The Felis catus is an animal that little by little we are really getting to know. For the moment, what we have been discovering has been, to say the least, wonderful: it has a character and a personality similar, on some occasions, to those that we may have. When a human being meets a feline considered domestic and befriends him, he can assume that this friendship will be pure and true .
But, is it the same with hybrid cats? These furry animals have been created by and for people, who wanted to have a feline with a wild appearance but that was docile at home. And the truth is that, yes, they have . Today these animals are gaining popularity. The motives? Those that we will know next.
How do you »create» a hybrid?
Getting a hybrid is relatively simple, since you only have to cross two animals that belong to the same subfamily , in this case, two cats which are members of the feline or Felidae subfamilies. This group of carnivorous animals has several genera distributed in four subfamilies that are: Felinae, Pantherinae, Machairodontinae and Proailurinae, the latter two extinct.
Thus, for example, a Felis margarita (desert cat) that belongs to the genus Felis that is within the Felinae subfamily could be crossed with a Catopuma badia (red Borneo cat) that belongs to the genus Catopuma, which is found within the same subfamily.
To make wild behavior disappear, what you do is be very aware of the kittens : hold them a lot in your arms, pay close attention to them, and do not let the mother take much care of them, at least the first generations, since the mother is a wild animal, that has intact genetics and that, therefore, will educate her children as she would in the natural state. And that is precisely what the human being is not interested in, because he seeks to have exotic kittens with a docile character.
Little by little, and as new generations emerge, the new hybrids are getting furry, not domesticated, but more homely and affectionate than their parents .
What are hybrid cats?
These cats belong to breeds very little known yet, but more and more people want to share their life with one of them:
The Bengali is a hybrid cat of the domestic cat or Felis catus with the Prionailurus bengalensis (leopard cat). It is an animal that is characterized by having a brindle coat, with very marked black spots. It is somewhat larger than a domestic cat, weighing 7 to 8kg, and has considerably more energy.
The chausie is a hybrid cat between the domestic cat and the Asian wild cat ( Felis chaus ). It is a furry that has a short coat of hair of a color very similar to that of the puma. His body is very slender and agile, in addition, he is charming 🙂.
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The cheetoh is a hybrid between the Bengali breed and the ocicat . The coat of hair is mottled, like that of a cheetah, which is what gives it its name ( cheetah in English means leopard).
The savannah is the “heavyweight” of domestic or domesticated cats. They are hybrids of domestic cat with serval ( Leptailurus serval ) that can weigh about 20kg if it is F1 or F2 . The character increasingly resembles that of the Felis catus ; however, they are still waiting for it to become more tame and smaller.
The toyger is a variety of the Bengali . The spots are narrower, so more reminiscent of tigers. This feline, like the Bengali, loves to run and explore its home, especially if it has a garden or patio where it can sunbathe.
How much does it cost to buy one?
Getting one of these cats is difficult. In the United States they are very popular and are raised more, but in the rest of the world it is complicated. To this we must add the price: they are not cheap. It can cost you at least 800 euros , and it can be perfectly worth a thousand euros or even more depending on which one interests you and where you buy it from.
In addition, you must first find out about the legislation on the keeping of hybrid animals since in some areas it is prohibited, as in Australia.
What care do hybrid cats require?
It must be taken into account that a common domestic cat is not a hybrid cat. This, although it is obvious, is very important to keep in mind. Hybrids are the result of a cross between a wild animal and a domesticated one, so that to be happy they will need to do more exercise than a common European feline for example, and let alone a Persian.
For this reason, it is highly recommended to teach them to walk on a leash from a very young age, since when they are older they will need to go outside unless the house is adapted to them, which would mean putting ramps, shelves at different heights, scratching trees and others so they can exercise.
Is it worth sharing your life with them?
It depends on what each one is looking for . It is a very personal decision. If you have time and desire, and also money, of course you do; Now, if you want it just because it’s exotic, maybe you should rethink if you really want to have a furry life partner.