If you’re an animal lover, there’s probably been a time when you thought to yourself, “How cool would it be to have an exotic animal as a pet?” The reality of this, though, is that most exotic animals are much higher maintenance than domesticated companion animals like dogs or cats.
In the state of Florida, it's perfectly legal to keep a bobcat as a pet. Bobcats may seem like a lot of fun — they're just a larger, more rambunctious version of a domesticated cat, right? Wrong! These animals can be extremely strong-willed and dangerous. Here are 5 reasons why bobcats make bad pets:
High energy level
These aren’t domesticated animals. Their energy levels are much higher than that of a cat or dog. Even the most attentive owners aren’t able to keep bobcats as entertained or as stimulated as other animals or trained professionals can.
Bobcats are very strong! A typical bobcat can weigh up to 30 pounds. Their weight and their unpredictable behaviors are a recipe for danger. These animals also eat a lot, and their special diets can be expensive. Bobcats will eat about 30 pounds of meat each week!
Not your average house cat
Keeping an exotic animal as a pet not only puts you in danger, but other people and animals around you. When bobcats escape from their owner's homes, their behavior can be very aggressive towards unfamiliar people or animals. Bobcats can typically take down prey that is EIGHT times their own weight! Despite only reaching about 30 pounds, bobcats have been known to take down animals as large as adult deer. It's safe to say this isn't your average house cat!
Bobcats use a technique that allows them to walk almost silently. For example, if a bobcat is walking on leaves and twigs that would make noise, this technique prevents it from making much sound at all, making the felines very quiet hunters. If you were to have a bobcat as a pet, it could be nearly impossible to find them when they're hiding.
The typical bobcat is extremely strong-willed and will bite or scratch when stressed, even when its owners are attempting to help them out of a dangerous situation. Their "fight or flight" instinct is very strong, regardless of how long they've been a pet or how they were raised. Also, bobcats that are kept as pets LOVE to sharpen their claws on nice furniture or electronics.
Clearly, bobcats require a special amount of time and effort put into their care. They deserve a home where they are surrounded by other wild animals and have a trained staff caring for them. If you find yourself wanting to have a exotic animal, like a bobcat, as a pet, come see us at Wild Florida to get your fix, and keep these animals in an environment that is good for them.