How Much Does a Baby Cheetah Cost?

Written by: Staff

Cheetahs, unusual felines found in Africa, exemplify grace, agility, and ferocity.

Cheetahs, for thousands of years, have been kept as pets, but they have not yet been domesticated as of yet.

Often, they were the companions of the high profile and rich. Emperors and other royalty used trained cheetahs to hunt gazelles in the 16th century.


National Zoo 01 by Becker1999, on Flickr
National Zoo 01” (CC BY 2.0) by Becker1999

How much does a pet cheetah cost?

Keep in mind that owning a cheetah in the United States is extremely rare and will more than likely require a special exotic animal license.  If you do decide to own one, it’s highly recommended you check out your local city/county rules to know the legalities as, again, chances are you won’t find many owners in the United States.  Most cheetah pets can be found in the United Arab Emirates or Western Asian countries, and according to the classified listings we found, the prices were about $10,000 to $25,000 for just the animal.  Yes, you can buy captive bred cheetahs as long as they have the proper paperwork and vaccination records.

One comment on this forum thread stated that you can buy captive bred cheetahs as an exotic pet from Europe for about $10,000 to $15,000.

What are the extra costs?

It is estimated that it can cost about $10,000 each year to take care of a cheetah, not including the cost of constructing its living quarters.  A cheetah will need at least three acres to live somewhat comfortably; however, the more space you have, the better their life will be.  At a minimum, you should be prepared to offer at least three acres, and the costs of the enclosure, fencing and land, can easily reach well into the five figures if you’re starting fresh.  Aside from the land, a fence, at least nine feet tall, will be required to prevent its escape as well.

It is illegal to acquire one without a license if you reside in the United States. You will need federal and state permits, which are extremely pricey. The licenses and dues can cost you well over $200 a year.

States will often require you carry liability insurance. That can cost you around $1,000 to $14,000 per year depending on your history.

A grown cheetah will consume up to 15 pounds of raw meat daily.  This can easily translate to hundreds of dollars per month.  Cheetahs, in the wild, prey on gazelles, antelopes, warthogs, porcupines, rabbits and even ostriches.  In the zoo, however, the meat will often be grounded, coming from chicken, rabbit or beef.  Cubs, like other mammals, will live on milk.

Veterinary care is essential for the well-being of a cheetah just like other pets.  .If your cat gets its annual shots and does not need any emergency care, the vet bill will be around $125 to $300 depending on the size of the cheetah. Worming your cat each month, if you do it by yourself, will cost around $45 to $75 and flea prevention will cost $120 to $250 a year per cat depending on its size.  Since you can’t bring a cheetah to a local vet, be prepared to have a vet come to your residence, which can greatly increase the costs depending on how far you live from the vet’s office.

Tips to know:

Cheetahs are streamlined cats that weigh between 88 to 140 pounds and measure about three feet in length, excluding the tail. They are covered in a striking black and orange spotted pattern.

Like a dog, cheetahs are said to need the same stimulation to keep them happy.

The cheetah inhabits the grasslands of central, eastern and south-western Africa, and also a small portion of Iran.

A cheetah can live about eight years on average in the wild, even though 17 years is not rare in captivity.

A young cheetah is referred to as a cub. A cub will stay with their parents until they reach about a year and half old.

Breeding a cheetah is extremely hard; in fact, less than 40 percent of zoological facilities succeed.

Unlike other big cats, cheetahs are quite selective about the animals that they hunt (for instance, small to medium-sized species of antelopes). The cheetah kills its prey by tripping it and biting the neck. It weighs around 100 pounds on average, has a smaller head and does not possess the muscular bulk of the other big cats.

How can I save money?

If you like the look of a cheetah, consider the Egyptian Mau, a cat breed that closely resembles a cheetah.  This cat breed is legal and can be much cheaper to maintain.

Consider adopting a cheetah.  While you won’t “own” the cheetah, you can help this threatened population.

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Average Reported Cost: $343.5

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Billy paid $50 and said: said:

    Got me a cheetah baby from cousin Julie. Only paid 10 bucks but said I had to give her more.
    Easy if y’all hide it in yar case

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. katelynn (new holstein ,  Wisconsin) paid $637 and said:

    I want a cheetah get for me.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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