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7 Things to Consider Before Adopting an Exotic Cat

Have you always dreamed of having an exotic cat, such as a lion or tiger, as a pet? This sounds great in theory, but in practice, owning an exotic cat can be quite challenging, not to mention dangerous and expensive. 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. 

Price

Exotic cats are quite expensive. They can cost thousands of dollars, though the exact price will vary depending on the type of kitty you are getting. Some mid-sized kitties, like Servals, range from about $1700 to $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.

Space

Space is another concern. Your typical housecat can do just fine in a smaller home, such as an apartment. Exotic cats, however, are both bigger and more energetic, and require a lot of room. You may need to build a fairly sizable enclosure for your feline pal. Keep in mind that a cat won’t be happy in a bare pen or cage. You’ll need to provide plenty of furniture and toys.

Laws

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 you may eventually move to another area. 

Veterinary Care

Another thing that is crucial here is finding a good vet that is experienced with exotic cats. Most—if not all—veterinarians are well-trained when it comes to providing care for domestic cats. Exotic cats, however, have different needs. Needless to say, bringing a lion to your neighborhood clinic may not pan out very well.

Ethics

We really do understand the appeal for exotic pets: they’re beautiful, unique, and fascinating. Unfortunately, many of them just aren’t well-suited to being kept as pets. They really belong in the wild, or at least in great zoos or rescues. Consider donating to a reputable rescue instead.

Behavior

If you’re thinking that an exotic cat will act like a giant housecat, you may want to think again. 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.

Compromise

Still not sure? You may want to consider a Bengal. While these adorable, charismatic kitties are considered exotic, they’re no bigger than the average housecat. Plus, these adorable furballs have tons of charisma!

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us today!

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