Like most wildcats, ocelots have been known to be kept as exotic pets, and as such, many are curious to know more about ocelots and how different or similar they are compared with domestic cats.
Also known as the dwarf leopards, ocelots are among the most known of wild cats, found in parts of Mexico, South, and Central America. They’re generally the size of your average domestic cat, bearing the fur coat patterns of jaguars or clouded leopards.
At one point, they were considered highly endangered from 1972 to 1996, but they’re now currently rated as a “least concern” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They are mostly nocturnal and highly territorial wild cats, and in the past, they were among the most prized of exotic pets, with famous pet owners like surrealist, Salvador Dali.
Today, if you’re mulling about getting an ocelot as a pet, you might as well forget all about it because: the whole “ocelot as pets” angle is no longer acceptable by today’s standards, even considered illegal in certain states, like in California.
Because of its beautiful coat, ocelots are priority targets in the fur coat trade. Evidently smaller compared to its bigger cousins, it would take an average of 25 ocelots to make one fur coat, and as such, ocelot furs are often more expensive. At one point, one ocelot fur coat would’ve been more expensive than buying a car.
Though the fur poaching and trade hasn’t been as active as it was 30 years ago, safeguards against their active comeback have been put up. The concept of “ocelot as pets” could be used by would-be poachers as a front, and as such, it is a concept which has led enforcement agencies to set out as “not acceptable”.
Besides, ocelots are wild cats, and there’s a reason for them being named that.
Given what’s written above, would you still want to own one?