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7 Things to Consider Before Adopting an Exotic Cat

March 1, 2021

Have you always dreamed of owning an exotic cat, like a lion or tiger? It may sound cool in theory, but in practice, it can be quite challenging. While you can certainly find exotic cats for sale, you should definitely think twice before buying one. A Markham vet lists some things to think about below.


Price

Exotic felines can be quite expensive, costing thousands of dollars. The exact price will vary based on the type of kitty you are getting. Mid-sized cats, like Servals, range from about $1700 to $3000. Ocelots can go for as much as $15,000, while tiger cubs (which are now illegal in most places) can cost $7500.


Space

Your typical housecat can manage just fine in a smaller home, such as an apartment, but exotic cats are bigger and more energetic, so they require a lot of room. You may need to build a fairly sizable enclosure for your exotic pet. Keep in mind that a cat won’t be happy in a bare pen or cage. You’ll need to also provide plenty of furniture and toys as well.


Laws

Laws on owning exotic pets vary greatly, depending on where you are located. For example, Savannah cats are illegal in several states. If you have an HOA, you should carefully examine their regulations. This is also something to consider if you plan to eventually move to another area. 


Veterinary Care

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


Ethics

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


Behavior

If you believe 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 don’t enjoy domestication, and tend to ignore commands even more than the average housecat does.


Compromise

You may want to consider adopting 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 your Markham vet today! 

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