Monday, January 9, 2017

Meow + Roar = Hybrid Cats

Beautiful, strong and mysterious – just some of the traits driving up the demand for hybrid cat breeds.

It's the closest you’ll get to sharing your home with a lion or tiger; hybrids were developed by crossing a domestic cat breed with a wild cat breed.

They are often categorized as F1, F2, F3, F4 and F6, which indicates how many generations they are removed from the original wild individual.  This means that, unlike the domestic house cat (felis catus), which has had over 9000 years of close contact with humans, and has been selectively bred over centuries for adaption to such a lifestyle, hybrid cat breeds have lived only a few generations with people.  These different hybrids generally look and act quite different from each other, depending on how great a percentage of their bloodline is wild.

Hybrid Health Alert
Hybrids whether early generation or domestic often have the following common health issues which can be expensive:
  • Painful irritable bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic diarrhea
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Tri-Trichamonas Foetus
  • Luxating patella
  • Often high corona titers and the only known test for FIP – Feline Infectious Peritonitis (but not always reliable)
  • Gingivitis and mouth lesions (most common in Chausies)

Common hybrid cats
The beautiful Bengal is a cross between a domestic cat and an Asian Leopard Cat.  High energy, extremely athletic and cat-astrophically clever, the Bengal can be a lot to handle.  All his characteristics make the Bengal tons of fun and capable of learning to walk on a leash.  going for a leash walk. Break out your bikini...Bengals swim!

The Chausie is an outstanding hybrid, crossed between the Egyptian Jungle Cat (Felix chaus) and either the domestic shorthair or the Abyssinian. This feline is fearless, fast and frisky, famous for its jumping skills.  The Chausie cat is smart, smart, smart, and knows all your homes special secret places.  Hide the valuables...owners report this cat burglar has been known to swipe pieces of jewelry!

Cross a 30-pound African Serval with a 8-pound Siamese Sealpoint and do you get?  The Savannah.   The breed has been out-crossed with Domestic and Oriental Shorthairs, Ocicats and Egyptian Maus to develop the modern Savannah cat breed we know and love today – beautiful, athletic, and smart. This cat can be taught to walk on a leash, and has the ability to jump 8 feet straight into the air.   The Savannah may be the ideal cat for dog lovers--it can be trained to "Stay" and "Sit."
Get the Facts
The specific qualities of each hybrid wild cat breed depends on how many generations they are removed from their wild ancestors as well as the traits inherited from their specific parentage. Hybrids, particularly of the F1 variety, can be a handful, and some jurisdictions consider them to be wild animals and do not allow them to be kept in private residences.  Please check your local and state laws before proceeding.

Think this over carefully, and find a rescue organization or breeder you trust before taking the plunge.

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