ISEC Canada is vehemently opposed to wild cats as pets. DO NOT contact us for information on obtaining an exotic cat as a pet.This trade is a direct contributor to the endangered status of many small wild cats.
Why We Oppose Wild Cats as Pets
- It permanently removes precious genetic material from the wild and promotes extinction.
- Capturing kittens for the pet trade often involves killing the mother cat which reduces the breeding and genetic potential even further.
- A continuous re-supply of wild cats for the pet trade is needed and as a species becomes increasingly endangered, the pet trade demand for it increase.
- Wild cats are at the top of the food chain and as wild cats disappear into the pet trade this has a domino effect, endangering many other species.
- Wild cats rarely make good house pets. They are shy, retiring, elusive, nocturnal and often cantankerous.
- It stops natural selection and genetic survival dead in its tracks.
- Care for a wild cat is quite different from that of a domestic cat, people’s lives change and it may be difficult for an individual to guarantee a lifetime commitment.
- A pet wild cat that has lost its fear of humans is far more dangerous than any wild cat in nature and sooner or later some will attack their owners and/or make an escape for freedom.
Pandering to human vanity in the form of private exotic pet collections will never be an acceptable alternative to wild cats in their natural environment.
Wild And Domestic Cat Cross Breeding
In recent years, cat breeders, especially in North America, have experimented in cross-breeding domestic cats with wild species to obtain the “wild look”. ISEC Canada, along with all other members of the wild cat conservation community, is appalled at this practice.
- As an organization established to prevent the decline of wild cat species, we find this trend extremely distressing. While most people are familiar with the threats of habitat loss and hunting, many don’t realize hybridization with domestic cats is a serious threat to the small wild cats. This hybridization dilutes an already small gene pool of captive small wild cats, and does nothing to enhance their conservation.
- Another concern is for the individual wild cats. There are set standards for small wild cats that dictate a substantial amount of room to maintain them, as well as expensive and complex dietary requirements. We have received many horror stories of captive wild cats being kept in 1 by 1.5 metre cages and fed fruit, vegetables or other calcium deficient diets, resulting in their complete inability to function, and early death.
- All wild cats need space. In their natural environment, they travel dozens or hundreds of miles every day. Few people who take wild cats into captivity recognize this need for space and believe that animals can be happy in a space which any human would regard as a prison cell.
- Each of these wild cat species evolved over thousands of years, each to its own niche in nature. It is so presumptuous of humans to want to “mix & match” the genes of these beautiful cats to acquire a ‘domestic temperament with the appearance of the wild cat.’ This dilutes the wild genes it took nature thousands of years to create.
- Annually, hundreds of thousands of loving domestic cats are put to death in shelters for want of a good home. The practice of “making a new breed” purely for their looks and personal financial gain, is not, and never will be, justifiable.