African servals, exotic cats as pets

Tigers
Tiger Magic, by Karen Sculac
Home | First Stop for Future Owners | Why Exotic Pets Should NOT be Banned | Species Profiles | Behavior and Training | Care | Veterinary Care | Vet Directory | Housing & Enrichment | Adoptions | Resources | Discussion Forum | Photos | Other Topics....


We have sweet ones, standoffish ones, old ones, young ones, and a few down right nasty ones! What they all have in common is that they are tigers.

Often someone is caught up in the cycle of Tiger magic will be ill prepared, ill advised, and convinced their tiger will be the one that is just a ‘pussy cat’ if they love it enough.

I’ve already burst bubbles so here comes the part where I make a lot of folks mad. You cannot love that tiger enough to make it what it is not!

They do require more than ‘love’

About the time you get your 1st emergency vet bill, feed bill, vitamin bill, insurance bill, and Animal Rights slam, you are left with NO illusion about what is involved with ‘owning’ a tiger.

“Tigger” MUST have a fence he cannot jump over, crawl under or rip apart with one grab of the teeth and a mediocre tug!

Thinking he won't want to go anywhere won’t cut it, he must not be able to go anywhere. Think ‘Fort Knox” and your getting close to what’s actually needed.

Education, and perhaps more importantly, reality checks, must be part and parcel of the ability to ‘own’ one of these magnificent creatures.

When you see past the illusion, and still find the magic makes your heart soar, that’s the time to keep on going.



Google
Web
www.AfricanServal.com
www.ExoticCatz.com




Grateful for the information? Click here to see how to support this site at no cost to you!

Do you believe in magic? If you do chances are you probably have met a tiger. Perhaps visited with a friend who has one, watched a ‘show’ where they appear as cuddly as your little ‘Morris’ or heard someone say what awe inspiring creatures they are. You may have even heard some one say they are great ‘pets’ if you love them enough.

At the risk of bursting a lot of bubbles out there, tigers are tigers, and as with all things magical, there is an illusion.

Here at Big Cats of Serenity Springs of the more than 80 exotic cats that call us home, over 60 of them are tigers. We have sweet ones, standoffish ones, old ones, young ones, and a few down right nasty ones! What they all have in common is that they are tigers.

When we first started offering permanent placement to cats we thought we could help, the mixture of species was pretty varied. In the last 4-5 years the need for Tiger placements has sky rocketed. Lots of reasons factor into the breed specific rise in numbers, including the current pattern of ‘banning’ which is gaining momentum every day. There is also the undeniable fact that to often someone is caught up in the cycle of Tiger magic. Ill prepared, ill advised, and convinced their tiger will be the one that is just a ‘pussy cat’ if they love it enough. After all, how could that 10 lb ball of fluff with the most adorable ‘baby chuff’ become anything other than you best buddy for life.

I’ve already burst bubbles so here comes the part where I make a lot of folks mad. You cannot love that tiger enough to make it what it is not! As an industry, as responsible caretakers, as sensible people we have got to stop perpetuating the notion that these animals are no different than your average dog and cat. They do require more than ‘love’

“Fido” when he’s a pup will chew the corner of the coffee table leg, Fluffy when she’s a kitten will pull a few threads on your drapes. “Tigger” just might eat the whole coffee table and rip the drapes, rods and all right off the wall!! The illusion starts to fade.

“Fido” as he grows, will need a back yard with a fence, hopefully one he can’t jump over or crawl under. “Tigger” MUST have a fence he cannot jump over, crawl under or rip apart with one grab of the teeth and a mediocre tug! Thinking he won't want to go anywhere won’t cut it, he must not be able to go anywhere. Think ‘Fort Knox” and your getting close to what’s actually needed. The illusion fades some more.

Fluffy, will use the little box and you’ll get away with a tiny scoop made for cleaning up the litter box. “Tigger” will have you using a wheelbarrow and a stock shovel. The illusion fades some more.

When it’s time for Fido to give up an overly chewed bone, you’ll tell him to drop it and take it way. When it’s time for “Tigger” to leave a bone he still wants he’ll tell you “Like Hell you’re taking this! The illusion fades some more.

When you start to think about vacation, and have the epiphany that you own a tiger, that a neighbor kid can not come in and feed, that the Kennel isn’t going to board for you, and you are probably never going to do much more than a trip to Wal Mart for the next umpteen years, the illusion is darned near history!

And about the time you get your 1st emergency vet bill, feed bill, vitamin bill, insurance bill, and Animal Rights slam, you are left with NO illusion about what is involved with ‘owning’ a tiger.

Sanctuaries though often started with the very best of intentions, some times over look the fact that tigers are darned expensive to take care of, especially in mass numbers. We’ve been caught in jams ourselves. It’s a harsh realization when you discover a gold mine is a more important requirement then a heart of gold. It can and does take a toll and an unpayable price to some, the illusion fades, and for self-preservation a sanctuary ceases to exist. 5, 10 or 30 tigers need a home. (one of the reasons I thought the TAOS conference was a good idea. Alas see the ‘no vacation’ comment)

Exhibitors, thinking they are going to educate a large number of ‘visitors’, are dependent upon the traffic of others. When gate receipts are down, they are faced with the unnerving truth that a lot of people are content to see one or 2 tigers. They don’t want to see or care about the other dozen you’ve tried to provide a safe haven to. The visitors do not become ‘sponsors’. The illusion starts to fade, and those cats that no longer pay their way need to move on to save the others on site.

There’s another Tiger, likely by now a whopping 2 to 3 years old needing a home. Education, and perhaps more importantly, reality checks, must be part and parcel of the ability to ‘own’ one of these magnificent creatures, and it needs to be done by all of us, breeders, exhibitors, placement centers, sanctuaries, USDA licensed or not.

When you see past the illusion, and still find the magic makes your heart soar, that’s the time to keep on going.

The illusions must be addressed so the true magic of the tigers is allowed to continue.


Many thanks to Karen Sculac of Big Cats of Serenity Springs, for allowing the use of this article on ExoticCatz.com.com in cooperation with the Feline Conservation Federation. This article is copyrighted 2004 by Karen Sculac, and originally appeared in the FCF Newsletter. All rights are reserved. FCF members receive a bi-monthly newsletter containing a wealth of articles like this one, and I highly recommend becoming an FCF member to learn more about exotic felines.





 

Home | First Stop for Future Owners | Why Exotic Pets Should NOT be Banned | Species Profiles | Behavior and Training | Care | Veterinary Care | Vet Directory | Housing & Enrichment | Adoptions | Resources | Discussion Forum | Photos | Other Topics....
© Jessi Clark-White, 2005
Exotic Feline Information