Is Rocky the Bobcat a Hybrid?
I have been getting calls from reporters asking if Rocky the bobcat could possibly be a hybrid and the answer is “No!”
There is no such thing as a bobcat hybrid, despite urban legends to the contrary. There has never been a documented case of a domestic cat breeding with and producing offspring with a bobcat.
So, either the owner of the bobcat is a liar, because she told officials that Rocky is a bobcat. Or the breeder, Barbara Roe of Bitterroot Bobcat and Lynx, who sold her the cat is a liar who apparently didn’t even care enough about the kitten they were selling to find out if it was legal for the bobcat to be kept as a pet in NJ.
Max the bobcat was reportedly from Bitterroot.
Back in November of 2010 we were contacted by the RI State Vet who was in the process of seizing a bobcat kitten that had been sold to a local man by the surname of Tardie by a backyard breeder operating under the name of Bitterroot Bobcat and Lynx. Barbara Roe claims on her site to have been breeding and selling bobcats and lynx as pets since 1985 and charges $1,500 and will ship, apparently, no questions asked. If anyone cared about the law they would have quickly discovered that it is illegal to trade in bobcats in RI.Big Cat Rescue was called upon to provide expert testimony to expose the breeders’ assertion, that bobcat and lynx make fine pets, to be the money motivated lie that it is.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management tried to persuade the owner to release the bobcat to them so that they could send him out of state to a proper facility, but the owner insisted on fighting to the fullest extent of the law and through appellate court. The bobcat, named Max, was just a kitten when this began and temporary custody was awarded to the state during the trials and appeals,which meant the young bobcat was sent to live with a veterinarian at her rehabilitation center.
Dr. Scott Marshall, the State Vet noted that, “Max has difficulty climbing things like a domestic cat would and he doesn’t seem to be able to use his claws. They are present, we looked at them, but he doesn’t seem to be able to flex his digits. We are curious as to whether he has had a tenotomy done as an alternative to declawing. All 4 feet are the same. This guy’s claws look normal, so I don’t know what to say about it.” By now it was mid December and Max had grown to 15lbs. Six months later the case has finally been settled and Max is a whopping 30 lbs of feisty bobcat.
This isn’t the first time people have reported getting declawed bobcats from Bitterroot. I have an email from April of 2012 where a man says, “Hi, my name is Nick, and I have a 7 month old male bobcat. I purchased him from bitterroot bobcats and lynx., and he arrived around 5-6 weeks of age. This was a dream of mine for years. I love him, and feel safe around him, but i feel as though this was not the correct long term decision for me. He is declawed and neutered, yet still marks corners. I was told he would not do this, as well as chewing on things. I can pick him up and hug him, but i feel around children he could be unsafe. I have many wonderful memories raising him, but i just dont see how i can keep him for a lifetime. I really do love him and want him to have a happy life somewhere. If you could provide this for him I would be very thankful. ”
We offered to take the bobcat if he would contract with us to never own another exotic cat, but he refused.
In 2004 USDA policies made it illegal to declaw big cats, but people still do it.
Big Cat Rescue will take Rocky the bobcat and give him a forever home with his own 1,200 square foot enclosure full of trees, grass, bushes and things to do and where he doesn’t have to be on display, if the owner will contract with us to never own another exotic cat, or if the government seizes the cat.