One of the most unusual breeds of cats is the Serengeti. This type of cat has only been in existence for about twenty years. Serengetis were created with a Bengal and Oriental Shorthair as the original parents. The American who decided to breed these cats and create a new one certainly made an excellent choice. They are strikingly beautiful cats with some interesting characteristics.Credit: Public Domain
The first thing that most people notice is their exceptionally long legs. In fact, no domestic feline has longer legs than the Serengeti.
These cats also have a long tail and neck. Their ears are big in comparison to the rest of the head. The cat's sweet face looks quite small in comparison. Most cats ears are pointed at the top but the Serengeti's are rounded. Their eyes are usually a yellowish gold, but some may be green.
Another remarkable feature is their beautiful spotted coat. The background color may vary, but virtually all of their coats will have spots. This gives it a leopard like appearance. The Serengeti's ancestry can be traced to the small leopard cat, which was one of the breeds that helped develop the Bengal. They also are related to the Siamese, since this type of feline was partially responsible for the Oriental Shorthair.
I think they are a beautiful breed of cat. The silver background is particularly lovely and not commonly seen in many domestic felines.
Does a Serengeti Make a Good Pet?
A Serengeti cat is usually a wonderful pet to adopt. They have a good disposition and are not aggressive at all.
Their incredibly long legs are also very strong. This breed is capable of jumping extraordinarily high. In fact this feline can successfully reach heights of six or even seven feet at times. That's quite an accomplishment, and of course no other domestic cat is able to do the same.
It is important to think of places you might not want the cat jumping on in your home if you are interested in adopting one. It is also a good idea to consider potential dangers that may occur with a cat that can jump to remarkable heights. You don't want the pet to damage anything in the house or become injured. Cats are quite resilient and aware of some hazards but accidents can happen.Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Serengeti.jpg
Playing with toys that will stimulate and exercise the kitty may reduce the urge for them to jump. Purchasing a cat tower would be a good investment as a Serengeti would probably use it quite frequently.
They are sociable pets and generally not fearful of anyone. The animal is affectionate and likes to be stroked. They enjoy companionship like almost every other cat does. However, Serengetis are also independent and can manage on their own during the day if no one is at home. Some breeds such as Ragamuffins identify strongly with their caregiver and do not like to be left alone for long periods. A Serengeti enjoys human interaction but does not need to have someone around all the time.
It is normal for these cats to be quite active. Sometimes they will be involved in activities for several hours. Lots of toys will keep the pet happy and busy.
Children would likely enjoy having a Serengeti to care for. Their intelligence is similar to most other breeds of domestic felines.
There is one health issue that Serengeti animals are at higher risk for than other breeds. They are somewhat more likely to develop urinary tract infections and kidney stones. The reason for this is unclear.
Problems with the urinary system can be life threatening for a cat. A large enough kidney stone will block the urinary tubes and prevent the kitty from being able to eliminate. Of course, this causes the pet to be in agonizing pain as well.
Fortunately there are many kitty foods on the market these days that specifically address certain health issues. I would suggest getting advice from a veterinarian or other professional about a diet that would reduce the risk of the cat developing urinary problems.
If you have ever had a pet with serious health issues, you know how expensive it can be to get medical care. We certainly do not want our pets to suffer either. That is why we need to do everything we can to prevent problems before they occur.
If you are wanting to adopt a feline he or she should be examined by a veterinarian before you bring them home. You can then be assured your pet is healthy. If there are any health problems or potential issues they can be dealt with right away.
Animals that are in shelters have usually been seen by a vet and received any necessary care before they are put up for adoption. However you should always check the policies of animal shelters to be sure. It is very unlikely you would find a Serengeti at a shelter though as this breed is not very common.
If you want a Serengeti you will most likely have to do some searching online. I have found pets by reading classified ads. I always ask the current owner about health problems and if they have any papers from a vet that indicate the animal's medical history and any treatments the animal may have received.
A Serengeti has a life span that is typical of most felines. Cats do live a lot longer today than they did many years ago. I attribute that to people being more knowledgeable about preventive health care for pets, the availability of high quality food, and better medical care and treatment.
These cats are short haired and do not shed a lot. Regular brushing keeps their coat soft and in good condition. Cats almost always love to be brushed, and this easy going breed will find brushing to be very pleasurable.
A Serengeti will meow but they are not unusually vocal. They tend to vocalize when someone is playing with them or they are trying to attract attention. In that regard they are no different than most other felines. They do not meow excessively, unlike Siamese cats who tend to be quite loud and vocal.
Their weight is similar to other domestic breeds when they are fully grown. Females seldom weigh more than about ten pounds, with males weighing just a bit more. They do not have problems with obesity, which is probably due of their normally active natures. A Serengeti will be entertained for hours if toys are available.
This breed is quite exotic and popular for those who love felines. They usually adapt well to a home that already has a pet, provided the existing animal also has a good disposition.
If you decide to acquire one of these animals you will bond quickly and love having the kitty around. Serengeti cats tend to attract a lot of attention from visitors as they are not frequently seen.