We are all familiar with cat hoarding. It refers to collecting domestic cats in large numbers to the point where the caretaker can no longer caretake adequately to the detriment of the cats’ welfare. It is said that the reason is a mental health issue concerning the human caretaker.
However, in the United States where the regulations on possessing wild cat species (exotic cats) in some states is lax and also where a good number of people like to possess wild cats as pets (of sorts) you could arguably extend the concept of cat hoarding to include the wild cats.
There are a group of wild cats that are favorites for the person who like to keep exotic cats. These are usually the:
- cougar (Puma)
- leopard (less so)
The current example is about a person in Atchison, Kansas who kept nine “exotic cats”. The word “exotic” is important because these people crave the exotic, meaning something special, different and wild. Perhaps they think it makes them different and special too? They don’t allow themselves to become upset when they throw the carcass of a dead leopard or serval on a rubbish dump about 50 paces away from the tiny enclosures (see photo) of the living cats.
As far as I am concerned all wild cat enclosures are wholly inadequate bearing in mind the home ranges required by these cats, which can extend to 30-100 square miles, and much more. You judge for yourself as to what the cats felt when living in the enclosures – actually cages – provided by this person. These are muddy, very small, ill-kept and neglected enclosures.
I feel sorry for both the cats and the person. I feel more sorry for the cats.
However, the cats were rescued, but…they were abandoned first. Can you imagine firstly treating wild cats like this and then walking away from them? When rescued the cats did not have access to food or clean water.
A number of agencies and organizations were involved, including Big Cat Rescue, in their rescue and re-homing to sanctuaries “around the country”.
The owner of the cats was arrested for animal cruelty under the relevant legislation. Carole Baskin the founder of Big Cat Rescue says….
“Banning the private ownership of big cats as pets is the only answer”…[to eliminating this sort of wild cat abuse]…
Wild cat hoarding is another example of people becoming self-indulgent in satisfying their desire to possess exotic animals without adequate concern for their welfare. It is unthinking, selfish behavior. It also damages the conservation of the wild cat species because demand for these cats is such that they are imported into the US.
The owner of these cats didn’t even live at the property. It is so careless and disdainful of the beautiful wild cats.