Pet Tigers

Owning a Tiger

There are probably a great number of people who would like to own a tiger. However, owning a tiger can present you with a number of issues that could complicate your lifestyle greatly. For this very reason, it is important to do research and contemplate all the relative issues before deciding to own a big cat.

By saying that tame wild cats are "extremely unpredictable and dangerous creatures," people show their lack of understanding of animal behavior. These statements are wild exaggerations of the reality. Even wild animals in-situ (i.e. roaming untamed in the wilderness) do not behave in a dangerous, unpredictable fashion. Every animal has species-specific behavior patterns. These behaviors can be learned and understood by the owners of such animals in captivity, especially since they are very similar to the behaviors of a domestic cat.

However, many people don't feel that adopting a tiger from the zoo makes much difference. After all, these animals aren't in any danger of extinction, and they have already been displaced from their natural habitat. They would rather see wild tigers protected from the zoos themselves. If this describes you, then you might consider adopting a wild tiger. The Tiger Foundation (tigers.ca) offers a one sponsor per tiger program. This foundation protects tigers that are still in the wild. Under this program, you will feel good knowing you are making a real difference in a tiger's life. The downside is that it costs $10,000 per year. You can also adopt an entire family of tigers for $50,000 per year.

The south china tiger has always been persecuted as a pest by the Chinese people. The tigers would find their way into farms and feed on livestock, and sometimes the people themselves, causing the Chinese government to start many anti-pest campaigns. These campaigns were much more successful than planned and numbers dropped at an incredible rate. In 1977 the government instated a ban on hunting these tigers, but by then it had been to late. The populations seem to have collapsed and genetic diversity dwindled down to nothing, making them virtually extinct predators.

Just like many other pet owners, owners of tigers become incredibly attached to their pets. As they begin to grow rapidly the attachment can become detrimental to the relationship. One tiger owner recounts that her Siberian tiger begin "trying to kill the recliner" several times a day before she realize that the cat was maybe too big for the house. When you have a pet that you are incredibly close to, you must separate your feelings from the practical aspects of owning the pet.