Can you own a pet panther? To put it simply, no. Because of their wild nature and tendency to attack when provoked, black panthers are not suitable pets for most people since keeping them safe and providing for their needs in confinement would be difficult. In addition, possessing these wild cats is illegal in many countries because they are on the endangered species list.
In addition, the financial investment required to acquire a black panther would be substantial. As I will show in this essay, despite the temptation of having an exotic animal like a black panther, lion, or tiger, doing so is not a good decision. I will explain why this is the case.
Panthers as Pets Are Illegal
Regulations surrounding the ownership of wild animals are strict, particularly for those that can threaten people in their vicinity. It’s no surprise that black panthers are on the prohibited list.
It is possible to obtain a special permit for owning a panther, but for most individuals, this is unattainable. You must fulfil all of the government’s requirements, which in the case of panthers, entails demonstrating that you can adequately care for the species and ensure the safety of those around you.
Obtaining a permit is costly and requires constructing an appropriate habitat with all the necessary facilities, including a shelter and fencing, which can be very expensive. As a private individual, you will be subject to scrutiny by regulators.
While there are some exceptions, owning a panther is not permitted for individuals in the United States. Only zoos and rescue shelters can obtain a permit with relative ease.
Panthers Are Dominant Predators
Pet panthers differ significantly from other cats that people commonly keep as pets. They are aggressive predators that prefer solitude and cannot coexist with other pets as they are highly territorial and do not tolerate other beings in their habitat.
Moreover, keeping a panther as a pet is dangerous, as they are prone to attacking their owners and visitors. Even though panthers typically do not attack humans in the wild, they can be unpredictable and hostile when they feel threatened.
Panthers Require a Massive Amount of Meat
As previously stated, panthers are predators, and meeting their nutritional requirements can be challenging as they require a significant amount of meat. It is likely costly to purchase several kilograms of fresh meat daily, which is not feasible for most people. Additionally, no processed panther food is available, which limits feeding options.
I recommend reading my detailed article for those interested in learning more about the panther’s diet.
Black Panthers Are Very Massive
Black panthers are not small cats. Adult males can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh between 100 and 160 pounds, according to Big Cat Rescue. While females may be smaller, they are still quite large.
It’s essential to remember that if you encounter a cute panther cub, it will not remain small forever. It will grow into a massive cat that most people cannot keep or accommodate.
Panthers Need A Huge Outdoor Habitat
As you can imagine, large animals like black panthers require much space to thrive. We’ve already discussed this point, but it’s worth reiterating.
Consider this: black panthers can run up to 35 mph. Therefore, their habitat must be extensive enough to provide ample space for running and roaming. Additionally, these cats enjoy climbing, so you must ensure that sufficient large trees support their weight.
Depending on where you live, the climate can pose another challenge. More than simply having an outdoor run will be required in many regions. You will need to provide at least a heated shelter during the winter. And remember, everything must be 100% escape-proof to ensure the safety of the panther and those around them.
It’s Difficult To Locate A Vet
Every pet, including black panthers, requires regular visits to the veterinarian. However, finding a vet for wild and dangerous animals can be challenging. Not only might vets feel threatened by treating a black panther, but incorporating such animals into their office routine can be difficult, requiring a visit every time a health issue arises. Regular checkups also involve significant effort.
Moreover, only a few veterinarians have the knowledge and experience to treat pet panthers. Those who do are typically specialised and work at zoos or rescue shelters.
Panthers Cannot Be Tamed
Black panthers are not domesticated animals, and there is a significant difference between taming and domestication. Although experts can tame panthers, domesticating an animal would take generations of selective breeding.
Do not be deceived by the tamed pet panthers that have known their owners since they were cubs. Wild instincts still exist in them, and it’s impossible to predict when they might get out of control.
Panthers Are a Species in Peril
Panthers are an endangered species. Therefore, keeping any panther as a pet would be immoral.
Loss of habitat, collisions with automobiles, and hunters desiring them as trophies are reasons these species are endangered.
The Florida panther has been on the endangered species list since 1967, when there were just 25 animals. Even if the population expands again, we must continue to conserve the species.
Recently, the status of black panthers was changed to “critically endangered.”
There Are No Panthers Available as Pets
In the US, there are no black panthers for sale as pets. However, some breeders in Africa and Asia may offer them for prices ranging from $900 to $2000. However, importing the cubs to the US would be challenging as local laws prohibit their possession.
It’s essential to note that the cost of purchasing the animal is just a fraction of the total expenses of owning one. The prices of food, shelter, and veterinary care can accumulate quickly.
Therefore, if you are fond of this species and would like to have a panther, I suggest adopting one from a rescue shelter instead of purchasing a pet panther. Although it’s impossible to have one as a pet this way, you would be doing a good deed for a beautiful endangered wild species.
Black Panther Alternatives for Pets
If you are still interested in acquiring a black panther as a pet, I recommend Bombay cats. This cat breed resembles a black panther cub and may be easily kept in a home or apartment.
There are several advantages to keeping cats as pets versus wild animals that are not tamed.
The majority of cats like being handled and playing with humans. But pay attention to the labour that is required with owning a cat.
Wrapping It Up
You now better understand panthers and why they make lousy pets. Not only are they illegal in the United States, but you will also need help to provide sufficient care.
In addition, the species is critically endangered, and it is best to let the remaining individuals live naturally.
If you still desire a companion that resembles a black panther, consider acquiring a Bombay cat. So domesticated, they make excellent pets.