Wild Cats in Captivity

Date: 2011: The data presented relates to the period before 2002. However, information relating to wildcats is often old in my experience. The general picture gleaned from compiling this chart from the excellent and highly recommended Wild Cats of the World is that the status of wild cats in captivity is poor to very poor with one notable and outstanding exception: the snow leopard.

Several species of wild cat are not uncommonly kept as pets in the United States – a form of keeping wild cats in captivity. The puma and serval are probably the species that are usually domesticated. Of these there are probably more domesticated servals than cougars. The margay is reportedly a species that can be domesticated whereas the leopard cat is not. Servals do well in captivity it appears. One failure of domestication of wild cats is the usual desire to declaw the cats. Although this might reassure the “owner” this is a very poor practice as not infrequently it can leave the cat lame or worse.

Wild Cats in Captivity to Wild Cats by Size

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