Exotic Cats and Wild Cats
In America more people than anywhere else in the world keep exotic and wild Cats. I am not being critical of Americans or America. It is a great country. It is the ultimate capitalist society and highly successful but always vulnerable to the excesses of capitalism.
|F1 Savannah - an exotic pet. Photo: Kathryn Stucki.|
Unbridled capitalism brings problems as it is a model than panders to human weakness. Capitalism needs to be kept in check. An area that is of concern to the authorities is the keeping of exotic animals generally and of concern to me are the tamed wild cats and wildcat hybrids.
It would seem that the authorities desire to better control the keeping of big cats (spurred on by HSUS) may be having an effect in some States on the keeping of, for example, Bengal cats. As we know Bengal cats are true domestic cats despite having some wild blood in them (it is thought about 12% for 4th generation cats). Some people prefer to keep earlier generations of Bengal cat.
Then there are the other wildcat hybrids, Savannahs, Chausie, Safari. Then the tamed wild cat the Serval (a different kettle of fish). The point I am making is that there seems to be a gradual backlash to the gradual expansion of the keeping of exotic small cats and hybrid wildcats.
They have been caught in the net of controls on the big wild cats. It is only in America where there is such an interest in the keeping of wild animals. You just don't see individuals in other parts of the world with their own mini-zoo. There are some but few.
As far as I am aware some local authorities in the US are beginning to clamp down on the keeping of Bengal cats (the best known and most frequently kept wildcat hybrid). This is of huge concern to the Bengal cat, cat fancy.
The other problem facing the Bengal cat community is the unfortunate presence of the inherited heart disease in breeding cats. It's a kind of double whammy for breeders of the Bengal cat. If I were considering keeping a Bengal cat in the USA, I'd check on the legalities first - your breeder or rescue center should know but the law is changing it so this is grey area. In the UK the Bengal cat is still a wild cat and has to be registered but few if any keepers of this cat do this.