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Why you shouldn’t keep tigers as pets

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Around 7,000 tigers are owned as pets in the U.S., nearly double the amount of tigers in the wild. These animals live in tiny cages, without adequate food, and are often used at photo props at roadside zoos. Tigers are wild animals, and shouldn’t be kept as pets. It’s dangerous for the owner, inhumane for the tiger, and makes it harder for the tiger species to survive.

Most states have laws in place that don’t allow exotic pets, but they’re rarely enforced, and many people still own exotic pets, the most popular exotic pets being big cats. Many people buy tigers when they’re cubs, and look and act like a house cat. You’ve probably seen videos of someone holding or petting a tiger cub. They don’t get hurt, so that tiger must be tame, right? Wrong. The tiger isn’t tame, he’s just young. But tiger cubs don’t stay cubs forever. An adult Siberian tiger can weigh up to 600 pounds, and grow to 12 feet long. By the time they’re 13 weeks old, they’re too old to be handled safely. Often, because they’re too dangerous to be used for cub petting, which is when someone takes a photo of themselves while petting or holding a tiger cub, they’ll be killed. If people do decide to keep them alive, they’re rarely treated well. Most people don’t understand what a huge responsibility owning a tiger is. You need to find a veterinarian willing to care for the tiger, supply the tiger with food, and provide a large enclosure. The only place that is really equipped to keep a tiger is a zoo. But many people still believe that they can handle it. They give the tiger a tiny cage, not enough food, and hire untrained veterinarians, confining the tiger to a life of abuse and neglect. At least 100 tigers have been killed, following attacks and escapes. . And the tiger isn’t the only one getting hurt. Sometimes, people will use their cubs as photo props, letting people take selfies of themselves while petting or holding the tiger cubs. Naturally, the tigers don’t like this, and most times, they’ll attack. Multiple times, they’ve killed visitors or their owners. Not only is it bad for the individual tiger, it’s bad for tigers as a species. Tigers are incredibly close to extinction, threatened by habitat loss and poaching. But when people learn that tigers are being bred in captivity, they think that because we have all these tigers here, we don’t need to worry about tigers going extinct in the wild. What they don’t know, is that these tigers are taken from their mother at birth, starved, and finally killed, when their owner can’t use them anymore. These tigers are to weak to survive in the wild, and if they’re rescued, will have to go to a zoo or sanctuary. Instead of buying a tiger, why don't you adopt a cat? The toyger is a breed that was developed to raise awareness for tigers.

Tigers are wild animals, and shouldn’t be kept as pets. It’s inhumane for the tiger, and dangerous for the owner, and makes it harder for tigers in the wild to survive. If you really love tigers, donate to wildlife charity, to keep tigers safe in their natural habitat.

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