Baby tigers can be symbolically adopted through zoos and wildlife foundations, and the fees go to the animals' welfare and conservation. Actually adopting a tiger as a pet is much more difficult and will likely violate federal, state or local laws.
Before attempting to obtain a tiger as a pet, it is wise to check with state and local wildlife officials. In many areas, only zoos, other licensed facilities or licensed wildlife rehabilitators may keep big cats. It is also illegal to buy a tiger and have it transported from abroad or across state lines under the provisions of the Captive Wildlife Safety Act of 2004.
Keeping a tiger is extremely expensive even where it is legal. Costs include permits, a living cage or enclosure, a squeeze cage, a suitable vehicle for transportation, and food and veterinary costs. In addition to the $2,500 needed to buy a tiger cub, setup costs of over $94,000 and annual costs of $8,000 are typical, according to Big Cat Rescue. Liability insurance runs between $1,000 and $14,000 per year, and finding a veterinarian willing to work on a tiger is not easy.
Tigers can also be quite destructive. They routinely use caustic, strong-smelling urine to mark their territories, and nothing will remove the smell from a house or vehicle. The urine will also erode cage walls, necessitating regular rebuilding.