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Thursday, September 07, 2006

 

Watch out for wildcat hybrids

Sometimes I like to pretend I'm a wildcat, but everyone knows I'm really just a big pussycat.

One summer evening a couple of years ago, I was minding my own business in my back yard when a huge, yellowish cat jumped over the fence and began hissing and growling it me. Naturally, I started hissing and growling back. My humans heard the ruckus and rushed out to see what was the matter. The male human had to kick the big, yellow cat to get it away form me, while amanuensis chased me inside. Then the big yellow cat--it was at least twice my size--rushed up to the back door and started hissing and growling at all of us. Finally, the male human got a bucket of water and threw it on the intruder. That finally chased him off.

At that time, we didn't know about all the animal breeders who breed exotic wildcats with domestic cats and sell the offspring as pets. I think that big yellow cat may have been one of these hybrids. There are several of these crosses for sale. They are beautiful and can be quite large. But as I found out, they can be very dangerous.

The Wildcat Sanctuary, a nonprofit in Sandstone, Minnesota, has now started a rescue program called Paw-Purri Cattery for domestic/hybrid cats and hard to place Bengal domestic cats. They say:
The popularity of unique-looking cats as companion animals has become lucrative for breeders who are crossing wild cats with domestic cats to sell what they call "lap leopards." The downfall to this is that even the final generations of these smaller cats still have wild genetics and can be skittish and have poor litter box habits. In the end, many of these cats are surrendered for not showing domestic tendencies or acceptable domestic habits.
I'm glad that some good humans are rescuing these cats, but I don't want to meet any more of them myself!

Check out the cats and other animals at Modulator's Friday Ark. On Sunday, slink on over to the 129th Carnival of the Cats at Begin Each Day.

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