Wild Cats as Pets

Wild Cats as Pets

The Truth about Raising Wild Cats

According to National Geographic, there are approximately 15,000 wild cats being kept as pets across America. There are probably more wild cats being kept as pets in America than there are in the Asian jungles.  That is quite a frightening fact.  All different classes own them, ranging from the wealthy to those with low incomes.  Some parents even go as far as to buy them as gifts for their teenagers.  People think of them as a status symbol, rather than a pet that is going to need extra care, which is going to cost a lot more money than an average pet.   

Wild cats are difficult to maintain.  Many people purchase these animals and do not realize how big their demands are.  For example, who would expect such a cuddly little cub to eat several pounds of raw meat per day?  People also do not think about how large the animals get.  For example, a tiger can grow up to 500 pounds, making it physically threatening, whether it is "trained" or not.  Look at Siegfried of Siegfried and Roy.  They always kept tigers that were well trained for their shows and one day one snapped, seriously injuring Siegfried.  According to veterinarian Kathy Quigley, if a tiger is in a situation that seems threatening to them, their natural instincts will take over, even if they are well trained, making them a threat to everybody in the household, even its "master".

Sadly, many big cats end up in orphanages.  When people buy them as cubs they do not realize how demanding and expensive it is going to be to properly take care of the cat.  Some owners release them into the "wild" or let them go out of the house to get rid of them, which poses a threat to the general public.  Many wild cat sightings across the country end up being sightings of cats that were once pets whose owners could no longer care for them.

The bottom line is that while it is perfectly legal in many states to have a wild cat as a pet, you must first do your research to find out of if it is right for you.  For example, if you have young children or plan to have children, you probably do not want to have a wild cat as a pet.  Also, if you cannot afford to feed your cat several pounds of meat a day,  then it is probably not a good idea.  Simply think before you purchase and you should be okay.