While an ocelot may have the appearance of an exotic kitty cat, its strength and temper are simply not suited for being a typical house pet.
And even though an ocelot does not have the strength or inclination to kill a human, it may still be dangerous around your household.
That is because an ocelot is a creature of the wild.
It has not been domesticated like typical cats or dogs which means that it is at home outdoors.
They hunt mice, rabbits, and other small mammals, but trying to turn them into a typical house cat is not a good idea.
In fact, they should be treated as a pest as they can still harm your family.
This means you should try strategies to keep them off if you see them around your property.
What is an Ocelot?
Known as Leopardus pardalis, the ocelot is a small leopard cat that is quite descriptive of its appearance and nature.
It’s roughly the size of a bobcat and is not considered a “big cat” that usually roars.
The ocelot is known for its striped tail and the black spots which speckle its coat.
So popular was the fur of the ocelot that it was the primary source of spotted fur coats from the post-World War II years until the 1980s.
This resulted in the ocelot being placed on the endangered species list, and today its numbers are still quite low.
In fact, it’s rare to see an ocelot in the wild in North America because of their small numbers, and they only come out at night.
The only indication you might see of an ocelot around your property is if the chickens or other fowl start disappearing.
Their low population is why many zoos are breeding ocelots in captivity to get their overall numbers above endangered levels.
The Risks of Owning an Ocelot
Despite being endangered, several states in the US do have laws that permit owning ocelots and other, bigger cats.
However, there are also states that prohibit the ocelot from being owned, such as Alaska and the states in the New England area.
But does an ocelot make for a good pet?
The answer is that no wild animal makes for a good pet, including the ocelot.
Keep in mind that the house cat or dog you may own is the result of thousands of years of domestication.
Taking a creature from the wild and putting it in your home does not suddenly transform it into a tame animal.
Domestication takes centuries of breeding, and the ocelot has yet to start that process.
But what if you are interested in keeping an ocelot as a pet?
If so, then you will need to answer the following questions.
Is There a Vet in Your Community that Treats Ocelots?
If the answer is no, which applies to most vets, then do not get an ocelot.
This is mostly because vets do not have insurance that covers the legal liability in case something happens when on their premises if the ocelot decides to do something rash.
In addition, ocelots are voracious creatures that will eat practically anything that it can fit into their mouth.
This includes tennis balls, Lego pieces, poisonous plants, and most other small objects.
This will mean several trips to the vet each year to remove what might kill the ocelot if left inside its stomach.
Do You Never Leave Your Home?
If you do leave your home even for a short time, then do not get an ocelot for a pet.
This is because the permits in most states that allow for ocelots to become a pet only apply in your presence and in your address.
The permit cannot cover a pet sitter, so you better not leave your home.
Do not go to the hospital, do not go on vacation, do not leave your ocelot unattended or otherwise, you might find that they have left your home.
Or what’s left of your home after they have torn it up.
In addition, there are a few other reasons not to own an ocelot…
- The expense of providing fresh meat, bones, and organs daily
- Ocelots spray to mark their territory, and it smells awful
- Will you pay for the heavy cages needed to isolate the ocelot?
- Can you live with the items in your home being torn apart?
- Do you have expensive medical insurance in case you are injured?
While ocelots will not try to kill you, they will play with you, which means that their strong jaws, sharp teeth, and claws will dig into your skin.
Deep enough to require stitches or worse if they should strike your eyes or other parts of your body.
An ocelot is meant to be admired from a distance, such as the distance from your home and the wild in which they live.
They are not meant to live inside your home, to be caged or contained, or treated as pets.
Do yourself a favor and get a domesticated pet instead and leave the ocelot to its natural home in the wild.
Welcome to ProShieldPest.com. I am Tina Jones. I have been working as a pest removal professional in Winslow, Arizona lately. At present, I love to spend my time with my family as a retiree.
Here I share all my knowledge and experiences to help people understand better how they can stop pests at their homes without actually killing them. Hopefully, the information you will find here will help in safeguarding your home! You can check more about me here.