Melissa cares for a variety of exotic animals and has completed a certificate in veterinary assisting and a bachelor's degree in biology.
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 behavior.
Bobcats in the Wild
The elusive bobcat is actually technically less “exotic” than domesticated cats in most states, if "exotic" is defined as "not native to the United States." Bobcats are native to many areas in North America, including most states in the U.S, 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
Bobcats are known for taking large prey relative to their size. Despite reaching a height around that of 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, there are few, if any, 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 the 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, so pet bobcats are not "wild."
If a potential owner is willing to understand the non-domesticated behavior of an exotic feline species, Bobcats are one of the more rewarding exotic mammals to own and keep content in captivity.
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 animals. Do not 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 are not as 'on edge' as their wild counterparts. One keeper even keeps their pet bobcat with their pet muntjac 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 the cat.
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. Exotic pet owners often get a bad rap due to some people who do not expect to adapt to their animals' needs and impulsively or naively adopt animals that they are not equipped for.
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 ensure 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
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 for durability.
While they can be affectionate family members, bobcats can also be feisty at times or have bad bathroom habit. They need a safe place to retreat to so that they can have their own space, like a small dog run. It is just a good idea in general 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 members of the public that will campaign for exotic pet bans as a result.
Exotic cat owners should 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.
Bobcats are not legal as pets without a permit (only provided to educators, zoos, research, animal sanctuaries, etc.) 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. There are certainly more states than these states that I have listed.
Other states may vary, and those interested should always call their state's Department of Agriculture to confirm what the truth is. After that, they should check with their city or town's regulations, and even if their neighborhood has animal restrictions by code.
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, so choose wisely.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2012 Melissa A Smith
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on August 01, 2020:
Kasey Burt: Really? Sorry for the late reply, but that would be fascinating if true.
Absb on April 01, 2020:
Jeff i agree and I’m in Texas also
Jeff on March 16, 2020:
Why aren’t bobcats not allowed in Texas and I’m in Texas
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on January 07, 2020:
Alyssa: I wouldn't recommend an exotic cat for most people as their first exotic animal. You are correct, vet care can be extremely expensive if you are lucky enough to have a vet willing to see a bobcat close to you. Exotic cats often need to be anesthetized to be examined.
I've heard anecdotally from some owners that bobcats can have bouts of aggression that can be dangerous, you'll have to know how to deal with that and understand animal behavior and training quite well. First time owners should not expect to keep them indoors, for exotic cats, there should be a large outdoor enclosure by default that can be attached to your home to make them indoor-outdoor. You will definitely want a space specifically for them, they should not be 'roaming' outside of a cage outdoors. Leash walking is inherently risky. I would recommend a smaller exotic. As I don't know your location I cannot make recommendations due to legality.
Alyssa on January 04, 2020:
I am 14 and me and my father are considering getting a bobcat, he told me to research as much as I can about safety, legality, care, etc... we have never owned an exotic animal before but have plenty of experience with many other household pets (not that we expect them to be the same) we are not the best financially and we are concerned we may not be able to afford veterinary bills and more, do you have any advice on what we should do? (Of course we would be able to feed it and the house has a large area outside for it to roam and we live in the country so food is not a problem because we hunt a lot sooooo yeah)
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on May 27, 2019:
busterboy I don't know if there's been any research involving captive-born bobcats (or other exotics) and wild-born ones, but I think it is plainly obvious that these animals are SUBSTANTIALLY different. Try keeping a wild-caught bobcat as a pet, vs. one that has been socialized from a young age. Or even an adult domestic feral cat vs, a socialized one. You'd have to be pretty thick to see no difference.
busterboy on May 13, 2019:
How can you call yourself a vet professional and make these statements in support of keeping wild animals as pets. You are spreading falsehoods. "Hand-raised animals are just simply not the same animals as those that roam in the wild, so pet bobcats are not "wild"." That is the most ridiculous statement not based on any form of science or fact whatsoever. What a dangerous statement. Do some research. Talk to wild cat sanctuaries like the famous Big Cat Sanctuary that has saved several pet bobcats previously kept as pets. What a dis-service you are making here to responsible pet ownership. This web site should be ashamed for giving voice to such a pathetic mis representation.
Skye on January 19, 2019:
Just wondering where would you get one and how much they would cost and I have been thinking this over many months
Michael poulter on September 07, 2018:
I live out in the country. There was a female Bobcat got hit by truck. She was carrying two young kittens inside of her.
One of them was moving around so I removed it from her womb.. blew air into her nose with my mouth with my hands. We fed her milk from our fingertips. Soon I began to realize that she didn't know she was a cat but thought she was a human
. She became a very big part of our family life. She loves to play and stalk and attack us in a playful manner
. She only displayed aggressive behavior during feeding time. I understood that
. As she grew older she began to exhibit extreme intelligence. Because of their Curious nature. She soon learned to use our toilet in the house. After about three months of this we removed her Kitty box.. she love to play she love and affection
But would not accept strangers and go hide. She was allowed to go outside with family members to explore. She soon developed the desire to roam around. An app for about 28 months she left never to return. I saw her one day about a year later. She cautiously walked up to me. I knew it was her because she walked up so close. I wanted to touch her but knew she was living lifestyle that she was intended. She watched me for about 20 minutes while I was fishing in a pond. Then I noticed movement in the background and she had two small kittens with her. I was satisfied that she made it. I know that they rule a large territory. And only saw her once more. I have many photos of her sleeping in the bed with us. Videos of her chasing a laser light all over the house. The only Mischief she ever got into was tearing up the toilet paper. People need to understand that wild animals need a different kind of care. You have to let a bobcat except you.. you cannot force interaction with them. But only on their terms. It would be insane to declaw or take the teeth out of a bobcat
. She weighed 43 pounds when she left my home. It takes a lot of patience and understanding to raise one of these animals
. If you're gone away from home working a lot of hours I don't recommend that you own 1. The most precious memory of her was how loud she purred. And how playful she was
Eric Hirzel on July 30, 2018:
Wow great article Melissa. I’ve wanted a bobcat as a pet ever since I read about them in Zoobooks some 30 years ago.
As for that clown ‘Bob’ who posted 4 years ago, or anyone like him for that matter, perhaps they are the ones with mental disorders if they’re incapable of understanding the symbiotic nature humans have always had with other animals. Or maybe they’re just too stupid to understand how any life lived, whether it be human or animal, has its trade offs, and we all sacrifice some aspects of freedom for comfort. But I suppose shades of gray ‘are’ more difficult to understand than black and white… ;p
Andrew on June 26, 2018:
Hey guys I am planning on getting a bobcat as a pet and plan to be redoing my house and such to accommodate my friend but I need two years experience working with one, where would I be able to do that, any help would be appreciated!
Kasey Burt on April 19, 2018:
I have a half Bobcat half domestic according to the two Veterinarians at our Animal Hospital in my city in Kentucky. They say this is not that rare to see here in Kentucky. First, I do want to agree that even a hybrid Bobcat is quite different than any cat I have ever owned and over the years I have had several. Bear is EXTREMELY loyal to me and wants to be wherever I am most all the time. He will follow me around the house and lay in a chair or next to me on the sofa. The exception to that is when he is on his cat tree, which I had to order one with a huge square base so he wont knock it over when he jumps up. He loves water, likes to play in it and wash his paws in it. He also allows me to give him a tub bath and shampoo once a month, otherwise he has a bit of a gamey smell. Bear is 20 months old, he is 23 inches in length neck to rump, stands 15 inches in height from hip to floor and weighs 14 pounds. The Vet's said he will not be fully mature until he is 3 years old. As for food, he loves fruit! He eats banana's, watermelon, cantaloupe,apples. He also likes cucumbers and tomatoes :) He will not eat cooked meat at all. He does not like any canned cat food, but will eat the dry kitten chow. I tried to change him to an adult cat food, Blue Buffalo and he wouldn't touch it. I am now trying to find a dry food for Big Cats to order for him to try. He loves Salmon raw and Tuna
Bear plays fetch like a dog, obeys hand signal commands and can jump 4 feet straight up from the floor chasing my flying elastic hairbands that I use like a slingshot :)
Bear chose my rocking chair back upholstery for cat scratching and had left the rest of the furniture alone, he does use his cat tree for scratching also.
He has never sprayed, he is neutered. Now for the drawback for the non-cat person. He will bite the S... out of you if you mess with him while he is eating, pick him up when he is asleep or don't pay attention to his moods. I respect that and for the most part only get bit maybe once a week now. He used to draw blood every time, the Vet said to "cry out" in pain and hold whatever appendage he bit close to my body at the same time for about 30 seconds, then walk away from him and no eye contact until he comes to find me. Amazing the expression on his face, the first time I did this Bear pulled back and got very still, looking at me then at my wrist. After about two weeks, he no longer breaks the skin, nor does he draw blood on me.
We do put Bear in his own bedroom to sleep. He has a queen size bed, his litter box, toys, food and water in there. This is his space to retreat to, at night we close the door and let him out around 6:00am in the morning. He has complete freedom during the day in the house. I have also leash trained him so we can go for walks on our 2 acres. I am preparing an enclosure for him this summer, hoping about 25 feet X 25 feet that he can come and go through a cat door in his bedroom window.
I am looking forward to that, putting some real tree limbs inside, plenty of upper shelving and ramps to get up there and shady areas.
Heavenly Dickinson on December 03, 2017:
Jeff on August 12, 2017:
I have had quite a different experience with my Bobcat than some. He is not distructive except for throw pillows. Without thinking I used one as a toy for him to chase when he was younger so he will destroy them. But he does not ruin anything else. He is a very loving animal and wants to be around me all the time. He loves to take walks on a leash and go swimming at the local lake. He is not a lap cat by any means and takes more work to take care of than a domestic cat, but I wouldn't trade him for anything. He has a much better personality and is constantly referred to as my catdog by my friends, family and neighbors.
Joe on July 13, 2017:
I see I'm late to the conversation but DON'T DECLAW THE CAT. That is equivalent to amputating your fingers. I would take the cat to a qualified vet and verify that it cannot live on its own. Usually when we think we are "saving" wildlife, we're doing more harm than good. I grew up with a bobcat sleeping in my bed. They are very cool by require a dedicated caretaker.
Brianne on January 29, 2017:
How much is a bobcat? Is it legal to have one in the state of Florida?
John on October 10, 2016:
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.
Robert on September 20, 2016:
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
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on August 26, 2015:
Mrs. Brown first you must find out if it is legal to keep. It should probably be with a licensed wildlife rehabber.
Mrs brown on August 22, 2015:
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.
Ken on July 28, 2015:
Wolves were once wild. I don't think dogs have inferior genetics. Captivity changes animals due to owners preference of traits.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on May 16, 2015:
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.
Bobcat Goldthwait on May 16, 2015:
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 (author) from New York on May 15, 2015:
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 on May 15, 2015:
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 (author) from New York on January 29, 2015:
David henderson on January 29, 2015:
Would it be possible for a domestic cat and bobcat to make babies
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on January 20, 2015:
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.
Travin Davis on January 20, 2015:
male or female as house pet? Which is the best out going and most likely to not spray?
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on November 08, 2014:
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.
Stewart on November 08, 2014:
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 (author) from New York on November 01, 2014:
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.
Melissa Clason from Fayetteville, NC on October 31, 2014:
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 :(
Aerows on September 04, 2014:
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.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on August 15, 2014:
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.
vanthof on August 15, 2014:
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 (author) from New York on August 13, 2014:
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 on August 13, 2014:
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 (author) from New York on August 11, 2014:
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 on August 11, 2014:
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.
Dan again once more on August 01, 2014:
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
dan again on August 01, 2014:
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.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on July 22, 2014:
Bobcats are their own animal Raimer, and nowhere near as large as lions, therefore not as dangerous.
Raimer Gel on July 22, 2014:
Having a bobcat at home feels like owning a lion as pet. Kudos to those who dare to take the challenge.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on June 26, 2014:
Thanks for stopping by Bobcat owner.
Bobcat owner on June 26, 2014:
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 (author) from New York on May 12, 2014:
RTalloni-- I hope that just by telling the truth that people will be dissuaded from owning them.
RTalloni on May 12, 2014:
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.
Ruby S. on May 05, 2014:
Only rare people would want to have bobcat in home.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on April 20, 2014:
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.
Bob on April 20, 2014:
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 (author) from New York on April 16, 2014:
Thanks phildazz. It would be hard for pets to go missing if they were supervised as they should be outdoors.
Allan Philip from Toronto on April 16, 2014:
Very interesting Hub, I guess a few pets could go missing with Bob in the neighborhood?
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on March 23, 2014:
Lucky! Good to hear.
Madie on March 23, 2014:
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 (author) from New York on March 23, 2014:
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 on March 23, 2014:
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 (author) from New York on March 19, 2014:
Thanks for stopping by Madie. Hopefully you don't run into problems with the law for harboring a wild-caught bob.
Madie on March 19, 2014:
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
Shuvojit Saha on March 01, 2014:
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on February 01, 2014:
Kalmiya from North America on February 01, 2014:
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 (author) from New York on January 28, 2014:
Thanks a lot TarrinLupo.
Tarrin Lupo from Peterborough NH on January 28, 2014:
I have never heard of that, it is so cool. Great Article. Sharing on Facebook.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on January 25, 2014:
Thanks Hendrika, so would I.
Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on January 25, 2014:
I found this most interesting. I love all Felines and if my circumstances allowed I would probably have one.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on December 16, 2013:
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.
Janis from California on December 16, 2013:
What beautiful cats they are. I have one cat that is supposedly part bobcat. She is really sweet and tame.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on October 29, 2013:
Thanks Carrie. Hand-raised bobcats can still have their moments.
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on October 29, 2013:
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 (author) from New York on October 24, 2013:
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.
chevgord on October 24, 2013:
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 (author) from New York on October 24, 2013:
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 on October 24, 2013:
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 (author) from New York on October 23, 2013:
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 on October 23, 2013:
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 (author) from New York on October 22, 2013:
Thanks alannahbale. They are pets for the more 'adventurous'.
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on October 22, 2013:
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 (author) from New York on September 02, 2013:
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... :-)
Shannon Perry from Mountain Home, North Carolina on June 14, 2013:
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 (author) from New York on June 11, 2013:
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.
Marcy J. Miller from Arizona on June 11, 2013:
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
alannahbale from Rugby, Warwickshire on May 29, 2013:
wow this is really interesting! I never would have thought of them as pets!
Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on May 23, 2013:
Mel Carriere from San Diego California on May 23, 2013:
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 (author) from New York on May 21, 2013:
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.
Michelle Lee from Portland, Oregon on May 21, 2013:
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 (author) from New York on May 15, 2013:
Nadia Archuleta from Denver, Colorado on May 15, 2013:
Lindemann, my cat, liked the purring bobcat. Interesting hub.