Have you always dreamed of having a big cat, such as a lion or tiger, as a pet? This sounds great in theory. What could be more glamorous or mysterious than having a pet tiger? However, in practice, this can be quite challenging. It’s also both expensive and dangerous. While you can find exotic cats for sale, you should definitely think twice before buying one. A local vet lists some things to think about below.
Your typical housecat can do just fine in a smaller home, such as an apartment. Exotic cats, however, require a lot of room. You may need to build a fairly sizable enclosure for your pet. Keep in mind that a cat won’t be happy just pacing back and forth in a bare pen or cage. You’ll also need to provide plenty of furniture and toys. And if you do get a tiger, your kitty will also need a swimming pool.
Cost is another issue. Exotic cats can cost thousands of dollars. The exact price will vary on the type of kitty you are getting. Mid-sized kitties, like Servals, may range from about $1700 to $3000. Ocelots can go for as much as $15,000, while tiger cubs (which are now illegal to keep in many places) can cost $7500.
The laws on owning exotic pets vary wildly, depending on where you are. For example, Savannah cats are illegal to keep in several states, but not in others. If you have an HOA, you may also need to look at their regulations. This is also something for you to consider if you may eventually move to another area.
Another thing that is crucial here is finding a good veterinarian that is experienced with exotic cats. Most—if not all—veterinarians are well-trained when it comes to providing great care for domestic cats. Exotic cats, however, have different needs.
We understand the appeal for exotic pets. After all, they’re beautiful, unique, and fascinating. Unfortunately, many of them just aren’t well-suited to the life of being pets. This goes for kitties, too. Consider donating to a reputable cat rescue instead.
If you’re thinking that an exotic cat will act like a giant housecat, think again. There’s a world of difference between Fluffy and her larger cousins. Some don’t take to litterboxes, while others dislike being handled. For example, ocelots really don’t enjoy domestication, and tend to ignore commands even more than the average housecat does.
You may want to consider getting a Bengal. While these adorable, charismatic kitties are considered exotic, they’re no bigger than the average housecat, and they have tons of charisma!
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us today!