Can snow leopards be domesticated?

Can snow leopards be domesticated? The answer is probably yes. Although, thankfully, you don’t see them as domesticated pets because they are impossible to find in the high plains and mountains of central Asia.

Here are two quotes:

“Snow leopards are known to become exceptionally tame and gentle in captivity, and they often form close bonds with their caretakers.”

Those are the words of wild cat experts, Mel and Fiona Sunquists. They almost describe the domestic cat.

Helen Freeman of the world renowned International Snow Leopard Trust quotes an anonymous writer:

“In captivity, it is far the tamest and gentlest of the large carnivora, not excepting the puma. Unlike the latter it is a sleepy, quiet animal, like a domestic cat.”

You could not get a better recommendation that the snow leopard could be domesticated. But don’t think about doing it. Leave them where they belong; on the steep, rocky slopes of cold and hostile mountains where they are safe from human persecution.

The snow leopard is one of the least aggressive large wild cats. There are very few accounts of attacks on people. They are said to relinquish livestock kills to a child brandishing a rock. And they rarely defend themselves against human attack. There are accounts of snow leopards being beaten to death by otherwise unarmed villagers.

This is a gentle and most impressive, large wild cat.

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment written by visitors. It is a way visitors can contribute to animal welfare without much effort and no financial cost. Please comment. It helps this website too which at heart is about cat welfare.

Source: Wild Cats of the World a fabulous book.

8 thoughts on “Can snow leopards be domesticated?”

  1. Beaten to death by unarmed villagers… you had to include that? Makes me sick. Not you, people who do that kind of thing, especially to relatively harmless beings like this. Every video I’ve seen of them shows what appears to be a big goofy adorable harmless house cat.

    • Yes, I included it because it highlights the non-aggressive nature of this cat. In stark contrast to the human’s behavior although for them it is about protecting their herd. There is an insurance scheme in place now I believe in parts of their territory where farmers are compensated from loss of cattle.

  2. You hear that a lot with keepers of exotic animals. Not so much at their eulogy or while the relatives wait at their bedside to see if they’ll recover. You cannot domesticate a wild animal You may tame it but it is never fully domesticated.

    • This cats will need to be domesticated in order to be saved. They very rarely attack or injury humans at all. Statistically, dogs are more aggressive than these cats. They are super gentle when tamed and much like a house cat.

    • I was struck by the unusual friendliness or non-aggressiveness of this wild cat. It may be because this cat is so isolated from humans. They don’t know that humans are bloody dangerous.


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