Exotic cats.

All cats deserve a supportive environment that facilitates growth, safety, and overall wellness. Enjoying close time with special people, play, and opportunities to tune into their natural instincts (like stalking, ambushing, and pouncing) round out the basic requirements for top-notch care. Exotic cats, or domestic cats cross-bred with wild ones, thrive when all of the above are taken care of, but they can also have highly specialized needs that benefit from serious research, preparation, and consideration.

Notable Exotic Cats

Among the growing list of domesticated exotic cats are the Abyssinian, Bengal, Egyptian Mau, Norwegian Forest Cat, Savannah, American Bobtail, Bambino, Khao Manee, and Maine Coon. These breeds are popular with cat fanciers and new owners alike, but that doesn’t mean they are exactly easy to provide for. 

Different Strokes

Many breeds of domesticated exotic cats have more intense needs for physical exercise, challenging mental puzzles, and lots of space. As some of them, such as the Maine Coon, are larger than typical domestic cat breeds, installing climbing structures, obstacle courses, and even water features (they can swim!) should take precedence.    

These cat breeds aren’t new to cat lovers. For example, the Abyssinian and the Egyptian Mau are some of the oldest known cats to live with humans. However, the cross-breeding of wild cats with domestic cats has allowed them to be more accessible and popular with those that adore them and value their skills and beauty. 

Legally Owned Extoic Cats

There are state-by-state laws or restrictions that make owning exotic cats illegal. Exotic cats can cost upwards of thousands of dollars to purchase, and cannot be legally owned in several states. As such, owners should conduct extensive research to ensure that animal welfare is upheld. Additionally, some exotic cats have nutritional needs that exceed simple kibble (not to mention highly specialized veterinary care), and their overall care can generate high expenses. 

Realistic Expectations

Unfortunately, some exotic cats, such as tigers, are endangered. Surprisingly, though, more live in the U.S. than in their natural habitat! Through a permitting process, legal tiger ownership is available in some states, but many conservation advocates aim to change that. 

Other exotic cats growing in popularity with owners include:

  • Lynx
  • Bobcat
  • Caracal
  • Ocelot
  • Serval
  • Asian Leopard Cat
  • Geofrey’s Cat
  • Jungle Cat

Meow or Roar?

Human fascination with cats of all stripes and sizes is only growing. Choosing the right ones to live with can take time. If you ever have questions about the needs of exotic cats, please give us a call at (732) 531-1212. Our team is happy to help you at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital