Can domestic cats interbreed with wildcats?


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scotjute
August 7, 2003, 10:37 AM
After reading the thread on the "English Big Cats", was wondering if anyone knows for sure whether or not domestic cats can interbreed with wildcats, say bobcats or lynx for example?
While trapping, I once caught a gray tabby colored bobcat (?)in north Louisiana. It had bobcat ears, bobcat tail, bobcat long lean body and legs, yet was colored like a gray tabby cat, weight about 12-15 lbs. Was never sure if it was a cross between a gray tabby housecat and a bobcat, a Manx (large gray tabby with bob-tail) or just what.

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Iain
August 7, 2003, 10:48 AM
As the original author of that thread I would say after my extensive (ahem 2 days) research that it is dead cert that they can. I am not at all certain about the lynx but:

http://www.britishbigcats.org/Images/shukjun.jpg

''This jungle cat was found at the side of the road in Shropshire and was probably a casualty of a vehicle strike. It is rumoured that this cat mated with domestic cats and had several offspring. One large smokey grey cat called Jasper had all the characteristics and markings of a jungle cat. It later found its way to Dr Karl Shuker._(1989)''

http://www.britishbigcats.org/roadkilletc.htm

Breeding has been carried out deliberately in some circumstances as one reply to the Big Cats thread pointed out.

There is this info found quickly on google

http://www.i-love-cats.com/meow/bendy/GeneralInfo/bobtails.html

http://centralpets.com/phpscripts/search/storiesdisplay.php?Story=109

Beaker
August 7, 2003, 05:04 PM
Yes, they can, but they almost never do naturally. Most cases of "bobcat hybrids" are just cases of an unusual-looking domestic cat with long ears and a manxed tail.

edit: When I mean "they" almost never do, I mean specifically bobcats and lynx. European wildcats breed so willingly with domestic cats it's damaging the species. Different rules for different species apply.

A very extensive explanation of small-cat hybrids (http://www.messybeast.com/hybrids.htm)

Deliberate bobcat hybrids (http://www.speciessaver.com/)

kentucky bucky
August 7, 2003, 08:33 PM
A friend of mine had a tomcat that was a mix. It was very large and had the bob tail and tufts on it's ears. The coat looked like half and half also. It also had back legs that were so long that they looked out of proportion. That thing would occasionally bring home full grown cottontail rabbits and could whip all of the dogs in his area. I mean shread them!! He finally met his match during a fight with a very large Pit Bull and all it took was one mistake:(
As you may guess there was great sadness and anger at the passing of this favored cat. My friend vowed to paste fur on a alligator and take a walk into the Pit Bull's territory:D

scotjute
August 8, 2003, 09:51 AM
Thanks for the info fellows, I'm convinced that it can happen. Still not sure if what I caught years ago was a cross, but it sure looked like one.

Sunray
August 9, 2003, 12:07 AM
I suspect that any bobcat or lynx, both much bigger than Fluffy would ever get, would see Fluffy as a meal rather than a mate. The lynx lives as far away from people as they can get and so do bobcats. Colour phases in demestic cats vary some much that you can have one the same colour as a lion, maybe a tiger and definitely a lynx or bobcat. Fluffy will nearly always have a longer tail than either and generally will come running if you operate an electric, or any other, can opener.

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