A domesticated cat as a pet is one thing. It’s another to have exotic cats as pets. It’s illegal to keep tigers or lions as pets because the species are dying out. These beautiful animals also don’t share the same diet as domesticated cats.
But some types of wild cats share the same diets as domestic cats. In the US, small wild cat species that are not endangered can be kept as pets. These exotic cats do not pose danger to humans nor do they seek preys. But don’t expect them to behave the same way as your unassuming tabby. Just like wild dogs, wild cats are far bolder, more curious. They are not accustomed to living indoors so it’s best keep them outside. Also, wild cats will mark their territory, they require experienced vets and they are very expensive. So before you consider these cats as pets, make sure you make a suitable owner too.
Exotic Cats As Pets
These small and medium-sized wild cats can be kept as pets. But before you get one, make sure to check with your state on laws related to keeping such animals.
Bobcats originated in the North America. These cats are stocky, they have pointed ears and a beautiful, spotted coat. Among all wild cats, bobcats have the closest resemblance to domestic cats. They also share the same personality. In fact, captive-born bobcats will bond with their humans.
Unfortunately, it only takes one bobcat to kill a human being. They may be shorter than other wild cats, but they are very muscular and strong. In the wild, a bobcat can kill a fully grown deer.
The good news is, there is no known case of captive bobcats attacking human beings. If you have kids, don’t go for the bobcat. They make look and act perfectly harmless – but from where they came from – they are on top of the food chain.
Serval is one of the most popular exotic cats kept as pets in the US. The serval is native to Africa. The animal’s coat resembles that of a cheetah. Unlike other cat species, the serval has longer legs compared to its body. These creatures are aloof, quiet and they tolerate other pets too. They are not avid climbers and could be walked on a leash.
If you want to keep a serval as pet, make sure you give it balanced nutrition. The animal is prone to weight gain. Servals will require a steady supply of fresh meat to survive.
Caracals have extremely pointed ears and a gorgeous tan coat. It’s stockier than a serval, but the legs are longer than average wild cats too. Caracals belong to the lynx family. It’s native to Asia and Africa. This cat species is very similar to servals.
But compared to servals, caracals are well-mannered. They still exhibit cat-like behaviors – like hissing – but they will interact with owners on their own terms. This means caracals are not very affectionate. And when they do play, they will shred every furniture you have in your home. Also, just like the serval, they love fresh meat.
Siberian and Canadian Lynx
Another beautiful cat species, the Siberian, and Canadian lynx have very thick coat. They are avid climbers and love the highest points in the home.
Unlike bobcats, both species of lynx will not develop a devoted relationship with their owners. They are generally easy going and will interact with people. They also shed all the time. Between the two lynx species, Siberian lynx will exhibit dog-like behavior. You can walk it on a leash and play with it. Because these cats love to climb and explore, they need spacious homes.