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7 Things to Consider Before Adopting an Exotic Cat

February 15, 2021

Have you always wanted to have an exotic cat, such as a lion, jaguar, or tiger? This may sound great in theory, but in practice, it can be quite different. While you can still find exotic cats for sale, you should definitely think twice before buying one. A local vet lists some things to think about before adopting one below. 


Exotic cats can cost thousands of dollars. The exact price will vary on the type of kitty you are getting. Mid-sized kitties, like Servals, range from about $1700 to $3000. Ocelots can go for up to $15,000, while tiger cubs (which are now illegal in many places) can cost $7500. And that’s not even counting food, enclosures, or veterinary care!


Your typical housecat can do just fine in a smaller home, and can be purrfectly content in an apartment. Exotic cats, however, are bigger and more energetic, and require a lot of room. You may need to build a fairly sizable enclosure for your feline pal. Keep in mind that a cat–particularly a large one–won’t be happy in a bare pen or cage. You’ll need to provide plenty of furniture and toys.


Laws on owning exotic pets vary quite a bit, depending on where you are. For example, Savannah cats are illegal in several states, but not in others. If you have an HOA, you may also need to look at their regulations. This is also something to consider if there is a chance that 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 care for domestic cats. 


We understand the appeal for exotic pets: these cats are absolutely beautiful, unique, and fascinating. Unfortunately, many of them just aren’t well-suited to being pets. Consider donating to a reputable wildlife rescue instead.


If you’re thinking that an exotic cat will act like a giant version of your typical 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 would.


Still trying to decide? You may want to consider a Bengal. While these adorable, charismatic kitties are considered exotic, they’re no bigger than the average housecat, and they have tons of charisma. Talk about getting the best of both worlds! 

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