Adrienne Kruzer, BS, RVT, LVT, has worked with a selection of pets for end 15 years, consisting of birds of prey, reptiles, and little mammals.

You are watching: Got a tiger as a pet


Tigers are not tamed cats. No one of the six surviving species of tiger (another three are extinct) should be kept as pets. In fact, a majority of says in the US. Have actually instituted bans ~ above keeping any of the big cat varieties as pets. Tigers room huge, strong, fanged predators the eat dozens the pounds the meat every day and also need acre of high-quality high-security enclosures. The danger of assault far outweighs any type of benefit, which provides tigers not an ideal as pet at any age. However, if you space curious, here are some details around what it's like maintaining these large cats living alongside humans.

Common Name: Tiger

Scientific Name: Panthera tigris

Adult Size: much more than 600 pounds and also 11 feet long

Life Expectancy: as much as 20 years

Behavior and also Temperament

Tigers are large, strong, and also dangerous cats. They have the ability to take down a 500-pound to run antelope, are solid swimmers, and are very territorial. In the wild, male tigers will certainly cover a region of up to virtually 40 miles; females cover around a seven-mile territory. Males mark their territories by spraying urine and dropping feces in strategy locations. Tigers frequently live solitary lives except for mating and, just occasionally, during the bear of the cubs.

Although tiger cubs are tiny and cute, in their very first year alone castle will flourish to hundreds of pounds and have canine teeth and claws the are several inches long. Owner cannot declaw any tigers, together they usage their claws because that walking. Removing their big teeth would likewise prevent lock from being able to effectively eat and also digest your food.

Well prior to their an initial year, a tiger cub grows large enough to press down an adult human, and it"s a really bad idea to wrestle with cubs. Even their beat bites can cause serious damage and kill a human. Numerous tigers are carefully and strategically trained to be approximately people and also will go years without incident, however you cannot successfully predict the habits of a tiger—they room still wild pets at heart. Renowned trainers have actually been mauled and killed by their beloved tigers, also after working v them everyday for years.

real estate the Tiger

Tigers need many acres of a extremely secured landscape; lock can and also do jump, climb, and also swim their means out of numerous enclosures created to it is in tiger-proof. Tigers have been well-known to escape native zoos and also private properties and have killed world they come throughout mainly because, in captivity, they associate human beings with the delivery of your meals. In the wild, they roam on numerous miles of land, for this reason a huge plot the fenced-in floor with accessibility to ponds or small lakes, trees, and also shelters is what a tiger requirements to be safe from the world—and come keep humans safe indigenous them.

Even in a huge enclosure, the owner must carry out enrichment opportunities. Tigers should use their predator brains to catch, play, jump, climb, and explore, and also a bored tiger will be one unhealthy tiger. Zoos regularly use large plastic balls that tigers will certainly jump on in pools and also offer hanging containers through food inside also and big tree limb apparatus areas to climb in and also on. Without facility enrichment regimes, many tigers can and also do obtain bored come the suggest of clinical depression.

Food and also Water

The amount of food essential for a tiger will vary with gender and age, but an adult tiger might consume approximately 88 pounds that meat in ~ one time—antelope, gazelle, water buffalo, deer, fish, and any other creature lock can acquire their opportunistic paws top top are comprise a tiger's diet.

According to the Smithsonian national Zoo, your tigers eat mainly ground beef. Their diet is supplemented with "enrichment items," such together knucklebones, cow femurs, and non-live rabbits.

typical Health difficulties

The Big Cat Rescue organization advises the in most locations it is complicated to discover a veterinarian that is willing or even able to treatment for a tiger of any kind of age. They additional report the a full 98 percent of every wild big cat types die within two years of gift taken into captivity. Every tigers experience from numerous of the very same illnesses that influence house cats, such as feline distemper and rabies. It's vital to immunize every tiger versus these common, lethal diseases.

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is the feline tantamount to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Unlike its person counterpart, however, FIV is entirely curable through treatment. If no treated, FIV have the right to weaken the animal's immune system and make it breakable to a plethora of other contagious diseases.

Tigers are also susceptible come the much much more serious feline leukemia virus (FeLV). This virus produce a variety of collateral illnesses in cats, consisting of anemia, chronic infections, and other cancers. FeLV deserve to be treated, but if that is enabled to construct into full-blown cancer that is nearly always fatal.

Is the Legal to very own a pet Tiger?

Most states have actually restrictions on owning many exotic pets including the huge cats, especially approximately heavily occupied regions. Specifics 35 states have actually a half on keeping big cats specifically, if 21 claims ban every dangerous exotic pets. Inspect the rule in your area before attempting to obtain a tiger or any kind of other big cat.

Data on assaults Caused by many tigers

Many of the reported assaults from tigers in the united States have been serious attacks; non-lethal maulings happen less frequently. Approximately 260 exotic cat strikes that resulted in injuries were tape-recorded as major or fatal. Of all reported strikes from 16 non-domesticated feline species, covering 1990 to 2014, around 50 percent the the attacks were from simply the one genus: tigers.

Statistics end the very same time period show the the best risk that fatal strikes or injuries is most likely to take place at unaccredited facilities and also private menageries. Assaults were additionally common also at accredited institutions, coming from well-trained performing pets during a show or once taken for a walk in or near the public. Huge cat safety issues in the unified States have actually been enough to influence legislators around the country to create both state and also federal laws banning the property of tigers.

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Purchasing your Tiger

According to large Cat Rescue, a tiger cub is at the height of the price variety for exotic cats, at about $7,500. Big Cat Rescue also advises that owners have to expect to invest up come $20,000 for a cage sufficient to house a full-grown tiger, permit alone the cost of the vast landscape this huge predator will call for in order to thrive.

comparable Pets

If you're attractive to tigers however don't want to put yourself and also those around you at threat of lethal accidents, friend might think about other smaller cats that are more manageable. If girlfriend are looking for a distinct feline pet, examine out: