Have you alwa ys dreamed of having an exotic cat, such as a lion or tiger, as a pet? This probably sounds great in theory, but in practice, it can be quite different than you expect. 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.
One thing to consider is cost. Exotic cats are quite expensive, and can cost thousands of dollars. The exact price will vary on the type of kitty you’re getting. Mediume-sized kitties, like Servals, range from about $1700 to $3000. Ocelots can go for up to $15,000, while tiger cubs (which are now illegal in many places) can cost $7500 apiece. Add in food, a good enclosure, and veterinary bills, and your feline pal may take a big bite out of your wallet.
Your typical housecat doesn’t need much space, and will be purrfectly fine in a smaller home, such as an apartment. Exotic cats, however, are bigger and more energetic, and require a lot of room to run, play, and prowl. You may need to build a fairly sizable enclosure for your feline buddy. Keep in mind that a cat won’t be happy in a bare pen or cage. You’ll need to provide things like furniture, safe plants, and toys.
Legal restrictions on owning exotic pets vary wildly, depending on where you are. For example, Savannah cats are illegal to own in several states, but not in others. If you have an HOA or landlord, you will also need to look at their regulations. This is also something to consider if you think 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.
We understand the appeal for exotic pets: they’re very beautiful, and are also unique and fascinating. Unfortunately, many of them just aren’t well-suited to being pets. This goes for kitties, too. Consider donating to a reputable rescue instead.
If you’re thinking that an exotic cat will act like a giant housecat, think again. Some don’t take to litterboxes, which can of course be pretty problematic. Others just 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! Talk about the best of both worlds!
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us today!