8

I have seen some barn cats that were claimed to be the offspring of female barn cats and a male bobcat (they had bobbed tails).

Wikipedia says that there is circumstantial and anecdotal evidence for this, but the note says that the source for that information is unreliable, and the date on the source is 1975.

Is there any more recent scientific evidence on whether bobcats can breed with house cats?

  • www.ancestry.cat? – Drew May 16 '18 at 22:35
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Sadly, No. The Pixie Bob is the primary candidate for bobcat/domestic cat interbreeding, but, according to the website of The Tabaxi Cattery, which is a breeder of Pixie-Bobs:

Pixie Bobs are a domestic cat breed with a resemblance to Bobcats, which originated in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Pixie Bobs are not genetically related to Bobcats and this has been proven via DNA testing. Bobcats were not used as breeding stock in establishing the beautiful, wonderfully personable Pixie Bob breed, and reputable Pixie Bob breeders have not (and will not) use Bobcats in their breeding programs. You may notice some Pixie Bob breeders touting their Pixie Bob cats and Pixie Bob kittens as being descended from "original Northwest lines". Since the breed originated in the Northwest, all Pixie Bobs are descended from "original Northwest lines. (emphasis added)

According to an article Eight Cat Breeds with Wild Roots in the website of Mental Floss, all domestic cat breeds with wild roots derive from only three wild cats: the African Serval, the Asian Leopard Cat (which gave rise to the Bengal breed), and the Jungle Cat (Felis Chaus). The Bengal was used in the breeding of several wild-looking cats, such as the Toyger. (I don't know how authoritative Mental Floss is.)

Of course, all domestic cats (felis catus) are descended from wild ancestors, principally Felis sylvestris lybica. International Cat Care says:

Genetic analysis has demonstrated that the DNA of modern day domestic cats throughout the world is almost identical to that of Felis sylvestris lybica, clearly showing that it is this species that gave rise to our domestic cats.

I remember reading in a reputable journal that Felis chaus may have contributed to Felis catus, but I cannot track down a reference now.

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