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Exotic Pet Care | Bobcats as Pets

Updated on September 16, 2014
Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa is an exotic pet owner, zoo attender, and plant obsessed person and doesn't think there is anything wrong with that.

"Roxi" 10 week old pet bobcat. Used with permission
"Roxi" 10 week old pet bobcat. Used with permission

Keeping a bobcat as a pet? Many websites and organizations would be appalled at the mere thought of owning such an ‘exotic pet’, exclaiming that these animals all “belong in the wild” and that keeping one in a domestic setting is obvious animal cruelty.

However, bobcats actually make excellent pets for the *right owner. The trouble is deciphering what the 'right owner' of a small exotic feline is. Exotic pet owners are not a typical breed of caretaker. They must be willing to fully anticipate issues like spraying, aggression, the need for outdoor enclosures, and other modifications to accommodate potentially destructive factors, whether they occur or not.

Source

Bobcats in the wild

The elusive bobcat is actually technically less “exotic” than domesticated cats in most states, if ‘exotic’ is going to be defined by its usual definition. Bobcats are native to many areas in North America, including most states in the United States, in which they are also the most abundant wild feline.

They are highly successful at spreading across a broad range of habitats because they are highly adaptable to varying conditions. Although they prefer dense forests, sometimes the cats can even be found in swamps, deserts, and even urban settings

Wild bobcat
Wild bobcat | Source

Bobcats are known for taking extremely large prey relative to their size. Despite reaching a height of about a medium-sized dog, they often hunt animals like deer with impressive skill. With such a capability, this may call for labeling bobcats as ‘potentially dangerous’ to humans, however, outside of animals infected with rabies, I can find no incidents of bobcat attacks, as well as no recorded deaths from them, wild or captive.

In fact, bobcats are considered to be the ‘easiest’ exotic feline to start with if care of high-maintenance animals is your preference. Hand-raised animals are just simply not the same animals as those that roam in the wild.

If a potential owner is willing to understand and accommodate the care standards and undomesticated behavior of exotic feline species, bobcats are one of the more rewarding exotic mammals to keep very content in captivity.

Source

What to expect from a pet bobcat

While many owners of exotic animals may cite positive exceptions to the general ‘rules’ of exotic animal care due to the experiences of raising their own pets, it is highly important to maintain a degree of flexibility when considering keeping high-maintenance, undomesticated animals and not to hold them to the same expectations as dogs and cats.

In general, bobcats are considered to have the best personality of the exotic felines (other small to medium sized exotic cat species that are kept as pets include lynx species, caracals, servals, ocelots, Geoffroy’s cats, fishing cats, Asian leopard cats, and jungle cats). While wild bobcats are unfriendly and bold predators, the dynamic dramatically changes when these animals are hand-raised from babyhood by humans.

The animals are curious, affectionate, and not nearly as 'on edge' as their wild counterparts. One keeper even keeps their pet bobcat with their pet muntjec deer, proclaiming that bobcats, when raised with other animal species, will accept those animals into their family; hence why they can keep what normally would be a wonderfully suitable prey animal for bobcats as a companion for their powerful pet.

There are certainly a lot of downsides to taking on the ownership of exotic pets like bobcats. In fact, one bobcat owner had this to say about their house pet:

"If you are willing to put up with your house being destroyed, furniture torn to shreds on a daily basis, remodeling your house to include double door entries at all exits of the house. Ripping up carpet and replacing with hardwood or tile and or using throw rugs that you don't mind being destroyed then they will make a great pet for you."

This quote provides a good idea of what a bobcat owner can expect to go through. Often, all exotic pet owners get a bad rap due to specific people who do not expect to adapt to their animals' needs, and impulsively or naively adopting animals that they are not equipped for. Most 'normal' people are not suitable owners for exotic felines.

Bobcats require specialized vets that have experience with wildlife and exotic animals. They also should be fed a raw food diet that needs to be researched to insure proper nutrition from organ meats, bones, muscle meat, and any other supplementary forms of nutrition in addition to whole prey items. Live feeding is not only unnecessary, it is inhumane.

Pet Bobcat Enrichement

Housing

Ideally, bobcat owners should have indoor and outdoor housing for their animals. Some bobcat owners have doggie doors that lead to decently-sized enclosures outside. Such cages should be tested and durable.

While affectionate family members, bobcats are still undomesticated and may be feisty at times or have bad bathroom habits, in which they would need a safe place to retreat to that is not confining like a small dog run. It is just a good general idea to have a designated space for any exotic cat.

If the bobcat is expected to spend a lot of time in a cage or be a fully caged pet, large sizes and enrichment are especially essential.

Escape prevention is also a priority with exotic feline ownership. Non-domesticated animals often don't return like most domesticated cats, and more importantly, despite the lack of statistical evidence, the public will view an escaped bobcat as a safety threat and your animal, if spotted, may be executed on sight.

Usually after such events occur, even if the animal is safely returned and no one is injured, there will be an onslaught of animal rights activists and uninformed public that will campaign for exotic pet bans as a result.

Exotic cat owners should also strongly consider modifying their homes to accommodate double door entrances. These structures are similar to what is used in public live butterfly homes; such doors lead to a small room in which you can safely lock the animal into the house before you exit. These are imperative to prevent escapes.

For most homes this is an expensive undertaking or a lot of work to customize yourself, but for committed pet owners, as bobcat owners should be, it is worth it in the long run.

Legality

Bobcats are not legal as pets without a permit (only provided to educators, zoos, research, animal sanctuaries ect.) in most states. Recently, many states are joining the ranks of outlawing everything feline except domesticated cats despite minimal public safety issues.

Bobcats are not legal to own in California, Connecticut, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Hawaii and Maine. Other states may vary, and those interested should always call their state's Department of Agriculture to confirm that they are legal on their state's jurisdiction. After that, they should check with their city or town's regulations, and even if their neighborhood has animal restrictions by code.

Keep researching

Always research any new pet, yet this goes quadruple for exotic felines of any type. Get in touch with people who own them by visiting message boards, or if you know of any, talking to bobcat owners or people who have worked with them in facilities. Volunteering at a zoo or animal sanctuary is not a requirement, but experience with exotic animal behavior is always a big help in assisting your decision on whether or not to take the plunge with exotic animal care. Remember that these animals can live to be 15+ years old, and re-homing for most exotics can be stressful for you and them. Bobcats will be kittens for a brief period of time.

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    • nArchuleta profile image

      Nadia Archuleta 3 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Lindemann, my cat, liked the purring bobcat. Interesting hub.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      Thanks nArchuleta.

    • likehoney profile image

      Michelle Barrows Carter 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I have always wanted something "exotic" as a pet. After reading about the furniture and carpets being torn up, I think that I will stick with my dog and cat. Thank you for the full scoop. I would still love to spend time with these wonderful animals.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      Haha, yep exotic animals tend to be unpopular as pets for a reason, but the rewards for some make it worth it. I think many of the 'smaller' zoos offer interactions with these animals. Thanks for commenting.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      I wholeheartedly agree with your take that Bobcats are less "exotic" than domesticated cats are. In my opinion, cats are much more of an environmental pest than any Bobcat could be, and I am sure the two house wrens nesting in my back yard that we constantly have to protect from the depredations of the kitty next door would agree. If a Bobcat were to escape, it would simply integrate itself into its natural environment. People are much too irrationally paranoid about wild animals. Bobcats are too elsusive to be seen most of the time, but they are out there all the same, probably lurking throught our backyards while we sleep. Wonderful posting.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      Thanks again.

    • alannahbale profile image

      alannahbale 3 years ago from Rugby, Warwickshire

      wow this is really interesting! I never would have thought of them as pets!

    • MJennifer profile image

      Marcy J. Miller 3 years ago from Arizona

      I very much enjoyed this, Melissa. Although I have no intention of ever keeping a pet bobcat, we have one that lives adjacent to our property (in the wild) and I enjoy those frequent sightings. They're some of my favorite wild visitors -- beautiful, bold creatures. Of course, I have never encouraged them nor fed them, yet they are comfortable in my presence and have given me some great photo opportunities. Great hub! -- MJ

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      Thanks MJ, they are very destructive pets that would require many adjustments to the traditional home. It's cool to be able to view them in the wild as well.

    • Shannon Perry profile image

      Shannon Perry 3 years ago from Mountain Home, North Carolina

      Melissa, thank you for this article. For some years I've wanted to get a bobcat. I've always known that extensive changes would need to be made to my lifestyle (outside enclosure, throw-away furniture, special dietary needs, etc), and that's something that I don't mind at all. Recently, I've debated my own reasons and wondered if my simple desire to have one (and wholehearted love for whole felid family) was enough. Your article helped to dispel doubts I had, so thank you for that.

      I also don't mind putting in practical hours for a permit or paying for it. A willingness to invest money and time into something before you even have it is a very effective way at verifying that you are a. capable of caring for an animal and b. really want to. No one spends $2,000+ on permits and construction, plus hundreds of hours, without a good reason.

      With the exception of a few, I've read over the comments on your page. I applaud your ability to remain mature and well-worded in the face of illogical and moronic arguments. I am not certain that I would have been able to refrain from less constructive word choices-- at least not without walking away for a few hours.

      Many people argue that exotic pet owners are not qualified to care for the special needs of their animals. But, when one considers the care domesticated (and popular exotic) animals get, it is easy to see that perhaps pet owners should be required to educate themselves better.

      I can appreciate the logical approach you took in this hub. I find love to be all well and good (and certainly essential) but, much like raising human children, a high degree of logic and higher reasoning needs to be applied to our animal children as well. Love does not heal URIs, UTIs, or pay for adequate enclosures.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      Hi Dronsie. Exotic mammals like bobcats have similarities with other exotic carnivores regarding issues such as not being able to be re-homed easily, reluctance to change, aggression that may surprise owners of more domesticated animals, and other issues. Perhaps it would help if you try seeing me as a reporter, albeit one that is highly knowledgeable about the subject, and one that doesn't throw exotic pet owners under the bus. That is the purpose most of my articles serve, to remove the lies and give people a non-proselytizing perspective. Also, sorry Dronsie, I can't accept all of your comments because they are off topic. If you want to talk about our Amazon discussions, that thread is still active and you can do so there... :-)

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      Sorry Shannon, your comment was blocked as spam and I'm just seeing it now. Thanks for your nice words, and good luck with that. Sounds like you'll make a good pet owner.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      Thanks alannahbale. They are pets for the more 'adventurous'.

    • chevgord 3 years ago

      I guess the question people need to ask is why are we keeping wild animals in captivity? Is it for the welfare of the animals, or just so we can entertain ourselves?

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      Because it's really fulfilling to care for and interact with an animal, chevgord. Especially when it is an exotic. It is possible to gain this reward without hurting the animal in the process.

    • chevgord 3 years ago

      Trust me I know, I work with animals everyday including a bobcat. I work with animals who are sick and injured to the point where they are unreleasable. Having one of these animals simply to be "fulfilling "is not the right reason to have them. To provide care for those who have been injured and mistreated often by people is the true reason for helping them and that should be "fulfilling" enough. You are kidding yourself if you think any wild animal would rather live in captivity then in their natural environment.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      You work with previously 'wild' animals so you must not know too much about hand raised exotics. They don't care about your perceptions of their desires and do fine in captivity.

    • chevgord 3 years ago

      It's nice to know that doing just "fine" is okay by your standards. Nowhere in your arcticle do you encourage people to not take them from the wild, and many do, therefore they do have those desires and natural instincts. To sum it all up, I encourage people to find ways to work with animals, there are just good ways and bad ways to go about it. I like how you encourage people to volunteer at the zoo or park, but that doesn't quailify them to take animals from the wild and care for them. And those captive bred animals have been proven many times to be genetically inferior, so why encourage the spread of inferior genes? It's selfish of people to drive evolution to meet our own needs of having a cool pet when there are plenty of domesticated animals in the world looking for homes. Go to your local animal shelter and rescue a pet that has been mistreated by your fellow human race. Thanks for your time and replies.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      Yes, fine is OK by my standards. I don't think I would have to encourage people not to take wild bobcats home, they may carry diseases and it is illegal. 'Inferior genetics' is a non-issue since these animals aren't being released into the wild. If exotics end up in the shelter I will consider rescuing them.

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Kept private 3 years ago from Northeast United States

      Interesting hub. When I think of bobcat...I think of aggressive wild felines. Thank you for allowing me to explore an other possible side of such a facsinating creature :) Have a great week.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      Thanks Carrie. Hand-raised bobcats can still have their moments.

    • WriterJanis profile image

      Janis 3 years ago from California

      What beautiful cats they are. I have one cat that is supposedly part bobcat. She is really sweet and tame.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 3 years ago from New York

      Hi WriterJanis, your cat may be a main coon but it is just a myth that they are mixed with bobcats. Bobcats cannot reproduce with domesticated cats, but Thanks for your comment.

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 2 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I found this most interesting. I love all Felines and if my circumstances allowed I would probably have one.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Thanks Hendrika, so would I.

    • TarrinLupo profile image

      Tarrin Lupo 2 years ago from Peterborough NH

      I have never heard of that, it is so cool. Great Article. Sharing on Facebook.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Thanks a lot TarrinLupo.

    • Kalmiya profile image

      Kalmiya 2 years ago from North America

      What gorgeous cats! I love your purring video. I've read that if you hold purring felines on your lap and absorb the vibration of their purrs, they have healing effects on the body (i.e. like helping broken bones knit, etc.). Thanks for the unique hub.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Thanks Kalmiya

    • Shuvojit Saha 2 years ago

      Nice!

    • Madie 2 years ago

      I have a bobcat, Callie, and I wouldn't think that inexperienced owners should have one. They are extremely beautiful cats, but can also be very expensive as well. I did not purchase mine,she was brought to me from someone hunting in the woods and a racoon was after the litter and she was the only one to make it. She is now three and a half years old. She is very lovable and loves to sleep on the couch or in the bathtub.

      I would not recommended them as pets but if someone has giving you this bobcat as a kitten with the eyes. closed, i

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Thanks for stopping by Madie. Hopefully you don't run into problems with the law for harboring a wild-caught bob.

    • Madie 2 years ago

      She wasn't wildly caught, someone brought her to me because the mother had been shot by someone hunting. And I didn't want her to die out in the woods.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      I didn't mean 'caught' literally, but I know there are laws in most states surrounding animals that originate from the wild and haven't been bred in captivity (bobcats are illegal in most states even if they are captive-bred). I once saved a baby rabbit from a cat and was informed it was illegal to have it for even that moment, you need to be a licensed rehabber and even then, they only issue these for temporary purposes. Native wild birds and mammals are 'owned' by the people or the government, something like that. I know it's rather silly. A lady who raised a goose from a gosling had her animal taken and euthanized, you can read about this in my article 'Some exotic pet headlines'. I've also heard of deer and raccoons being taken. I recommend insuring that this isn't the case with your animal, or you might want to lay low.

    • Madie 2 years ago

      In Arkansas, that's where I live, you can have up to 6 bobcats before you need a permit to keep any more of them. But since I only have one I'm ok.

      When I first got her, I originally had two of them but the racoon I was talking about crushed the other one's ribs, he was found in the raccoons mouth, and we had him put down at the vet. I've kept the other one since I was given them by someone that knew I know how to take care of them when they are a baby. This is mostly because i own a farm and take care of baby animals all them time. Ive had all types of wild life. She was only a few days old and didn't have her eyes open. If they are not taken when there eyes are closed you can't tame them.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Lucky! Good to hear.

    • phildazz profile image

      Allan Philip 2 years ago from Toronto

      Very interesting Hub, I guess a few pets could go missing with Bob in the neighborhood?

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Thanks phildazz. It would be hard for pets to go missing if they were supervised as they should be outdoors.

    • Bob 2 years ago

      A Bobcat belongs in the forest, and not in your house. Frankly, I wonder what kind of mental imbalance you must have where you desire to keep a wild animal. This blog is not only ridiculous, but encourages others to follow your misguided example.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Wow Bob, I've never been told that before. Perhaps if I'm told that same rhetoric a few more times I will stop thinking for myself and cave into your demands.

    • raizhel profile image

      Ruby S. 2 years ago

      Only rare people would want to have bobcat in home.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      The photo drew me in--I love them, but am not committed to owning one. They are amazing animals and I enjoyed seeing theses photos and videos.

      I understanding Bob's perspective, to a point. Some unstable people have kept these animals and they were designed for living in the wild, but that does not mean that people cannot do a good job of keeping them or that all owners are unstable. The comment was rude and not helpful. However, too many exotic pet owners are not responsible owners and people considering becoming owners should take a realistic look at the failures by thoroughly dissecting them.

      Anthropomorphising animals is a huge problem in our society, far worse than anthropomorphizing one's roses or cars. An honest look at ownership that contains warnings and encourages more research (not running out to find oneself a bobcat to bring home) is useful, even if it simply opens up discussions that everyone can learn from.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      RTalloni-- I hope that just by telling the truth that people will be dissuaded from owning them.

    • Bobcat owner 2 years ago

      I love this article it is spot on. I own a 1 year old who is loving and affectionate but also A lot of work. Is it it worth it? Yes, but would I do again no. Only for the fact that you don't own the cat the cat owns you. If u are a responsible bobcat owner you give up A lot for the well being of the animal. Mine hates being outside si ask me if he would rather be in the wild. The downfall is these animals bond and learn to love and want to be around us so you are liable for that unique animals future.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Thanks for stopping by Bobcat owner.

    • Raimer Gel 2 years ago

      Having a bobcat at home feels like owning a lion as pet. Kudos to those who dare to take the challenge.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Bobcats are their own animal Raimer, and nowhere near as large as lions, therefore not as dangerous.

    • dan again 2 years ago

      Another example would be the article in National Geo. Where People in Russia went against the Gov. and did some experiments with fox in a few generations had made domestic fox from color changes to wagging their tails. All in violation of the Russian oppression. The same thing is happening here in the US. We have a bill of rights but in my life I have been interested in animals since I was 5 years old. But let me give you some examples Because of the banning of Venomous reptiles California never produced the research that was needed to produce another Antivenin. Because Calif ban commercial reptile collecting and sales we have never learned how to breed many of the very cheap animals in Captivity and there is no interest in the Scientific or educational institutions to do it. The person that will do it will be one of the breeders that find it to be profitable ( which would of already happened) or it some crazy guy or gal that will spend the time that is need to do the husbandry, unfortunately they have to have the animals.

    • Dan again once more 2 years ago

      The other thing I would like to address is the care of the animals. This is very important venomous reptiles should be allowed if you have containment which is easy double doors, Antivenin, and knowledge. Escape proof is easy and should be the only restriction. In the near future you are not going to have anyone that can gain the knowledge. I only know a a few people left in California that have the skills needed to handle

    • vanthof 2 years ago

      I want to clarify that no exotic "pet"can be released into the wild and survive, if it came from a breeder. Bobcats don't just 'acclimate' to their surroundings if released, and should NOT be released. No one should keep exotic pets, as it is inhumane and just plain stupid. No one can provide the amount of habitat appropriate for a free-roaming wild feline or canid, and providing anything less is cruelty.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Yes, pet bobcats shouldn't be released. No, it is not cruel to keep one in conditions lesser than free-roaming in the wild. Please create a more substantial comment next time.

    • vanthof 2 years ago

      Just because you don't agree doesn't mean it isn't substantial. Ask any keeper at a sanctuary- cruel would be an exaggeration, but if you care about the utmost well-being of the animal, than you aren't going to keep it in less than optimal conditions (in its natural habitat), if you have the choice.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      It isn't substantial because you told me keeping bobcats is "stupid", "inhumane" and that no one can provide a home for the animal, which doesn't really make a real argument. So I answered you with a similarly insubstantial comment. Just because you can't replicate a bobcat's natural home doesn't mean the captive home is inadequate. Literally every pet has an unnatural home in captivity. Outdoor cats have bigger territories than indoor cats. Dogs will roam much further than the perimeter of a typical household if allowed to do so. Wild hamsters run miles in a day and even a large 50 gallon aquarium is a pitiful decimal of their nature range, but most people would consider this to be a huge cage for them. So again, you'll have to do better than that.

    • vanthof 2 years ago

      I totally agree that the use of "stupid" isn't a helpful word to use in my argument, but many people keep exotic pets in inhumane conditions. The difference between cats and dogs versus exotic animals is that they have been domesticated over hundreds, if not thousands, of years, becoming acclimated to living in houses and smaller settings of the like. Cats and dogs want to roam if given the chance, but they don't go crazy when they don't. Captive animals have such an innate need to cover their range that when left in something like a 1-acre enclosure (for a wolf), which would be compared to a human living out of their truck for the rest of their life, it makes them stir crazy, and there are many cases where animals can develop neurosis from the experience.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      So when a dog barks excessively why do people blow this off as typical behavior? When some dogs fail to adjust to a captive setting it's refereed to as other things such as 'behavioral problems' or 'separation anxiety', not neurosis, even though it is. I adopted my dog with separation anxiety and I have no problem stating that she does have neurotic issues and compulsive behavior such as barking and acting crazy whenever someone leaves the house. So it looks like thousand year long domestication does not eliminate these issues. Similarly for dogs and cats not all exotic animals have these problems. Genetic variation results in animals that have different energy requirements. Some dogs would never do well in a typical household, because they've been bred to do demanding jobs. This is similar to how it is for some exotic animals, their 'jobs' being selected by nature.

      The most important things to consider is the impact it has on their quality of life, and I don't believe for a second this is a sign of poor welfare in my dog. A 1-acre enclosure sounds like a very reasonable amount of space for a wolf, where are you getting this information that it drives them crazy? Show me an example.

    • Aerows 2 years ago

      They are, in fact, legal in MS, and they have a sizable population in our state in the wild. I don't want to guess, but I think you mean some other state with M and S in their name, not Mississippi. Only large feline ownership is prohibited here. Bobcats are not included. You can have a lynx here, and they are of the same size. Just no bears, wolves and lions.

    • Lissa Clason profile image

      Lissa Clason 2 years ago from Raleigh, North Carolina

      I looked it up, and bobcats used to be a legal pet here in North Carolina until 2013. Now you have to have a zoo license to keep one, and most people who had them as pets were forced to send them to a zoo somewhere. Sad for the owners who really loved their pets, and sad for the bobcats being taken away from the only caretaker they've known :(

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      Lissa Clason, I think that might have to do with them being native wildlife. In my state, I just discovered that picking up a feather from a protected bird in my yard is against federal law.

    • Stewart 2 years ago

      It really frosts my cookies that in those states that forbid owning a bobcat as a companion animal it is not illegal to kill them for sport. Yeah, that in this "land of the free". LOL what a joke.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      I know Stewart, a lot of people keep forgetting that even if they hate pet ownership, living with a human is better than being a fur rug.

    • Travin Davis 2 years ago

      male or female as house pet? Which is the best out going and most likely to not spray?

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 2 years ago from New York

      If you want an exotic cat Travin, it's best to assume that it will spray. I doubt any one gender can offer great guarantees, but my guess would be a male would scent mark more. Some sources say that neutering early can possibly prevent it.

    • David henderson 24 months ago

      Would it be possible for a domestic cat and bobcat to make babies

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 24 months ago from New York

      Nope.

    • Bobcat Goldthwait 20 months ago

      I have an opportunity to aquire one or more bobcat kittens. As a child I always wanted a big cat as a pet, and the desire never really went away. A cougar was my top childish choice. I am now a (Semi) mature adult. This is not something I want to jump into without researching, but there is also a time constraint on availability. The timing is not perfect, but pretty good, as I presently have no other pets (this is unusual for me).

      One grave concern I have is that I work a lot. More than I think any dog owner should.

      How much time and attention do bobcats need from a responsible caretaker?

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
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      Melissa A Smith 20 months ago from New York

      Some questions you should be asking yourself are

      -Do you have or can you create a large enclosure quickly?

      -Is it legal in your state, city, town, or neighborhood? Do you have neighbors that might report you?

      -Are you aware that idiots keep banning cats left and right and you might in the future need to meet some rigid standards to get grandfathered in, that is if it's not illegal already?

      -Are you OK with indoor spraying if this is where the animal will live?

      -Do you know of an exotic vet that will treat this animal?

      That all I can think of off the top of my head. If the animal will be unsupervised often, you really, really, need to look into an outdoor enclosure or a room dedicated for the animal. I would suggest never impulse buying any exotic feline, if only for the legal hell you'll be put through in the future.

    • Bobcat Goldthwait 20 months ago

      I live in Nevada where they are legal as far as I can tell. I can make an enclosure from chainlink fence easily enough. I realize that future legal issues are always possible, but not too concerned with that. I am NOT ok with a lifetime of spraying indoors. If it is something they do but can be taught not to do, I am ok with it and willing to train. I do not want an only outdoor pet, indoor/outdoor is what I think is best for most animals. I don't know of any specific vet, but since they are legal here I wouldn't think that is a problem. I will have to check on that more.

      It or they would get plenty of attention while I am home. I am concerned about 10 to 15 hour periods of time when I am working.

      Thanks for your site and your information!

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
      Author

      Melissa A Smith 20 months ago from New York

      Unfortunately I don't think that is the case. While Nevada has very loose legislation, they regulate a few species, and bobcats may be regulated because they are native.

      This link says "All felines, except mountain lions and bobcats;" are legal. Also in another source:

      "Mountain lions, bobcats, axis deer, rusa deer, sambar deer, sika deer, roe deer, whitetailed deer, foxes, skunks, raccoons, dholes, Asian raccoon dogs, mongooses, meerkats, European rabbits, multimammate rats, bats, nutria, coypus, coyotes, wild pigs, moose, reedbucks, oryx, addax, gemsboks, blesboks, bonteboks, topis, hartebeests, wildebeests, chamois, tahr, ibex, wild goats and sheep, red deer, and elk/wapiti are banned."

      Sorry about that, but the good news is any other feline is OK. Nevada has the most lenient exotic pet laws in the country. If it's any consolation I don't think they can be trained out of the spraying behavior, as one owner tells me they just deal with it.

    • Ken 18 months ago

      Wolves were once wild. I don't think dogs have inferior genetics. Captivity changes animals due to owners preference of traits.

    • Mrs brown 17 months ago

      Hello I have many questions on raising a bobcat. First off i currently have a bobcat that feel into our hands due to an injury that we are rehabilitating. I believe he/she is about 2 months old. It's very scared and aggressive due to the sudden human interaction. I don't think it can survive on its own, it is eating well (raw food) but if i need to keep it what is the first thing I should do? Declaw? Shots? Who do I go to for all of this? He's a great little guy I hate seeing him so scared please let me know what I can do for him.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image
      Author

      Melissa A Smith 17 months ago from New York

      Mrs. Brown first you must find out if it is legal to keep. It should probably be with a licensed wildlife rehabber.

    • Robert 4 months ago

      I have a baby Bob cat and I was wondering what to feed it it's about five weeks old I believe it's old enough to eat on itS own just wondering what's the best feed for them

    • John 3 months ago

      In ancient Egypt Cheetahs were domesticated at one time and spread to European Royalty. The way I see it God gave us the ability to Co-exist and respect animals, falconry, videos of people being accepted into packs (wolves, lions, meer cats) it's about respect.

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