Many people have become fascinated with adopting exotic animals such as reptiles, rodents, and amphibians as pets. The trend started when people became interested in the distinctive features of certain wild animals. But did you know that people are also starting to breed exotic feline hybrids? This is the result of breeding a wild cat with a domesticated cat! There are three main breeds - Chausies, Savannahs and the Safari. Chausies are a hybrid created by breeding a jungle cat and a domesticated cat. The Savannah, which is the most common, is a hybrid between a Serval and a domesticated cat. The Safari is a cross between a Geoffroys (a south American feline) and a domesticated cat.
These cats are not only expensive (a Bengal cat entered the Guiness Book of World Records as the world’s most expensive cat, selling for $42,000!) but are extremely hard to breed and take care of. Unlike your ordinary pets, these cats require much more attention as their behavior may tend to change as they get older. Physically, these guys are medium in size, slender with long legs, and are about 23 to 36 inches in length! Similar to dogs, these cats are extremely trainable, they can fetch, be walked on a leash, and respond to certain commands.
There is much debate over the ethicality of breeding wild cats with domestic ones. Just as with dogs, humans breeding these cats have overpopulated the world. With each passing day, the local shelters are bombarded with abandoned cats. On the other hand, many opponents argue that these wild cats are becoming increasingly endangered, so preserving them through breeding is important. Breeding these wild jungle cats and holding them captive seems to be the only way to conserve these feline species.
Although it is important to conserve these animals, is breeding the right route to go? Just like breeding dogs, the idea of breeding any animal seems so wrong to me. Wild animals are meant to stay in the wild and should only be protected in their natural environment. It is much more ethical for animals to die naturally on their own rather than being bred. Instead of breeding and keeping these cats captive we should focus on other ways to conserve them such as paying more attention to recreational hunters or other predators. Just remember “better dead than bred.”