The answer has to be, yes, when you look at the two videos below. Lynx have been domesticated to a certain extent. One of these cats lives in an apartment in Russia and he looks very relaxed. We don’t know the back story, however. These are quite big cats. We don’t know whether there are any inappropriate elimination issues. We don’t know how content these cats are.
In the first video Max is described as not domesticated but ‘humanised’. Not sure what they mean. He is an educational lynx born in a zoo. Clearly when humans raise lynx the animal will be domesticated as far as is possible.
Technically, it seems that a lynx can be domesticated but is it practical? Is it a good idea? How much space do you need? You certainly need more than an apartment. However, the Russian guy who lives in an apartment with his lynx and child apparently saved this cat from slaughter at a fur farm and therefore living in an apartment is a better ending. It’s far from ideal but it’s better than being farmed for your skin and then killed, probably.
The apartment does not look enriched in any way to suit the cat and don’t forget that this species has a very wide and large range in the wild.
We don’t know if the cat has been declawed. Often when medium-sized wild cats are domesticated, as far as they can be domesticated, the owner sometimes declaws the cat. This is because they’re quite big cats and their claws can scratch you and hurt. It is unfair and it is cruel to declaw any cat never mind a beautiful wild cat.
There are so many ethical issues and indeed philosophical issues surrounding the domestication of wild cat species. In general you could argue that it should never happen. It would be far better if all wild cat species were left to live their lives in the wild and that we provide enough space for it to happen.
You will see other large wild cat species living in homes such as the cougar and serval. You will even see tigers and lions as “pets”. I just wonder how satisfactory these arrangements are.
I’m sure that a lot of people who own e.g. a serval give them up because they find the whole thing to difficult to handle. Often it will simply not work. There have been many examples of servals escaping homes and being killed. These cats require far more space that home owners can provide. This is a major barrier to the arrangement being successful.
But all that said, the lynx appears to have a character which makes the cat a potential pet provided the owner is pragmatic and realistic and provided that the owner has the right expectations. Even then I am against it.
There are four subspecies of lynx: Eurasian, Canada, Iberian and the bobcat.
Servals, pumas, caracals, margays, cheetahs have been ‘domesticated’. Snow leopards are candidates for domestication but as far as I am aware it has never happened: