Wednesday 30 July 2008

Exotic Big Cats for Sale

captive big cat
Exotic Big Cats for Sale - Captive big cat - this is what they look like when they are grown up. Photo by huntingdesigns published under creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

Exotic Big Cats for Sale is quite a popular search term (a keyword). Note the adjective, "exotic". People seek the exotic. This suggests that a fair number of people look to buy a big cat (I guess to keep them as some sort of pet). They must be very rich, have masses of land and know a hell of a lot about keeping big cats (including the law) because if they're not they are in for a shock and it will probably, almost certainly, lead to giving up the cat to a rescue center or something worse, euthanasia. And it doesn't stop there. If there is a demand for big cats someone will supply them. Some suppliers will be less than scrupulous. Irresponsible buyers feed the market and are, in part, responsible for the breeding and death, after a short and possibly miserable life, of a fine creature.

Exotic Big Cats for Sale - Background

The person (I believe the founder) who runs and manages Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida has come to understand over time the true and only way to live with big cats and indeed any wild animal. And for me that is to allow them their own space (and wild big cats need a lot of space, far more in fact than we can now give them), their own life, to allow them to exercise their right to share the planet with us and underpinning this is their right to be respected by us and to allow them their dignity. All this can only be achieved through education at both a profound level and a particular level.

At the more profound level we need to educate ourselves about ourselves. There is a high level of arrogance and ignorance. A sense that we are the top primate and we can do as we please. We cannot. We cannot do as we please because we live with other humans. The rules that ensure that we live in reasonable harmony with other people are extensive. There are far fewer rules telling us how to live with wild animals. As a result we are driven by our own self interest and low level motivators. This goes unchecked and the animals suffer. Worse in fact. In parts of the USA sport hunting is actively encouraged, it seems. Human population levels are growing unabated and little is done to address this. Habitat loss is the biggest danger to wild cats and wild animals. The wild Cougar is a classic example including the doomed Florida Cougar (Panther).

People then actively or passively allow the gradual extermination of wild cats leaving people distanced from them and distanced nature generally. This encourages the market in big cats and people looking for exotic big cats for sale. It is very odd and self destructive. We destroy animals we like. We also need to educate ourselves about the lives and deaths of the wild cats. All are endangered, some critically. The image presented by the zoos and conservationists is I believe misleading. We are heading towards the situation where there will no big wild cats, just captive breed "commercial curiosities".

Anyway turning to the subject matter of this post, Exotic Big Cats for Sale. I am sure the advice of the true experts (people who know big cats and care for them at the same time), will effectively say stop looking for Exotic Big Cats for Sale. For my part this should apply to everyone including zoos (looking long term). Many zoos or reserves keep big cats for commercial reasons (i.e. profit). There is little in the way of conservation going on (but some do good work in picking up the pieces). Have a look at the popular White Siberian Tiger for instance. The white coat is due to a recessive mutated gene. To make this gene's presence visible in a white coat, inbreeding has to take place. Inbreeding gives us the white tiger in captivity but a number of tigers are born with genetic defects as a result. We don't see these animals do we? Just the fluffy and the beautiful. What we see is not how it truly is.

Anyway, what I say will be ignored. So what does it cost to buy and keep Exotic Big Cats for Sale? These figures are my summary from the Big Cat Rescue website. They are merely a guideline as much for me as anyone who might visit this page. It is interesting to see what it might cost. Of course these costs relate to money. There will be a massive investment in time and energy in acting as a zoo keeper. Do you want to be a zoo keeper? One of the biggest single factors in keeping big cats or medium sized wild cats is that they spray urine. This is instinctive and domestic cats that aren't neutered or spayed do the same. Are you ready for a smelly home if you keep a relatively small tamed wild cat such as a Serval?

Some of the figures below can be multiplied several times in respect of some of the bigger cats.

captive Bobcat
Captive medium sized cat a Bobcat - Photo by huntingdesigns published under creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

Exotic Big Cats for Sale - The Cost

Estimated amounts based on life of a medium-sized wild cat for 2 years in captivity in USA. The amounts are in $ (USD). The land cost is an estimate.

Purchase of tiger cub................................................2,500
Purchase of Bobcat for comparison..........................500
Purchase of Ocelot for comparison......................15,000
Land requirements (legal obligation) for some States are 5 acres for big cats. This figure is obviously very elastic as it depends how generous you'd like to be on space. The more the better for the cat.......50,000
Cage (medium-small cat)................2,500
Food (frozen needing defrosting) and vitamins (mid sized cat)................1,460
Vaccinations (min).....................260
Worming (DIY).......................70
Flea treatments (DIY).........240
Federal permits (est.), time a trouble in store...............400
Insurance if you can get it.......................2,000
Toys (entertainment a vital ingredient in a captive space) - estimated..............300
Contingencies estimate..................2000


Exotic Big Cats for Sale - Relationships

Can wild cats especially the big cats be genuinely friendly towards humans? The general consensus is it is dangerous to be unprotected in the same environment as a big cat. But (and this is based on a layperson's observations) it would seem that if a big cat is raised by a person the cat will remember that person and remain friendly towards him/her. The smaller cats such as the Cheetah (the biggest small cat) have definitely demonstrated the ability to be sociable with humans. Cheetahs have been tamed and trained to hunt for humans in India for example. And I am thinking of a BBC program about the big cats when one of the presenters became very friendly with a truly wild Cheetah.

I have a gut feeling that it is safe to be with the big cats under certain particular conditions the most important of which is that the cat must be fully socialized to humans during the formative months and weeks.

Exotic Big Cats for Sale - My conclusions

We should positively stop thinking of exotic big cats for sale as something we can "own" and possess. This is totally counter to the very existence of these animals. They are born to be free and to share the world with us. Lets stop trading in big cat parts as well. Chinese Medicine must be changed. We need to focus all our money not on caging and possessing these cats but in working out how we can live them while ensuring they live naturally. That above all means addressing some very fundamental issues such as human population growth and our attitudes towards them. And allowing them the space that they need.

Exotic Big Cats for Sale to Bengal tiger facts


  1. I agree with you 100%. So many people buy these little cute tiger cubs or lion cubs that are the size of a dog and they think "oh how cute" I'm not sure people realize these animals get upwards of 300lbs or more. It's not even that the cat would attack out of anger or fear. Most of the injuries are caused by these 300lb cats 'playing' with people. It is a game to the cat when it nibbles your hand and jumps on top of you like it would do to one of its own kind. Difference is at 300lbs a tiger jumping on you to play may kill you.

  2. I am afraid too that one day we will not have a wild life at all. It is a shame but most of the powers that be and other people still just tend to think of them as "just an animal." It's like they don't think they are important enough. I agree that I would love to see them out free in the wild where they belong but I'm afraid that even that has become a dangerous place for them. People will not leave them in peace, always trying to find ways to make a profit from them, whether it be furs or exotic meats or hunters wanting to perserve the heads in their homes and say "oh, I shot a wild proud I am." I just don't get it. Why not just leave them alone in peace and view them from a distance. Enjoy photos and such. But it just is not that way...

    1. I totally agree SAVE THE BIG CATS

  3. i believe in hunting for food i killed a mountain lion in 2008 with a bow had a tag didn't use a guide or dogs the cat the lion was over 16 years old the meat was good and i had it stuffed lions hunt and kill everyday it depends on the mood of the cat when you run into it i live mountain lion country

    1. Your are a nasty creature do you care at all SAVE THE BIG CATS

  4. i still want a big cat

  5. Selling big cts is wrong they should be free in the wild we have to put a stop to these poor cats!!!!!

    1. I totally agree with you save the cats!!!

  6. I currently live with a leopard. She is my friend, not pet. A human primate can successfuly live with a big cat, it just takes a lot of dedication for a long period of time. Most humans can not give this dedication. Most species of mammals can become friends with other species of mammals but those in the academic world and the "accedited" zoo organizations arent going to tell you that because they make money keeping us separated and full of fear.

  7. great you live with a leopard just do not turn your back on her she is still a wild animal and if she wants to she can knock your block off with one swipe of her paw then you will be lunch then when they find what is left of you if any she will be killed as a killer. all because you wanted her for a pet. they are not pets as with a small cat or dog. are you nuts make sure she is well fed hope you have a good job they are expenisve to maintaine.
    you my friend have a ticking time bomb and when it goes off god help you.
    I feel sorry for the leopard not you. you are so dead meat.

  8. I think that if your gonna play with a big cat that should know that you gotta have some kind of armor

  9. Has anyone on here trapped a Mountain Lion for relocation?


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