African servals, exotic cats as pets

Bobcats
Rocky; An Adopted Pet Bobcat Success Story, by Kaleena Lee
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Kaleena's bobcat Rocky

I always hear people talking about how great each species of cat is for a pet, but they are rarely talking about bobcats.

I find this very surprising because out of all of my cats, Rocky the bobcat is the most loving and even tempered

He comes in in the afternoon and watches tv with me or watches me clean, or whatever I'm doing.

He sleeps with me when he wants to...and by sleep with me I don't mean in my room, I mean curled around my head on my pillow.

He will come and lay on my lap when I am watching tv or he will wrap himself around my neck when I am sitting in a chair.

My serval is very very sweet but he never quits moving, he may run up to me and give me a litte head butt from time to time, but he never wants me to hold him.

When anyone asks me what kind of cats I think make the best pets...I never even have to think about it. I am absolutely positive, for me, it is the bobcat!





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I always hear people talking about how great each species of cat is for a pet, but they are rarely talking about bobcats. I find this very surprising because out of all of my cats, Rocky the bobcat is the most loving and even tempered and he is almost 5 years old! That's way beyond maturity, when most problems seem to crop up. I understand that not ALL bobcats are the same, no animals can be summed up by their breed. I just think from all of the cats I have been around, the bobcats seem to be the most laid back, and they also seem more accepting of strangers and new things.

I am his second owner. A guy college student got him as a pet and raised him in his apartment. When he was Rocky was 2 the owner started having his parents take care of him at their house but they never gave him any attention, they only fed him. His owner would visit on the weekends. Rocky started escaping, so the decision was made to find him a new home and the owners drove him to our house. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I brought a 2 1/2 year old bobcat into my life. I was looking for a baby, but instead ran into this guy looking to place his full grown, maturing bobcat. I couldn't believe that he was willing to actually deliver him from Minnesota to KC Missouri, and give him to me for free!

The crazy thing is Rocky was my first wild cat, my parents have had bobcats and a mountain lion but I was too young to remember them. So everything with Rocky was trial and error. If he didn't like the way I was doing something I would do it differently. It took 6 months for him to fully trust me, and I to trust him.

We had a rocky start,and with him being raised by a man that made it even harder, but now we are BEST friends. Every morning he meets me w/ the sweetest meows and as soon as I walk into his enclosure he is on my shoulders, purring and showing me just how much he appreciates his new life! But it has taken this full year for him to realize I'm not such a bad person after all. I realize just how lucky I am that his old owner really loved him and spent so much time w/ him because I really had no clue of what I was doing w/ this poor cat that was scared and lonely and didn't want ANYTHING to do w/ me, but w/ a lot of patience and love he has come around!

Now he is right at home. He comes in in the afternoon and watches tv with me or watches me clean, or whatever I'm doing. He sleeps with me when he wants to...and by sleep with me I don't mean in my room, I mean curled around my head on my pillow. My room has a makeup counter on one wall, that we built into it when we built the house and my bed is under part of it (the counter is about 6 inches wide) and Rocky walks that and knocks everything off of it and then he jumps from it to my bed and then (once he can rest assured that everything is off of it) he talks to me and then he curls up and he sleeps there all night until about 6:30 am.

I'm just so happy he didn't end up in a sanctuary because he THRIVES on human interaction! I was working on some toys in his enclosure last weekend and I couldn't keep him away from me! Every minutes he was back.....trying to leap onto my shoulders....at one point he was up on one of his platforms (a log that is slanted so he can climb up it w/out claws) and really really thinking about leaping the 10 or so feet to my head, he is quite the character! I really had to keep an eye on him! I think his favorite thing to do is get in his "pool" and get soaking wet then come and crawl all over me!

I just really wish people would think more about the commitment these animals are before buying a cute cuddly baby. I almost didn't get him because I was really looking forward to bottle feeding and bonding w/ a baby but now I am so happy I gave this big guy a chance! Everyone who meets him, loves him, he loves everyone now (especially men) and I've had more than a few poeple try to talk me into selling him! But Rocky is happy right where he is and he will live his life at our house...stalking every animal that gets within 10 feet of his enclosure! It's weird because it was like when he decided my family was ok he also decided all people are ok. He gets right in everyones face and begs for attention, I swear he's worse than any domestic I've ever had!

Rocky was originally purchased from a fur farm. I don't think it's a good idea to buy from fur farms, I've heard they inbreed and all kinds of things....but Rocky is the most beautiful bobcat I have ever seen! He is fairly large, last vet visit he weighed exactly 30# and he is light grey with beautiful rossetes that are brown w/ a dark black outline. I am always shocked when I see other bobs because Rocky is so different looking; in fact I wouldn't be surprised to find out he is some kind of hybrid of a lynx maybe. When the former owner brought Rocky to my house I couldn't believe how absolutely beautiful he was.

Rocky is almost 5 (I believe) and he has never once been sick, he caughs/sneezes from time to time and I took him to my vet and he ran every test imaginable (x-rays,blood,fecal, ran diff. tests on all of these) as far as we can figure, he is allergic to straw....or more likely something (maybe mold) that is in straw around here. but that is the only health issue he has ever had, so not all cats from a fur farm will have health issues.

In fact, it may not be a horrible idea (besides the fact you are helping to fund them) to get a cub from one of these farms. I've heard they only keep the cats that are easy to work with so you are more likely to get a cat that is easy going and they also breed for better looking pelts so the cats tend to be very pretty. However I still wouldn't buy from one if I could find a kitten somewhere else!

He rarely sprays in the house and is much more relieable w/ the litter box than any of the other cats. He will come and lay on my lap when I am watching tv or he will wrap himself around my neck when I am sitting in a chair.

My serval is very very sweet but he never quits moving, he may run up to me and give me a litte head butt from time to time, but he never wants me to hold him, and when he lets me hold him it's only for about 5 minutes and then he's complaining. The canadian (yukon) lynx I just got was the same way with her old owner also. She loved to play and she followed him all around the house, but never sat still and never wanted to be held. I think (from my experience) the bobcat is by far the best wild cat to have a as a pet.

He gets along well with all of our many pets and he isn't even bothered by our yappy peekapoos! He loves everyone and even though he was adopted by us at 3 + years old, I have never even heard him growl! And this guy came from a fur farm which means he probably got very little handling before he was sold! I am really anxious to see if he is an exception to the rule, or if my new baby will also be like this.

When anyone asks me what kind of cats I think make the best pets...I never even have to think about it. I am absolutely positive, for me, it is the bobcat! Rocky is the most gorgeous blue northern bobcat and the new one is a mix. The southern momma is smaller than some of the domestics I've had, but the dad (northern) is closer to Rocky (30#) in size. Even the dad was rubbing in the fence and purring, wanting me to pet him, that's pretty amazing with a breeding male.


Many thanks to Kaleena Lee for allowing the use of this article on ExoticCatz.com. This article is copyrighted 2005 by Kaleena Lee. All rights are reserved.




 

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