If you are considering joining the ranks of exotic animal owners, you may be interested in obtaining a pet bobcat. Although these beautiful creatures can be a joy to own, many people purchase a bobcat before they fully understand the level of commitment required to properly own one. As a result, the animals can go uncared for or euthanized in animal shelters if the shelter will not take them. Before purchasing a pet bobcat, make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into so that you can better prepare and have a long and happy life with your new friend.
Overview of Bobcats
Bobcats are among the smaller of the species of wild cats in the world, generally reaching a shoulder height of about 11 – 12 inches. They are most easily recognized by their pointed ears that are topped with little tufts of fur. Their coloring has several similarities with the common tabby cat, but because this is a wild animal, the behaviors and needs differ greatly. It is a big mistake to assume that you can care for your bobcat the same way you would a normal domesticated house cat.
Depending upon where you currently reside, there may be legal issues with bobcat ownership. You need to do a bit of legal research to make sure that owning an exotic animal does not break any laws or regulations. In addition to this, you should visit your town zoning office and find out if your residential area is properly zoned for animals like this. Also make sure that you secure any licenses that may be required for ownership before you bring the bobcat into your home.
Your pet bobcat is going to need certain provisions in his new habitat. Unlike regular domestic animals, the bobcat needs things to climb and interact with indoors, since they’re not good on walks.
Make sure that you have an area of your home set up to accommodate your pet bobcat. Cat towers and climbing posts are an excellent way to ensure that your pet’s natural instincts to climb will be met. If properly bonded with you, these cats will jump at the chance to share your bed, but you may find their constant snuggling and purring to be aggravating after a while. You may wish to opt for an oversized pet bed in your room so that your bobcat still feels secure and loved. Depending on your pet’s personality though, it may prefer sleeping on top of a cat tower.
If you get your bobcat as a kitten, there is no reason why it won’t be able to coexist peacefully with other domestic pets you may have. Many owners report that their bobcats get along exceedingly well with their dogs, but instances have occurred where the animals do not get along. It may be necessary to keep your animals separate.
Bobcats have special food needs as well. They require a balanced nutritional diet with lots of protein and calcium. Because of this, it is recommended that you supplement their diet with the occasional live animal, or at the very least, raw chicken on the bone.
While young, bobcats need to be fed 5% of their body weight. As an adult, this percentage will go down to 3%. In the wild, food is never assured. The bobcat is, by nature, programmed to fast for a day or two. After 5 days of steady food, allow your bobcat to fast. This is a good time to introduce a store bought mouse to his living area so that he can hunt it and keep his skills sharp and his mind happy.
Prepackaged and frozen foods are available commercially for the squeamish, but it should be noted that these foods are not up to par nutritionally.