Owners of non-traditional pet cats like Servals and Caracals may not be able to find the kind of exotic cat supplies they need at their neighborhood pet supply. Learn where to find and/or adapt the care items you need.
About Exotic Cat Supplies
Exotic cats hold a certain fascination for many cat lovers. While most of us aren't equipped to own a majestic tiger or leopard, there are some smaller exotic cats that offer the thrill of the big cat experience in a more manageable size. Servals and Caracals] are two such breeds that fall into this category.
When you become the proud owner of one of these slightly larger than life cats, you'll quickly realize that your local pet store doesn't always offer the kind of exotic cat supplies you truly need. A traditional litter box simply isn't big enough to handle the job, and the average cat carrier looks more like a child's toy.
Exotic cat owners must constantly be on the lookout for items they can adapt for use with their pets. This may mean purchasing dog supplies as well as other items not specifically designed for pet use. Resourcefulness is the name of the game!
When you're dealing with exotics the size of Caracals and Servals, you need more than the average size litter box. At the minimum, you're going to need a multi-cat sized litter pan to accommodate one of these large felines.
The Whisker City Jumbo Two Compartment Litter Pan is built to hold 30 pounds of cat litter, and measures approximately 35" x 19.5" x 10". This may be the smallest size pan you can get away with using, but anyone who owns one of these slightly less domesticated cats understands that they have less than reliable litter habits. To find a truly adequate potty station, you literally need to think "outside of the box".
Any home improvement store is bound to carry a wide selection of storage bins that are deeper and have more floor area than the largest multi-cat litter box. Think about your cat's size, and choose a bin that will best accommodate his needs.
Urine Spraying Deterrents
Whether or not you have your exotic cat spayed or neutered, urine spraying is going to be a problem so you need to be prepared for it. There is a product called Feliway that is designed to deter urine spraying within about 30 days worth of training. While the product isn't foolproof, it boasts a 95 percent success rate, so it is worth a try. This is one item that you can probably find at your local pet supply.
Secure Harness and Leash Set Up
You might turn a house cat loose outside for a little free roaming time, but you'd never want to do this with an exotic cat and with good reason. This means you're going to need a strong harness and leash set up to keep your pet safely under control when you walk him.
Simple house cat harnesses come in a figure eight design. Pass these by because they don't provide nearly enough security. A Serval/Ocelot harness is definitely sturdier and far more difficult for your big cat to work his way out of. The leash connection on the back of the harness means the harness will bear your cat's weight if he struggles, unlike a regular cat collar that would distribute most of the force around your cat's delicate neck area.
Static Shock Mats
If you think having a Siamese cat jump up onto your counter or dining room table is unacceptable, just image your 40 pound exotic feline landing on one of these areas. Big cats are just as curious as smaller domesticated cats, and they love to explore every unseen inch of your home. Static shock mats and strips, typically sold as scat mats are an indispensable training item every exotic cat owner should have on hand. When your cat touches these mats, they deliver a reasonable static shock that startles the cat and causes him to immediately get off of the area. A couple of experiences like this should teach your pet to keep away from areas where he's not welcome.
There are simply bound to be times when your exotic cat will need to be confined. This isn't harmful to him as long as you understand crating can never be a full-time solution for these very active cats.
At home, a large wire crate with a flat bottom pan is your best crating option. This type of crate is extremely sturdy, but your cat has full sight of what's going on around him, so he may feel less isolated.
If you must travel with your exotic, a high impact plastic airline crate is your best choice. This provides a safer environment in the event of an accident, as well as more cover from prying eyes that might make your cat more nervous than necessary.
Strong cats like these breeds need strong toys to match, and no pet toy is as durable as a Kong. Kong toys are made from hard, durable rubber, and they come in interesting shapes that are meant to be interactive. Although most pet owners think of this brand as a dog toy, it does serve very well for Caracols and Servals. You can even stuff a piece of chicken in the traditional Kong and watch your cat amuse himself trying to get it out.