Just about everything
First of all, despite the lies that the breeder told you, those cubs were not “orphaned” or “rejected.” That is just the terminology that exploiters use to make you feel good about them purposely breeding litter after litter of lions and tigers, ripping them from their mothers and pimping them out so you can have your picture made with a cub.
Using lion cubs and tiger cubs as photo props is bad enough, but some back yard breeders have figured out a way to make even more money: Swim with tiger cubs.
Why swimming is dangerous to cubs:
Pools are kept clean by the use of salts and chemicals including chlorine.
The National Center for Health Sciences says “… perhaps the most serious exposure is to modern household cleaners, which may contain a number of proven and suspect causes of cancer.” Cleaning products with ingredients such as bleach, ammonia, chlorine, glycol ethers or formaldehyde can put pets at risk for cancer, anemia, liver and kidney damage.
Even when the toxic cleaners are put away and closed, the vapors left behind can continue to harm both us and our pets.
Chlorine is a toxic respiratory irritant that can damage pets’ skin, eyes or other membranes. Chlorine is heavier than air and lands in low-lying areas where pets live. Because your pets are smaller and breathe faster than adults, they are even more vulnerable than children to toxic exposure.
Other resources echo the National Center for Health Sciences by saying,
“I would caution against exposing your cat to bleach, because it can induce serious health effects depending on dose and mode of exposure, ranging from asthma to third-degree burns to carcinogenesis. If they are attracted to it, that is a good reason to keep it away from them to prevent them ingesting it, which is more harmful than inhaling the fumes.”
Chlorine is especially harmful to both pets and people that have thyroid issues as well as anyone with glandular imbalances. Chlorine can also aggravate allergies, dry coats, recurring infections and chronically poor immune systems.
Endocrine Disrupting Compounds
There are other harmful chemicals like chlorine in our environment. Dr. Michael W. Fox. DVM has pinpointed what he calls endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in our environment. EDCs can be found not only in industrial pollutants, chemical fertilizers and untreated sewage, but also in common household products such as plastics, clothing, floor material and the lining of food cans. Dr. Fox believes these EDCs make their way into our animals’ food and water, and then disrupt the animal’s entire endocrine and immune systems. With the immune system compromised, our pets are susceptible toallergies, chronic skin diseases and recurrent infections of the ears and urinary tract. EDCs might also be linked to digestive system disorders such as:
Inflammatory bowel disease
Metabolic and hormonal disturbances
Endocrine disorders of the pancreas and adrenal glands
Just about anyone who works with cats can tell you that chlorine must be completely rinsed away after disinfecting because even tiny traces of the chemical will strip the cats’ short intestinal tract of the good flora that allows it to operate. This can result in extreme sickness and death.
There is not one good reason to pay to play with cubs, but so many reasons why it is cruel and shows you to be utterly lacking in concern for animals. Please don’t add to their abuse by paying to see, touch, pose or swim with big cat cubs.