This is a e-mail I received from someone wondering if and exotic cat would be the right choice for him, and the reasons I felt it would be a bad idea.
"Thx for taking your time to reply to me. I am interested in having a cat as a pet. I like wild cats like tiger and lion but they are too big. I am interested in buying a Siberian lynx. But the thing is I don't like small cats.
I don't now if this is the right choice. I have 10 year old
brother and 3 sisters. Could u tell me what would be the right choice for me?"
Unfortunately this does not sound like a successful situation for
any exotic feline. First of all, if you do not like domestic cats,
you WILL NOT like an exotic cat. They have all the traits of domestic
cats, but those traits are intensified. If there is anything you
dislike about domestic cats, an exotic will drive you nuts. And
while under some circumstances it can work, generally exotic cats
and children are not a great mix. The exotic may well play too
rough for the kids, and children are prone to leaving doors open
which can allow the cat to escape.
"The thing is I live on top of my shop. In about 5 months we are
thinking of buying a house. Our shop is very busy and while I am
working in my shop I will have to take the cat there at times would this be dangerous?"
This would be a bad idea because you will be unable to supervise
the cat at all times. The cat would have to be leashed or crated
to prevent escape, and you would still run the risk of having a
visitor to the shop accidentally scratched or bitten if the cat
gets scared or plays too rough. Big liability risk. Also, if you
are exposing the cat to the public, you would need to have a federal
USDA exhibitor's permit. And finally, these are timid animals who do not enjoy loud noises.
"Can these Siberian lynx have mood swings e.g. turn against u I also
have a lot of visitors how do they usually react against them?"
I am not familiar with the temperament of these cats, but wild felines
in general have very individual personalities. How much time you
spend socializing the cat will be a big factor, but it is impossible
to say ahead of time how an individual cat will react. I would
not recommend an exotic cat for your situation given your lack of
experience, high oppportunity for the cat to escape, too much exposure
to people who will not know how to act around the cat, the fact
that children are involved, and the fact that you do not like domestic
cats. The idea may sound cool, but I think after a few months of
dealing with all the complications you would hate it.