Justin Bieber is no stranger to controversy, and even his pet cats have landed him in hot water with fans and activist groups. Here’s why Bieber’s $35,000 cats are so controversial and how the “Peaches” singer defended himself.
Justin Bieber spent $35,000 on his two part-exotic pet cats
Singer Justin Bieber and his wife, Hailey Bieber, spent $35,000 on two part-exotic pet cats. The famous couple bought the animals in the weeks leading up to their September 2019 wedding.
The Biebers reportedly bought the pair of Savannah breed cats, named Sushi and Tuna, from Illinois-based breeder Select Exotics (per CNN).
Select Exotics’ website says Savannah cats, also known as Sahara cats, are “a Serval/domestic feline cross” and “the largest hybrid cat available today.” The cats’ personalities are described as “bright, inventive, intelligent, even ingenious, playful, charming, and intensely energetic,” and even “dog-like.” They are “readily trainable, [and] most love to play fetch, ride in cars, and relish outdoor walks on a leash.”
Bieber loved his Savannah cats so much that he gave them their very own Instagram account, although it hasn’t been updated since October 2019.
PETA slammed Justin Bieber for purchasing exotic cats as pets
Animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) slammed Justin Bieber for purchasing his pet cats from a breeder rather than adopting them from a shelter. They also weren’t too happy with the “Baby” singer for buying exotic animals.
“Baby, baby, baby, nooooooo,” PETA said in a statement to CNN. “Justin Bieber could inspire his fans around the world to save a life by adopting a cat from a local animal shelter – rather than fueling the dangerous demand for hybrid cats, contributing to the animal overpopulation crisis, and proving that when it comes to helping animals , his stance so far is ‘I don’t care.’”
Bieber responded by posting a screenshot of an article about PETA protesting his pet purchase on his Instagram stories. He wrote, “PETA can suck it.”
“PETA go focus on real problems. Like poaching and animal brutality,” he wrote in another Instagram Story. “Ur tripping because I want a specific kind of cat? U weren’t tripping when I got my dog Oscar and he wasn’t a rescue.”
Bieber added that he supports adopting rescue animals, but “there are preferences and that’s what breeders are for.” He concluded, “PETA go help with all the plastic in the ocean, and leave my beautiful cats alone.”
PETA replied to Bieber in another statement. PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said, “Sorry, Justin, but you must think more deeply about this issue: When millions of animals are losing their lives every year because not enough people adopt – choosing instead to shop – the animal overpopulation crisis is a ‘real trouble.’”
“That’s what ‘sucks,’” she continued. “PETA urges you to spend just one hour in a municipal animal shelter with us – we think you’ll understand how hard it is to look into the animals’ eyes and know that because people pay breeders, many of them will pay with their lives . You have the power to be a great role model on this issue – your behavior guides that of tons of your fans – so please put that to good use.”
Other celebrities have part-exotic animals as pets
Justin Bieber’s Savannah cats weren’t his only exotic pets. In 2013, a friend gave the singer a capuchin monkey named OG Mally. But the capuchin was confiscated in Germany while accompanying Bieber on tour (per Popsugar).
Bieber isn’t the only celebrity with exotic pets. Kirstie Alley keeps several lemurs and even tricked airport security into thinking a baby lemur was a cat.
Mike Tyson has a pet tiger that inspired his role in the 2009 movie The Hangover.
And Paris Hilton has a kinkajou named Baby Luv. The Amazonian creature once bit Hilton, requiring her to rush to the hospital for a tetanus shot.
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