Hybrid cats are cats who have both domestic blood and wild cat blood. They are nothing new and there is evidence that shows Ancient Egyptians may have done it with the wild cat that lives along the Nile river. Even if hybrid cats aren't as old as Ancient Egypt, there are some writings that show they have been around for hundreds of years (at the least). They have become really popular in the last twenty to thirty years with more and more varieties showing up. You can find out about some of the most popular and accepted kinds by checking out the first article I wrote about hybrid cats. Here are less common varieties that are just as interesting!
The Bristol cat is sort of a legend in the background. The Bristol cat doesn't have a clear history. The animal was believed not to exist any more when in 1991 a cattery was found to have 10 cats in Texas. They were labeled with the TICA as Bristol Cats. It isn't known for certain what the hybrid cross is but most believe it is a margay and an American shorthair cat.
The Bristol cats were not very fertile and were removed from TICA listings. Two young females were taken from the group found in Texas in 1991. They were given to two breeders working on developing the bengal cat. One of the females produced offspring and the other did not. This out cross was used to strengthen the bengal line. No other margay/domestic cat crosses have been suspected since then.
The Bristol cat looks very similar to the bengal cat. However they have a very white belly, large rosettes, and a large frame that is also very muscular. Their ears are small and rounded and they make noises like a wild ocelot.
The caracat is a cross between a caracal lynx and abyssinian domestic cat. The goal is to create a large wild looking domestic cat that doesn't have the spots, stripes, or rosettes many breeds strive hard to get. The caracat has a wild tan colored coat, a “cougar” mustache, and long black ear tuffs. There doesn't seem to be a lot of success with this combination and not a whole lot of information is known.
The Jambi cat is a hybrid that aims to get the finished product to look as much like the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) as possible. The breeders (Select Exotics) want to produce a large cat (their F1 female is 37 pounds). They want the cats to be stocky and muscular. The goal is to have a silver gray coat covered with dark spots along the body and striping on the face and legs. There are other hybrids using the fishing cat including the viverral and the machbagral. The viverral breeders have similar goals to that of the breeders of the jambi cat, while the machbagral is bred to a bangal with the desire to produce a larger cat that looks similar to the bengal.
Select Exotics is working to make the Habari cat. It is a very large cat with a spotted coat. They are not revealing a specific ancestry but do mention they are using their diverse genetic pool to create these beautiful animals that are only to be sold for the pet trade. They breed savannah and bengal cats, are working with safari cats, and are developing jambi cats. This provides a diverse inventory of hybrid blood that ma be used in this breeding program.
The goal of the breeding programs breeding the punjabi is to produce a cat that looks like the Indian desert cat, but has the personality of a domestic cat. They are doing that by breeding the Indian wild cat to a late generation bengal cat. Their goal is a golden or tawny background with small brown or black spots and ear tuffs.
The history of the ussuri is mysterious. This is a very rare cat that is classified as a domestic cat breed. They are originally from Russia's Amur River region. Domestic cats were said to breed with a species of leopard cat often refereed to as the amur forest cats or amur leopard cats. The hybridization was said to continue naturally as semi-wild ussuris bred with Siberians and Domestic Shorthairs. It is said to be a modified tabby pattern with merged spots, three bronzed lines on its cheeks, and a necklace. It's also a sturdy, muscular breed with tuffs on its ears.
A Cheetoh Kitten
The cheetoh is a cross between a bengal cat (a domestic cat/Asian leopard cat hybrid) and an Ocicat (a domestic breed that looks wild, but is fully domesticated). The goal is to create a great cat that has a very wild look without adding more wild blood to the blood lines. It has a distinctive spotted coat that is sleek and velvety. It also features large eyes and large ears for that wold look.
There are a growing number of hybrid breeds being created. Different breeders have different goals and some names are even trademarked making more than one name for the same creature created. These cats are all beautiful, there is no doubt. You can see the most popular ones in the first article I wrote about hybrid cats and even more in this next article: Even More Hybrid Cats.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding these beautiful animals. More people are speaking out about these issues and breeders of these gorgeous pets are fighting back. The issues are complex and cover a wide range of problems. You can learn more at Should Hybrid Cats Continue to Be Bred?
Bengal Cat - Domestic Cat and Asian Leopard Cat Hybrid
There is no doubt about the beauty of these creatures and the interest that they evoke. After all, they are beautiful, close to being wild without being wild, and you can own them in many places without a permit. What do you think about them?
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