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7 Wild Pet Cats that are Safe and Legal to Own

Are you a cat person who wants to take it up a notch by owning a wild pet cat? Well, you should know that not all cats in the wild do well in captivity. You probably don’t want to bring home an African Lion or a Bengal Tiger…or maybe you do. Well, thank God you won’t be allowed to do so since owning most wild cats as pets is definitely illegal.

There are a few smaller wild cats that you can purchase or rescue and lawfully own as pets. They are definitely among the best exotic pets out there and are quite similar to domestic cats in the way they behave.

So if you’re ready to own an exotic feline pet, here are a few wild pet cats you can choose from:

  1. Serval


Though this beautiful feline creature originates from Africa, it is one of the most commonly kept wild pet cats in the US. It is a medium-sized cat that has similar spot patterns to those of the African cheetah and pointed ears that resemble those of the fennec fox.

Many in the US often label it an aggressive cat due to its striking resemblance to other spotted cats including the cheetah and leopard. The serval, however, has very little interest in harming humans and is only interested in one thing: chasing after small preys and birds.

So if you’re attracted to the beautiful fur of a cheetah or leopard but don’t want to deal with their aggressive nature, a serval is a much tamer alternative.

  1. Caracal


This wild cat belongs to the lynx species, though, it does show behavioral characteristics that are more closer to the serval. It has a weird hissing sound that may put you off if you aren’t used to it.

It stands at an imposing 16-17 inches, making it one of the bigger medium-sized cats. Don’t be intimidated, though, as the animal isn’t really known to be aggressive or violent and can, in fact, be quite playful if it gets used to you.

Feeding is another challenge you will have to face if you choose to keep this animal as it consumes up to 3 pounds of meat a day.

  1. Geoffroy’s Cat

This is a small cat that is mostly found in the southern parts of South America. It is one of the smallest wild cats with a weight that is often not more than 8 pounds. If you want a wild pet cat that is guaranteed to not be a threat to public safety then this is the best you can get.

It can tolerate a variety of climatic conditions, which makes it a very resilient pet to own. So if the safety of those you live with is a priority and you want a wild pet cat that can be easily handled then the Geoffroy’s cat is the best option for you.

  1. Bobcat

This is a wild cat that is native to the USA, so should be much easier to acquire or rescue. You should be wary, though, as bobcats are one of the most muscular medium-sized cats and do have the physical features and strength needed to hurt humans.

This is quite a complete contrast with its behavior as it is less aggressive than other wild pet cats. In fact, bobcats in captivity have been known to form strong bonds with their owners. Despite the muscularity of the cat, it is still quite small compared to other cats on this list. Don’t be fooled by that, though, as it is one of the few medium-sized cats that are capable of hunting a full-sized dear.

  1. Fishing Cat

This cat loves to play in shallow aquatic bodies, so if your home can’t provide this then it isn’t the ideal cat for you. It has been tagged an endangered species so getting your hands on one will probably be difficult and expensive. So if you care about wildlife, then this cat will not be on your list of wild pet cats to acquire.

  1. Canadian Lynx


Though this wild cat pet isn’t as willing to form a bond with humans as the bobcat, it is also not as deadly as its sturdier relative either. The animal has the face of a tiger but the body size of a serval and a brown fur with black spots.

So if you wish to own a cat that resembles a tiger in appearance but isn’t half as dangerous as the world’s biggest cat, then you can go for this animal.

  1. Hybrid

It can be stressful and costly to own wild pet cats that naturally live in the wild. So, it is quite a relief that there is a viable alternative to such cats. A hybrid is basically a cat with a mix of a wild cat’s DNA and the DNA of a domestic cat.

So, most hybrids often have the physical features of the contributing wild cat while still retaining the tameness of their domestic relatives. These hybrids are also easier to acquire and don’t require any permit or regulation. If you want to a wild pet cat without the wild behavioral attributes then go for a hybrid cat.

49's Team

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