How Much Does An Ocelot Cost: A Guide To Buy A Ocelot Pet

Are you interested in keeping an exotic pet? Then an Ocelot could be a good choice for that. But owning an Ocelot could be really heavy on your pocket!

It is not usually safe to keep an exotic animal at your home. Cause it is difficult for them to get used to a homely environment. So, keeping a wild cat at home could be challenging for an average pet owner. 

Today you’ll get complete guidance on keeping an ocelot as a pet and know how much does an ocelot cost to get. So, let’s not waste a while and jump into the article.

What is an Ocelot?

Ocelots are a kind of wild cat typically found in South America. They have got some patterns that visibly look like jaguars. They could be 30-40 cm long and weigh 7 to 15.5 kg on average. Their average lifespan is generally 7-10 years old. They are skilled in climbing and swimming.

How Much Does An Ocelot Cost?

How Much Does An Ocelot Cost

The price of an Ocelot may vary depending on the breeder you want to purchase. Your location could be another factor in the price of an Ocelot. But the price range of an Ocelot is from $1500 and could be upto $15000.

To own an Ocelot you have to seek local state and federal permits. If you add up all the costs together it may take $25000 to $40000 in the first year of owning one mid-size ocelot. You may have to spend $10000 to $20000 annually to keep ocelots as pets. In some states it may not need any permission for keeping an ocelot. If so, your cost may reduce.

Is it Legal to Own an Ocelot?

As Ocelots are rarest species of exotic cat, it is not legal to keep them as a pet in all the states. So, in some states it maybe completely illegal. Though it is legal in your state, you may have to go through a legal procedure if you want to pet ocelot.

You have to ask for a legal permit and pay fees for the legal process. So, if you  you have to find out and do proper research about it if you want to keep this wild cat as pet.

Is Ocelot Endangered?

Yes. Ocelot listed as an endangered animal for many years. Keeping ,soling ,transporting of ocelots are restricted in many states. As a result of urbanization and farming they are at the edge of extinct. So, they were listed in IUCN Red list which is obviously a matter of concern.

The Behavior of a Typical Ocelot

Is It Legal To Own An Ocelot

To keep a wild cat in captivity could be a difficult for you. You need to keep several drawbacks in mind if you want to keep one as a pet.

  • Ocelot loves hunting. So, you can not resist them from hunting. These wild cats will not be distracted with toys and could be a threat to your neighborhood pet.
  • You may find a bad smell from them, and their litter box could cause an even strong odor if you do not clean it properly. 
  • They always want attention, So you’ll need to spend several hours with them to give them proper attention. They could show you very destructive behaviors if you don’t do so.
  • You need a spacious outdoor space for an ocelot. As they are wild felines, keeping them in an enclosure is impossible. So, before getting an ocelot, you need to consider the place you are living in.
  • Young ocelots are more clingy to their mother than other kittens. So,  it can cause serious behavioral issues if a baby is separated from its mother. 
  • You can not expect an ocelot to be a well-behaved pet. They are very destructive. You may be unable to keep your house clean and organized if you want to keep an ocelot as a domestic cat. You have to give up your favorite furniture, rugs, and cushion for it. 
  • Specialized medical care is also important for an ocelot. Cause average vets can not treat this exotic animal. You need to find out an exotic animal veterinarian for your ocelot. Vaccination is also important to keep a wild cat at your home. So, the veterinary care cost of an ocelot is higher than any other house cat.
  • Ocelots are rarely found in the general pet shop. You need to find an exotic pet dealer to buy one. 


Before buying an ocelot as a domestic pet you have to keep so many things in your mind. Financial and safety issue is equally crucial here.

If you have enough money to buy an ocelot but you live in an apartment with your kids then it is wise to avoid this whim.

Ocelots are not easygoing to keep them as pets. You can not expect them to cuddle like average kittens. So,  there is a chance that you could be injured by their claws.

So,  you must keep these facts in your mind before getting one or it’ll turn into your biggest mistake and you’ll get no chance to regret it. 


How much does a baby ocelot cost?

Ocelot kitten price range starts from $1500 and it may cost you around up to $15000 according to its breed, age, size, and other factors. With other legal procedure cost it may take up to $40000.

How can I get an ocelot?

As ocelot can be found in the jungle but you can not keep them in captivity without legal procedure. It’ll also be dangerous to keep as pets. So, it is safe to get them from exotic pet dealer.

Is it legal to own an ocelot in the US?

In some states, you need to ask for permission to keep an ocelot and some states do not allow to keep them as house pet. In south Carolina its completely legal to keep an ocelot. But some states like Arizona, Texas, and South Dacota you have to require permission for it.

What states can you own a ocelot?

Mississippi, residents are permitted to own small cats such as ocelots and servals. Missouri also allows ownership of small exotic cats, but requires a permit. Similarly, in Montana, individuals can own a small exotic cat as long as they obtain a permit. Idaho, permission required and Arizona, permission required.

Hugues Beaufrere
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Hugues Beaufrere is the Exoticpetia’s senior writer and reptile expert. He has been fascinated by reptiles and monkeys since he was a kid and had years of experience in herpetology and primatology. He has cared for various kinds of Monkeys, Lizards and Reptiles and loves to share his knowledge and passion with others.

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