have a loving nature when it comes to humans. That’s probably why people like Kirstie Alley own more than a dozen of them. At $3,500, with additional costs of around $7,400, that’s a lot of money to spend on pets. Kirstie herself has admitted that up to $50,000 goes towards paying staff to care for them every year.

Savannah Cat ($12,000-$20,000)

Lots of people love to keep cats. They’re relatively relaxed pets who come and go as they please, often providing companionship without the same level of affection as dogs. Of course, not all cats are the same, and the Savannah species manages to bridge the gap between these two common pets.

It’s just as capable of looking after itself as a house cat, but with the ability to build greater connections with its owner. Think of it a bit like a dog in a cat’s body. Understandably, the demand for this breed is fairly high so don’t expect them to come cheap. They can cost upward of $12,000, with the females sometimes selling for as high as $20,000.

Octopus ($150,000)

When you think about aquatic pets, goldfish are probably what come to mind, not octopi. However, for those with cash to splash, these cephalopods make for a great addition to your animal collection. Incredibly captivating creatures anyway, these intelligent pets can enthrall you for hours as you watch them explore their environment.

Although prices vary for octopi, some of the most exclusive species go for $150,000. That’s how much Nicolas Cage spent on his aquatic pet which supposedly helped the celebrity with his acting. Although octopi aren’t known for providing this kind of training, we can certainly see why Cage’s was worth so much money. It’s unfortunate that his pet’s upkeep was so high it made him bankrupt.

Capuchin Monkey ($8,500)

If you recognize the Capuchin monkey, that’s probably because it’s featured frequently on TV. Their intelligent nature means they’re capable of performing for the camera, hence why one was used for the role of Marcel in Friends.

The prevalence of these animals in the entertainment industry has made them a popular choice as pets, although they’re not without their downfalls. For a start, the $8,500 price tag means you’ll need to be pretty rich if you want to own one. Coupled with the $1,000 upward you should spend on a cage, and the monthly $100 for food, they’ll put quite a dent on your bank account. Is that worth it for an animal often considered to be aggressive?

Fawn ($1,500-$5,000)

If you’ve ever seen a fawn in the wild, you’ll probably have been enamored by their cuteness. These creatures do certainly have that appeal going for them, even if they grow up to have a habit of running out in front of people’s cars.

It helps that iconic stars like Audrey Hepburn have had the animals as pets before, with the Hollywood star once being famously pictured taking her fawn to the grocery store. Of course, while people like Hepburn may make the idea of owning one of these pets attractive, they’re not always cheap to care for. On average, they’re bought for anything between $1,500-$5,000, with some occasionally selling for as much as $30,000!

Hyacinth Macaw ($12,000)

You don’t get many birds that are quite as eye-catching as the Hyacinth Macaw. This majestic species is commonly found in South America, but there are plenty of rich people who have tried their luck at keeping one as a pet.

Setting them back $12,000, it’s a questionable investment for a species that is currently considered vulnerable by conservationists. However, as a pet, it’s surprisingly warming to humans and will often show affection. Don’t make the mistake of assuming the bird can’t fight back though, because it’s remarkably strong. Get on the wrong side of it, and it could easily do you harm – just look at the deadly impact it can have on smaller species.

Hippopotamus ($100,000)

They might look docile, but hippos are actually one of the most dangerous animals in the world. It’s hard to predict their movements, and they have a habit of being overly aggressive. Making a wrong move with these mammals could cost you your life which is why it’s almost impossible to own one.

Permits are required to have a hippo as a pet, and they can take years to acquire. After that, you’ll have to cough up $100,000, with extra costs adding around $200,000 more over the years. With these animals being so difficult to get, it’s no wonder Pablo Escobar smuggled several into Colombia to keep as pets. That man wasn’t going to wait for any permit.

Arabian Horse ($100,000)

Horses have always been loved by the wealthy. The British Royal Family is a particular fan of these equine animals, with the Queen, the proud owner of several different breeds. Anyone who’s ever owned a horse knows that the upkeep of them can be pretty expensive, especially if you’re housing them in a stable outside of your own property.

However, it doesn’t usually cost $100,000 just to buy them as a pet in the first place. That’s the hefty price tag if you want to add an Arabian Horse to your collection. With a chiseled, athletic body where everything is proportionally perfect, few breeds can even compare to this sensitive animal. No wonder it’s worth so much.

Goldendoodle ($12,000)

Have you ever seen a dog so cute that you’d be willing to bet $12,000 for it in an auction? If not, you should have gone to the same event that Usher did back in 2012 when he set eyes on his future pet. The Goldendoodle – a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle – had the singer completely transfixed and it’s clear to see why.

Cute, cuddly and loyal, the animal boasts all the great qualities that make dogs such great pets around the world. The price tag might seem a little steep, but can you really put a price on the love of a faithful companion? We think you already know the answer to that one.

Bongo Antelope ($9,000)

If you ever find yourself in the African Savannah, you’ll probably see a lot antelope roaming the land. There are various species of this animal out in the world, but a lot of them don’t make good pets. However, one that has been known to be owned by those with enough money is the Bongo Antelope.

The largest of its kind, this animal prefers its own company to that of a herd. That makes it an ideal pet considering just one costs around $9,000. No-one wants to drain their bank account buying an entire pack! These antelopes require a lot of space, so they work best for anyone with a few acres of land to spare.

Owl Monkey ($5,900)

This cute and cuddly friend is a rarity in the animal kingdom because it’s the only monkey that’s active during the night. Its name derives from its nocturnal nature, with the species ideal for anyone who prefers to spend most of their waking hours in the dark.

Obviously, with its unique sleeping patterns, the owl monkey isn’t for everyone, especially with how much it costs to buy one. These nighttime creatures are just shy of $6,000 on average, and that’s not even taking additional expenses into consideration. A cage will cost several grand depending on whether it’s based inside or outside, while regular care requires up to $200 a month. How can something so small cost so much money?

Lion ($10,000+)

Lions are incredibly majestic animals, so it’s no wonder hundreds of people want to keep them as pets. Unfortunately, they’re not always the safest creatures to have around, especially if you haven’t owned them from birth. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to own one.

With the right amount of training and care, they have the potential to make for good household animals, although they’re still not without their dangers. Even a tame lion has the ability to go rogue and hurt its owner. Just look at what happened with Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith when they filmed Roar. Both were attacked and injured by lions they trusted. Tens of thousands of dollars can’t buy you everything apparently.

Toucan ($5,600)

The more exotic an animal is, the higher the price tag that accompanies it. It’s all down to their rarity and the risks associated with taking them from their natural habitat. That’s why if you’re interested in keeping a toucan around the house, you’ll need to have $5,600 to spare.

This South American native is a lot more expensive than your average household bird, but it’s also quite a sight to behold. With its colorful markings and distinguished beak, your toucan would undoubtedly be the center of attention if you had it as a pet. Unfortunately, with the species now considered to be relatively endangered, the likelihood of getting one to call your own is diminishing by the day.

Bengal Tiger ($70,000)

Just like lions, tigers are heavily desired as exotic pets by those who can afford them. Posing the same dangers as their wild counterparts, there are plenty of risks associated with owning a tiger because of their vicious nature.

This is slightly easier to control if you purchase the animal when it’s just a cub, although safety still can’t be completely assured. Of course, when someone has all the money in the world, nothing is ever really too risky. Mike Tyson didn’t seem to think so when he paid out $70,000 each for three Bengal tigers. The fighter was certainly capable of holding his own against these beasts, but they still managed to knock out one of his teeth.

Stag Beetle ($8,900)

A beetle might seem a strange choice for a pet, but they’re surprisingly popular with the rich and famous. Despite being small in size, the stag beetle has a dominating presence thanks to its antlers and mandibles. You won’t want to be getting pitched by these little creatures, that’s for sure.

Although popular around the world, the biggest market for them is in Japan where they’re pit against each other on live TV. It might sound slightly bizarre, but the demand over there is high, hence why some people are willing to pay $150,000 to add a stag beetle to their collection. Over here, they fetch a more modest price of $8,900, though that’s still far from cheap.

English Bulldog ($1,500-4,000)

Who knew English bulldogs were so popular with celebrities? Reese Witherspoon, Janice Dickinson, and John Legend have all had this breed as a companion at some point in their life, so it’s no wonder they’re quite costly to own. They can set a person back as much as $4,000, with the dogs rarely selling for less than $1,500.

If they are found cheaper than that, expect to be paying much more when it comes to veterinary bills. English bulldogs often have health issues because of their breeding, so it’s unlikely they’re going to have a carefree life no matter how much you pay for them. Fortunately for these celebrities, they have the spare cash to cover the costs.

White Lion Cub ($140,000)

Although many people would love to have any lion cub as a pet, there’s one breed that’s turning heads more than the others. There was once a time when it was believed these animals didn’t exist, but newer evidence has proven they’re around, and you can even keep one as a pet.

So, if you want a white lion cub to call your own, it’s time you started saving up some money. The rarity of these cute creatures means that they go for around $140,000, making them one of the most expensive pets you can own. That’s not even considering how much the upkeep costs, with cages, vet bills and food adding a good $10,000-$20,000.

Kinkajou ($3,000)

Kinkajous might look like a cross between a monkey and ferret, but these South American mammals are more closely related to bears. In fact, they’re often referred to as honey bears, because those that are kept as pets usually enjoy eating this sweet food substance.

Although these animals originate in the southern hemisphere, certain states in North America allow people to own them. They’re usually quite playful and don’t make a fuss, but they can bite back. If they get spooked by any sudden sounds or movements, they can get vicious. Paris Hilton had to learn that the hard way when she owned one of these $3,000 pets. The creature got aggressive and bit her back in 2006.

Tibetan Mastiff ($582,000)

If you’re looking for a dog, you can cuddle, Tibetan Mastiffs certainly appear to fit the bill. With all the fur that some of them have, they look like one big walking pillow. Of course, not all Tibetan Mastiffs are as cuddly as they seem.

The original breed isn’t one you’d want to mess with given they were trained to be guard dogs. Coming in at nearly a meter tall and over 150lbs, you would not fare well in a fight against these beasts. However, as they’re incredibly rare nowadays, the cost of owning one is ridiculously high. On average, they sell for $582,000, although some have been purchased for as much as $1.5 million in the past.