I’m surprised the question has been asked because how do you know they’re so expensive? How do you compare the cost of a cat with the cost of a car or a new computer? The price of something is relative and dependent upon the wealth of the buyer. To a wealthy person a $2000 Maine Coon is cheap considering the amount of enjoyment that the cat brings to their life. Incidentally, the purchase price is relatively cheap compared to the overall cost of maintaining a cat for the lifetime of the animal (around $15,000 perhaps).
To somebody who has a very tight budget a $2000 Maine Coon is expensive but so is a high quality computer. Like I said it’s all relative to other products and the amount of disposable income a person has. Therefore you cannot say that Maine coon cats are expensive. The price is governed by the marketplace.
All prices and any products are governed by the marketplace combined with the cost of production. The price is always right. If a breeder can get away with $2000 for a Maine Coon cat then they will charge this price. If nobody wants to buy a Maine Coon cat then the price will drop dramatically until they became zero if the bottom completely fell out of the market.
For example, in the car market in the UK, people are no longer buying diesels so the second-hand value of those cars has dropped dramatically and I’m sure you can get a very good price on a new diesel-engined vehicle.
Therefore, one reason why a Maine Coon for sale in California is priced at $2000 is because people want to buy them. They are in demand. They are a great purebred cat. They are highly popular. They look impressive and have nice characters and make good companions. When there is a demand for a “product” it tends to push the price up if the supply is fixed. If the supply goes up with the demand then the value of the product stabilises or goes down.
The obvious point that I’m making is that the price of a Maine Coon cat is dictated by market forces just like any other “product”. The problem for someone like me is that we are talking about a product. And it is very difficult to relate to a sentient being such as a beautiful cat as being a commercial “product”. This is where animal advocates have difficulty with breeders selling cats. There’s a big argument that it shouldn’t happen.
There is a very confident breeder of Maine Coons in California named Ttcats. I say confident because on their website they specify the terms and conditions with great confidence. There are no ifs and buts, there are no negotiations, you either accept the terms and conditions or you can piss off! All of their pet kittens are $2000 “regardless of colour or male/female”. A purchaser pays a $500 dollar non-refundable deposit to reserve a kitten. If the kitten is 9 weeks-of-age or older you have to pay the full price to reserve your him/her.
Retired cat or kitten?
This breeder knows the value of kittens. They are at the top end of the price range. But they have retired breeding cats at $800 and “teenagers” who are described as cats of one year and under who’ve not been used in the breeding programme as costing between $1000 and $1500. So you can buy a quality Maine Coon at a discount if you buy an adult cat and particularly an adult retired breeding cat. Once again this is due to market forces. Kittens are more in demand than adult cats. The demand pushes up the price.
Although the marketplace dictates the price, the overheads for breeders are quite high which partly explains why this breeder sells their cats at $2000. You have to add a profit margin to the overheads to allow the breeder to make a living out of it. Although historically breeders are hobby breeders and therefore they are not dependent upon the income to live. This might not be the case every time but it often is. This Californian breeder insists that purchasers fly to her facility. They do not ship cats by airfreight unless they are over 16-weeks-of-age. This adds to the price.
Is the price correct?
So do you think that $2000 is a decent price for a Maine Coon cat? As I said, it’s very difficult to compare the price with an inanimate object costing $2000. Can you compare a sentient being with an inanimate object in terms of their value? I think it’s quite hard. $2000 would buy you a very high quality laptop computer. You could very easily argue that a Maine Coon cat will provide you with a lot more pleasure and enjoyment in life than a $2000 high-end computer (if it is not a work computer). If you think like that then the Main Coon is inexpensive and good value for money.
Maine Coon cats are not expensive. They are at the correct price because the marketplace dictates it. Rescue cats are almost valueless which highlights the incorrect nature of pricing the value of sentient beings. A rescue cat will give an adopter the same amount of companionship and pleasure as a top end $2k Maine Coon. That argument makes Maine Coons expensive.