Justin Bieber Is in a Catfight With PETA After Backlash Over His $35,000 Kittens

Justin Bieber
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Justin Bieber attends Saint Laurent At The Palladium at Hollywood Palladium on Feb. 10, 2016 in Los Angeles.

Justin Bieber shared a not-so-feline-friendly message with PETA on Friday (Oct. 4) after the animal rights organization publicly disapproved of his purchase of two partially exotic kittens that cost $35,000 in total: “PETA can suck it.”

PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange originally told People in an article posted Friday morning that the “I Don’t Care” artist doesn’t care about the “animal overpopulation crisis.” “Justin Bieber could inspire his fans around the world to save a life 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,’” Lange said.

But the “Sorry” singer is not apologizing anytime soon for Sushi and Tuna, his two kittens that already have 273,000 smitten Instagram followers on their verified account @kittysushiandtuna. After posting a screenshot of the original People story, Bieber wrote, “PETA can suck it.”

His Instagram story continued, “PETA can go focus on real problems. Like poaching, and animal brutality. 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.. every pet we get must be a rescue? I believe in adopting rescues but also think there are preferences and that’s what breeders are for.”

Bieber plugged his kittens’ joint Instagram account in a defensive message to the organization, pleading it to “go help with all of the plastic in the ocean, and leave my beautiful cats alone” before tagging them.

The Savannah cats are part domestic and part African Serval, a hybrid with “breathtaking, wild elegance,” according to Select Exotics, the longest-standing breeder of Savannah cats.

But Savannah cat laws are fairly strict in the U.S., with some states banning ownership altogether and others requiring licenses. Thirty-seven states allow all generations of Savannah cats, but some of those areas have weight or permit restrictions, according to the Savannah Cat Association.

UPDATE: After this story was originally published, PETA sent this response to Billboard: "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 problem.' That's what 'sucks.' 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."


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