Video tells you why ‘pet’ caracals are not pets at all

Pet caracal is far too defensively aggressive to be a successful companion. Screen grab from the video below.

So, you’ve thought about buying an exotic pet cat as you are fascinated by the wild cats. The phrase ‘exotic pet’ includes pet wild cats. Actually ‘pet wild cat’ is an oxymoron as wild cats do not make pets as this video shows. A pet is a domesticated animal that is kept primarily for companionship, pleasure, or enjoyment. Where is the companionship? The owner made this video. He approaches his caracal who hisses violently. This is not good.

The video is from the TikTok account of Deniss Jegorovs: pumbacaracalofficial.

Yes, you can tame wild cats but taming is not domestication. Almost every video of this well-known pet caracal, Pumba, shows him hissing like hell. And look at those teeth! This overweight, captive and bored caracal who wants to escape is constantly anxious.

When his owner pets him he hisses. Not always but judging by the videos, far too often. That’s not living with a pet; a companion animal. It is living in a zoo with a medium-sized wild cat who really should be elsewhere.

Pumba has a domestic cat friend

The interesting video shows us that Pumba has made close friends with the resident true domestic cat. That’s good. Pumba needs a bit of companionship surrounded as he is by humans with whom he can’t truly be relaxed and at home.

Who would want to live with a caracal?

The caracal’s owner is Deniss Jegorovs. He took Pumba in as a three-month-old kitten at his home in Latvia, where it is legal to own a caracal. FYI, Latvia, according to The Times newspaper, tops the worldwide charts for the highest consumption of alcohol. The UK is ranked 17th!

I think Deniss must have had a drink or two when he decided to buy Pumba. Who would want to live with an animal like this? And intimidating animal. Essentially a dangerous animal.

Yes, a highly impressive predator with perhaps the best jumping ability of all the wild cat species. But who would want to live with a predator like this? It can’t be relaxing. I don’t think you’re going to enjoy a close relationship. I don’t think you can call a pet caracal a companion animal in the conventional sense. It must be a bit like living inside a zoo. You are making your home a zoo which just can’t be right. What about being scratched? Perhaps this caracal has been declawed which would be cruel. What about spraying urine as the caracal wants to mark their territory? That can happen too.

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I mean, I don’t want to be too negative and disrespectful. But although his TikTok account is highly successful because people are fascinated with the behaviour of this pet wild cat, the way I see it, the relationship between this man and this caracal is a failure if the objective is to have a companion animal who provides support and brings genuine warmth into the home.

Purpose? Social media success?

I sense that Jegorov bought the caracal with the intention of setting up a TikTok page which he knew would accrue a lot of followers, admirers and comments. He wanted to be a successful social media user and he is. That is his achievement. That’s his success. There is nothing successful about the relationship however.

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Saying: cat among the pigeons

You might know this: the caracal is the cat at the center of the phrase “to put a cat among the pigeons”. It comes from a time when rich people in the Middle East took caracals out into the countryside to hunt with them and the caracal is a great hunter of birds because they can jump into the air and catch the birds as they take off.

The caracal would chase into a flock of pigeons on the ground, scattering them and the caracal would leap into the airing catch one or two. That’s where the phrase come from. And it shows you how athletic this animal is. Truly a very finely tuned athlete which is why it is a great shame to see Pumba, overweight and bored.

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It looks like he’s been overfed on raw meat. I do hope that his owner provides the correct supplements to that raw meat because you can’t simply provide a caracal with raw chicken or some other supermarket meat. You have to add supplements.

It is a known fact that many inexperienced, private owners of exotic pets like caracals and servals and even lions and tigers, fail to provide the proper nutrients to their so-called pet which causes ill-health. It is another reason why this modern trend of buying exotic pets is a failure from the perspective of wildlife conservation and from the cat’s perspective.

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Meet Pumba, the fat, pet caracal of Latvia who wants to escape

The website headline is “Meet the loving domesticated wild cat who ‘hates being alone'”. As soon as you see the pictures of this beloved caracal you can see that he is obese. This is not right. Note: this article is in 2 parts with a link to the second part at the base of this section.

Obese Pumba pet caracal of Latvia
Obese Pumba pet caracal of Latvia. Instagram screenshot.

As expected, it is legal to own a caracal in Latvia. I’d expect fairly lax laws on exotic animal ownership in the Baltic states and Russia. The caracal is a medium-sized wild cat species. They are highly athletic. The kind of space that the male caracal requires in the wild is 220 square kilometres! And owners of these cats expect them to be happy living in a home or an enclosure of 25 square meters. The caracal inherits a desire to roam over large areas.

RELATED: Infographic on caracal description

Pumba lives with Deniss Jegorovs. Apparently, he hates being alone and joins Deniss to watch television. He screams when he is lonely. I bet that it is an intimidating sound. Denis feeds him three times a day. Right, great. He’s feeding too much or giving him treats in between feeds. And he’s not getting anywhere near enough exercise.

Obese Pumba pet caracal of Latvia
Obese Pumba pet caracal of Latvia. Photo: Instagram.

Deniss admits that Pumba wakes him in the morning and begs for food. He is terminally bored that’s why he begs for food. There’s your problem. He lives outside the home from mid-fall to mid-spring.

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