Big Cats Kept as Pets Across U.S., Despite Risk - National Geographic

A tiger paces in a tiny enclosure, typical for many pet big cats living in backyards or basements.
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For the third year in a row, Big Pride Cat Company has received the coveted Lionhearted Ambassador Award from the Savannah Plains Historical Conservation Society, which presents the sought-after award to an organization seeking to extend the legacy of big cats to a global audience. Founded in 2007 by Tom Caden, who assisted Siegfried and Roy before branching out on his own, Big Pride Cat Company trains and sells a variety of Big Cats, including hybrids like ligers, leopons, and jaglions, which have quickly become fashionable pets everywhere from Beverly Hills to Hong Kong.
#dogalize Big cats, physical characteristics, threats, and more #dogs #cats #pets
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"Relying on accredited sanctuaries to take in unwanted and usually neglected big cats is not a viable solution," said Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue. "When individuals foolishly acquire big cats as pets or exploit them in entertainment businesses, the cats often suffer in deplorable conditions with inadequate nutrition and veterinary care for many years. Then when owners realize they are not equipped to take care of a big cat or no longer want them, the burden to house and care for these big cats falls upon sanctuaries. This is not the solution; it does not address the inhumane treatment of the cats nor the public safety issues." Thousands of big cats are kept as pets or maintained in ill-equipped roadside zoos in the U.S.
Photo provided by Flickr- Winged big cats, ghost big cats, hybrid big cats and manticore pets are sterile (they can't breed).
Photo provided by FlickrBIG CATS MAKE BAD PETS - Big Cat Rescue
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Carol Asvestas is tired of seeing the same scene played out across the country. Big cats are taken in as pets or kept in so-called sanctuaries, but are neglected by owners who become overwhelmed.Dogs love to chase cats — but maybe not if the cat weighs over 600 pounds! In , a little Jack Russell Terrier meets a Siberian tiger. The dog sure doesn’t chase the big cat, but the tiger doesn’t chase the dog either, or roll over and squash it. They just bat each other playfully with their paws. It’s a pretty silly friendship: Jack Russell Terriers weigh , while tigers weigh anywhere ! Also, that tiger’s 3-foot tail is longer than the whole dog, who is at most 15 inches long. If you had to pick one as a pet, the dog is probably the easier one.Animal protection groups want to outlaw private ownership of big cats. They say that with an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 large cats kept as pets in the United States, the problem is out of control.'s researchers found dozens of cases reported in the U.S. media of people being killed or mauled by their pet big cats. In at least one situation it was reported that an owner was partially eaten.People who own pet big cats include low-income families, high-income families, and teenagers who want them as graduation presents, she said. "It's an ego thing. It's great to be able to walk down the street with a tiger cub on a leash. It creates attention." Restrictions vary by state: As of June 2002, 19 states ban private ownership of big cats, 15 require only a license or permit, and the remaining 16 have no regulations at all, established.And by big cats we don’t mean lions and tigers, although those are awesome too, but we’ll take a look at domestic pets. What if you just want more to love? check out this list.