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Can Bobcats Breed With Domestic Cats? 

Considering how many cat breeds there are in the world, one may wonder if wild and domesticated cats can interbreed. Because of this, many people are curious about whether can bobcats breed with domestic cats. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into this topic and introduce you to some of the breeds that have emerged from the crossbreeding of wild felines with domestic cats. 

Can bobcats breed with domestic cats? 

Although there have been reports of bobcats and domestic cats mating in the wild, it’s impossible for the two species to actually produce an offspring. 

Key Takeaways:

  • It isn’t possible for domesticated cats and bobcats to have offspring. 
  • Despite its appearance, the Pixie Bobcat is a pure domestic cat, not a hybrid of a bobcat and a housecat. 
  • The crossbreeding of a domesticated and a wild cat resulted in new breeds, such as the savannah, Bengal, and Chausie. 

Domesticated cats and bobcats breed

Bobcat in the jungle
Bobcat in the jungle | Image by Eszter Miller from Pixabay

The fact that some domestic cats have been seen mating with bobcats in the wild has led many people to wonder whether the two species can produce offspring. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible at all. Despite popular belief, studies have revealed that breeding these two creatures is impossible because they don’t appear to be interfertile. 

What is a bobcat?

Bobcats are wild cats you’ll find living in hidden dens in mountains, brushland, semi-deserts, and forests. The mating system of these animals is quite similar to that of domestic felines, and they typically engage in mating during the early spring. You can easily identify these species by their medium sizes, which measure approximately 49.2 inches in length and 24 inches in height. 

The tails of bobcats are famously short, measuring only around 5 inches in length, which may grow up to 8 inches, although this is quite uncommon. As carnivores, they consume a wide variety of animals, some of which are larger or smaller than themselves, such as rodents, rabbits, birds, and even domestic cats on occasion.  

Are domesticated cats closely related to bobcats?

As members of the same family, Felidae, housecats, and bobcats share a close genetic relationship. However, it’s important to note that these two are still not the same species, and you can easily spot numerous differences between them. 

Size differences

Size

Cat’s leaping posture
Cat’s leaping posture | Image by 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay

One of the ways to tell the difference between a housecat and a bobcat is by comparing their sizes. Domestic cats usually have a head-to-body length of about 18 inches and stand at a height of 9-10 inches. On the other hand, bobcats are known for their larger size, measuring anywhere from 18.7 inches to 49.2 inches in length.

Due to this, adult domestic felines weigh between 9 and 11 pounds, with males being larger than females, whereas adult male bobcats can weigh anywhere between 14 and 40 pounds. 

Tail length

You can also identify the two by looking at the length of their tails. Compared to bobcats, domestic cats have longer tails, averaging 12 inches in length. Bobcats get their name because of their tails’ distinctive “bobbed” appearance, which is significantly shorter than those of other cats at a range of 3.5 to 7.9 inches.  

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Color 

When it comes to color, domestic cats come in a wide variety that’s largely influenced by genetics and selective breeding, resulting in a range of hues such as white, red, blue, black, cream, cinnamon, fawn, and brown. In contrast, bobcats have a more distinct and consistent coloration, with their fur typically ranging from beige to brown and frequently having a faint reddish tint. Their markings are also in shades of brown and black. 

Pixie-bob cats

Pixie-bob cat
Pixie-bob cat | image by Charity Davenport via Flickr

The Pixie Bobcat is a cat species that people often mistake for the offspring of a domestic feline and a bobcat. Similar to bobcats, this breed is known for its unique vocalizations. Instead of meowing like a typical cat, they chirp, chatter, and even growl to communicate. 

You can easily identify them by their light to medium brown coloration, which often has a reddish tint. Additionally, they sport a tabby pattern with a mix of spots and stripes. This breed has won the hearts of many people because they look very similar to bobcats, but they’re much friendlier and more playful, making them an ideal addition to a family. 

Results of wild cats breeding with domesticated cats

1. Bengal

Bengal cat
Bengal cat | image by roberto shabs via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The Bengal cat is created by breeding a housecat with an Asian leopard cat. Their warm, friendly nature and the golden sheen of their leopard cat ancestry have made them a favorite among cat lovers since they were first mentioned in 1889. 

The Bengal cats can come in various colorations with rosette markings. These may include brown spotted, seal lynx point (snow), sepia, silver, or mink spotted tabby. Because of the muscular build of their bodies, they’re larger than domestic cats, with males typically being larger than females in size. 

2. Chausie

Chausie
Chausie | image by Wilczakrew via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

It was also possible for domesticated cats and jungle cats to mate, which resulted in the creation of a new breed of cat known as the Chausie. Chausies, known for their intelligence and athleticism, tend to become quieter as they mature into adulthood. 

They’re available in a wide range of colors, some of which include solid black, black grizzled tabby, and black ticked tabby. In terms of size, they’re medium to large, but they’re a bit smaller than a male Maine Coon. In addition, they have large, broad ears, and their bodies are long, allowing them to run and jump in high places. 

3. Savannah

Savannah cat
Savannah cat | image by Savannah Clark via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

The savannah is another popular breed that people love, and it’s a mix of a housecat and a serval. Although the later generations may only weigh up to 18.1 lbs, which is much closer to the size of a large domestic feline, the early generations typically weigh up to 24.3 lbs. 

Since they share many physical traits with their serval ancestors, savannahs have a unique appearance, including erect ears, long bodies and legs, fat, puffy noses, and hooded eyes. They also come in a variety of colors, like black, brown, and silver, with spots that can be gray, dark brown, or black. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, despite the widespread claims that interbreeding between these two feline species is possible because of their genetic similarity, such instances are incredibly uncommon and don’t result in offspring. Certain breeds, like the pixie-bob cats, can resemble a blend of a bobcat and a housecat, but they’re pure domesticated cats. 

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Louise Robles

About Louise Robles

Louise writes about a wide variety of topics including wildlife, animals, and nature. She's developed a growing interest in animal biology and categorization due to her fascination with how they interact with one another and with their surroundings.