The Difference Between A Lynx Cat Breed And A Bobcat

There are those who would say that the domestic Lynx breeds are the result of a bobcat/domestic cat mix.

As exciting as the idea of such a hybrid cat may be, however, this particular dream does not appear to have come true.

lynx cat photo
Photo by skeeze|cc

The Lynxes are a group of similar minority cat breeds that all, to one extent or another, resemble a bobcat and that were thought to have been the result of several alleged domestic cat/bobcat matings.

When the proper genetic testing was carried out, though, it was found that the cats did not have the genetic markers that would indicate they were descended from wild bobcats.

All Lynx breeds are therefore domestic cats (genus: Felis catus), while bobcats are wild cats (genus: Lynx rufus).

Bobcats are also quite a bit larger than the Lynx domestic cat breeds, and, other than the traditional bobbed tail, they don’t have some of the traits the Lynx domestic breeds possess (like the Highland Lynx’s curled ears).

The Lynx Group of domestic cats includes the American Lynx, the Highlander, the Alpine Lynx, the Desert Lynx, the Mojave Bob and the Highland Lynx, and these breeds are all considered minority breeds.

lynx cat photo
Photo by skeeze|cc

They have all been created from crossbreeding at least two other breeds, and some of them, like the Alpine and American Lynxes are recognized by the REFR (Rare and Exotic Feline Registry).

Bobcats, on the other hand, are thought to have descended from the Eurasian Lynx (genus: Lynx lynx), and, so far, the number of bobcat subspecies that have been recognized has reached 13.

These include the colonies in the Mojave Desert (also home to the Mojave Bob), in Central Mexico, in the western Great Lakes area and in Baja California.

As far as look is concerned, bobcats are substantially larger than the domestic Lynx breeds, and their traditional look includes a spotted coat, tufts on their ears and a wide, furry ruff on the edges of their face starting at the bottom their ears and extending through their jaw.

The different Lynx breeds, on the other hand, share similarities, but also differ from the bobcats as well as from each other.

bobcats photo
Photo by andrew_j_w|cc

The Mojave Bobs boast curled coats and curled-back ears, which is a legacy of their mixed Selkirk Rex/Highland Lynx/Desert Lynx ancestry, while the Highland Lynx exhibits only the curled-ears as a result of their being a Jungle Curl/Desert Lynx cross.

The Alpine Lynxes all have white coats – due to their breed’s founding father being a barn cat carrying the dominant white masking gene – and the American Lynx has a short tail and spotted coat.


bobcats photo
Photo by btwashburn|cc

The Desert Lynx’s coat can either be marbled or spotted, and the Highlander sports backward-turning ears, too many toes – polydactylism – and loves water. None of these cats have the traditional bobcat ruff, though.

A bobcat/domestic cat cross seems a wonderfully intriguing idea, but it can be said with a fair amount of certainty that such a kitten has not yet been born.

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