Cheetahs are a status symbol for the wealthy Arabs. Only 7,500 cheetahs have been released into the wild, according to the CCF (Cheetah Conservation Fund). Another 1,000 cheetahs are being held captive by private citizens in the Gulf countries, according to the same organization. Most of them were bought and sold through illegal transactions on social networks.
Although the countries in which such transactions take place, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, prohibit the possession of wild animals as pets, law enforcement is very relaxed.
How Much Does a Baby Cheetah Cost?
Before you even think about purchasing a baby cheetah, you should know that in the United States you will need, most probably, a special exotic license to own such a pet. It is highly recommended to verify your county’s/city’s laws to know the legalities regarding the ownership of a cheetah. As these are wild exotic animals, it would be pretty difficult to find a seller in the United States of America. The majority of the cheetah pets can be found in Western Countries or in the United Arab Emirates.
However, you may be able to purchase a captive-bred cheetah as long as it has vaccination records and the proper paperwork. You should plan on spending anywhere between $10,000 and $29,000 for one baby cheetah.
According to a thread on the Qatar Living online forum, the price of a captive-bred baby cheetah would be anywhere between $11,000 and $16,000 if you buy it from Europe.
What are the extra costs?
You should be prepared to spend around $10,500 per year to properly take care of a cheetah, without including the expenses of building its housing. A space of at least three acres will be necessary for a cheetah to live comfortably. Though, its life would be better if you give him more space. For the beginning, you should offer it a minimum of three acres, and the expenses with the land, fencing, and enclosure will easily reach into the five figures. In order to prevent its escape, the fence should have a height of a minimum of nine feet.
Also, you need to consider the food costs. You will need around 15 pounds of raw meat every day for a grown cheetah and this would result in monthly expenses of hundreds of dollars. In the wild, cheetahs prey on rabbits, gazelles, porcupines, antelopes, ostriches, and warthogs. However, in the zoo, in general, the meat will be grounded, coming from beef, rabbit, or chicken. For the baby cheetahs, like for any other mammals, you will need milk.
If you live in the United States of America, it is illegal to purchase a baby cheetah without a license. You will have to pay for federal and state permits, which are more than $220 per year.
Usually, states will require you to carry liability insurance. Depending on your history, this costs anywhere between $1,500 and $15,000 per year.
In order to keep your cheetah in good health condition, you will have to take it at periodic vet visits. Be prepared to spend anywhere between $135 and $350 per year for vaccines, depending on the size of the animal. Also, you will have to budget for flea prevention, which is $130 to $260 per year, and for worming that costs another $50 to $80 per year. As you can not bring your cheetah to a local vet, the doctor will have to come at your residence. This means that the costs will greatly increase depending on how far he has to travel.
Important things to consider
In Hindi, cheetah means “spotted”. The color on the upper part of the body is reddish, on the abdomen it becomes cream or gray, and the lower part of the body is light in color, often white. The fur is marked by round or oval, black spots. Only the neck and abdomen have no spots. The last third of the cheetah’s tail is marked by 4-6 black rings and a tuft of hair on top of it.
A young cheetah is known as a “cub”. These young cheetahs live with their parents until they reach the age of around one year and a half.
The cheetah is a modest climber, hunting prey using the speed of its run and not the agility of the jump. As such, it is by far the fastest land animal, and even if its exact maximum speed is unknown, it can often reach more than 68 miles/h.
A tailless cheetah is almost “paralyzed”. They constantly use their tails for balance in running and even walking.
It is known that of all cats, the cheetah is the most careful with its babies. Females raise their babies on their own. They can give birth first at the age of 2, then every 24 months. The average at birth is 4 baby cheetahs, cases of 8 babies being rare.
The life expectancy of the cheetah is 14 years, with an average of 7 years.
How can I save money?
If you really like the baby cheetahs and want to have one as a pet, but your state’s laws don’t allow it or you don’t have enough money to buy one, you can buy an Egyptian Mau. This is a cat breed that closely resembles a cheetah. Moreover, this is cheaper to maintain and is legal.
Take into consideration adopting a cheetah. Even though you won’t really “own” this animal, you can help save this endangered species.