Melanistic Jungle Cat and Chausie

This is a nice comparison between a melanistic (black) Jungle cat and a melanistic Chausie in a single image. The Chausie is a rare wild cat hybrid and a cross between the jungle cat and the well known Abyssinian. I think, strictly speaking, the cross is usually the Abyssinian but it might on occasion be another domestic cat.

The noticeable thing about these cats is the “ticked” coat. Although it is black it has that typical Abyssinian ticked coat that becomes more apparent when the background colour is black. This is a tabby coat without the tabby markings (pattern). Although the Abyssinian does have some markings but few.

Melanistic Jungle Cat and Chausie. Black cats with a ticked coat (called grizzled in the cat fancy). Photo of Chausie is copyright Helmi Flick.

Melanistic Jungle Cat and Chausie. Black cats with a ticked coat (called grizzled in the cat fancy). Photo of Chausie is copyright Helmi Flick. Photo of melanistic jungle cat by Joachim S. Müller.

Update: 10th Feb 2013. The original photo of a melanistic jungle cat has been removed because the photographer, Christian Hunold, decided I could no longer show it here despite offers of payment and more. Some people are like that.


The jungle cat in the picture has a very wild cat look. In fact he looks a little like a dog! It is interesting that the male jungle cat has a loud howl that sounds like a bark. Maybe this cat thinks he is a dog. While the Chausie, which I think is an F1 (first fillial or generation from the wild), has a relatively sweet appearance. There is, though, a definite likeness.

The jungle cat is not usually black but black versions of brown wild cats are not uncommon. The best known is the generic “black panther” which is a melanistic leopard, jaguar or less commonly a cougar. Black servals are not uncommon either.

The jungle cat is actually a water loving smallish wildcat weighing about 8-13 pounds with a tawny coat. They are one of the water loving wild cats and use streams to escape dogs etc. They also fish. Their range extends from the Middle East to India and includes Southeast Asia.

The ancient Egyptians apparently trained jungle cats to hunt wildfowl and mummified remains have been found in tombs. The Chausie is a very active and intelligent wild cat hybrid. They are definitely domestic cats but you’ll have to be pretty active yourself to live with one!

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Melanistic Jungle Cat and Chausie — 4 Comments

  1. Thanks for your constant education. This a strange and beautiful cat. And 8 to 13 pounds seems so small. Like a small domestic cat. Very interesting. I’d love to see a picture of him in a larger setting for size comparison.

    dw

    • Hi dw, I think I have understated the weight slightly. The range is probably nearer 7-22 lbs. You may get some that are up to 30 lbs. I used a book for the initial figures that is probably less reliable than my usual sources (I should have used PoC!). However, a lot of jungle cats are smaller than a large domestic cat. A large number of species of wild cat are similar in size to the domestic cat. The world’s smallest cat, wild or domestic is the gorgeous rusty spotted cat which can be as small as 1.76 pounds.

  2. They are both such amazing looking cats. One of my friends kittens this last spring was black with long long fur and the ends were ticked like that. It gave her an almost silver sheen. I thought she looked very special although I now have her littermate and sister. I am curious now, having read this article, what she looks like now. Perhaps she is melanistic. Her sister is a shorthair tuxedo, so no particular relation there. Different dad’s I suppose. But this kitten definitely has a very special look to her. The ticks only started to show after a few weeks, not in the begginning.

    The photos of the 2 cats in this article are really something! And I agree with Dorothy that the Jungle cat has a much bigger look or style such that you might expect him to weigh alot more than 8-13pounds. Without a measurement or scale object next to him you really have no idea. If you said he was the size of a big leopard I would believe it maybe! What a character 🙂

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