Ocelots live on the American continent between the southern United States and northern Argentina. They are predators (Carnivora) and belong to the genus Pardelkatzen, in which they form the largest and best known cat species.
An ocelot is a wildcat and belongs to the rainforest and mountain regions of the American continent. Anyone who buys an ocelot is punishable.
The ocelot is included in Appendix I of the Washington International Species Convention, also known as CITES ("Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora"). This regulates international trade in wild animal and plant species and is one of the most important international nature conservation agreements.
Species listed in Appendix I receive the highest protection. They are in danger of extinction. International, commercial trade in them is therefore prohibited. However, an exception is, for example, trading subject to authorization for the purpose of scientific studies.
In general, keeping an ocelot is not prohibited in Germany, but requires approval and is subject to very strict guidelines. Extensive knowledge of the species, the behavior of the animals and their needs are required.
In addition, very few private households are likely to meet the species-appropriate requirements that the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture specifies for the habitat and habits of the ocelot. These include an outdoor enclosure of at least 50 square meters and an indoor enclosure of at least 20 square meters. Anything below that would mean captivity for the nocturnal loner.
Unfortunately, wild cats are still kept as pets. This is usually a questionable attempt to represent their status through a pet - in these cases, the sufferers are always the wild animals. A division into pet categories would also classify ocelots in the status pet category. Here is an unofficial classification:
• Society Pets: This category includes "typical pets" such as dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits or even some birds. There is usually an emotional bond between the animal and the owner.
• Hobby Pets: The animals in this category are somewhat more special and are kept as a hobby. These include amphibians, reptiles, insects and fish. There is little or no emotional connection between the owner and the animal. The posture usually requires special knowledge.
• Pets with a task and livestock: This category is filled with pets that have a fixed function or perform tasks. The animals protect or accompany humans, for example. From the guide dog to the hunting falcon, everything is possible. It also includes cows, sheep, pigs, goats and other farm animals.
• Status animals: A questionable category that would include ocelots. The animals, such as wild cats or other wild animals, are mostly rare, unusual, expensive and have special demands on keeping. Unfortunately, the animals in this category are kept illegally by private individuals who want to use them to express their status - one of the worst reasons for keeping an animal.
The species population of the ocelots has recovered somewhat in recent years after the extraordinary cat was previously considered endangered. Thanks to the so-called Washington Convention on the Protection of Species, animals are under more protection than before, but still face many dangers posed by humans.
First and foremost, habitat destruction is causing problems. Again and again animals fall victim to food shortages and cars. It is all the more important that they are not captured and kept as pets.