This is a wild cat hybrid and a new cat breed called the “Marguerite”. It is a sand cat crossed with a domestic cat. The domestic cat, in this instance, is a female ticked tabby. The pictures show two young, first filial (F1) Marguerites. The sand cat is the only true desert living cat. The sand cat’s anatomy has evolved for desert living. The cat’s prey (mostly gerbils) provides all the water it needs. There is thick fur on the undersides of the paws. The ears are very large to pick up the sound of prey when hunting at night.
The name comes from General Margueritte who lead an expedition. The cat was discovered by Capt.Victor Loche in 1856 in Eastern Algeria.
I must thank Sarah Hartwell of the Messybeast website for telling me about this new cat breed. This is what she says about the Marguerite:
“Thought you might like a photo & info regarding the F1 Sand Cat domestic hybrids which are now registered under the breed name ‘Marguerite’.
The sire is a pet Sand Cat who was surplus to conservation breeding; his siblings are used in Sand Cat breeding programmes so his genetic input wasn’t needed, but it’s a good idea to keep him entire in case he is ever required on breeding loan to a zoo.
His breeding consort is a ticked tabby domestic female and he is also companionable with the pet cats in the household. Their offspring’s head and body shape resembles that of their Sand Cat sire, being sturdy with stocky legs and large feet; the black “armbands” are also a Sand Cat trait.
Their ears are relatively wide-set and large, and their muzzles fairly narrow. Sand Cats themselves are tameable (but not domesticated) and these F1 offspring are friendly, especially the males.
As well as being affectionate (including with visitors and the vet), they are very rowdy and rather destructive when playing. One oddity is that they prefer not to jump onto seats, laps, shoulders etc, but climb up instead. They bark like Sand Cats and also meow, though the mew is an ‘eeing’ sound.”
Further information will follow in due course. This is a early release of information and I am very thankful be given the opportunity to write about this cat. It’s hoped the cats will make a public debut in the next few months.