To answer this question, we first need to define “domesticated.”
In short, it means humans have selectively bred an animal for a particular trait or ability. It means the animal has adapted to living with humans, and its behavior changes accordingly.
So, does this mean tigers can not be domesticated?
A Brief History of Tigers as Pets
Tigers have been kept as pets throughout history. Alexander the Great was said to have tamed a tiger, and Elizabeth I was given one as an ambassador gift in 1603.
More recently, there are two alleged cases, both from Indi that date to the 1980s.
There’s also the story of “Rajani,” a female Bengal tiger raised as part of an indigenous tribe in India.
Proof That Tigers Are Domesticated
Tigers are no longer raised as pets in the traditional sense, but there is proof that this has happened.
The first piece of evidence lies with “Rajani.”
She was captured after she killed several villagers who tried to kill her mother. Rajani was then brought into civilization and raised by a tribe for roughly ten years.
When officials found out about the situation, they separated Rajani from the tribe and took her to a zoo. No reports about Rajani exist after this point.
Another piece of evidence is from two separate cases in India during the 1980s.
In one case, a Bengal tiger was raised by a group of people in the state of Bihar. In another case, a white tiger was raised by a man in Uttar Pradesh.
These tigers were taken from their mothers and brought up among humans. They were given affection, but it’s unclear how domesticated they became.
What is clear is that tigers do adapt to living with humans.
They’re even known to show affection to their human owners.
Yet, this is not the same as being domesticated.
There are still no examples of captive tigers that have been domesticated and lived with humans as pets. Many people think that tigers can’t be domesticated, but this is not the case.
There are several documented cases of tigers being raised by humans, which shows it can happen. Though they do adapt to living with us, they appear to retain some of their wilder instincts still.
While many people believe that tigers cannot be domesticated, this is not true. They can adapt to living with humans, but they do not appear to lose all of their wilder instincts.
For a tiger to become fully domesticated, it would have to live with humans from birth and never leave their care. Unfortunately, due to the extreme danger, a tiger can pose, this is unlikely to happen.
Can you domesticate a tiger cub?
Like other big cats such as lions and cheetahs, they are too dangerous to keep in a home. Besides being very hard to train, they are powerful animals that can injure or kill their owner with little provocation.
The most crucial issue is whether the person who would own the tiger cub understands these risks and can accept them.
Tigers and other big cats are dangerous, and the owners should know the risks and responsibilities involved in owning such a large animal.
It is unfair to an animal that has to spend its life in captivity to be placed with someone who will not properly care for or treat it well.
Can I own a tiger as a pet?
The simple answer is, in some cases, you can. It is illegal to own a tiger as a pet in most states of the US. There are, however, 8 States that allow the owner of these big cats.
Disclaimer: I’m not a legal expert. Here you can find an in-depth article about exotic animal regulation for the United States.
How much does it cost to own a pet tiger?
Captive-born tigers in America cost between $800 and 2400. The two main costs will be food and veterinarian bills. A single Bengal Tiger can eat as much as 60 pounds of meat a day.
Can I train my pet tiger?
It is possible to train a tiger with any other animal; however, the higher the level of training for more complex things like performing stunts, the less likely it will be for you to gain their trust and respect. Tigers require extensive care and training ever to become domesticated.
There are many things to consider before even thinking about buying a tiger cub.
People think it will be like owning an oversized house cat when they buy a tiger, but this is so far from the truth.
Tigers are dangerous animals and not something you should approach lightly.
Owning one is probably illegal in your state; if not, it can lead to your eviction.
Before you even think about buying a tiger, please consider everything that goes into owning such an animal and researching it thoroughly!
Are tigers friendly to humans?
Tigers are not inherently aggressive towards humans but will become hostile if fed or treated in any way that associates humans with food.
Suppose they’re allowed access to human living areas. In that case, they may expect to be fed at odd hours and cause problems when hungry, thus endangering both themselves and the humans.
The vast majority of tigers never receive any training from their owners and are not tame. Most tigers kept as pets will eventually become difficult to manage if they are not provided enough physical and mental stimulation.