Weird Nature
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15 Predators You Can Own As A Pet

August 19, 2020 923 votes 103 voters 5.9k views15 items

Cats and dogs make for great companions, but they don't really strike fear in your enemies like a full-grown tiger! That's right, it's legal to own tigers in some parts of the world, but they aren't the only predators you can enjoy as pets. The exotic animal pet trade offers up numerous species of carnivorous creatures that enjoy eating meat just as much as we do. They range in size and shape from very small arachnids to the aforementioned frightening kitty.

Whatever your interest, there's a predator out there waiting to be purchased — usually for a lot more money than you need to fork over for something like a bunny. Check out this list of the best predators you can own as a pet, and when you see the ones you absolutely must have, make sure to give it a vote up to see which one rises to the top!

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  • Fennec Foxes are arguably the cutest little predators you can own as a pet. These big-eared little critters are the smallest species of fox, and they have been domesticated for use in the pet trade.

    Fennec Foxes are opportunistic eaters, so they're okay eating just about anything that crosses their path. They will forage for edible plants, but they're just as happy snacking on eggs, reptiles, rodents, and insects.

    They aren't the most ferocious of predators out there, and there's virtually no chance your pet Fennec Fox will try to eat you. Still, they might terrify any rodents that wander into your home. 

    They are considered exotic pets, so they may not be allowed in your area. Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, and Washington don't allow people to keep them. In contrast, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas allow it, but with a permit.

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  • Technically, cats and dogs are predators, but they've been domesticated. The progenitor species of all domesticated dogs, the Gray Wolf, has not been domesticated. Regardless, they are allowed to b kept as pets in some places, though keeping them requires a great deal of care and understanding of their needs.

    After all, wolves are pack animals, so they need to have a lot of love and attention, but putting them into a home with dogs probably won't fit this need... and it will probably lead to the death of the dogs!

    Wolves require a lot more room to run around than a domesticated dog. A typical wolf will need to move around a ten to 15 square mile area to maintain their health and fitness. 

    Wolf puppies are socialized with people after about 16 weeks, and in the early stages, they are similar to dogs. When they grow up though, that's a different story. Wolves get large, and they require more food. Kibble won't keep them healthy like a dog, so you'll need to feed them cuts of raw meat. Other than that, they can be trained and kept safely, but at the end of the day, they're still a wild animal, so keep that in mind if you want to get one. Additionally, it's illegal in most places to keep wolves as pets, so check your local laws before attempting to acquire one.

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  • Depending on where you live, these big cats have different names, but they're all the same species. It is possible to tame a cougar, but don't ever lull yourself into the belief that they are domesticated — they most certainly are not. Still, it is legal to keep them as pets in some areas, and doing so requires a great deal of time and money.

    Only three states, Alabama, Nevada, and Wisconsin, allow for the ownership of a cougar without a permit. Other states do require permits and may limit ownership, so check your local laws before you get one. They do eat a lot of raw meat, so make sure you can afford to feed them before thinking about bringing one into your home.

    Cougars tend to make for playful pets, and in many ways, they are like giant versions of regular domestic cats. There are some differences, and they come in the form of incredibly long, sharp claws, and teeth. A playful tabby cat might scratch you, but a playful cougar scratch could send you to the hospital.

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  • Tigers
    Photo: skeeze / Pixabay

    The sad fact about keeping tigers as pets is that more live in captivity as pets than they do in the wild. Around 5,000 tigers live in captivity, many of them in the United States. According to the World Wildlife Fund, less than 4,000 tigers live in the wild.

    It is legal in a lot of states to own a tiger as a pet, and if you've seen The Hangover, you know that Mike Tyson had one. He really did. Caring for a tiger is expensive, and they can eat upwards of 90 lbs. of raw meat in one sitting. More than that, you can't keep a tiger in your back yard and think that's adequate. They need around 40 square miles of roaming territory, or they will become frustrated and could attack people.

    When they're cared for properly, tigers can be downright docile around humans. That's especially true if the tiger is loved and well-fed such that they don't have to hunt. They end up becoming large docile cats. That makes for a good pet, but they need a lot of time and attention, so any change in your behavior toward them could prove dangerous.

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