Everybody loves to keep pets, in fact, humans first domesticated cats and dogs many thousands of years ago and they have been our companions ever since.
We first domesticated cats in order to keep our supplies of food rodent-free, as they are excellent hunters and will not tolerate any form of pest within their territory. As we grew to love having cats by our side they developed from being pest controllers to members of our families as we learned to love their idiosyncrasies and also the affection that they show us. In the 20th century, many different species of cats were interbred and today it is possible to find cats of all different shapes and sizes, from tabby cats to hybrids between lions and tigers.
In this article, we are going to look at plus-sized felines and how you should take care of them effectively, so if you are interested, read on to find out more.
Can I Keep A Big Cat Legally?
When you are thinking of getting a big cat, the first thing that you must ascertain is whether it is legal to keep it in your state or not. Currently more than half of US states prohibit the ownership and interstate trade of exotic big cats such as lions, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs, and leopards, and the only people exempt are circuses and wildlife rehabilitators. There are, however, some breeders within individual states, and as long as their animals do not leave their home state it is legal to purchase them. Indeed, by some estimations, there are more tigers privately held in the US than there are living in the wild, which goes to show it is perfectly possible to own a big pet, it is just paramount that you do your homework to find out if it is legal to keep one in your state.
Where Should I Keep Them?
Depending on the type of plus-sized cat that you intend to buy, you will need to think about their accommodation accordingly. If you are looking for a slightly larger domestic cat such as a Maine Coon, then you will not need a specific enclosure, but if you are looking for a tiger or similar sized big cat then you will need to plan carefully as they will require an extremely robust cage, and then territory in which to roam. A suitable cage may cost over $20,000 to construct, and then they will need entertaining in their home as cats are smart creatures and are incredibly inquisitive. Furthermore, big cats are messy creatures and often spray their urine, so their cages will need cleaning on a weekly basis which means that you need a second closure within which to house them.
What About The Food?
The bigger the cat that you own, the more food it will require, and when we are talking about the biggest of big cats they can eat up to 20lb of meat a day. Obviously, the best food for Maine Coon cats will be considerably cheaper and more readily available than the best food for a lion, so you must consider where you are going to get your supplies from, and that you have the available finances. By most estimates in your first year of owning a truly big cat you will need an investment of £100,000 so owning this sort of pet doesn’t come cheap. A Maine Coon, on the other hand, will eat roughly a third more than your normal domesticated moggy, so the financial burden isn’t so onerous, and the appropriate food is much more readily available.
What About Healthcare?
Cats need looking after like any other animal, however, keeping big cats can be problematic as it can be extremely difficult to find a vet that is willing to care for them. Just like smaller domesticated cats, big cats suffer from diseases such as distemper and rabies, so it is important to vaccinate them against these diseases. You will need to take your cat to see a vet on a regular basis, so it is crucial that you find a vet before you purchase your pet because if you cannot find one, you run the risk of your cat becoming ill, and you could be prosecuted for animal cruelty.
As we have learned, there are several important considerations you need to take into account when caring for plus-sized felines. You must ensure that it is legal to keep one in your state, and also that you have a cage that is sufficiently strong to house it. You must also consider the fact that they will cost a fortune to feed and that they will need regular veterinary checks to ensure that they are in good health. If you comply with these standards then you should be able to keep a healthy plus-sized feline for years to come!