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Is it true cheetahs are somewhat domesticated?

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

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Laughing Hyena
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Is it true cheetahs are somewhat domesticated?

Postby Laughing Hyena » Fri May 30, 2014 3:28 pm

I've researched online out of all the Big Cats Cheetahs are the closest thing to a domesticated Big Cat. I guess in old Ancient Egypt Pharoah's actually kept Cheetahs as pets and used them for hunting kind of similar to how we use Dogs to hunt with us it was kind of an interesting thing I read.
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Re: Is it true cheetahs are somewhat domesticated?

Postby Ash » Fri May 30, 2014 3:46 pm

Yes. What you have heard is correct. They had been kept and used by humans for a long time in the past.
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Re: Is it true cheetahs are somewhat domesticated?

Postby KingObeat » Fri May 30, 2014 9:42 pm

Out of all the big cats, I think cheetahs would be the best to keep. Sucks that it's pretty hard to legally get one.
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Re: Is it true cheetahs are somewhat domesticated?

Postby Nìmwey » Sat May 31, 2014 12:58 pm

Easy to tame and keep, yes, domesticated, no. They have been "kept" for thousands of years, but I don't know that they have actually been *bred* in captivity for thousands of years. But they can be tamed and trained just like parrots and birds of prey (the latter being used for hunting just like cheetahs), even though they aren't domesticated either.
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Re: Is it true cheetahs are somewhat domesticated?

Postby DaniJo21 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:41 am

They are by far the easiest to work with, the least temperamental, and the most gentle, but they have a lot of problems in captivity.

There was an extreme bottleneck in the cheetah population (they almost went extinct), and the aftermath is apparent in captive and wild populations. Males have low sperm counts, they have weakened immune systems, and they are overly susceptible to feline diseases (that other "big" cats appear more resistant to). They get a strange liver disease called amyloidosis, that means certain death (and they have discovered it acts like prions and is transmissible). They are susceptible to imbalances in trace minerals and they are notorious for stressing and developing gastric ulcers due to Helicobacter spp.

Most importantly, they are notoriously difficult to breed because they have very specific mating rituals, where females must be allowed to pick males. We have worked with both de Wildts and Hoedespruit endangered species centre, and while they are making astronomical advances in creating "lovers lanes" and such for their cheetahs, but they still have what we would consider a high mortality rate.

There are only about 1600 cheetahs in captivity worldwide (a very specific studbook is maintained). Although I LOVE working with them and wouldn't mind having one as a pet, the species as a whole absolutely cannot afford to not be carefully bred through genetic mate matching (to prevent further inbreeding). Limiting them to institutions is one of those things were my support as a wildlife vet/conservationist wins out over my wants as an exotic animal owner.
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Re: Is it true cheetahs are somewhat domesticated?

Postby Alynn » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:25 pm

DaniJo21 wrote:They are by far the easiest to work with, the least temperamental, and the most gentle, but they have a lot of problems in captivity.

There was an extreme bottleneck in the cheetah population (they almost went extinct), and the aftermath is apparent in captive and wild populations. Males have low sperm counts, they have weakened immune systems, and they are overly susceptible to feline diseases (that other "big" cats appear more resistant to). They get a strange liver disease called amyloidosis, that means certain death (and they have discovered it acts like prions and is transmissible). They are susceptible to imbalances in trace minerals and they are notorious for stressing and developing gastric ulcers due to Helicobacter spp.


Holy crap, I didn't realize they were that hard to work with/breed. I always knew about the bottleneck and the jumpiness of cheetahs, but.

And prions? Like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease? :/ ouch. Here in my town I knew a guy who worked at the local funeral home - he said they had a case of a someone who died with Creutzfeldt-Jakob and when they found out, they had to throw out all their equipment that was used on the guy and completely decontaminate everything. I can't imagine trying to deal with that with cheetahs.
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Re: Is it true cheetahs are somewhat domesticated?

Postby DaniJo21 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:22 am

Yes, getting them to breed is something to brag about! It isn't really a surprise then that many aren't kept by hobbyist - those are precious genes! My avatar is of an Iranian cheetah cub (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) owned by one of the sheikhs in Abu Dhabi. She was really malnourished and had Helicobacter. There are only an estimated 40-70 left in the wild (and not many more in captivity), so I suspect that will be my only time getting to work with one. Extremely depressing, because she was SUCH a doll.

The disease, AA amyloidosis, is characterized by the deposition of abnormally folded fibers. There are types of amyloidosis that develop without a history of being transmitted (a spontaneous mutation in the host) - just like CJD is thought to have different variants. AA amyloidosis, the infectious type, affects many species and goes to many different tissues. It is like prions, in the fact that it isn't formed organism, like a virus or bacteria, but basically a weird group of proteins/fibers that goes haywire and somehow (still a mystery) manages to replicate and cause disease.

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