A number of our residents here at WildCat Haven Sanctuary are domestic/wild hybrids. These hybrids are the offspring of domestic cats and some of the smaller species of wild cats. Some of the major varieties of hybrid cats are:
Bengal – domestic cat/Asian Leopard Cat
Chausie – domestic cat/Jungle Cat
Safari – domestic cat/Geoffroy’s Cat
Savannah – domestic cat/Serval
HYBRIDS AS PETS
Hybrids do not make good pets. Breeders who sell these cats will claim that they have the look of a wild cat and the temperament of a house cat. This claim could not be farther from the truth. While the behavior of certain hybrids can vary from cat to cat, you cannot simply breed the “wild” out of a wild cat.
Hybrid cats are classified via the “F” classification. This classification related to how many generations away from a pure wild cat each hybrid is. For instance, an F1 hybrid is the first generation offspring of a wild cat and a domestic or hybrid cat. An F2 hybrid is the offspring of an F1 and a domestic or hybrid cat. The higher the F classification of a particular cat, the more domestic blood that is typically present. F6 and F7 hybrids will have a better chance of being “well behaved”, but they will also look considerably more like a domestic cat than the wild cat from which they are several generations removed.
The behavior problems exhibited by hybrid cats are born out of their strong instinct to hunt and fight. This means that a hybrid cat will bite if it feels threatened and will often attack other pets if they are made to feel uneasy. These attacks don’t discriminate between cats, dogs, or even their owners.
Of all hybrid cat behavior problems, one of the most annoying is their insistence on spraying urine wherever they go. This is a way of marking territory and is extremely difficult (often impossible) to break.
Hybrid cats are generally very intelligent and, as such, tend to get bored very easily. This boredom ultimately leads to typical hybrid cat behavior problems, namely destructive and aggressive behavior. While these traits can be seen as an unavoidable consequence of pet ownership, they will usually disappear over time with domestic breeds. Inevitably, however, many hybrid owners will become increasingly frustrated with their cats, and sanctuaries like ours are all too often a last ditch effort to avoid having to euthanize them. WildCat Haven believes there is no reason to breed more animals when thousands are killed every day in shelters – simply because they have no where to go. Responsible owners should always spay and neuter their pets.