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Bobcats as pets...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I wasn't sure where to put this, please move if necessary...

I recently noticed that at least 2-3 people on these boards have bobcats as pets. I was curious...do they make good pets? There was a time when I looked into getting an exotic cat. I remember reading that they can be quite unpredictable...and can be VERY aggressive. One owner, who LOVES his bobcat, actually suggests to visitors of his site to avoid getting a bobcat as a pet. He has had three...and all have had a tendency to viciously attack any stranger that walks in to his home.

Also...I've read you can pretty much kiss you furniture goodbye. They'll be shredded in short order.

And finally...I read that they start spraying all over the place once they reach sexual maturity.

To what degree can a bobcat be tamed and/or domesticated? Also...does anyone know about ocelots as pets? Are they even worse than bobcats?
post #2 of 4
Yes it is possible but....



  • You must be willing to meet/exceed all legal requirements to own these animals
  • You must have experience with the animal of your choice.
  • You have to have money and time to put into working with these animals.
  • You have to be willing to make major changes in your life
  • You have to be willing to be Responsible
  • and many other things...
These animals have vastly different tempermants and needs compared to the common cat. They are not an "easy" animal to care for or share your life with. That's not to say that it is impossible, just that you will most likely find yourself having to make a lot more changes than you would with a common cat. You will have to find a veterinarian who is familiar with these animals, this alone is hard to do.

Most states regulate the possession of these animals, some flat out prohibit it, where others require you meet certain guidelines and acquire the proper permits.

Spraying is generally linked to sexual maturity, if you have the animal Spayed/Neutered prior to them reaching sexual maturity, they will generally never spray.

Furniture damage...it's the same problem that you encounter with the common cat, only these animals are somewhat better equipped for battle with your furniture. Most techniques that work with domestics work with these animals, it's merely a behavior that you have to direct to appropriate surfaces beyond the furniture.

These animals are just as energetic, if not more so, and the bigger they get the more space they need to be able to excercise. They will use all the space you give them, so becareful with where you keep the breakable items. [same as a common cat]

Domestication is merely a term that means they have adjusted to living with humans. These animals can become just as domesticated as a common cat, however, their behavioral patterns are somewhat different. This is why you must have experience with the species you want to own, and even then, every animal has a different personality.

Ocelots are not necessarily worse than bobcats, but they are different. Perhaps the biggest difference is that Ocelots have a reputation for having rather pungent smelling urine, even after S/N. Just a part of the package.

The reaction to strangers is and is not a common occurrance, it depends first on the animal, and second on how much exposure they have had to 'strangers'. These animals are highly opportunistic, they will do their best to take advantage of most situations. You have to have an extremely close relationship with these animals, it is not a part time job.

These animals can make great pets, but it takes a great owner too. They are not easy, they are not common, for someone who really loves the animal the sacrifices required are worth the benefits but it is not a task for everyone.

I hope I answered some of your questions, there is a lot more to say, but I think I covered the basics here. If you have any questions, or anything, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Spotz
post #3 of 4
Hi Spotz, I've a question. Are the bobcats in the same area (as in not enclosed) with the cats? Has it ever happened that the bobcats thought the cats were prey? I don't mean to put you on the spot or anything, just curious on what's it like to care for exotic animals. Thanks!
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalapeno
Hi Spotz, I've a question. Are the bobcats in the same area (as in not enclosed) with the cats? Has it ever happened that the bobcats thought the cats were prey? I don't mean to put you on the spot or anything, just curious on what's it like to care for exotic animals. Thanks!
I have seen it both ways. The simplest answer to your question, is that they can coexist just fine with domestics; the more complicated answer, it really depends on a lot of things.

I have quite a few friends throughout the country, including my veterinarian, who have these animals in their house with domestics. I'd be grossly exxagerating if I said that there haven't been a few close encounters. However, on the same token, there haven't been any horror stories either.

It's easiest to raise the bobcat from a kitten with the domestics, rather than introduce an adult to them. Even then, there are occassions where the two species just don't get along unsupervised.

Predator/Prey, is almost exclusively a largely learned behavior in cats, hunting is instinctive, but actually feeding on what they catch is different. Ideally, a bobcat never learns that a domestic can be prey, just that the domestic is a fellow cat that poses no threat to him, and one which can be a great 'friend' to play with.

What I'm getting at here, is that it takes a great understanding of these animals, domestics and bobcats alike, to help ensure that they can get along. You have to know what behaviors are ok, and what aren't, you have to know how to correct these behaviors, without ellicting other negative ones. You have to understand the the physical and mental needs of the animal, and do your best to nourish that.

It's quite possible for these animals to make great pets, but its not a responsibility to be taken lightly. In the case of coexisting with other species, it's also not a guaranteed condition, while it works out most of the time, the possibility that it may not work, must be considered beforehand.

I hope that answered some of the question, and as always, don't hesitate to ask me more questions, I will do my best to answer

Spotz
PS John/Terri (Amberthebobcat) would be the better one to answer the question from experience as he currently lives with bobcats and pixiebobs [a breed of domestic].
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