Even though it has been argued whether a bobcat and a domestic cat have ever mixed, there have been reports that at least seven hybrid types have been found in the US.
These can be done naturally or purposefully to get different fur patterns or characteristics.
If you have a cat that you have either found as a stray or in a shelter, you may know less about your cat and are wondering about the nature of its breed, which is especially useful if it has a mix of a wild cat breed.
With this in mind, we’ll look over some ways you can identify whether your cat is a hybrid of this species and if there are any implications for owning it in the first place, just in case you are interested in getting one.
Signs To Look Out For In Your Cat
There is a good chance that you can tell if your cat is a hybrid by looking at and observing them.
Still, it is unlikely that you’ll own one of these as bobcats are unsociable felines who rarely interact with other animals except when hunting them.
However, if you have a kitten, you might notice some characteristics that may make you think otherwise, which we look at below.
This is easier to see in a kitten as bobcat kittens are usually double the size of a normal kitten, and if you have one to compare it to, you’ll notice this size which is a sign that your cat has some aspects of a bobcat in their make up.
Their fur is also a good indicator as bobcats have a distinctive spotty coat with stripes on the legs, which is more noticeable in cats with shorter hair, so raised ears and tufts, and the stumpy black-tipped tail is a crucial way of identifying your cat to this breed.
As we know, bobcats are known as wild and exotic cats and don’t like to be domesticated, and this is evident by looking at their aggression, so if your cat overtly shows tendencies like this, that is another sign there may be some wild blood in them.
You might confuse this with playfulness or curiosity, but knowing that wild bobcat kittens tend to be very aggressive, this might have you second-guessing and is mainly due to the kitten lashing out in fear.
You’ll also notice evidence of this breed if your cat takes to water very quickly, as they don’t have an intense fear of it like domesticated cats, and while your cat won’t be a fully-fledged bobcat, you’ll see signs of a wild heritage, and it may have more needs as well.
Am I Allowed To Own A Bobcat Hybrid?
Even though it is possible to own a bobcat outright, there are restrictions to this, and it is illegal in some states, but for hybrid species, as they aren’t considered medium-sized cats, they should be allowed to be kept as pets as permitted by local laws.
There does remain an ethical issue as domestic cats and bobcats are forced to reproduce by breeders for capital gain, so keeping the offspring as a pet can seem counterintuitive to their standards of living, as these hybrids more than likely want to be able to roam freely.
This is why researching the cat you have or hope to get is essential, so if any surprises such as crossbreeding come up, you can provide the cat with the proper diet and environment for it to thrive, where more effort than you had expected could be used up.
Similar Cat Breeds
There is one breed of cat that is a natural blend of a domestic cat and a bobcat, and this is the pixie-bob, which is native to the United States and resembles that of a wild cat, and also has a lively personality, so these are more tamer than what you’d expect.
These cats have identifying features such as short fur, a spotted pattern, and a distinct bobtail, and they can live up to 15 years, but they are rare and expensive to buy due to their exotic features.
They can also get quite heavy, but if this doesn’t put you off, they can be rewarding cats to own as they can be playful and get along with other cats and dogs, and happily greet any guests that visit your home.
Are Hybrid Cats Easy To Care For?
This all depends on the hybrid type, as it has been known that some hybrids, especially Bengal ones, as some of these types can be very destructive to furniture, clothing, flooring, and personal items, so many owners may be unprepared for this.
They can also be harder to tame and may have foul-smelling urine, which can be used to mark their territory, so you may want to consider getting a natural hybrid if this doesn’t sound like something you could accommodate, as beautiful as they look.
You also might find that it’s harder to cater to their diet, as some hybrids have a defect where they cannot properly digest food, and abandoning these kinds has been linked to a growing feral cat problem in the US, as these can be detrimental to wild cat populations.
However you feel about hybrids, many conservationists of wild cat species feel this crossbreeding should be banned, as they see that there isn’t a redeeming reason why these cat breeds should be crossed in the first place.
We’ve seen a natural example that can be a great addition to any home, especially if you have young children, and as long as you are attentive to common issues with this breed, you should have a happy and healthy cat that can add a bit of joy to your day.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.