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A Few Questions

Tiger, lion, cougar, leopard, anything cheetah size or larger

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Sanuye
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A Few Questions

Postby Sanuye » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:13 pm

I have been thinking about owning big cats for a long time now (and will keep thinking about it, because I won't have the resources to have one for a long time), and have been wondering about two things in particular:

1) I have heard about big cats being kept together or by themselves. Since most seem to be solitary animals, I wanted to know what you guys think the benefits of keeping them together or keeping them alone are.

2) White tigers - they're beautiful, it's true, and I would love to have one in the future. However, I worry that, with their smaller gene pool and inbreeding, they could have the capacity to be more unstable and attack their owner. Opinions?
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Ash
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Re: A Few Questions

Postby Ash » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:20 pm

Sanuye wrote:1) I have heard about big cats being kept together or by themselves. Since most seem to be solitary animals, I wanted to know what you guys think the benefits of keeping them together or keeping them alone are.

2) White tigers - they're beautiful, it's true, and I would love to have one in the future. However, I worry that, with their smaller gene pool and inbreeding, they could have the capacity to be more unstable and attack their owner. Opinions?


In captivity, big cats do very well in groups. There are quite a few owners with multiple tigers in the same enclosure, and this really benefits them. It's a form of enrichment. They're solitary in the wild because they compete for food and space. In captivity, it's not a problem since they have "unlimited" food and don't hunt. Just be sure their personalities are compatible and they get along, and it's okay. I think it's very good enrichment, since their human can't be with them 24/7. At most zoos there are multiple tigers kept together for this reason and also to save space.

The "unhealthiness" of white tigers is actually a myth perpetuated by people who want to destroy the hobby. While at first it was true that the gene pool was so tiny and inbreeding once was an issue, the white tiger gene has now been outcrossed so many times that it isn't a problem anymore. An orange, white, tabby, snow, will all generally behave the same--though it wouldn't surprise me if some of the "domesticated" colors were genetically tamer. The only downside is that white tigers are more expensive than the wildtype color, lol.

I have not worked around big cats myself, nor do I plan to own any, but some owners of big cats I know through facebook have talked about these things extensively. So that's where my info comes from, not personal experience. Just wanted to be sure to throw in that disclaimer. ;)
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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Sanuye
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Re: A Few Questions

Postby Sanuye » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:37 pm

Thanks for the information! That all makes sense, and I'm glad the gene pool has gotten bigger. Sick animals because of breeding always makes me sad. One more question for you, since you know about big cats - do the owners you know declaw them or leave them in? I hate declawing an animal, but I worry about safety. I was hoping that I could train them young not to use their claws on people like you train other pets not to bite.
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Ash
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Re: A Few Questions

Postby Ash » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:30 pm

Sanuye wrote:Thanks for the information! That all makes sense, and I'm glad the gene pool has gotten bigger. Sick animals because of breeding always makes me sad. One more question for you, since you know about big cats - do the owners you know declaw them or leave them in? I hate declawing an animal, but I worry about safety. I was hoping that I could train them young not to use their claws on people like you train other pets not to bite.


Most of the owners do not declaw or defang. The reason being, is that the animal can still kill you regardless. There don't need to be claws for a swipe to do fatal damage since they weigh so much. If you've trained your cat and you know how to work around it responsibly, read and respect its body language, chances are you're not going to get attacked if you exercise caution. You teach them when young not to play rough with their claws or teeth.

I feel declawing and defanging is a personal choice and should be left up to the owner. To me, it is not cruel because it is done painlessly, they have medication afterwards, and they still have a very good life. It is by far less invasive than a neuter or spay--so I feel anybody who thinks fixing an animal is okay should be okay with others who declaw/defang (even if they don't agree with it). All of these things--neuter, spay, declawing, defanging--are for human convenience.

Personally, if I were to get a big cat, I would probably want it declawed. Maybe it's naive-thinking since I've not owned a big cat, but it just seems that most injuries do come from gashes left by the claws. Even people who have chosen to have their servals declawed say they've been spared bad injuries because of it. So, I would do it on anything the size of a cougar or larger. But that's me. I go back and forth on the declawing thing, but still feel it should be personal choice.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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Sanuye
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Re: A Few Questions

Postby Sanuye » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:40 pm

Thanks so much for the info! I really appreciate it! I still have plenty of years before I get my big cats, so I have plenty of time to think about it. I agree that it's a personal choice though.

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