For me, this is an example of an unacceptable pet cat arrangement. This is about a Russian living in Russia who has acquired a semi-domesticated caracal, a medium-sized wild cat species and he or she also has a true domestic cat. They live together. He finds it acceptable. I don’t because the caracal is far too dominant for the domestic cat. In doing this he has placed a domestic cat under the psychological tyranny of a physically strong and athletic wild cat. Wild cats are also strong psychologically. They are generally smarter than domestic cats. Even if this caracal played with this domestic cat, which I don’t think is possible, it is likely that the outcome would not be great because the domestic cat might be harmed. The owner might disagree with me but I believe that if you do anything which is designed to intimidate or frighten your domestic cat you are failing as a caregiver because their responsibility is to make their cat as happy as possible. I am stating the obvious but it seems that it is necessary to do so.
On my reckoning, caracals can jump the highest of any cat in a vertical leap from standing start. And they have the known ability to capture birds by leaping 2 m or more into the air, also from a standing start. They are a slender, long-legged cat weighing up to around 20 kg. They are famous for their ear tufts with which it is thought they communicate and in older animals the tufts hang down like tassels. They are highly conspicuous. They have quite a stern facial expression and fierce eyes. They exude an impression of robust strength and power, which they possess.
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They are very popular as quasi-domestic cats. Russians seem to have a predisposition towards owning them as pets and in the past, many years ago, Indian princes and potentates kept tame caracals for hunting hares and other small game. tame caracals were pitted against each other in pigeon-catching contests. Caracals were released into a flock of feeding pigeons and bets taken as to which caracal would kill the greatest number of birds. This activity led to the phrase “cat among the pigeons” to mean stirring up trouble.
Today, May 19th, 2022, ABC News has a story about a mom and daughter who were hospitalised after an exotic cat attack. They publish a video online which shows a caracal wandering down a quiet suburban street in Illinois, America. Clearly the caracal escaped their home which they will always want to do because a human home is a tiny fraction of what a caracal demands as a home range. And as mentioned above they are very athletic and wild at heart. We don’t know what happened to provoke the caracal to attack but probably out of fear and in defence. Caracals are legal to own in Illinois but perhaps they should review this legislation. I find their legislation on the keeping of wild cats to be bizarre because some of the cat species which are prohibited are no more dangerous than the caracal. They’ve got it wrong in my view.