|Bobcat (Lynx rufus) - Photo: publicdomainpictures|
Bobcats are small cats belonging to North America. They inhabit the wood areas and deciduous forests stretching from west to southeast America and Mexico. Some even occupy parts of southern Canada. They have a small body structure. Their fur is of color yellowish brown or reddish brown with black or dark brown stripes. They have noticeably long ears with black tips. Their weight ranges from twenty-four to thirty-five pounds.
Owners relate their pet bobcat to a tabby cat, but their requirements are far from those of a domestic cat. They demand special care and extra attention. Like Servals, they also have the habit of spraying. They also are very hyper and aggressive by nature. They need to be bought up in mostly in an outdoor location where they have lots of space to play like they do in the wild. If they don’t get an adequate place outside, they run around destroying things in the house. Some owners are very content with their pets, but it is recommended that potential owners should do their homework before making up their mind.
Their diet shouldn’t be like any other domestic pet. Since they are exotic pets and come from the wild, they have different nutritional requirements to be healthy. At a time, they eat a whole chicken, which should be presented with feathers intact. They can also be given fresh killed squirrel, rabbit, and beef. They do not eat much during the summers but make up for it during the winters. They also require special medicine and vaccine doses. A normal dose of sedative given to other domestic pets while declawing can kill them. It would be good for their health if they have their claws, or if the owner has made the decision to declaw them, only the front claws should be removed. Their canines should never be removed. Otherwise, the owner has to cut the food into small bits in order to feed them, as they would not be able to eat a whole chicken without their canines.
Other than their playtime they can be kept in a two-cage home which is fourteen feet tall and twenty-four feet wide and which is connected by a six-foot walkway. The cage in which they are kept should have ramps, platforms, toys so as to keep them occupied. Some are really affectionate and like to lick the face of their owner, but again be ready for their tongue, which feels more like sandpaper. The trained ones even sleep with their owners, but the owner should get habituated to their loud purring. They also get up early in the morning like five and start playing, which means that they will start playing on the bed itself. They play really hard putting in all their energy.
Bobcats also have a liking towards the water and they like it especially when it rains. If there are puddles, there is a high chance of the entire house getting messed up. Other than keeping the toilet seat down, also no container filled with water should be left unattended. When they roam around in the house, it is a really bad idea to do the dishes or mop the floor. Bobcats are good with people whom they are familiar with, they get very anxious when a guest drop in. At such times, they are better kept in the cage. They become motionless; they hide and remain scared till the stranger leaves their territory. And when the guests leave they come out and sniff all around till they are content.
Owners wouldn’t be able to go out on long vacations or even party out on weekends, by leaving the animals alone at home. If a babysitter is appointed, care must be taken that it shouldn’t be stranger, but a friend whom the pets are familiar with. When owners start to realize that they have got more responsibility than they had asked for, they start thinking of giving up the pet by either releasing them in the wild, which is extremely dangerous or give them to someone else. In the later situation, bobcats find it extremely difficult to trust and bond with its new owner. Some states in the United States and even other countries it is illegal to keep a bobcat as a pet.