What to Consider Before Adopting an Exotic Cat

Does owning an exotic cat, like a lion or tiger, sound like a dream come true? It seems like a wonderful idea, but in reality, it can be very different. While exotic cats for sale are available, you should definitely think twice before buying one. Below, a local veterinarian lists some things to consider before adopting an exotic cat. 

Price

Exotic cats are highly expensive, costing thousands of dollars. The exact price varies depending on the kind of feline you are getting. Mid-sized kitties, like Servals, range from approximately $1700 to $3000. Ocelots can cost as much as $15,000, while Tiger cubs, now illegal in many places, can go for $7500.

Laws

Depending on your location, laws on owning exotic pets vary tremendously. Savannah cats, for example, are illegal in several states, but not in others. If you live in a community with an HOA, you might also need to find out their regulations. This is also something to think about if you eventually move to another location.

Space

Typical house cats can thrive in a smaller home, like an apartment. But, exotic cats are bigger and more energetic, requiring a lot of room. You might have to build a pretty sizable enclosure for your big kitty. Remember that cats aren’t happy in bare pens or cages. Stock up on plenty of big cat furniture and toys.

Ethics

We know the attraction to exotic pets: they’re beautiful, fascinating, and majestic. However, many of them just aren’t appropriate pets. This goes for big cats, too. Rather than adopting, consider making a donation to a reputable rescue.

Veterinary Care

Another thing that is important is finding a good veterinarian that is knowledgeable and experienced with exotic cats. Most vets are highly trained in caring for domestic cats. However, exotic cats have different needs. 

Behavior

Don’t think that an exotic cat will act like a giant housecat. Some don’t adapt to litter boxes, while others don’t like to be handled. For example, Ocelots don’t take to domestication, tending to ignore commands even more than the typical housecat.

Compromise

You may want to make a compromise and consider adopting a Bengal. While these charismatic and adorable felines are considered exotic, they’re just about the size of the average housecat!

Do you have questions about owning an exotic cat? Contact your local veterinarian for more information!

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