Have you always dreamed of having an exotic cat, such as a lion or tiger? It sounds great in theory, but in practice, owning a large feline can be quite challenging. While you can find some very pretty exotic cats for sale, you should definitely think very carefully before buying one. A local veterinarian lists some things to think about below.
Exotic cats are quite expensive. In fact, they can cost thousands of dollars. The exact price will vary on the type of kitty you are getting. Mid-sized ones, like Servals, range from about $1700 to as much as $3000. Ocelots can go for as much as $15,000, while a tiger cub (which are now illegal to own in many places) can cost $7500 or even more.
The typical housecat can do just fine living in a smaller home, such as an apartment. Exotic felines, however, are bigger and more energetic, and require a lot of room to run, play, and nap. You may need to build a fairly sizable enclosure for your pet. Keep in mind that a big cat won’t be happy in a bare pen or cage. You’ll need to provide plenty of furniture and toys.
The laws on owning exotic pets vary wildly, depending on where you are. For example, Savannah cats are illegal to keep as pets 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 there is a chance that you may eventually move to another area.
Another thing that is crucial is finding a good vet that is experienced with exotic cats. Most—if not all—veterinarians are very well-trained when it comes to providing care for domestic cats. Exotic cats, however, have different needs than the typical housecat.
We understand the appeal of exotic pets: they’re beautiful, unique, and fascinating. Unfortunately, many of them just aren’t well-suited to living in captivity. This goes for kitties, too, as anyone who has watched Tiger King can understand. Consider donating to a reputable rescue instead.
If you’re thinking that a tiger will act like a giant housecat, think again. Some bigger cats don’t take to litterboxes, while others dislike being handled. There’s also an element of danger. Those claws can be deadly! You may also find that bigger kitties just don’t enjoy domestication, and tend to ignore commands even more than the average housecat does.
You may want to consider 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, your local animal clinic in North Miami, FL!