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.
After 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.
- Lack of litter box use
- Marking their territory, aka spraying
Unlike a lot of domestic cats, neutering or spaying does not stop behavioral issues.
Common Health Issues
- Premature birth
- 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.