Bobcats can be found in almost every state in the country, but they are very elusive creatures and the chances of seeing one in the wild are relatively low. some domestic cats bear a striking resemblance to house cats, and cat owners may wonder how to tell if their cat is mixed with a bobcat.
wildcat & hybrids of domesticated cats
The most important information to note is that interfertility between a domesticated house cat and a bobcat has not yet been scientifically proven. there have been reports of possible breeding between house cats and bobcats, but the evidence is circumstantial and anecdotal.
To this day, there are no confirmed cases that have been tested and genetically proven. a DNA test is the only way to determine your cat’s genetics. while bobcat DNA is highly unlikely to show up on a test, you can still gain some interesting information about your cat’s ancestry.
The bobcat is a wild cat native to North America. Its range extends from southern Canada, throughout the United States, and even into parts of Mexico. they are very elusive creatures that are rarely seen by humans despite having a wide range and large population.
the name bobcat comes from its tail which appears to have been docked or “bobbed”, the tail also has a distinctive black tip. Bobcats have long legs and very large paws. they are usually brown or reddish-brown in color with white bellies and tufted ears. its body is patterned with darker spots that tend to be more visible near the lower body and limbs.
Bobcats are medium-sized and can weigh between 9 and 40 pounds and measure 12 to 24 inches at the shoulder, with males being much larger than females.
The wildcat is exclusively carnivorous like all species of felines, both wild and domestic. Bobcats are highly evolved hunters, feeding on rabbits, rodents, birds, fish, insects, and even lizards. These ambush predators have been known to take down larger prey as well, including deer and foxes. they have even been recorded preying on domesticated cats and dogs if the opportunity presents itself.
Although bobcats roam much of North America, they are very elusive and rarely seen. these cats are nocturnal and adapt well to a wide variety of habitats, including forests, deserts, swamps, mountains, and have even found their way into the suburbs.
Bobcats are solitary creatures except during mating season. they are generally most active at the beginning of dusk, throughout the night, and into the early hours of dawn. their territory is maintained through marking, with males maintaining territories that are double or triple the size of their female counterparts.
Bobcats share their habitat with other predators such as foxes, coyotes, wolves, cougars, ocelots, and Canada lynx.
domestic cats resembling wildcats
You may not be able to keep a domesticated bobcat hybrid, but some cats look a bit like these beautiful wild predators that lurk among us.
if you have a pixie-bob, you have the most similar and possibly related domesticated cat to a bobcat. The pixie-bob is a breed of domestic cat that is claimed to be a natural hybrid between housecats and bobcats, however DNA tests have been unable to detect the genetic markers of bobcats and therefore , the pixie is left with a complete domestic state.
according to the american cat fanciers association, the goal of the pixie bob breeding program is to create a domestic cat that bears a striking visual similarity to the north american bobcat. they do note that no feral cats are used in the breeding program and that genetic testing is completed to ensure there is no bobcat or bobcat ancestry.
the American Bobtail
Another domesticated cat that bears a significant resemblance to the bobcat would be the American bobtail. Known for its stubby, “cropped” tail, this breed was initially developed through natural selection. a population of feral domestic cats possessing a natural bobtail was where it all began. breeders worked hard to establish this breed into the recognized breed by the Cat Fanciers Association that it is today.
dna test kits
If you are interested in learning more about your cat’s genetics, there are several DNA test kits on the market that are designed specifically for cats. not all dna tests cover all the same bases. if you’re researching your cat’s breed history, some tests will give you that and more.
Some of these kits can test all breed groups and reproduce similarities to the best cat breeds, as well as different genetic conditions and traits. it’s a great way for cat owners to learn more about their cats.
While hybrids of house cats and bobcats have been suspected, it has never been scientifically proven that bobcats and domestic house cats are capable of interbreeding. however, some cat breeds bear a striking resemblance to the bobcat.
If you’re researching the history of the breed and want a closer look at your own cat’s ancestry, a DNA test kit made specifically for cats is a great way to learn more about your feline family member.
featured image credit: coulanges, shutterstock