Things to Consider Before Adopting an Exotic Cat

Things to Consider Before Adopting an Exotic Cat

Have you always wanted an exotic cat, such as a lion or tiger? It sounds great in theory, but in practice, it can be quite complicated, not to mention 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, and can cost you thousands of dollars. The exact price will vary on the type of kitty you are getting. Mid-sized kitties, like a Serval, range from about $1700 to $3000. Ocelots can go for as much as $15,000, while tiger cubs (which are now illegal to own in many places) can cost $7500.

Space

Your typical housecat will do just fine in a smaller home, such as an apartment. Exotic cats, however, are bigger and more energetic, and require quite a lot of room. You may need to build a fairly sizable enclosure for your pet. Keep in mind that a cat won’t be happy pacing back and forth in a bare pen or cage. You’ll need to provide plenty of furniture and playthings, as well as pools, trees, and hide boxes.

Laws

The laws on owning exotic pets vary wildly, depending on where you are. For example, Savannah cats are illegal to own in several states, but are allowed in others, though a license may be required. If you have an HOA, you may also need to look at their regulations. This is also something to think over if you may eventually move to another area. 

Veterinary Care

Another thing that is important is finding a good veterinarian that is experienced with exotic cats. Most—if not all—veterinarians are well-trained when it comes to providing great care for domestic cats. Exotic cats, however, have different care needs. 

Ethics

We understand the appeal for exotic cats: they’re beautiful, unique, and fascinating. Unfortunately, many of them just aren’t well-suited to life in captivity. This goes for kitties, too. Consider donating to a reputable rescue instead.

Behavior

If you’re thinking that an exotic cat will act more or less like a giant housecat, think again. Some don’t take to litterboxes, while others dislike being handled. For example, ocelots really don’t enjoy domestication, and will ignore commands even more than the average housecat does.

Compromise

There is a compromise available. 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!

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

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