I just found out that one of my newest friends, Dani, had a Canadian Lynx as a pet…Not only that, it was an indoor cat!
I asked her to fill us in on having a Canadian Lynx as a pet.
This is her account:
I had always thought how wonderful it would be to own a big exotic cat. I went with a lynx because he would mature around 65lbs., which is equal to that of a medium sized dog.
With a smaller cat there are a lot of advantages. First off, the amount of food involved…I fed little Snaggletooth Zoopreem, a Purina dry pellet food, mixed in with raw turkey. This cost me less than $10 per week to keep him fat and happy.
Also, a cat of that size is not considered a lethal cat. Since I was new to exotic cat ownership, I certainly didn’t want to jump off and get something that would chew me up in the middle of the night. I did my homework before I picked up little Snaggletooth from the airport.
I made sure he had a large litter box (2) in each room of the house and removed anything from the shelves/tops of tables or cases that I didn’t want knocked off and broken. I also made sure to provide him with a fully enclosed outside run where he had access to trees and grass and plenty of space to play.
Now, most domestic cats learn to use the litter box by following what their moms do. Since Snaggletooth’s mom was an outside lynx (outside in an enclosure) and taken from her at 2 weeks of age, he never had a mother lynx showing him where to use the bathroom.
It is natural for a cat to want to dig and bury their eliminations, however a lynx doesn’t mind urinating on your floor or couch and doesn’t feel the need to dig and cover anything up. This was the case for little Snaggletooth.
So…I went and purchased a special clay cat litter that has an attractant in it to lure cats to the litter box. He got the idea almost immediately when I replaced the litter. This didn’t mean he never had an accident after that point, but in general, he knew where to go when he needed to eliminate. I had to provide him with 2 litter boxes (side by side) because it is normal for an exotic cat to want to defecate in one and urinate in the other.
He had a favorite toy and I used that toy to get him to come when called and as a reward for when he was being good. I never fed him treats as a reward since he had a tendency to be too interested in food and very possessive of it. When I would feed him, I would have to place his food down in the room and close the door and leave him alone. If I didn’t, he thought I was going to steal his food and would hiss and growl at me.
We had a system that worked well and we just stayed with it. Now I did try different things to get him to be less possessive with his food but each one of them failed. Trust me, an exotic cat acts nothing like a dog or domestic cat. So…he taught me a lot on how to be patient and compromise.
Snaggletooth is no longer with us, and of course I miss him quite a bit. If I had to pick again for an exotic cat to own I would own a Canadian Lynx again hands down. They are very personable. Snaggletooth would lay on the couch with me and watch TV. He also followed me all over the house during the day.
He had moments of boundless energy and would literally run on the sides of the walls. He also tested out the curtain’s strength, several of my free standing lamps and of course anything I left out for him to get to. I learned quickly that if I wanted to drink anything I had to put it in a bottle with a lid. Otherwise I could expect to find it all over the floor just minutes after setting it down.
Lynxes are not raised to be pets for the general public. Mostly, they are bred for the fur trade. This means that there are a lot of breeders out there who do not care about the health of these cats, since they are just interested in a nice fur for later use.
Some have serious health problems and don’t live past 1 year. So, you need to do your homework if you are looking for a breeder to purchase a lynx for yourself.
Some points to also consider before you run out and get a lynx for yourself is do you have other pets?
Snaggletooth got along with my large Akita and my Great Pyrenees, but a domestic cat he would have killed. In fact, any pet smaller than him was prey…This also includes small children. So, if you have children, or small pets, a lynx isn’t for you.
If you have heirloom furniture in your home you don’t need a lynx. Trust me they love wood furniture to scratch on. We purchased a large cat tree complete with scratching areas. It looked like a jungle gym covered in swizzle rope. Well he did enjoy scratching it, but he still managed to find furniture he liked just as much to kill.
You need to check with your state or province to see if you are even able to own a Lynx. Once you do, you will need to contact your state Vet to see what requirements are needed to keep a lynx. Some states require permits while others not only require permits but also a double fence system to keep your lynx from getting loose.
Also, you need to purchase insurance just in case your exotic cat does get loose and hurts someone.
In conclusion, if you think you would love to own an exotic cat, please think it through very carefully.
Owning an exotic cat isn’t like owning a dog or domestic cat. As you can see, there is a lot of homework that you need to do before you settle on a lynx to own. I actually advise most people not to purchase an exotic cat.
Several rescue organizations are overloaded with exotic cats that people saw and thought, “Oh man, I would love to own a lynx or tiger.” They either weren’t honest in their abilities or they didn’t do their homework. This isn’t fair to the pet, nor is it fair to the rescue organization that you will expect to clean up the mess you made.
Actually, if you want something exotic, I would recommend a Savannah cat. These are Serval (exotic cats) crossed with domestic cats. They are large cats and have beautiful exotic cat looks. They are a recognized breed by TICA and there are several reputable breeders out there who produces healthy Savannah cats. These cats do not require permits or any restrictions on ownership.
Well that is about it…I really want to stress to your readers that owning a Lynx isn’t for everyone, and of course to do your homework before you purchase one.
Running a rescue organization like the one you are thinking of would include getting exotic animals that were once thought of as a unique pet. Big Cat Rescue in Florida (I am a member there) has nothing but large exotic cats. 3 are retired cats from the circus (and they paid big bucks for these guys to keep them till they passed away) but the rest are cats that they rescued from breeders who didn’t provide proper housing or again, people who had illusions that an exotic cat made a great pet.
They have to turn away over 50 cats per year…Where do these cats go? Either to other rescue places or they are euthanized. Its a sad, cold fact of life, but it just shows you as humans, we need to be responsible and govern ourselves and not expect someone else to come clean up our messes.
BTW…I am not an animal rights activist. In fact, I do not believe animals have rights. I believe humans have rights, and with those rights comes the responsibility to do the right thing. LOL! You can never expect an animal to be responsible.
I donate annually to the ASPCA, however I never donate to PETA, who has made a mockery of what taking responsible care of animals is. (I’ll get off my soap box now)…LOL
I hope you enjoyed this Unusual Pet post from Exotic Animal Lover! Until next time…
P.S. Check out this beautiful Canadian Lynx Print from the 1899 Zoological Gardens:
- Looking for Pet Cat Supplies?
- Helping Cat Lovers Love Cats More – Cat Litter Box Solutions
- Amazing Rescue of Over 100 Stranded Horses
- Trials and Tribulations of Saving The Iberian Lynx
- Big Cat Quiz!