Domestic Cat, Bobcat Hybrid Cat

The topic of bobcat x domestic cat hybrids is somewhat complicated. Because of the interest in wild cat hybrids, there was a time in the late 1900s when there was a bit of a rush to turn out new wild cat hybrid breeds. This resulted in claims that some breeds were genuine wild hybrids but subsequent DNA testing has established that the cats are pure domestic cats with some bobcat appearance traits.

Alpine lynx cat

However, the Bobcat technically can mate with the domestic cat and there have been recorded matings between the bobcat and domestic cat. This page lists some examples. The stories of bobcat x domestic cat hybrids have an historical interest today but no more. For example Lex Cooper in Seattle believed she had two bobcat hybrids in the late 1980s. They were large cats and unusual in appearance and behaviour but DNA testing was not done on these cats. It is quite easy to make claims based on appearance etc. but it isn’t enough. I don’t think it was possible to test for bobcat markers in the 1980s anyway.

The Bobcat is quite a common wild cat species in North America.  In Scotland, the Scottish wildcat mates successfully with the domestic cat such that it is the most important factor in the extinction of the wildcat in Scotland. There is no such danger to the American bobcat which supports the view that interbreeding with the domestic cat is not a serious issue and it would appear to be very rare. 

There are at least three breeds of cat that were at one time thought by some (or promoted by some people) to have been domestic cat x bobcat hybrids.  These are the American bobtail, the Pixie-bob and the American Lynx (and related breeds such as the Desert Lynx).  Genetic testing has confirmed that there are no bobcat genes in these cat breeds. Although at one time, the Desert Lynx was claimed in advertising to have up to 12.5% bobcat blood while the American Lynx was claimed to be a quarter bobcat.

In fact, DNA testing has confirmed that the Desert Lynx breed group consisting of the Alpine Lynx, American Lynx, Highland Lynx, Desert Lynx, and Mohave Bob are not bobcat hybrids.

Today the lady, Nora Scholin, who runs the Mokave Jag Cat website says: 

Mokave Jag Cats originated from a blend of bobcat, Jungle Cat and Asian Leopard Cat genes.”

These cats have a Bengal cat-type appearance but larger. I doubt wether the existence of bobcat markers have been confirmed through DNA testing on these cats.

Conclusion: Web surfers are probably researching wild cat hybrids and in particular bobcat x domestic cat hybrids. It seems that you will be disappointed. There are no established breeds based on the bobcat in the same way there are for the Asian leopard cat (Bengal cat) and serval (Savannah cat) for instance.

Photo: Alpine Lynx cat – copyright Will Hayes. Major source of information: Sarah Hartwell.

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