Cats have been one of the most popular pets around the world for thousands of years. In most cases, people opt for a domestic cat breed, with very few people owning a wild cat due to the risks involved. Over the last few decades, there has been a growing trend for designer cats, or hybrids, that is a cross between a domestic cat breed and a wild cat, or even a crossbreed of two wild cats. The aim is generally to create a beautiful creature that has the best attributes of both breeds involved in the breeding process. One such cat is a Desert Lynx. If you are considering welcoming a Desert Lynx into your home, it is essential to find out as much as possible about the breed. To help you learn more about this cat breed, here are 20 things you might not know about the Desert Lynx.
1. Several Breeds Contribute to This Hybrid
While some hybrid cats are a crossbreed of just two other breeds, there were several breeds involved in the creation of the Desert Lynx. According to Cat Time, these include the American Lynx, the Maine Coon, the Pixie Bob, and the wild bobcat. The Desert Lynx has some physical characteristics or personality traits of each of these breeds.
2. The Desert Lynx Originates from the United States
Although its name gives the impression that the Desert Lynx is an exotic cat that possibly originates from the deserts of Africa or Asia, this breed originates from the United States. It was bred to resemble the bobcat, but with the characteristics of domestic cats. The bobcat is native to most of North America, northern Mexico, and Canada. National Geographic says that bobcats are approximately twice the size of domestic cats, and typically weigh between 11 and 40 pounds. This nocturnal cat is named for its short tail, and it lives in forests, swamps, deserts, and even suburban areas.
3. It is a Medium-Sized Cat
The Desert Lynx is a Medium-sized cat, although there are differences in size from one cat to the next. Most cats will weigh between eight and 16 pounds. It is worth noting that females are often significantly smaller than males. You should also note that some Desert Lynx cats are considerably larger or smaller than the average for the breed due to the hybrid nature of this cat. Furthermore, diet and exercise play an essential part in your cat’s weight.
4. Some Desert Lynx Owners Say They Behave More Like Dogs
Although the Desert Lynx is a cross between domestic and wild cat breeds, some owners say that it behaves more like a domestic dog than a cat. It is because of the loyal and affectionate behavior of the breed that they say this. While some cat breeds are aloof, this cat loves to spend time with its humans.
5. They Do Not Like Being Left Alone
Often, people choose to have a cat as their pet rather than a dog as they believe that cats fare better in the house alone than dogs. Some people opt for a cat as they are out at work for many hours each day. Unfortunately, the Desert Lynx is not a good choice for people who spend time away from home as they suffer from separation anxiety. This breed is better-suited to homes where at least one person is at home for most of the day.
6. There Are No Breed-Specific Health Problems
One problem that is often encountered with crossbred animals is that they inherit the common health problems of both breeds involved in their creation. Fortunately, that is not the case with the Desert Lynx, and having no known breed-specific health problems is one of the advantages of choosing this breed. However, this does not mean that your cat will not encounter any health problems during its life, so you should take good care of your cat and watch out for any unusual symptoms.
7. The Desert Lynx Has a Beautiful Coat
Aesthetically, one of the best features of the Desert Lynx is its coat. The pattern is usually either spotted, ticked, or clouded. However, solid colors and mackerel tabby patterns are also possible. There are multiple color combinations available, with some of the most common being blue, ebony, silver, and chocolate brown. Other colors include snow, charcoal, copper, fawn, lilac, sepia, mink, sorrel, red, cream, camel, and gray. This breed often has belly spots and bar stripes down their legs and on their tail. It is possible to get both short and long-haired varieties.
8. The Caracal is Sometimes Called a Desert Lynx
The Caracal is a wild cat that is sometimes called the Desert Lynx, but this is not related to the domestic breed called the Desert Lynx in any way. It is native to Africa, Central Asia, India, and the Middle East. It was scientifically recognized in 1776 by German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber; then, three subspecies were later identified. The Caracal is a nocturnal cat that lives alone or in pairs. They are difficult to spot due to their secretive behavior. They produce litters of between one and six kittens, and the kittens stay with their mother for around nine months. This breed has a sandy coat, and they weigh between 18 and 42 pounds.
9. The Desert Lynx is Used for Breeding the Highlander Cat
Due to the Desert Lynx’s success as a hybrid cat, it is used for crossbreeding with several other breeds that have created new breeds. One such breed is the Highlander Cat, which is an experimental breed that is a cross between a Desert Lynx and a Jungle Curl. This breed has many similarities to the Desert Lynx, including a short or bobbed tail and similar markings. Breeding of this cat began in 2004, although it was not given its name until a year later. It was recognized as a breed by the International Cat Association in 2008 as a preliminary breed and then promoted to an advanced new breed in 2016. There are two varieties: the short-haired and the long-haired.
10. They Are a Good Option for Families
If you have children in your household, then you should take great care when choosing which pets to welcome into your home as some species or breeds are better than others with children. Evidence shows that the Desert lynx is a good choice if you have children, as they love their humans, and they are an affectionate breed. However, it is vital that you begin socialization early so that boundaries are set on both sides. It is important to note that every cat is an individual, so not every cat will react in the same way around children.
11. Several Associations Recognize This Breed
The Desert Lynx is one of the hybrids that is recognized by several official associations. These include The International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance and the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry. Owners of a Desert Lynx can register with both these official bodies. As this is a recognized breed, Desert Lynx cats can take part in some competitions.
12. Their Legs Are One of Their Most Distinctive Features
One of the most notable features of the Desert Lynx is its legs, as these are slightly longer than a typical domestic cat. It is a trait that the hybrid has inherited from the bobcat, which has longer legs than most domestic breeds. Despite the length of their legs, the Desert Lynx is not noticeably larger than most domestic breeds, and it is classified as a medium-sized cat. The hind legs of the breed are more noticeably longer than their forelegs. Another interesting feature is that many Desert Lynx cats have tufted toes.
13. Their Faces Have Several Distinctive Features
The Desert Lynx Cat Association says that this breed has several distinct facial features. One of these is dramatic lines around their eyes that give them an exotic look, and they have large, wide-set eyes that range in color from gold to green. The head of a Desert Lynx is large, although not round. Their ears are a distinctive feature, as they are larger than average for a domestic cat and set wide apart. They also have either feathering or tufts on the tips. This breed has a well-developed muzzle that is almost square. Desert Lynx cats also have prominent whisker pads.
14. They Have a Dorsal Stripe
A common feature of Desert Lynx cats is a dorsal stripe that extends from the neck and runs along the spine, often also running along the tail. Often, the dorsal stripe is made up of spots, although some cats have a solid stripe in a darker color than their main coat running down their backs.
15. The Desert Lynx Tail Size Varies
The size of a Desert Lynx’s tail may vary according to whether it has inherited dominant traits from the bobcat or a Maine Coon. If it has inherited its tail from the bobcat, then a cat will have a short tail that extends halfway to the floor. On the other hand, if it has inherited its tail from the Maine Coon, then it will have a bobbed tail that looks like a stump. It is rare for a Desert Lynx to have a full-sized tail.
16. It is Best Not to Have Other Pets with a Desert Lynx
Although the Desert Lynx is generally good with children, the same does not apply to keeping them with other pets. While some cats of this breed are fine with other domestic animals, that is not often the case. You should take particular care if you have smaller animals in your home. If you do decide to introduce a Desert Lynx into your home and you already have pets, you should supervise their play times, and begin socialization early.
17. They Can Live for Up to 15 Years
The lifespan of any cat, regardless of its breed, can vary significantly. Many factors impact a cat’s lifespan, such as their general health, diet, and if they live in an area that puts them at greater risk of a road traffic accident. However, the average healthy Desert Lynx will live for between 13 and 15 years.
18. They Are an Adaptable Breed
The Desert Lynx is an adaptable breed that can live in various environments and climates. Therefore, it is a suitable breed no matter where you live. However, during the hotter months, you should always make sure that they have plenty of freshwater available and an area of shade if they spend time outdoors.
19. The Desert Lynx is Low Maintenance
Unlike some cats, the Desert Lynx is a low-maintenance breed. You will only need to groom them twice a week, and their coat is not difficult to manage. This breed does not shed too much, so you will not need to spend hours cleaning cat hair from around your home. The Desert Lynx will take care of most of its own grooming, but you should have a cat tree or scratching post so they can conduct their natural cat scratching behavior and keep their claws down.
20. There Are Breed Pattern Standards
According to the Rare and Exotic Feline Register, there are breed standards relating to the pattern of this breed. If the cat is spotted, then there must be an even distribution of the markings, even if the spots vary in size, shape, and prominence. In the snow, mink, and sepia subdivisions, it is desirable for the cat to have ghost leopard spots on their bodies. Vertical stripes are undesirable in cats with the clouded leopard pattern, and preference is given to horizontal stripes. Cats with a marble pattern should have good contrast and distinct shapes with sharp edges.
Photo via Steve Snodgrass