Melissa very kindly agreed to let me publish some of her pictures of her male F1 Safari Cat “Sabini”. “F1” stands for first filial meaning the first offspring from a wild cat x domestic cat mating – a wild cat hybrid. For Safari cats the wild cat is the Geoffroy’s cat (scientific name: Oncifelis geoffroyi). Geoffroy’s cat is found in South America.They are about the same size as a large domestic cat and look similar to a domestic cat. You’ll see the white spot against black on the back of the Sabini’s ears. This is directly inherited from his Geoffroy’s cat father. This wild cat has a slightly shorter tail and a more flattened head than a domestic cat. I think you can see that flatter head in Sabini.
As you might guess the resultant offspring are large and have a lot of the wild in them which includes a more alert brain. The general opinion is that wild cats are smarter than domestic cats because they have to be to survive. F1 domestic cats are known for their intelligence and can be demanding partly for that reason. There are some other F1 cats on this site – several Savannah cats (serval x domestic) and a Chausie (jungle cat x domestic).
Note: the pictures are copyright Melissa. Please respect copyright. If you want to use a picture please leave a comment and contact details.
F Safari cats are very rare. This is what Melissa says about her Sabini…..
…Sabini will be 9 years old in January. We adopted him from a breeder called Select Exotics in Illinois. I don’t think they breed Safari cats anymore, since the litters are so hard to make due to the chromosome mismatch between the Geoffroy’s cat and the domestic.
Sabini is definitely not your typical domestic cat. He is much smarter than most cats, but also tends to be more loving and more demanding. In fact he is more loving to people he knows well, but he is wary of strangers and people he only sees occasionally.
He is 22 pounds when he is lean, but since we adopted a litter of kittens this last May, he has gotten up to a chunky 25 pounds by sneaking some of their dry kitten food. I am sending one old picture of him with our old Ragdoll, Kabuki. They were inseparable while Kabuki was alive, and you can get a good idea about how large he is by how much room he takes up on the XL dog bed.
Sabini likes to go outside. He likes to use our Gordon Setter as “his” hunting dog. He lets her use her nose to trail something, and when she goes to flush it out…he’s there to catch it.
He also likes to catch catfish out of our pond. I will throw catfish food out, and he will wade in up to his neck. I will throw the food closer and closer to him and when the catfish get close enough he pulls one out. He’s never quite figured how to pull one completely out of the water though. They start thrashing, and when he sits on it to try to subdue it, the fish can usually wiggle its way out of his grasp in the mud and get back into the water.
Sabini has a most unusual meow and actually sounds like he’s trying to say different words when I talk to him and he answers me. He’s more like a dog, in that he comes when I call. He’ll sit on command for treats, and he used to play fetch until we got dogs and they took over that “duty.”
Here are some more pictures. They are thumbnails. Click on them to see full frame large format images on a new page.