Are Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin fit to look after F1 Savannah cats?

NEWS AND VIEWS (COMMENT): Justin Bieber and his Savannah cats are in the news again. It’s not the kind of news that he would welcome. It highlights two things in my mind about Justin Bieber and his wife and their relationship with two expensive F1 Savannah cats. The first is that this sort of wild cat hybrid demands special ownership skills and caretaking. They are not conventional pets. There are a bit sharper, more agile even then the already agile and athletic standard domestic cat and they are bigger and more glamorous. They also have a propensity to escape the home where they have to be confined because they are too attractive and too expensive to allow outside to roam freely. In any case, if they go outside to roam freely somebody in America would probably shoot them because they might be fearful that they are confronting a wild cat rather than a domestic cat.

Sushi with leg break
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Sushi, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin’s part-wild cat, suffered a broken leg, the model revealed on Instagram Story. (Hailey Baldwin Bieber Instagram)

So this sort of domestic cat requires special skills to look after them properly and the second point is that I don’t think, with the greatest of respect to Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin, that they have those skills. Perhaps their lifestyle isn’t quite suited to the task either. You got to be around a lot and be involved as well. It’s a hands-on job. You can’t just leave them alone to take care of themselves (I am not suggesting that they are). Looking after an F1 Savannah cat requires a slightly different attitude to that of a conventional cat owner and I’m unsure that Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin have the correct attitude. I don’t wish to be unkind because I’m sure they’re both decent people but they no doubt fancied this beautiful cat and wanted to own a couple of them. Thinking cynically, they are great for Instagram accounts because they make great photographs and they are good for publicity.

Bieber and Sushi

Bieber and Sushi. Photo: Twitter.

Sushi broke his right foreleg

We now learn that Sushi has broken his leg (The Mercury News). Not long ago this cat escaped his home and was found weeks later, thin and emaciated looking starved, cold and exhausted and “stuck with porcupine quills”, according to a neighbour, Lee (author and chef) who found him. Like I said, they want to escape the home. The then world’s largest domestic cat, Trouble, a celebrity F1 Savannah cat escaped his home and was hit by a vehicle and killed. If it can happen to him it shows you how easy it is for this danger to occur.

It’s unusual for a domestic cat to break their leg. It must have been a fairly traumatic circumstance that resulted in the injury. There is no indication online as to how it happened. As mentioned, this cat breed is highly athletic and very capable. This should allow the animal to avoid injury in day-to-day activities. Perhaps he escaped again and was hit by a car but that is highly speculative. Or perhaps either Hailey or Justin walked into their cat accidentally. This can happen at the best of homes. Your cat is right behind you, following you around and you turn around and walk into your cat. If it’s something as innocent as that you can’t criticise. And I’m loathe to criticise them anyway but they are high profile individuals open to criticism and commentary.

The problems started when they adopted these two beautiful animals having spent $35,000 for the pair, a brother and sister (Tuna). They were criticised by PETA. Why couldn’t they have adopted a couple of cats from an animal shelter and donated the money to an animal welfare charity? That would have been better publicity for them. They have fallen into the trap of looking like a couple of careless, extravagant celebrities who want to possess a glamorous animal to adorn their glamorous home. That’s the impression you get. If it is a correct assessment then it is not a good attitude to have in relation to looking after a domestic cat.

Hailey said that she is a bit stressed because of the stressful presidential election which is still torturously approaching a conclusion and the breaking of the arm of her cat. The picture of Sushi with his right foreleg bandaged accompanied her words (see above). We don’t know how bad the break is. Perhaps it is a fracture and perhaps it will repair itself without too much difficulty.

I have a page on looking after high filial Savannah cats and other wild cat hybrids which gives a flavour as to how you can’t jump into ownership of this animal without careful consideration as to whether you can do it properly.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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