It seems we’ve got exotic tastes in Kirklees when it comes to cats.

After all, we’ve got one Asian leopard cat and five hybrid Asian leopard cats living in our midst.

Over in Calderdale, there’s a love affair with reptiles.

They have two rattlesnakes, two vipers and a puff adder in local homes.

You may not want one living next door but the bizarre collection are among thousands of dangerous animals being kept on private properties across the UK.

Big cats including 13 tigers, two lions, eight leopards, seven cheetahs and nine pumas are prowling behind the fences of addresses up and down the land, an investigation by the Press Association has found.

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Hundreds of poisonous snakes are also being kept, including more than 300 killer cobras, vipers and rattlesnakes.

And lurking beneath the waters of domestic enclosures are 10 alligators, nine crocodiles and 17 caimans - a smaller member of the crocodile family.

More than 100 councils have given people licences to keep a host of deadly predators, with some keeping a variety of different species at their homes. Both Kirklees and Calderdale have taken part in the study.

An Asian Leopard Cat

The leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) is a small wild cat native to South and East Asia. They differ widely in fur colour, but are generally about the size of a domestic cat, feeding on a variety of small prey including mammals, lizards, amphibians, birds and insects.

Animal welfare experts condemned the findings, saying it was “deeply concerned” at the numbers and that animal welfare was being put at risk.

The data was obtained from freedom of information (FOI) requests sent to every council in the UK, of which 363 replied. In Northern Ireland, the Environment Agency provided the figures for the whole country.

Dangerous wild animals (DWA) licences are granted by councils to allow people to keep undomesticated animals as pets, providing they have the requisite safety measures at their home and pay a small fee.

The RSPCA said it was concerned that licences too often focus on protecting the public from harm, rather than on the well-being of the animals themselves.

A spokeswoman said: “We are deeply concerned about the number of exotic animals, including dangerous wild animals, now being kept as pets. People may buy them with little idea of how difficult they can be to keep and the animals are sometimes neglected when the novelty wears off and the commitment hits home. This is why we would encourage anyone thinking of getting an exotic pet to find out as much as possible about the animal’s needs and whether they’re a realistic pet.”