Purebred cats are the result of consistently crossing two cats of the exact same breed. When two different and specific breeds are crossed, however, the resulting offspring is called a hybrid. Many of today’s popular feline breeds that have been created are hybrid cat breeds.
There are two types of hybrid cat breeds that have made their way into homes as loving pets. One of these two types is that which results when two or three specific domestic cat breeds are crossed.
Domestic Hybrid Cats
- The Tonkinese was created by crossing a Siamese with a Burmese.
- The lovable Ragdoll, adored for its blue eyes and long white coat adorned with color points, was created by crossing a white Persian with a Birman.
- The Himalayan resembles a longhaired Siamese because it was created by crossing a Persian with a Siamese.
- The Exotic Shorthair, characterized by the pushed in face of a Persian, was developed by crossing a Persian with an American shorthair cat.
- The Havana brown was developed by crossing domestic black cats that possessed a recessive gene for brown coloring with seal point and chocolate point Siamese cats to result in the cat’s rich, brown coat.
- Despite its name and spotted coat, the Ocicat is not a wild hybrid cat in which an ocelot was bred. The Ocicat was developed by interbreeding the Abyssinian, the American shorthair and the Siamese. Ocicats are entirely domestic hybrid cat creations.
Call of the Wild
Some hybrid cat breeds were created by crossing a domestic feline with a wild cat to recreate the exotic appearance of the wild in a slightly downsized version. In order to ensure that wild hybrid cats are loving and respectable housecats, it is recommended that only specimens that are three or four generations away from the last wild cat in the breeding line be considered as pets.
Domestic Wild Hybrid Cat Breeds
- The Bengal was created in 1963 by crossing a domestic cat with a wild Asian leopard cat. Coveted for the striking spotted or rosette pattern on its coat, the Bengal is one of the most popular hybrid cat breeds sought out by prospective cat owners.
- When a Bengal was crossed with a domestic cat during the late 1980s, the Toyger was created. Toygers resemble tiger cubs.
- The Savannah is a large hybrid cat that came about during the 1980s after the crossing of a domestic cat and a wild African serval cat.
- The Chausie was developed during the 1960s by crossing striped domestic cats with the wild southern Asian jungle cat.
- The Pixie bob cat occurs naturally when a female domestic cat breeds with a male bobcat.
Stick to Pets
There is actually one additional type of hybrid cat, which results from the crossing of two wild cats. One example of a wildcat hybrid is the liger, which is created when a male lion is crossed with a female tiger. Such hybrids should never be considered as pets. With no introduction of domestic cats into these lines, they remain purely wild animals that should be considered potentially destructive and dangerous in captivity.
If you desire the unique traits of a domestic and wild hybrid cat, such as a Bengal or Savannah, be sure to do your homework. Some of them have special care and dietary needs, and some cities and states impose restrictions for owning certain hybrid cat breeds.