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10 Small Exotic Cats That Are Legal to Keep as Pets

Melissa cares for a variety of exotic animals and has completed a certificate in veterinary assisting and a bachelor's degree in biology.

A Geoffroy's cat.

A Geoffroy's cat.

Small Wild Cats as Pets

Exotic pets are a hugely diverse group of animals that range from betta fish to Bengal tigers. Therefore, it is often erroneously assumed that all exotic (or non-domesticated) cats in captivity pose the same threat to the populace as would a lion or leopard. In reality, there are a few small cat species that most people don't even know exist that make reasonable pets for the right owners.

Tigers, lions, and cheetahs often steal the spotlight in wildlife documentaries and zoos, which can become a problem for the unknown small cat species that are in desperate need of public attention due to their threatened statuses in the wild. However, nearly all of the smaller to medium-sized cats that are sometimes kept as pets in the United States are not endangered or threatened. Given their small size and natural history, they are not animals that would seek to prey on humans.

10 Small Exotic Cats That Can Legally Be Kept as Pets

  1. Servals
  2. Bobcats
  3. Caracal Cats
  4. Canadian and Siberian Lynxes
  5. Ocelots
  6. Fishing Cats
  7. Geoffroy's Cats
  8. Jungle Cats
  9. Asian Leopard Cats
  10. Cat Hybrids

Is It Hard to Care for These Cats?

For pet owners expecting the behavior of domesticated dogs and cats, exotic cats might seem like challenging animals. The differences between owning exotic cats and the typical domesticated cat are much like comparing a skydiver to a golf player. However, for more adventurous pet owners, with the right income, living situation, and permits (or laws not regulating the ownership of the animal), they can be exceptionally rewarding. Electing to care for animals like these is life-changing, and it is not a decision to be taken lightly.

What to Consider Before Buying an Exotic Cat Pet

For those considering an exotic cat as a pet, make sure you do ample research. As a general rule, know that exotic cats:

  • Mark their territory by spraying. This can include furniture, walls, and their owner.
  • Require large outdoor caging and/or a room dedicated to the animal.
  • Should see a vet experienced with zoo animals. This can become a considerable expense. It may also be difficult to find a vet with the proper knowledge and experience for your animal.
  • Can have strict dietary needs, some of which can be pricey.
  • Range in purchase price from $1500–$20,000.
  • Are illegal in most states, or require permits and licensing often not given to pet owners.
  • May prevent you from traveling.
  • May not get along with any other pets you have.
  • Have a very difficult time being re-homed!

Now that we have that out of the way, scroll down and continue reading about 10 small exotic cat species that can be kept as pets.

A serval taking notice.

A serval taking notice.

1. Servals

  • Scientific name: Leptailurus serval.
  • Native habitat: Sub-Saharan Africa, typically around wetlands and savannahs.
  • Size: 21–24 inches at the shoulder. 26–29 inches in length. Can weigh between 20–40 pounds.
  • Diet: It mainly eats rodents.
  • Lifespan: 10 years in the wild, 20 years in captivity.

What to Know About Servals

  • Servals, which originate from Africa, are probably one of the more popular exotic cats kept in the US.
  • Every once in a while, a pet serval (or Savannah cat, discussed further below) will escape from a residence and will be labeled by the news media as a cheetah, which it superficially resembles due to its spotted markings and long legs in comparison to its body. The serval, however, has large pointed ears like a fennec fox and is much shorter than the bigger cat that it shares its range with in the wild.
  • People will often take a look at a serval and assume it to be a threat to the life of its caretaker, but this medium-sized cat is only interested in small prey like birds, rodents, and perhaps a small antelope species.
  • Servals will flee from the presence of humans and have not been recorded killing any member of our species as of yet.
  • As one can guess, a bite from a serval is something that should be avoided. All exotic cats can potentially bite if they feel threatened or cornered.
  • Servals are aloof, quiet, and may be tolerant of other pets when raised in the home.
  • They are also easier to confine since they are not avid climbers.
  • Servals are often used as educational animals; you might have seen them being walked on a leash and demonstrating their amazing jumping ability to an audience.
  • Servals are prone to weight gain without adequate exercise and enrichment, so this species needs an owner who'll encourage this.

Nutrient-Dense Dry Cat Food

Bobcat in the wild.

Bobcat in the wild.

2. Bobcats

  • Scientific name: Lynx rufus.
  • Native habitat: Found throughout North America, from southern Canada to central Mexico.
  • Size: 12–24 inches at the shoulder. 18–49 inches at length. Average weight is 21 pounds for males, 15 pounds for females.
  • Diet: Varies depending on the region. Smaller prey includes rodents, birds, and fish. Can attack larger prey, such as sheep or goats.
  • Lifespan: Average is about seven years. Rarely exceeds 10 years.

What to Know About Bobcats

  • Bobcats are a stocky, medium-sized cat native to North America.
  • Bobcats may have the best companion animal personality of all the exotic cats because they bond strongly with their owners.
  • They also adore dogs and are highly affectionate.

However, the catch is that bobcats actually do possess the strength to kill an adult human, although this has not occurred in recent history, from what I can find. They are short, but they are muscular, and they do have success hunting fully grown deer in the wild, making one suspect that they can easily and fatally attack humans. Fortunately, this does not seem to have occurred with any captive-bred pet, but it does reveal that this animal should be heavily supervised around children (or kept away from them).

Do not think that bobcats are perfectly harmless, as they can have their aggressive moments. They should, like other wild cats, have a large outdoor cage to retreat to during the periods when they become moody. Being escape artists, these cages should be sturdy and well-designed with a top.

The video below shows just how lovable a naturally solitary, bold, top-level predator like a bobcat can become when it is raised in captivity. Bobcats can even be friends with deer when they have been raised with them since they were kittens.

A walking caracal cat

A walking caracal cat

3. Caracal Cats

  • Scientific name: Caracal caracal.
  • Natural habitat: Native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and India. Often prefers dry areas.
  • Size: 16–21 inches at the shoulder. 29–31 inches in length. Males can weigh 26–40 pounds, females can weigh 19–29 pounds.
  • Diet: Usually eats, small mammals, birds, and rodents. Occasionally hunts larger prey like antelopes.
  • Lifespan: 16 years in captivity, 12 in the wild.

What to Know About Caracals

  • Caracals are a type of lynx that resemble servals when it comes to personality.
  • They are known as the desert lynx and are found in parts of Africa and Asia.
  • Like servals, they mostly communicate by hissing, which can sound threatening. However, caracals are similarly, or perhaps more, well-mannered than servals. This means that they have a somewhat traditional cat-like attitude. They play and interact with their owners on their terms.
  • They are not a pet where you can initiate affection at any moment. When caracals do play, they are rambunctious and destructive with average household objects and furniture.
  • Like servals, they will eat two to three pounds of meat a day.
Siberian lynx lying in the grass.

Siberian lynx lying in the grass.

4. Canadian and Siberian Lynxes

The Canadian lynx is a thickly-furred feline with a range that stretches across the northern parts of North America (Canada, Alaska, and some parts of mainland US.)

  • Scientific name: Lynx canadensis.
  • Natural habitat: Lives across Canada and the northern US.
  • Size: 19–22 inches at the shoulder. 31–39 inches in length. They can weigh between 11–40 pounds.
  • Diet: They mainly eat snowshoes hares.
  • Lifespan: 14 years in captivity.

What to Know About the Canadian Lynx

  • These cats possess an adept climbing ability, and they prefer to be at high points in the home.
  • Unlike a bobcat, they may not form a devoted relationship with their human, but their temperamental fits are less severe. They have been described as easygoing, and they are good with strangers, but they are not as eager to go on walks.
  • Due to their extravagant coat, they shed prominently. Their enclosures should be designed to accommodate a climbing animal.

What to Know About the Siberian Lynx

  • Adult Siberian lynxes reach about 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh 40-80 pounds (weights vary with gender).
  • These animals are very energetic and playful, love walking on a leash, and have a dog-like personality. Their active nature may require a spacious house with no breakable valuables present.
Small and elusive, ocelots are rare in private collections.

Small and elusive, ocelots are rare in private collections.

5. Ocelots

  • Scientific name: Leopardus pardalis.
  • Natural habitat: South and Central America.
  • Size: 22–39 inches in length. Males can weigh between 15–34 pounds, females can weigh between 15–25 pounds.
  • Diet: Mostly small mammals, birds, fish, insects, and reptiles.
  • Lifespan: Up to 20 years in captivity.

What to Know About Ocelots

  • Ocelots are a small wild cat from South America (although they can be found as far north as Texas).
  • They have large glassy eyes and beautiful markings, making their appeal as a pet obvious.
  • Famously, an ocelot was kept as a pet by Salvador Dali. However, they are now rare in the pet trade and are very difficult to acquire (if it is still possible).
  • Ocelots are also, in comparison to the other wild cats, more challenging to maintain as pets. Unlike the more relatively social cats, ocelots will not pay attention to disciplinary commands and have a pungent odor.
  • Ocelots emit a disturbing mating growl that can be heard in the video below.

6. Fishing Cats

  • Scientific name: Prionailurus viverrinus.
  • Natural habitat: South and Southeast Asia.
  • Size: 22–31 inches in length. Weighs between 11–35 pounds.
  • Diet: They mainly eat fish.
  • Lifespan: Up to 10 years in captivity.

What to Know About Fishing Cats

  • As the name implies, this cat loves to play in water.
  • Fishing cats are not very common in the pet trade. They are generally only held in USDA licensed facilities because they are a felid tag (a wildcat advisory group) managed species. Kapi'yva Exotics maintains the only private collection of these animals (they are accredited by the Zoological Association of America).
  • The 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists fishing cats as endangered. They have been introduced to the private pet trade in other countries, however (probably through illegal or unethical means).
  • Due to their uncommon presence as pets, there is little information about them available.
Geoffroy's cats play fighting.

Geoffroy's cats play fighting.

7. Geoffroy's Cats

  • Scientific name: Leopardus geoffroyi.
  • Natural habitat: Southern and central South America.
  • Size: About 24 inches in length. Typically weighs between 4.4 and 11 pounds.
  • Diet: Eats small animals like rodents, lizards, and insects.
  • Lifespan: Longest living on record lived 20 years in captivity.

What to Know About Geoffroy's Cats

  • Geoffroy's cats are small cats native to the southern and central regions of South America.
  • Geoffroy's cats are one of the smallest wild cat species on Earth. They are only four to eight pounds when fully grown. They are obviously no threat to humans.
  • Taking their native region into account, they can survive extreme heat and cold conditions.
  • They are also relatively rare in the pet trade, and their gene pool is unfortunately limited in captivity. This particular cat is used to make an extremely rare hybrid called the safari cat (discussed below).
  • The Geoffroy's cat's CITES status is Appendix 1, meaning their trade is strictly regulated, but allowed. Despite their extremely small numbers in the wild, they are being phased out in zoos due to lack of room for small cat species. Private owners can assist.
  • This is a cat that, like the ocelot, can be rather timid and less social. Therefore, this animal is a poor pet choice as it would require a lot of privacy and little noise pollution. These shy cats can become aggressive in addition to their nervousness, and these qualities may amplify when they reach sexual maturity.

8. Jungle Cats

  • Scientific name: Felis chaus.
  • Natural habitat: Can be found in the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and southern China.
  • Size: 14 inches at the shoulder. 23–30 inches in length. Can weigh up to 35 pounds.
  • Diet: Mainly eats small mammals such as rodents and hares.
  • Lifespan: 15–20 years in captivity.

What to Know About Jungle Cats

  • Jungle cats are native to Asia, Sri Lanka, and Egypt. They are the largest living Felis species.
  • This is another wild cat species used to produce hybrids with domesticated cats (specifically a chausie or jungle bob).
  • In the wild, this species can live for approximately 12–14 years. It can live 15–20 years in captivity.
  • Jungle cats are also nervous animals that are uncommon in captivity like the ocelot and Geoffroy's cat.
  • They are also fragile cats that would require privacy in a quiet household (or be maintained in a well-sized outdoor enclosure for most of the time).
  • They are not endangered, but their population is in decline.

9. Asian Leopard Cats

  • Scientific name: Prionailurus bengalensis.
  • Natural habitat: Can be found throughout South, Southeast, and East Asia.
  • Size: Is roughly the same size as a domestic cat.
  • Diet: Mostly eats small prey like rodents.
  • Lifespan: Up to 13 years in captivity.

What to Know About Asian Leopard Cats

  • Asian leopard cats are shy and elusive in nature since they are nocturnal and wary of people. They are also poor house pets and do best with substantial time to themselves (and their own large enclosures). They can still be tame enough to interact with their caregivers, but only if they are frequently interacted with.
  • Asian leopard cats are responsible for the existence of the very popular Bengal cat. Bengals are legal in most states, depending on the generation.
  • Some subspecies of leopard cats are endangered and require permits that are difficult to obtain. These subspecies are not legal to own as pets. Leopard cats are required to have documentation that proves they don't belong to this endangered group.
Hybrids are not ideal for those who do not want an active cat, but perfect for those who do. Savannah cat pictured above.

Hybrids are not ideal for those who do not want an active cat, but perfect for those who do. Savannah cat pictured above.

10. Cat Hybrids

A cat hybrid refers to any animal that is bred between a domestic cat and a wild cat. Most hybrid species are artificial, meaning that they have been intentionally bred by humans. However, some species have been bred naturally.

Hybrids tend to become more domesticated with each generation. A first-generation hybrid will still very much be a wild animal. They may be aggressive, not sociable, and mark their territory (your house) with urine. If you decide on getting a hybrid cat, keep in mind that you are still getting a wild animal.

Cat hybrids have presented a sort of gray area in legal pet ownership. In some states, such as California, a hybrid cat is considered a domestic animal. Therefore, it is legal to own. Laws vary by state, so be sure to do your research if you are interested in a hybrid. You may need a permit, or they may be banned outright.

List of Exotic Cat Hybrids

  • Savannah cat or Ashera cat (serval x domesticated cat)
  • Chausie (Jungle cat x domesticated cat)
  • Jungle bob (Jungle cat x pixie bob, which is a domesticated cat breed)
  • Bengal cat (Asian leopard cat x domesticated cat)
  • Safari cat (Geoffroy's cat x domesticated cat, usually Egyptian Mau or ocicat)
  • Machbragal (Fishing cat x domesticated cat)

Are Hybrid Cats Bad Pets?

There are hybrid cats that are more challenging than domesticated cats, and they are certainly not for everybody. This hardly invalidates them as an option for some people who want what they have to offer as pets. Hybrid cats are more dog-like, making for a more active and outgoing pet. This is perfect for fans of dogs, felines, and those that like the challenges that come with the husbandry of non-domesticated animals.

Many sites often state that all hybrid cats make bad pets—this is utter nonsense. This claim is perpetuated by organizations that oppose all animals (typically with the exception of domesticated animals) in captivity for ideological reasons, regardless of whether or not the animal thrives.

Hybrid cats consist of many species and many generations—it is ludicrous to state collectively that every feline falling under the definition of a hybrid exotic is a bad pet when there are even some hybrids that have such low percentages of wild blood that they are unmistakably domesticated cats with a bit more personality and interesting fur patterns.

What States Allow Exotic Pets?

Here is a quick rundown of which states allow you to own exotic pets. Please check with your state and local laws before looking into owning an exotic cat.

  • Alabama: There are no permits required for private ownership. However, bobcats are specifically outlawed from being imported into the state.
  • Arkansas: Ownership of animals like bobcats is allowed, but a person can't own more than six. If the animal was obtained out of state, the owner must have proof it was legally obtained.
  • California: All exotic pets are banned. However, hybrids are allowed since they are considered domestic animals under California law.
  • Delaware: A permit is required for wild cats, including hybrids.
  • Florida: Small exotic cats are allowed with a permit.
  • Indiana: Exotic cats are allowed with a permit.
  • Iowa: Certain cat hybrids are allowed.
  • Kansas: This state allows exotic pets that are not considered to be dangerous, which includes small cats.
  • Maine: Certain wild animals may be owned with a permit.
  • Massachusetts: A hybrid with a domestic animal may be allowed
  • Mississippi: The state allows the ownership of small cats like ocelots and servals.
  • Missouri: You can own a small exotic cat with a permit.
  • Montana: A small exotic cat may be owned with a permit.
  • Nevada: There are no regulations on owning a small exotic cat in this state.
  • North Dakota: A permit is required for non-domestic animals.
  • Ohio: Certain species, like a bobcat, may be owned with a permit. Other animals, like servals, are banned as pets.
  • Oklahoma: You may own an exotic pet with a permit.
  • Pennsylvania: You may own an exotic cat with a permit.
  • Rhode Island: Certain wildlife may be owned with a permit.
  • South Carolina: Local animals like bobcats require a permit. There are no regulations on non-domestic animals from out of state.
  • South Dakota: A permit is required for an exotic cat.
  • Tennessee: There are no regulations on small wild cats.
  • Texas: A permit is required for exotic pets.
  • Wisconsin: Some species may require a permit. If the animal is brought in from out of state, it will need a veterinary inspection.

How to Rehome an Exotic Cat

If you manage to get a hold of one of these animals as a pet, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Many owners get surprised at how much work (and money) these cats require. Many owners make all the preparations they can, but they may find themselves way over their heads. This happens with common domestic pets. It certainly happens more frequently with exotic pets.

If you find yourself in this situation, it is in the best interest for the animal that you find it a new home. It is recommended that you contact an animal sanctuary. These organizations frequently take exotic pets from owners who can no longer take care of them. Contacting an animal rescue agency is a good idea as well.

A Summary of Exotic Cats as Pets

NOTE: Animal personalities vary. Some qualities may change with spaying and neutering (or they might not).

Cat NameLitter Box UsageSocial or Well-Mannered?Destructive Tendencies?Rare?

Asian leopard cat

Likes to go in water.





Fair, can even be toilet-trained, but some spray.

Bonds strongly with owners and other pets it's raised with.

Will shred furniture if not de-clawed. Should have baby-proofed house.


Canadian lynx

Excellent, likes going in water.


Sheds and climbs. Has high energy.



Fair, with work.


Yes, will climb on and chew furniture.


Fishing cat





Jungle cat






Probably fair.


Eats 'furry' things (socks, underwear.)







Siberian lynx





Exotic Pets That Look Like Cats But Aren't

  • Spotted Genet (rusty, small-spotted, large-spotted)
  • Binturong (bear cat)
  • Asian Palm Civet
  • Fossa
  • Tayra

Questions & Answers

Question: Why do small exotic cats pee on walls?

Answer: Like some domestic cats, small exotic cats mark their territory by spraying.

Question: I live in Washington (USA) is it legal to capture a wild ocelot kitten and tame it?

Answer: Ocelots are rare in the U.S. and I highly doubt you can catch and keep them legally in any state.

Question: Is it legal to own a Geoffroy's cat in New York State?

Answer: No, all non-domestic cats are illegal except for F5 and lower hybrid cats.

Question: Are Ocelots big, or small cats?

Answer: This is an informal way to describe cats, but they are definitely not big.

Question: where does the Asian leopard cat live?

Answer: They live in South East Asia. Specifically, they can be found in China, Eastern Russia, Indochina, India, the Philippines and Sunda Islands.

Question: Are caracals legal in Georgia?

Answer: No.

Question: I live in Georgia (USA). Is it legal to capture a wild bobcat kitten and tame it?

Answer: No, and this is a bad idea.

Question: If I am allergic to cats, can I tame an exotic one?

Answer: Exotic cat dander will effect you if domesticated cat dander does.

Question: Can you legally owns jaguarandi in Texas?

Answer: Probably not, since they are native to TX.

Question: Can you have any of these as exotic pets in Texas or in Tennessee?

Answer: Yes, most of them are legal in those 2 states.

Question: Is the Fishing Cat listed on the ESA?

Answer: Yes.

© 2014 Melissa A Smith


Fluff plush on September 07, 2020:

How much is a license for a fennec fox? Just asking before I get it

Jerry lin Yarberry on September 03, 2020:

I adopted a orange tabby mix, 2 years ago at human society..

His name is ERNIE, and at the moment I saw him,he looks like a Ernie.

He's a house kat, very healing..I had to move and Lady next door took him in; he would have freaked out side..I liked the lady to.

Moved 3 weeks ago, and Lady never texted or called.. miss Ernie very much..I was down and out for a bit

Beautiful on August 27, 2020:

Am I want Bobcat and is it illegal to own as pet's in Philippines?????

Abbie on August 21, 2020:

Can you legally own any big cats in the uk

Kaja on August 21, 2020:

Where can you own the different types of lynx?

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on July 26, 2020:

Song: Pretty much no.

Song on July 01, 2020:

Can you own a Geoffrey Cat in Pennsylvania?

Name on May 27, 2020:

Should I have a Serval or a Caracal I heard Caracals spray less.

Christian on April 05, 2020:

Can you own an ocelot in Delaware?

Bernadette Meier on January 02, 2020:

You are fostering the desire in people to take in wild animals which often end up being euthanized when they become adults and are no longer so easy to keep. Wild animals are not domesticated and cannot be considered pets. It is unfair to the animal to subject it to a life in a cage. Your website encourages people to mistreat wild animals. You are part of the problem by creating a population of unwanted adult wild animals. I would encourage readers to consult The Wildcat Sanctuary website to become educated on the plight of too many unwanted wild cats due to greedy breeders and unaware buyers. There are plenty of domesticated cats in shelters who need a home and family. Be wise...refuse to be lured into wildcat offerings that lead to unhappiness for you and doom for the animal.

Jackie on November 27, 2019:

Can you have a Ocelot as a pet in Nebraska?

lee redmayne on September 19, 2019:

excellent article. I met a serval once in Ontario and she "took" to me. It was a wonderful experience which I hope one day to duplicate by owning a small wildcat

Melina Stagger on May 31, 2019:

If you find an orphaned wild bobcat, lynx, deer etc there are licensed wildlife rehabilitation centers in most states that have facilities and experience in raising them . These kittens are trained and not allowed to become tame so they can be released back to the wild. It is illegal for you to raise a bobcat and keep it just as it’s illegal to keep or raise a wild baby birds. Google search wildlife rehabilitation centers in your area and do the right thing

Mary on April 23, 2019:

Why would you encourage the foolish and cruel practice of keeping wild animals as pets in the backyard of some idiot trying to impress his or her neighbors? It is detrimental to individual animals and, in some cases, to whole species. Just because these cats are small does not mean they make good pets. Their needs cannot usually be fully met in captivity. Also, some of the animals listed here are endangered or vulnerable in the wild. It should absolutely be illegal for unlicensed, unprofessional people to keep any wild animal in their homes, but that is even more true of species that are being threatened in the wild. You are being irresponsible and foolish.

Fred Jack Miles on March 23, 2019:

I fostered a mountain lion. I had it until it died. For those wanting exotic cats or wolves, you have to remember they have special needs and vet care far different than their domestic cousins. They are especially happier in the wild, and don’t always want human contact. I never understood why people want exotic pets, especially when they don’t know the special needs and so many friendly domestic breeds are being euthanized everyday for lack of forever homes and loving families.

lilly on February 27, 2019:

are any of these cats allowed in Missouri

Brigitte Jones on February 23, 2019:

To Shauna: re your on comment bottom the pic of the spotty cat on a leash "is not a savannah, but a bengal".

It's ears fit a savannah, they are wrong for a bengal that's meant to have neat smaller ears.

Bengals can have a large range of styles of patterning so that's cat's pattern can't prove it's a bengal.

That said I agree that cat pic is not a good sample of a savannah, if it is even one, watered down by it's domestic input.

It's build is too far off from the savannah serval inherited traits of longer limbs, upright+ish posture appearance.

Aside from the ears, it DOES look more like an absolutely no show standard "back yard bred BENGAL". One that probably had domestic cats with big ears used in it's ancestry.

Lovely cat regardless of whatever it is, but not a useful one as an example of either recognised hybrid breed, wether savannah or bengal.

Shauna you did do well in spotting this cat's not what a savannah generally looks like. It helps people to stay alert to needing to use greater scrutiny and knowledge regarding other peoples claims around wether a feline is really a certain type of hybrid or exotic cat.

Sandra on February 18, 2019:

Why isn't the South African Wildcat on this list? I read that they are the ancestors of our Tabby cat, which is the most common cat in the U.S. Tabby is not a breed, but their coloring. I adopted a tiny kitten that was fiund at my daughter's house when it was rainy abd cold. She had crawled into the layers of a folded tarp. She was emaciated. Fed her with a dropper forxabout 10 days and then took her to vet. She checked out ok and put her on Science Diet for kittens. She is now 3 mos old abd looks and acts more like a wild cat. She has an M black mark on her forehead and long black lines from the outside corners of ger eyes towards her ears. She has large paws and big triangular ears. She has a long sleek body and tail that usualky stands straight up. Sometines she'll curl it around my arm when I'm holding her like a monkey. She has green eyes, but they were a medium blue when she was younger. I bought her a large cat tree, and she clinbs it like a panther. She even walks like a panther. Why aren't cats that have ties to the African Wildcat considered a cross breed? I believe they should have their own breed name. Anyone have some input regarding this question?

Jacqueline Rudell on January 28, 2019:

Just lost my 13 Yr old bengal tiger.

Kii on January 16, 2019:

Uhmm this post probably won't be read, but here goes...

I currently own a fennec fox (which I know is definitely not a cat, I am fully aware) and she is really sweet and nice... my aunt is an exotic cat breeder and she has had leopard cats and ocelots before. They are wonderful to own IF- and may I stress IF- you are RESPONSIBLE, RESPECT the animal, and are EDUCATED. Always do research before owning any of these animals.

This article is wonderful and I love all of the facts. The organization is wonderful.

I've read through some comments and WOW some are just SO salty...

A note to those that say owning these animals is 'bad'...:

I strongly recommend that, because of what you've said, you should never own one of these animals, or any exotic animals at all. Also I strongly recommend not having children, because they are exotic and even more out-of-hand and wild than any of the wild animals above. Just saying (from experience). If you can't handle feeding and watching/supervising your pet,




Thank you for your time ; )


Maren Elizabeth Morgan from Pennsylvania on January 07, 2019:

Great article!

Yanai Wang on December 13, 2018:

I really want to get a exotic pet cat but I don't know if I am aloud to have a exotic cat because I don't have enough money to buy/get one

Kiri Morgan on November 27, 2018:

Everyone who insists that people who own cats like these is supporting animal poaching needs to do more research. I know people who have bobcats and servals. I can't say much about some of the other species mentioned, but I doubt that the situation is very different.

Bobcats are almost always rescued by their owners (usually as kittens), as they are a native species in the USA. Typically people who live in rural or semi-rural areas take them in if they are found orphaned and abandoned, particularly if they are injured.

Serval owners acquire their cats from breeders who hand-raise them. They are numerous generations away from living wild in Africa and most of them are gentle. Servals were kept as pets in Ancient Egypt and some people have kept them ever since. They are not taken from the wilderness.

Why would anyone do that when there are plenty of domesticated serval and Savannah breeders who can provide hand-raised, tamed, well cared-for, disease-free kittens born to mothers who were also domesticated and have received proper prenatal veterinary care?

I am particularly amused by the person who thinks that after working with (probably large) predators in military facilities, he knows what a thirty-pound serval that has been raised by a human family will do in a home.

A "wild" animal has different genes from an animal that is the product of centuries of controlled breeding (although the breeding of many 'domestic' house cats has been anything but controlled). But epigenetic factors such as the treatment, stress level and feeding of the mother animal during pregnancy, the way the animal is handled and raised, and how stressful the environment is during the animal's early life, have just as much to do with what kind of temperament an animal develops as its genes.

We wouldn't have pets if wolves and small wildcats hadn't chosen to join human settlements because it made their lives and ours easier. All "pets" are descended from "wild" creatures.

Legally, we do own animals, but the reality is that they own us right back. Many hand-raised animals who are not used to the stresses of having to catch their own food, live without medical care and fight other animals don't really want to go "back to the wild".

It is especially cruel when servals are confiscated and taken to 'sanctuaries' because they bond very tightly with their owners and are miserable. Then people like the failed exotics breeder who sold out to the animal rights movement and founded "Big Cat 'Rescue'" use them as an example of how terrible it is to keep a serval as a pet when what's actually terrible is taking them away from their people--servals should not be re-homed unless the owner has died or is malicious; in the cases of well-meaning but ignorant owners, education of the owner is better for the cat than confiscating it is.

Stephen Charles Thompson from Trophy Club, TX on November 04, 2018:

To MiriD: I have worked with predators in the past - in corporations, in military facilities, I am getting my Masters in human behavior. I have seen what they can do. They will randomly kill because their instincts tell them to. They will attack you because their instincts tell them to. They don't love like a exotic cat loves. And for the love of all things holy, they will never be 'pets'. Or 'tame'. How arrogant are we that we think we can 'own' wild animals?

I'm sorry. But that's the way the world is.

Harmonie on September 29, 2018:

Wow this sounds awesome! Also to all the haters below, Melissa A Smith has a article about WHY she has exotic pets. Besides. These are captive wildcats and we're raised and meant to pets. I don't support taking wild animals and taming them, or declawing, by the captive pets are JUST FINE! (Besides Melissa A Smith also wrote somewhere that she did not support declawing)

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on July 29, 2018:

Scott Jacobson Says the moron with no photo whatsoever. The best you can do is not formulate valid arguments, but claim I am a white man like a stupid 1st grader. You're a great representative for your cause.

Scott Jacobson on July 20, 2018:

This "Melissa A Smith" is a troll with a vested interest in the exotic pet trade. She's unfailingly rude and ignorant in her responses to reader comments. She has a separate site devoted to the sale of exotic animals. She's too much of a coward to show her face in her author photo, and I'd be shocked if she's even a she -- I'm imagining an overweight white dude hunkered down in a house that smells like exotic animal piss. You're better off not trusting anything "she" writes.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on May 06, 2018:

Clayton Forrester The cerebellum coordinates muscle control, so what does that have to do with owning exotic pets? On the other hand, I think someone would have to have a damaged cerebrum to judge someone for owning an animal.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on May 06, 2018:

MiriD I've addressed these arguments again and again tirelessly. Please stop assuming I'm some idiot who hasn't heard these arguments and is completely naive. You don't think I realize that people incorrectly believe that cats and exotic pets are different? I have at least 5 articles that address this. You haven't written anything compelling, or something that someone with reasonable intelligence wouldn't think of. You're wasting your time parroting the same crap I've refuted for years, and it doesn't make my exotics any less of a pet that I own.

Clayton Forrester on May 01, 2018:

Enre MiriD, Spot on , well written. As in all discussions there are exceptions, raising orphaned or wounded animals thus giving them a chance of a life, not big cats nor animals you would avoid in the wild, would be in my opinion a humanitarian act. But Invariably most people who have a combination of a large ego and a small cerebellum and raise dangerous animals eventually suffer the consequences. Also when I handed the “zoo attendant” the proper fee she pointed out where I should park.

MiriD on April 30, 2018:

I created an account to respond to this article.

I agree with Sara. People like John J., I cannot speak for your experience so I will speak for my own.

The exotic pet trade is just this - any time you buy one of these animals, you will be supporting the exotic trade that takes these animals from their native territory, upsetting the fragile ecosystems, or breeding them in inhumane conditions within the United States.

The fact of the matter is that you are also acting as if these animals are pets. They are WILD ANIMALS. They still retain wild instincts. They are not like our cats that were domesticated after hundreds of years of evolution. They can be 'tame', sure, but the fact of the matter is that they need to hunt, they need to mark their territory, they need to reproduce, they have needs that we simply cannot meet. Furthermore, the exotic pet trade also has abundant breeding techniques that result in crazy amounts of deformities in these animals.

Ask yourself before you think "hey, I can get a wild animal": COULD YOU REALLY PROVIDE A LIFE FOR THIS ANIMAL THAT IT CAN ONLY GET IN THE WILD?

By the way, it would be difficult as heck to find a vet for an animal like this. And judging by the majority of vets and vet students I know, they will not think highly of you.

I have worked with predators in the past - in zoos, in rehab facilities, I am getting my Masters in tiger behavior. I have seen what they can do. They will randomly kill because their instincts tell them to. They will attack you because their instincts tell them to. They don't love like a human being loves. And for the love of all things holy, they will never be 'pets'. Or 'tame'. How arrogant are we that we think we can 'own' wild animals?

I'm sorry. But that's the way the world is.

Nikki on April 03, 2018:

For everyone confused, the author said "zoo attender" and a reasonable definition would be one who attends zoos.

Stephanie from Canada on April 01, 2018:

It's amazing that people actually keep these guys as pets! I'd love to, but not sure I could handle it.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on March 19, 2018:

CatLadyLynn The horror! Definitely worth acting like a lunatic over.

CatLadyLynn on March 18, 2018:

A caracal is not “a type of lynx”! You should know better.

Castrojc722 on March 10, 2018:

Are any of these legal in NJ?

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on February 22, 2018:

Thanks John.

john j. on February 21, 2018:

I grew up on a farm in the south.

When I was 11 I found a bobcat kitten in one of our fields while hunting. he was wet, bedraggled, cold and hungry so I naturally put him in the game bag of my hunting coat and brought him home with me. After dipping his nose in fresh cows milk a dozen or so times he learned to lap the milk. and became a truly delight full family pet. "Tom" had a great attitude. He adopted my two younger sisters and became their constant bodyguard and protector when they were playing outdoors. I enlisted in the U.S Army after high school in 1956 and served three years, two of those years on overseas assignment. when I would go home on leave I was greeted by Tom like a lost brother. We were a family of quail hunters. Tom loved dogs and was accepted by all our English setters after a period of sorting out who was boss. By the time he was four years old Tom had grown to 52 pounds on our scales and one hundred percent muscle. It was fun to watch guests who didn't know about our feline family member freeze in their tracts upon meeting him for the first time.

By now you have probably realized that I am old and gray and spend a considerable amount of time in the past, if so you are exactly right. despite the fact that I have hunted all my life and still do, I love and respect all animals and am a staunch conservationist.

I choose this venue to tell a story that I've never written before about a bobcat named Tom whom I loved and was loved by him and became a huge part of my youth.

I read comments where people question the whole idea of bringing a so-called exotic cat into their home.

Remember to treat them with the respect they deserve and

earn and let them teach you.

I do not hold myself up as an expert in the field based on my experience with one bobcat, but, my experience of 7 decades filled with animals I have learned that they are much smarter than we give them credit being.

P.S. I knew a friend in Panama who had a pair of ocelots who were an absolute joy to be around.

Herb Walters on January 25, 2018:

First, I do not believe that Bobcats should be considered exotic in any way, they are a Native species. Second, they average only about twenty pounds so why they are even considered large cats is beyond understanding. As house pets they can be let out during the day and they will always return. They also use a litter box like any cat when inside. They do make good pets and are more affectionate than most domestic cats. other domestic cats such as the Maine Coon are larger in most cases. All wild cats can be vicious and a bobcat is no different. However when raised in a home with people that is unlikely. Even as a child walking through the woods and picking up the kittens I seldom saw and was never approached by an adult bobcat. The only problem that someone may have is when a male is in heat and starts spraying and trying to get out of the house. So have them fixed or let them out.

Terry on January 10, 2018:

Sara how DARE you, you disgust me and shut the heck up!

Isaiah hoge on January 08, 2018:

Im the kind of pet owner that needs lots of affection likes to cuddle and behaves like a dog. As in easy to train loyal and behaves well. I was wondering bout a bob cat or a Siberian lynx

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on December 04, 2017:

Gala, sounds like you didn't have a hand-raised pet lynx. Your post is confusing and makes little sense. Why would you need to move to a "Forrest"? Was your lynx a contained pet or not? Why did you even have one and your experience with one doesn't mean all are the same.

Gala on December 03, 2017:

This post is bullshit. I had a pet lynx and needed to move into the Forrest in order to keep him happy. The only way for us to exist was because I let him hunt and allowed him to be what he truly is - a lynx. Lynx never defecate in water. Lynx are not social with people. In fact, I could never have small animals around him or children. No one else could go near him. It is because of posts like these, people get wild cats as pets and soon realize they do not make good pets. Wild animals should never be kept as pets.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on November 14, 2017:

Hi Sara/Abby, you're not the first dumbass trying to pull that scam.

Abby on November 13, 2017:

LOL i'm with the other person, wtf is a zoo attender , because any professional zoologist, zookeeper, or other actual professional animal caretaker would not support this at all!

Sara on November 11, 2017:

Wow, author is obviously very uneducated and supporting the abuse exotic pet trade. Exotics do not make good pets! DO not buy them! Anyone who owns one does not truly care for ANY animal. Author, your responses to people are not only laughable but appalling. You must have no life and an empty hole and thats why you're filling it with exotic pets. Maybe its because you're ugly? Sad they have to live with someone as shallow as yourself. Maybe a stuffed toy would be better? More materialistic and shallow, you would have lots in common. Also, mentioned declawing??? shows just how ignorant you are!! If you actually knew anything you're be writing in science journals not a free website any crack head can write on! Thanks for making my day with your laughable stupidity!!

Mr denko on November 01, 2017:

Attracted to caracals :3

Btw how about their manner with other domestic cats

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on September 24, 2017:

Like, omg "Hana" you didn't need to comment 3 times pretending to be different people. That's the point, I have no shame in being a zoo attender or exotic pet keeper and if you really do have a degree it shows they will dole them out to any halfwit. Also I'm smarter than you, bye Felicia. ;-D

Hana on September 23, 2017:

I'm dying you call yourself a "Zoo attender" omg. I have a degree in zookeeping, biology and pre-vet reqs and work as a wildlife rehabber. What the hell is a zoo attender? You have no exotic experience at all really right? and don't call yourself anything related to a zoo person-an actual accredited zoo would shun you for encouraging these as pets or having one. ZOO ATTENDER-SOMEONE WHO DOESNT HAVE JACK SHIT FOR ACTUAL EXOTIC EXPERIENCE OR A DEGREE IN ANYTHING ANIMAL RELATED

Sira on September 23, 2017:

Obviously author is not educated in the least about actually caring for any of these species. sad she condones the abuse of these beautiful animals and mentions declawing-which is illegal in the US to do to exotic cats. which right there alone proves she knows NOTHING about any of these exotics or how to care from them-sincerely someone who works in this field at a sanctuary that rescues exotic pets people are not allowed to have and that they cannot properly care for. They should be banned in ALL States and sites like this are encouraging an abusive trade that is decimating wild cat populations. You should feel ashamed. To anyone actually educated that works with these animals in the field or an accredited facility-thinks you are the most ignorant selfish person that is just spewing their shit on a site that is not even a credible site either.

Dezerae on September 23, 2017:

I find it disgusting you mentioned that the bob cats will shred furniture without being declawed-almost encouraging the procedure. WHICH IS ILLEGAL TO DECLAW BIG OR EXOTIC CATS!!!!!

Melissa Freeman on September 17, 2017:

Wonderful site! I am wondering why the 'Margay' isn't included here? It was a very popular exotic cat for some time. They are similar to the Ocelot but there are differences.

Here are a couple of Margay references:

Thank you for all the great information, very interesting!

I am life-long cat lover and owner :)

Kitty on August 10, 2017:

Good information. May I add from my 25 yrs experience of rescuing over 25,000 cats, including exotic. It's so important to give proper care and the environment that meets their needs. Always spay/neuter before six months and never isolate any feline long term. They are social and isolation turns them aggressive and/or skittish. They need companionship.

Concerned citizen on July 26, 2017:

These animals ARE NOT PETS, they are WILD ANIMALS.

Sartu on June 01, 2017:

I have owned a Jungle Cat Hybrid and it is a lifelong committment. If they have health issues than the expense is 20 times what you have paid for it. Forget the litter box they stand when they pee and miss it 9 times out of 10 even when your using a large storage bin. They are amazing animals if you get one with the right temperment but look at the pet rescues to see why they are surrendered before you make a decision. Think of it as having a child with a disability your freedom will always be encumbered. My girl was a gift and worth the sacrifice but a lot of people just cant deal with the alteration in lifestyle and forget your home ever looking like one or even smelling like a Better Homes and Garden home ever again.

Gary Fulghqm on April 16, 2017:

Well some of this stuff is good information, none of these wild cats can be kept legally without a permit in most States. I have Ray's Wildcat for 15 years and now just raised hybrids. All these cats are considered the same as the big cats when it comes to proper permitting process

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on March 16, 2017:

I did a search for Savannah cat and that's what the picture was tagged as.

Shauna on March 16, 2017:

This is a great article... EXCEPT the picture on the very bottom is labelled as a Savannah. I would point out that it is actually a Bengal. the way you can tell is that the spots are open in the middle (like donuts) if you google Savanah images you will see a Savannah has solid spots almost similar to a cheetah, there is much more color variety in Bengals than Savannahs.

TheFancyRatVet on March 15, 2017:

Nice to know some of my fave wild cats can be pets! Thanks for the info!

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on March 15, 2017:

I don't know, I'm sorry.

silly mistake on March 12, 2017:

what happened to number 8?

dkokie2 on February 17, 2017:

I am 67 yrs old, love most animals (snakes, spiders and most insects weird me out). I have had cats most of my adult life and two dogs (one as a kid and currently have a 16 yr old Jack Russell that I inherited from my Mom when she passed away in 2004). I had one cat, Annie, that I found as a kitten and she lived to be 22 yrs old. She was the most amazing cat: extremely friendly, non-aggressive, played tag and nice and seek and most amazingly would play fetch with a small rubber ball. Annie had one idiosyncracy, she liked cantaloupe to the point she would sit in front of the fridge until she was given some. I moved from Florida to Oklahoma to take care of my aging Mom and Annie and my other cat, Cello, moved with me. My Mom wasn't too keen on cats in the house but Annie quickly won her over to the point Mom always had cantaloupe on her shopping list. My Mom's dog would try to get the cats' food so my Mom set two places at the kitchen table for the cats complete with plastic place mats, saucers with their names and two short bar stools condition on while they are. When Annie went blind at the age of 20 after talking and hitting her head Mom moved her water bowl and litter box into her room and would feed her on the bed and warned everyone not to move any furniture around because the cat was used to where things were. This from a woman who didn't want a cat in the house, lol. We lost Cello in 2000 to a seizure disorder but she had her talents also she would sit on the back of a sofa or easy chair and massage Mom's head (seriously, no claws just) and she could unlock doors and manipulate any kind of doorknob and open it (could even open panel and accordian doors): we baby proofed all the kitchen drawers and cabinets but Cello learned how to manipulate those latches. My roommate just lost a 16 yr old Siamese that was desperately in love with my roommates two Cocker Spaniels. She would curl up with them or lay on them to sleep and if either dog was not feeling well she would lay on them and purr (I have pictures of this). After Annie died I got another cat, Roxie a Siamese, that was very attached to Mom and when Mom died and we brought her ashes home Roxie laid on the box of ashes day and night and would occasionally yowel as if crying. Cats are amazing companions. I now have two more cats that are 13 and 15 yrs old that I got as kittens. Both are very active and healthy. I manage to keep animals for a long time: must be doing something right. I am also fostering a Betta, Siamese Fighting Fish, but that is a whole other story. Keep on with this site and ignore Hanna better yet block her from her vicious posts.

John Brownlee on February 10, 2017:

Someone please give me a bobcat kitten, if you happen to have an extra one on hand. I will hug him, and call him "George".

Robert Smith on February 01, 2017:

I've been a Bengal breeder for years, all my babies were held and handle from 2 days old and thats every day. After they were old enough to jump over the 30 inch gate in they're room is when they had run of the house, played with when ever they were awake always. when people showed up to look for a new kitty they'd all run out to play with them, very people loving. Thats why I got twice the price for my kitty's. They all were love me - I love you ready/. So remember if you raise a bengal kitty start the lov'un before they even see you cause they'll know you by smell and taste as the lick you. They have VERY good memories. Hand raised is always the best.

Snow leopard on January 16, 2017:

Love the article! I never knew you could keep wild cats as pets. It is a shame though that you can't have these cats as pets in Australia

Yamaneko on November 27, 2016:

My biggest concern with any form of feline pet, is declawing. Declawing is barbaric, and should be banned universe-wide.

Let's rip every dog's teeth out as a comparison, just because they chew stuff up...

If you own a feline big or small, and consider declawing; please do an in-depth research, and understand the procedure and aftermath. Many will recoil from what they find out.

Lynn on October 11, 2016:

Love this article i have had many exotic cat breeds over th years including servals and they are ajoy nothing can replace my time with them never had a problem not even furniture they had big encloser outside and come in and out as they pleased

Jeanette on September 25, 2016:

The person who said that a pixie bob is part bobcat is mistaken. There have been no confirmed interbreeding between the bobcat and domestic cats. This rumor about a pixie bob being part bobcat was started so that breeders could charge more for their kitties. Early generation hybrid cats can make amazing companions , if you don't expect them to act like domestic cats . You adapt to them and train them with positive reinforcement. ( all cats respond to positive reenforcement ) . Don't ever declaw your hybrid cat ! They can be taught to use scratching posts . It takes a lot of patience. If you have an early generation chausie or jungle Bob you will have one smart cat that will give you years of love.

Dave on August 13, 2016:

Great website! I found it very interesting the info on these cats. Now it's just about finding a breeder. Thanks!

Dona on June 21, 2016:

I have geo cat about month olds and I want to learn how to make make it to be pet able !!?

Elly Jhon on March 07, 2016:

They look like a Tiger, so cute

Seeking Pearls from Pueblo West on February 16, 2016:

I recently acquired 2 kittens. They are simple domestic but immensely enjoyable. Your article is very well written and interesting.

Snakesmum on January 14, 2016:

Very interesting article. We can't keep these species in Australia, but if we could, I would have been doing my research! It's great that some of the animals can be kept as pets, as they are endangered in the wild.

Terri Williams from Petersburg Indiana on December 27, 2015:

Very interesting and informative. I had no idea that these breeds existed.

iLoveMyGoats on October 31, 2015:

Recent study shows that while these cats are sometimes called Desert or African lynx, on the molecular level they are in fact, NOT related to the lynx and are a monophyletic genus.

courtney on September 23, 2015:

Great article, but I have to add that caracals are not in the lynx genus.

Arun Dev from United Countries of the World on July 06, 2015:


Fyre on June 21, 2015:

Interesting article! I adopted a rescue cat a couple of years ago that conforms 100% to the TICA breed standard for the Chausie cat (Jungle/Abyssinian hybrid), and she has been an absolute joy as a pet.

Yes, she is timid, but she is also active and funny and full of personality. She has bonded with me quite strongly, but will allow my grown sons and my husband to pet her and play "ping pong" with her (we toss ping pong balls to her on her cat tree and she skillfully bats them away).

We also adopted a baby kitten that's of no particular breed - just an orange ball of fluff - and after 2 or 3 days of hissing she gradually began to "mother" him, and now they are truly best friends.

I would definitely recommend the Chausie cats as a pet!

judalyn eres from cebu city, philippines on June 10, 2015:

oh my God cats!

Christine from Arizona on June 08, 2015:

Great read!

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on April 28, 2015:

Thanks CennyWenny.

CennyWenny from Washington on April 28, 2015:

Great article-very educational! I am definitely NOT up to a challenging pet like this but we knew someone with a bobcat kitten once, he was a real handful. I have always admired Bengals though, they seem so intelligent.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on April 07, 2015:

Hannah, it IS run by me, and if you aren't willing to to look at my refutations, you can get your garbage off my blog.

"You know the point it's trying to make"

Yes, the point is that 'omg that sounds weird' so it's wrong and 'dangerous'. Keeping a hamster in a horse stable or feeding rabbit chow to a dog is in NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM comparable to exotic pet ownership. It is an utterly idiotic point expressed in an even more idiotic way.

"Black Panther" is a commonly used term."

Yes, by people who are UNEDUCATED about animals, as the author clearly is. The fact that you don't understand this shows that you are too. Even bloody Big Cat Rescue (anti-captivity extremists like yourself) says: "People commonly refer to black leopards or black jaguars as black panthers, but that is incorrect and demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the cat species."

Go on, make excuses for the multiple errors I've called them out on, and ignore the fact that I rarely, if ever, make errors, because I'm not 'credible', but your comments won't be welcome here.

Hannah on April 07, 2015:

Your "source" leads to another blog that appears to be run by you, seeing as the person who runs it is named Melissa. Even if it's NOT run by you, it's not a credible source. Again, I trust the opinions of experts, not opinionated bloggers. Also, this: "Where to begin? What exactly is dangerous about any of those things!? Keeping a cat in a fish bowl is cruel, not dangerous. Keeping a hamster in a horse stable is stupid, not dangerous (you’ll lose that hamster). Feeding rabbit chow to a dog is also stupid, as it will lead to malnutrition if fed that in the long term, but it certainly isn’t ‘dangerous’. Training a snake to sit? Go ahead and try, they can’t really sit given they have no legs. But that’s NOT dangerous.


I can honestly only say that this is just silly. You know the point it's trying to make, and so do all of the other readers.

"The word ‘black panther’ is like saying ‘black melanistic bear’; the term panther automatically denotes ‘black’ because it’s not an actual species. The foolish author is clearly unaware of basic animal knowledge (a reoccurring theme in this series) yet they’ve taken it upon themselves to declare to knowledgeable pet keepers that what they’re doing is wrong for no valid reason."

"Black Panther" is a commonly used term. Stating that an author from the ASPCA lacks basic animal knowledge is astounding, foolish, and, to be quite honest, pretty amusing to me.

Go ahead, send me more "sources"; I'm sure they'll be links to more opinionated, uneducated blogs; perhaps even one of your own again. Sourcing your opinions with your OWN articles makes zero sense and does not provide valid, scientific proof of your points.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on April 07, 2015:

Hannah, please refrain from leaving multiple posts.

I missed that, I did a Ctrl F for declaw and it didn't show up because I left out the '-'. Regardless, that statement means what it means, a serval will destroy your furniture if not declawed. It's just a fact. I don't condone it. I can remove that if you want.

Your links are stupid. One in particular, I dissected and destroyed. (

Give this a read:

Would you like me to make posts about ALL of your other links as well? This is why I do it; when people direct me to those stupid links, I can just provide a link to my blog instead of having to arduously go through all the failed points in them. FAR FAR FAR from credible.

Hannah on April 07, 2015:

I don't even need to prove to you that you're wrong; I can rest assured knowing that your readers are able to see these links and get their hands on CREDIBLE sources.

Hannah on April 07, 2015:

"Will shred furniture if not de-clawed. Should have baby-proofed house."

That implies that declawing is a reasonable solution. Also, I'd like to ask how my links are stupid, and how that is a valuable and reliable argument against valid facts. My links come from reliable sources, one being from Animal Planet and one from an actual wild cat sanctuary; both ACTUAL experts on animals. You base your argument off of opinion; I don't see you sourcing any of your arguments. Basically, you're coming back to a sourced, educated argument with: "your links are stupid, I've been posting on a website for longer than you so I'm obviously right". I have sources, you don't.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on April 07, 2015:

Hannah, you're the one going on about declawing, I made no statement about it, so why are you tussling about that subject with yourself? Do you know how much I care about the opinion of someone who can't stop spewing romantic, empty rhetoric to try to convince me I'm wrong? This much -->.

Also, your links are stupid. Come on, I've been doing this too long. So stop.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on November 18, 2014:

Thanks for stopping by Sandra.

Sandra Scarrow on November 17, 2014:

Interesting article, Jungle cat hybrids make wonderful pets, they are the only hybrid in the same genus ( Felis) as the domestic cat and are fertile earlier generations than other hybrids. We love ours, they are personable clowns, who fetch and love water.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on September 24, 2014:

Thanks Colleen!

Colleen Swan from County Durham on September 24, 2014:

I love cats and enjoyed reading your hub. Great pictures. I shall stick with my tabby for now.

Becki Rizzuti from Indiana, USA on August 24, 2014:

Bobcats are looking more and more appealing. Such gorgeous animals, but they do have quite an attitude.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on August 01, 2014:

Hi Sherri, can you show me more about this ban?

Sherri on July 31, 2014:

I love your hub! I was wondering if you would write an article about the proposed ban in Florida and California? We would love your help! Exotic and hybrid cat owner's everywhere would be extremely grateful.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on January 09, 2014:

No I haven't heard of that, thanks. Disappointing to hear, as I thought Texas was more lax. There are some organizations that lobby for private exotic cat owners, such as: and latter was started by someone who I am not a fan of. This one as well:

ZookeeperByNature on January 09, 2014:

This article comes as a life saver as I was just researching this topic. Unfortunately, all the exotic cats are either impossible to find or listed as a "dangerous wild animal" in Texas which is pitiful. In fact, according to vague Texas law, all Savannah cats are listed as dangerous as well, which is utmost disappointing.

What I want to know next though, is if there are any exotic cat lobby organizations (like USARK is for reptiles) or if there's any way I can move to have this law rewritten to exempt savannah cats or *hopefully* have servals removed.

Speaking of USARK, have you heard of their recent lawsuit over the three banned pythons and the yellow anaconda? You should do an article about that. That's a strong move coming from the exotic pet community. Here's to hoping they win the lawsuit!

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on January 03, 2014:

Thank you catgypsy.

catgypsy from the South on January 03, 2014:

Great hub! That is so interesting about the ocelots growl! They are all so beautiful. I have not even heard of some of these cats...very informative!

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on January 03, 2014:

I agree CooperScape, thanks for commenting.