Thursday 9 November 2023

Pumba the pet caracal is anxious almost all the time living with humans

Pumba is anxious at best living in the human environment. Screen grab from video below.

I have written about this so-called 'pet caracal' called Pumba before (not a pet at all actually). You might like to read my latest article (see link below). I am somewhat fascinated with this cat not because I am interested in exotic cats as pets but because I'm concerned for the welfare of this cat who is overweight because he's bored and wants to escape. He lives in Latvia and was adopted as a kitten.

But, having watched some of the videos on the owner's (Deniss Jegorovs) TikTok account, every one that I've seen shows Pumba hissing indicating extreme anxiety. He hisses when his owner approaches him. He hissed when his owner approached him to video him and he hissed when his owner fed him and also videoed him as you can see in the video on this page.

This is entirely not what should be the case for a so-called domesticated wild cat. This cat is not domesticated at all. The cat is tame to a certain extent but in my opinion this cat is terrified at worst and probably permanently anxious at best.

And the reason for that is this cat is not socialised to people. He is behaving like a feral domestic cat. He is living in a hostile environment permanently. He has one friend, a domestic cat who also lives with this man.

And of course, the hiss is quite strong as this is a medium-sized wild cat. It's a very intimidating hiss. I don't know how the owner can put up with this because this is a precursor to being attacked. The ears go back and the hiss is a message to the owner to back off and go away otherwise you will be attacked. That is the message which indicates a dysfunctional relationship between caracal and human.

This is entirely unsurprising because, as mentioned, this is a somewhat tame caracal but not a domesticated cat and this cat is unsocialised despite being adopted as a kitten.

This caracal will never be a good cat companion and never be domesticated and never be fully socialised to humans. He will only be relaxed and happy when around other cats he knows but humans to him are large and potentially dangerous. Although Pumba might easily attack a domestic cat if he escaped and met a neighbour's cat.

All of this, for me, points to the fact that one should never purchase a caracal as an exotic pet unless you fully understand what you are getting into but even then, it's wrong because you are doing something which has a negative impact on caracal conservation and wild cat conservation in general.

The videos of Pumba sends the incorrect message that small and medium wild cat species can be pets when the message should be that they should be left in their natural environment, in the wild, and people should leave them alone to live their lives as they should live them. Then they can be happy but not like this.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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