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Hidden Dangers of Hybrid Cats

bengal vet albuquerque

Do you love hybrid cats? I love hybrid cats! They are so exotic looking and have amazing personalities. Plus there is something cool to see that bit of tiger or lion lurking in your house cat.

What are Hybrid Cats?

A hybrid cat is a domestic cat that is bred with a wild cat. The first one was a domestic cat bred with an Asian Leopard, which is a small wild cat native to South, Southeast, and East Asia

Hybrid cats were first bred to see if bringing in some of the genes of wild cats would increase resistance to Feline Leukemia and another disease common to domestic cats.

bengal vet albuquerqueAfter they began breeding these hybrid cats, people started liking the idea of having little leopards as their family pet. It brought some of the exotic into the household. By 1980 the Bengal breed became an official breed.

Some other hybrids include Savannah’s, which resulted from a Serval, a wild cat found in Africa, with the Domestic cat; and Chausie, a jungle cat with a domestic cat.

Like any specialty breed, there are health issues and behaviors that are specific to the breed.


Behavioral Issues

  • Lack of litter box use
  • Aggression
  • Marking their territory, aka spraying
  • Clawing
  • Solitary

Unlike a lot of domestic cats, neutering or spaying does not stop behavioral issues.

Common Health Issues

  • Premature birth
  • Miscarriage
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Persistent infection with intestinal parasites (Tritrichomonas foetus)
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

It is important to get a vet that understands the health issues specific to hybrid cats to help make sure you are able to properly tend to the health of your little leopard.



When Should You Vaccinate?

When should you vaccinate your pets? This is a question that every pet owner has. Vaccinations are essential to your pets ongoing happy and healthy life. Throughout their lifetime, they will be exposed to many viruses, way more than we realize. Even just meeting a dog in the park or a quick sniff as you walk by can expose them to Parvo or Bordatella.

As you plan your vaccinations, let look at the recommended shot schedule for your pet.

Cat recommended shot schedule:

Albuquerque Cat Vaccine Schedule

Dog vaccination schedule:

Albuquerque Dog Vaccine Schedule


If it is time for your pet’s vaccines, bring them into one of our daily shot clinics in Albuquerque or Los Lunas.


Why cats have whiskers

albuquerque cat

albuquerque catWhiskers are such fun things that stick off your cat’s face in all direction. As a kid, we often loved to pet them or touch them to watch the cat twitch. It was almost like they tickled. But whiskers are more important than just tickling devices.

How They Work

Each thick whisker is filled with tiny, super sensitive nerves that help your cat judge distance and space. Is this box too small to get inside? How far do I need to jump to reach that counter?

It’s also how she detects what’s around her. Cats that are blind can walk around a room just fine by using their whiskers to sense the space.

The follicles are little sacs that hold the whisker hairs. These are deeper than regular fur and these sacs have nerve endings that send messages to the brain. There is also a sensory organ at the tip of each whisker that picks up environmental vibrations which give more information about her surroundings.

Most whiskers are in the cats upper lip, but there are smaller ones in their eyebrows and around their chin. There are even whiskers near their feet. The ones on the sides of the nose are the same width as your cat’s body; they help her figure out whether a space is wide enough to squeeze through. Whiskers on the back of the legs help your cat climb trees.

Whiskers the feline mood ring

Whiskers have complex muscles attached to them. By watching what their whiskers do you can tell what mood yoru cat is in. If she is curious, they will be angled forward. If she is relaxed they will stick straight out. If she is nervous or upset she will pin them back towards her face.

Don’t cut her whiskers!

Whiskers do not need to be trimmed. They will shed, and this is normal. But cutting their whiskers changes their ability to sense their surroundings properly. It can cause them to become anxious and disoriented. It is similar to blindfolding them.

If you have questions about your cat’s whiskers or their health, please call our Albuquerque veterinary clinic: 505-292-3030.

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.