Testing for a bobcat/domestic cat hybrid

There have been many claims that a cat is a bobcat/domestic cat hybrid. Sarah Hartwell, a cat genetics expert says, ‘No modern alleged bobcat-domestic hybrid has been proven by DNA testing’.

Although she presents an ambivalent picture about the existence of bobcat/domestic cat hybrids. It seems they may exist but not proven by DNA testing. Correct me if I am wrong.

1960s purported bobcat hybrids

Above – 1960s purported bobcat hybrids. Photo courtesy Sarah Hartwell’s website Messybeast.com
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment written by visitors. It is a way visitors can contribute to animal welfare without much effort and no financial cost. Please comment. It helps this website too which at heart is about cat welfare.

There appear to be an alternative way to test for bobcat/domestic cat hybrids as reported by the BioPorfolio website.

They say that in October 2018, Colorado Parks and Wildlife seized a cat which they believed was a bobcat and therefore illegally owned in that state because the person did not have a license.

The owner claimed the cat was legally owned because he did not require a license as the cat was a bobcat/domestic hybrid.

They say that, ‘Commercial microsatellite arrays and DNA barcoding have not been developed for identification of bobcat/domestic cat hybrids…’

Summarising that statement crudely I take it to mean that there are no DNA tests to identify a bobcat/domestic cat hybrid.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife used a different technique. They tested for a ‘endogenous retrovirus’. In the genome of all domestic cats sequences relate to the exogenous FeLV known as endogenous feline leukemia virus (enFeLV), are present.

Through this test they confirmed that the bobcat lacked FeLV and was therefore not a wild cat hybrid.

follow it link and logo