7 Things to Consider Before Adopting an Exotic Cat

Have you always dreamed of owning an exotic cat, such as a lion, panther, or tiger? This sounds very glamourous in theory, but in practice, it can be quite difficult, expensive, and even dangerous. While you can find exotic cats for sale, you should definitely think long and hard before buying one. A local vet lists some things to think about below. 


Cost is definitely something to think about. Exotic cats are quite expensive, and can cost thousands of dollars. The exact price will vary on the type of feline you are getting. Mid-sized kitties, like Servals, typically range from about $1700 to $3000. Ocelots can go for as much as $15,000, while tiger cubs (which are now illegal in many places) can run you as much as $7500.


The average housecat will do just fine in a smaller home, such as an apartment. Exotic cats, however, are bigger and more energetic. These kitties require a lot of room. You may need to build a fairly sizable enclosure for your feline friend. 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. Tigers will also need a pool, while other kitties may need trees or hide boxes.


The laws on owning exotic pets vary wildly, depending on where you are. In some places, it is a felony to sell them. It also depends what type of cat you get. For example, Savannah cats are illegal in several states, but not in others. If you have a landlord or an HOA, you may also need to look at their regulations. This is also something to consider if you may eventually move to another area. 

Veterinary Care

Another thing that is crucial 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 needs. 


We understand the appeal of owning exotic cats: they’re beautiful, unique, and fascinating. Unfortunately, many of them just aren’t well-suited to being pets, or life in captivity at all. Consider donating to a reputable rescue instead.


If you’re thinking that an exotic cat will act 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 tend to ignore commands even more than the average housecat does. (It’s worth noting that, like house cats, exotic cats love boxes, but that’s another topic.)


You may want to 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 purrsonality.

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

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