From Mike Tyson’s Bengal tigers to Nicolas Cage’s octopus, an exotic pet with a hefty price tag has always been a must-have status symbol among the rich and famous.

But exactly how much are our Hollywood friends forking out for their costly critters? GoCompare discovered the five most expensive pets in the world. 

5. Albino pythons (estimated price: £25,000)
The lavender albino ball python, famed for its beautiful yellow and white markings and piercing red eyes, is the most expensive snake in the world, fetching around £25,000.

4. White lion cubs (estimated price: £80,000)
With less than 300 white lions left in the world, and most of them rarely found outside South African wildlife reserves, owners are willing to pay big bucks for them, and even more for their cubs.

An incredibly unusual genetic mutation of the Kruger lion, white lion cubs are undeniably cute. Fully grown, however, they’re the second biggest cats after tigers and tip the scales at an impressive 550lb. Probably not the pet of choice for city dwellers.

3. Holstein cows (estimated price: £700,000)
While they may not be the most exotic pets in the world, Holstein cows have always sold for high prices thanks to their high dairy produce, which makes them a sound investment for any budding farmers.

One, in particular, sold for a very tidy price tag - $1.2 million (£800,000) to be exact. Eastside Lewisdale Gold Missy – or Missy for short – was sold for the eye-watering price at auction in 2009.

The price was justified by her pedigree and the fact she was expected to produce a long line of similarly productive offspring, potentially making the sale seem a long-term bargain.

2. Tibetan mastiffs (estimated price: £2 million)
Tibetan mastiffs can fetch fees reaching well into seven figures. Famed for their furry coats and lion-esque appearances, these gorgeous animals have become a symbol of wealth among China’s social elite. However, Tibetan mastiffs are a notoriously strong-willed breed, so owners may need to factor the cost of dog training into the already astronomical price tag.

1. Racehorses (estimated price: up to £10 million)
The world of horse racing is big business, with billions of pounds gambled across the world annually – so it should be no surprise that the race to get hold of the most talented horses can be a real money-spinner.

In 2006, a horse named The Green Monkey was sold at auction for an incredible $16 million (£10 million). The son of two former Kentucky Derby winners, The Green Monkey’s breeding was unparalleled and so its buyers expected great things – and even greater cash returns. However, the racehorse failed to win a single race before retiring in 2008.

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