There are several times that when we go through the stories of the animals and explain to people that we are a no contact facility, we get asked if the cats miss being petted. In short, we don’t know what goes on in their minds all the time. I do want to point out though these animals that we have rescued were almost always abused and mistreated when they were in contact with humans. When you think of it from that perspective, these cats have bad memories of being petted, so they are more than likely not going to want to repeat that traumatic experience. Plus, we know for a fact that these cats will hold grudges!
These animals are naturally wild animals who shouldn’t be kept as pets anyways. When giving them the space they need and letting them rebecome those wild animals, there are a few that don’t even like us coming close to the fence anymore. People see that cats rubbing on the fence line looking like they are almost begging to be petted, but in fact they are just marking their territory and letting us know this is their home not ours.
But what about other places?
There are terrible places out there that will say just about anything so they can make a quick dollar. These lies that are often told include:
- The cats get depressed if we don’t pet them.
- There has been no scientific research or finding that any of the above is true. We have cats at our refuge, who after getting the proper care needed, live long healthy lives.
- It helps them deal with captivity.
- There is honestly no better place than the wild for these animals, and when you use this as an example, people get hurt which in turn hurts the animals.
- It makes people understand that they should be protected.
- Tigers are endangered species, and when people are seen taking photos with these animals, people then assume that they must not need to be that protected since they can do those activities.
- It helps protect them in the wild.
- The more in demand that there is for people to pet these animals, the more these animals will be taken out of the wild for these pseudo-facilities to get more money. This is for profit, not real conservation.
Big Cat Public Safety Act
Thankfully, the Big Cat Public Safety Act was passed in December 2022! This act actually prohibits the ownership of big cats as pets in people’s homes but also prevents cub petting and pay to play programs from happening at these pseudo-facilities. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still these bad places out there that try to forego the new rules.