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Hybrids: Are these cats for you?

 

Hybrids are the result of mating a wild cat to a domestic cat. Many breeds are available today. The four main registered breeds are the Chausie, Savannah, Safari and the Bengal.

 

 

  • Chausies are a cross between a Jungle Cat and a domestic cat.

  • Savannahs are a cross between an African Serval and a domestic cat.

  • Safaris are a cross between the Geoffroy's cat and a domestic cat.

  • Bengals are cross between the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) and a domestic cat.



The Junglebob, is derived from a Chausie X Pixiebob or Chausie X American Bobtail. The Junglebobs are an experimental breed and are not registered. While currently unregistered, supposedly a group of breeders are working towards registration. Some hybrid cats tend to be difficult to breed, are rare, and therefore very expensive.

Hybrid cats breeds are developed over several generations through a program of selectively crossbreeding domestic cats, possessing desired features, with the parent species (serval, geoffroy, leopard cat, jungle cat). These are then bred to another approved outcross or a lower generation hybrid of the same breed.

The first three generation males are normally infertile, though there have been the occasional, but rare F3 stud capable of reproduction <mostly in the Chausie breed>. The early generation females are typically fertile, and responsible for continuing the genetic contributions of the parent species to the next generation.

The first three generations of these hybrid offspring are properly referred to as the "filial" generations. A cat with a wild specie parent is called an F1, short for first filial. An F1 then bred with domestic or lower generation male of the same breed and produces an F2, or second filial. Kittens from an F2 female and another domestic cat or lower generation male of the same breed are then termed F3. Kittens from a subsequent F3 mating with a domestic are F4s. Filial cats (F1-F3) are also termed 'foundation cats' and are typically reserved for breeding purposes, or the specialty pet home environment

The wonderful traits in Hybrid Cats!


A hybrid can satisfy a person's desire to own a wild cat. They closely resemble their wild ancestors without encountering the difficulties of living with a pure wild cat or the permits required to own a pure wild cat. They have a more domestic personality while retaining some of the more favorable wild cat traits.

There are positive traits to all cats! All domestic cats are hybrids in some form or another after all, and our homes are full of them. But not all cats are right for your family. If you see an adorable little designer kitten and want to know if it is the right kitten for your family, research both parent breeds as thoroughly as you can, and then research the breeder as thoroughly as you can. There are kitten mills, and then there are great breeders who have a dream of producing the perfect kitten from the two breeds they love. Being informed will help you recognize the difference.


Some things to consider!

Hybrids "are not" like domestics in another ways. These are not cats you can just get rid of easily. They are more hyper, can normally jump higher, are more intelligent, eat more, have larger litter boxes most of the time, and they bond strongly to those they own. If you are not ready for a cat flying through your house at lightning speed, you might want to think twice about a wild cat cross. They will be on and in everything. Some can also be very difficult to take to the vet if needed, but no more difficult than the average domestic cat with the exception of the larger size and strength of the hybrid feline. Join some of the hybrid Yahoo groups (listed at the bottom of the article) and ask more about the personalities. Ask the pet owners and breeders alike questions as they can have different thoughts on owning one of these wonderful and busy hybrid felines.

Hybrid Vigor!


Hybrid vigor (heterosis) is described by Webster’s Dictionary as, “The marked vigor or capacity for growth often exhibited by crossbred animals or plants.” While it is true that crossbreeding can result in hybrid vigor, it is no guarantee of the health of crossbred kittens! It is also important to know that crossbreeding can also bring in any negative genetic traits from both breeds, as well as the positive. No one can guarantee that a hybrid cat will be a certain size. Beware of breeders that do.

The Importance of Temperament!


When looking at any cat, it is very important to consider temperament. You want a cat that is going to fit in well with your family and live happily with you forever. When two different breeds are mixed, there is no guarantee that the kitten's temperaments will be a perfect blend of the original two breeds. The "new" personality may be completely different from either parent or lean completely toward one parent. Personality can't be guaranteed. All breeders are different and it depends on how they are socialized. This also goes for any domestic cat breed

Things to Consider Before Purchasing!


When a family wants to adopt a kitten, they research breeds and study temperament carefully. There have been cases of unethical hybrid breeders selling full-blooded exotics. Please do a diligent search and investigation for both the hybrid breed and its wild ancestor. Speak with many breeders before purchasing a kitten to bring home. Once you learn more of what each looks like, it will be pretty easy to tell the difference.


A good breeder will have well socialized and loving kittens. If possible, go visit the cattery and observe the different temperaments of the kittens yourself. Ask yourself questions similar to the ones below.

 

 

  • Do you like both parent breeds?

  • Does it matter to you that the kitten has a specific look and/or temperament?

  • Why is the breeder mixing the two breeds?

  • Does the breeder have many types of hybrid mixes?

  • How many adult cats do they breed? (Look for signs of a kitten mill.)

  • Do the kittens come with a complete written health guarantee?

  • Does the breeder have any adults of the hybrid that you can meet?

  • Can you visit the breeder’s facilities?

  • Do kittens have runny eyes or noses?

  • Is the breeders cattery clean?

  • Can the breeder provide you with references of people who have adopted their hybrid kittens?



Not all cats are right for all families. Due diligence on your part will help you find the perfect forever cat for your home and family.