You may have seen various big cats on TV with people affectionately hugging them or playing with them. This may have sparked the urge to go out and get your own big cat. Do not act rashly though. This guide will explain the necessary steps and considerations required to purchase your own pet lynx. They are classified as a big wildcat yet are not as dangerous as cougars or tigers. For someone thinking of keeping or raising exotic cats, this is a good choice to start with.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Chainlink enclosure
- Climbing poles
- Scratching posts
- Tire swing
- Meat freezer
Check with your state government either by phone or on the web to see if owning a big cat is legal in your town. Ownership of big cats is highly regulated, and you will have to apply for several licenses for the right to keep a big cat such as a lynx in a private residence. If owning a lynx is legal where you live, get the paperwork started as quickly as possible, because processing the licenses can take months.
Build an outdoor enclosure to keep the cat in the evening. It is illegal in all states to allow any big cat to roam outdoors without a leash and the owner present. It is also inhumane to keep such an animal cooped up indoors all the time. This means an outdoor enclosure is necessary. A full-grown lynx gets to be about seventy pounds and needs a good amount of room to move. The enclosure should be of reinforced chainlink no smaller than 150 square feet. As lynxes are excellent climbers, the enclosure will need a roof as well. Chainlink will work for this too, but a good portion of the enclosure should provide the lynx with shelter from direct sunlight and rain. Plain packed earth will work just fine for the floors, but make sure to provide the lynx with poles and posts to climb on; a tire on a swing is also a good idea, as they will play with it the way a kitten plays with a ball of yarn.
Find a veterinarian willing to care for your lynx. Regular checkups are often state mandated for exotic cats and should they be neglected, they will result in the lynx being confiscated, your license to keep the animal revoked, huge fines and possible jail time. Not all veterinarians are willing or capable of caring for a big cat like a lynx, so make sure you find one ahead of time.
Look into stockpiling food for your lynx. Remember lynx are carnivores and cannot subsist on regular cat food. The average lynx eats between one and four pounds of meat a day. A common diet will consist mostly of raw poultry with the bones supplemented with beef, ground turkey, raw or canned salmon and tuna and other game meats. Contact your veterinarian to make sure that the diet you're giving the lynx meets all its nutritional needs. Vitamin supplements may be required. They will also occasionally eat, or more often play with, whole fruits such as apples, oranges, cherries, and strawberries. These are good for treats, as is cheese. You may need a second freezer to keep all the meat for your lynx.
Before buying your cat, you should thoroughly research any information on the appropriate care for a lynx that you can find. Various courses by video or online are often available if you use a search engine to look for one. Pay particular attention to animal diet, exercise, health and interaction. You will need to learn how to act around the lynx as well as learn how to recognise its moods and emotions so as not to endanger yourself or others by antagonising an agitated lynx.
Having prepared for your pet's arrival, its now time to look into obtaining a lynx. Use your computer to search online for "Exotic Animal Breeder Reviews". You will be provided with a list of sites that review various online exotic animal breeders.
Contact the breeder by phone or e-mail regarding purchasing your new cat. Be straightforward and specific about what you want. A responsible breeder will want to be sure that you have the appropriate licenses and facilities to care for a big cat. But thanks to your preparations, that will be no problem. A price will be agreed upon and payment sent in accordance with how that particular breeder does business. Make sure to obtain a bill of sale. Depending on the breeder you may be required to go pick up your animal in person as transporting a big cat by mail is sometimes frowned upon though not illegal.
Once you've got your big cat home, bring the lynx directly to your veterinarian for a checkup and appropriate vaccinations. Given the strict laws regarding the care for large cats, it’s not likely the breeder will have neglected the animals and still be outside of prison, so you needn't worry too much about buying an unhealthy animal.
Bring your lynx home and put it in his prepared enclosure. It will take as much as a week for it to acclimatise to its new home. Bring its meals at regular intervals and make sure a water dish is always available. Do not try to initiate contact with the lynx; let it be the one to approach you. From there, it’s up to you on how to build your relationship with your new pet. Good luck!
Tips and warnings
- Care for a large cat is a very time and money-intensive job. Do not purchase one if you are not willing to spend many thousands of dollars and hundreds of man-hours per year to care for the lynx.
- A lynx, though much smaller than a tiger or lion, can still do considerable damage to a human being if it wants to. Remember these are not so much pets as companions. With all their wild instincts intact, they still have the capacity to do great harm to you or others, regardless of how much you think they love you or you love them. If it seems like a good idea at the time, they'll do it.
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