Celebrities have always had an affinity for exotic pets, but in the 1920s and ’30s, it was fashionable to pose with one of the most exotic animals – the cheetah. Wealthy socialites often kept these big cats as pets, paraded them around on leashes, and even took them to parties. Some celebrities of the time, including Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and Josephine Baker, were photographed with their beloved cheetahs.
These photos offer a fascinating glimpse into a time when exotic animals were seen as status symbols and people didn’t think twice about keeping wild animals as pets. But they also reveal a deeper bond between humans and animals, transcending social status and conventional thinking. The cheetahs, for their part, seem to be quite content in their owners’ arms, gazing back at them with trust and loyalty. It’s a remarkable sight – these two very different species, brought together by a bond that defies logic and expectation.
Of course, we know now that keeping wild animals as pets is dangerous and cruel. Cheetahs, in particular, are not well-suited to life in captivity and require a great deal of space, exercise, and specialized care. Today, owning a cheetah as a pet is illegal in most countries, and rightly so.