Wild cat hybrids, the designer pets of the cat world? Why not settle for a shelter cat!

by Maggie
(Australia)

A designer cat with a beautiful coat, or a typical tabby with the most beautiful personality, and an inspiring story to match!

A designer cat with a beautiful coat, or a typical tabby with the most beautiful personality, and an inspiring story to match!

Oodles and oodles of Groodles, Cavoodles, Labradoodles, and Schnoodles, just to name a few, can be found far and wide all across the globe. Designer, or hybrid dogs, are becoming increasingly popular, and are filling the pockets of breeders and pet shops everywhere. But has anyone stopped to think that maybe there are cat versions of these designer dogs? After a lot of thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Savannahs, Bengals, Chausies and Caracats of the world are the feline version of the ever growing varieties of designer dogs. Designer dogs serve no purpose, they don’t herd sheep, pull carts or hunt game, they have no history that makes them who they are, someone just decided to breed a Poodle with every other dog breed they could think of. The same goes for wild hybrid cats, they didn’t come over on a solider’s ship after the Abyssinian War, like the Abyssinian cat did, they weren’t given as a gift to the British Consul-General hundreds of years ago by the King of Siam, like the Siamese cat was, and they certainly don’t claim to have travelled from Persia to Italy in 1620 with Pietro Della Valle, like the Persian cat did! No, their history consists of someone taking a wild cat, who should never have been ‘owned’ by humans to begin with, and breeding it to your typical moggie. Quite a sad and disappointing history, if you ask me…

There are two types of cat breeders, in my opinion, irresponsible breeders who just want to breed good looking cats to make money, and reputable breeders, who breed because they have a passion for a specific breed, and want to see that breed flourish and positively develop. And while I’ll agree that today, there are reputable designer cat breeders, I even happen to know some, I do think that the initial reason behind breeding a wild cat with a moggie was the $5,000 – $20,000 adoption fee! While it’s incredibly hard to believe, people are willing to pay that much for unique, unusual looking cat that can sometimes outgrow a medium sized dog! But is it fair to charge that much money for a cat based solely on its looks and its fancy ‘breed’ name? With the amount of money people are paying for these designer animals, I could adopt a huge number of shelter cats, who would otherwise die. In fact, I could probably start my own shelter! Buying a cat based on its looks is incredibly shallow and self centred. A cat is not defined by its coat quality, ear placement, and type, it is defined by its unique individual personality, characteristics and life story. I feel that designer cats, or perhaps I could even risk going as far to say all purebred cats in general, are encouraging people to buy cats based on their physical exterior, rather than their personalities, which is who the cat truly is!

Could I argue that designer and pedigree cats are promoting cats in shelters? Yes, absolutely! I volunteer at a shelter twice a week, and it breaks my heart to come in week after week and see the same cats, patiently waiting to be adopted. What’s worse is that there’s a constant flow of unwanted, neglected or abused cats coming in, this flow is stronger than the flow of healthy adoption cats walking out the door with their new owners. While I play with the shelter cats, and hope that next week I won’t see them because they’re in their new homes, I can’t help but think of all those people who just bought a $5000 wild hybrid because they thought it was the most amazingly unique looking cat they’ve ever seen! I’ve got some advice for these people, spend a few hours at a shelter and get to know all the cats, then maybe you’ll learn that the amazingly unique coat on that wild hybrid, is no match for the amazingly unique, and priceless personality, that comes with a shelter cat!

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a designer cat, adopt from a shelter, shelter cats can be as little as $75! Then maybe you can spend thousands on spoiling your little survivor rotten!

Maggie

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Wild cat hybrids, the designer pets of the cat world? Why not settle for a shelter cat!

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Apr 23, 2012 a matter of “taste” NEW
by: AnonymousI wasnt disagreeing with you that breeding these cats was wrong. i was merely pointing out that its a matter of taste. if your going to go out and BUY an animal, “which i have never done” It’s the individuals taste that prompts them to pick and choose which animal they want to spend there money on. and if you will review my preivious objection you will see that i agree with you on that point. I was merely pointing out that hybrid cats have as much right to a good home as does shelter cats. I understand the plight of the shelter cats, i myself own one. His name is Cosmo. I also own a beautiful Russian Blue named Misha, and an osicat mix. Yes it is horrible how they are exploited. I dont think animals should be exploited and experimented on. but my cats are my life, and my heart is big enough for ALL speicies. I to would own a shelter if i could afford it. The cold hard truth is this. not everyone who owns an expensive animal or and expensive car or house or buys expensive clothes and food, are shallow. You cant label everyone who owns a hybrid as shallow and insensitive. I garentee that you will find they love their pets as much as you love yours. Shame on the breeders who engineered these cats, but dont fault the people who enjoy them, for giving them homes. they are just as deserving as anyone for the love of a pet.

Apr 22, 2012 To Anonymous NEW
by: Maggie Anonymous, I do not hate the individual hybrid cats of the world. They are cats, and in general cats are very loving and loyal animals. I hate that they, and their wild relatives, have been exploited and physically manipulated to be appealing to shallow, ignorant people. I disagree, there is most certainly a LOT wrong with wanting to ‘own’ an animal because it looks unique or unusual. It’s very shallow to like a person based solely upon the way they look, why should a cat be any different? If you shop for a cat because you like the way it looks, you shouldn’t have a cat. I’ve met cats that people have said are ‘ugly’, but have had the most gorgeous personalities you could possibly imagine. These cats get adopted because people look through their insignificant exterior, and adopt them because they love their personality!

At the shelter we currently have a black and white cat called Bob, who wasn’t so lucky when it came to looks, but to me, he’s the perfect cat. He is friendly, loyal, loving, affectionate, confident, and a really relaxed, chilled out cat. He is the type of cat that I want to adopt, he’s not the best looking cat, but who really cares,he’s got a personality worth more than any fancy looking hybrid! If I had room for more cats, there would be a place for Bob in my home!


Apr 22, 2012 agree to disagree NEW
by: Anonymous while you paint a good picture and case for the shelter cats.. and this is the point I want to agree on.. You painted a very negative picture of the hybred cat. They to have very loving loyal and unique personalities. they are not all defective (mentally and emotionally) just because they are hybreds, they have a wide variety of enjoyment and love to give. I agree with you that making these hybreds and selling them for that large of a profit is horrible. you are right that there are a vast amount of moogies and regular cats out there for adoption and i myself like your run of the mill cat and own a few of them. But there is nothing wrong with wanting an animal that looks different or is unique. My mother was given a Bengal as a gift from my motherinlaw. ZAZU was the best cat my mother ever owned. She was stolen from our house when there was a break in. and my mother still mourns the lose of her to this day. Dont hate on the hybred. Hate on the people who pay such high prices for these animals.

Apr 22, 2012 agree to disagree NEW
by: Anonymous while you paint a good picture and case for the shelter cats.. and this is the point I want to agree on.. You painted a very negative picture of the hybred cat. They to have very loving loyal and unique personalities. they are not all defective (mentally and emotionally) just because they are hybreds, they have a wide variety of enjoyment and love to give. I agree with you that making these hybreds and selling them for that large of a profit is horrible. you are right that there are a vast amount of moogies and regular cats out there for adoption and i myself like your run of the mill cat and own a few of them. But there is nothing wrong with wanting an animal that looks different or is unique. My mother was given a Bengal as a gift from my motherinlaw. ZAZU was the best cat my mother ever owned. She was stolen from our house when there was a break in. and my mother still mourns the lose of her to this day. Dont hate on the hybred. Hate on the people who pay such high prices for these animals.

Apr 22, 2012 I agree also NEW
by: Mrs M How in all conscience can anybody who says they love the feline species, breed more and newer cats from wild cats and moggies, making money by doing so whilst knowing for every one of those cats another cat is homeless.
Maybe as Ruth says those people wouldn’t have a common or garden moggie anyway but I think they would if no cats to show off about were available.

Apr 22, 2012 My sentiments to the poor cats! NEW
by: Anonymous Maggie:
As a cat lover/rescuer/helper for over 50 yrs I wholeheartedly agree with you. Let the wild cat be & live in their natural domain. Inbreeding causes genetic problem not only with animals but humans as well. Some states will not allow a marriage even if they’re 3rd cousins, what’s the risk?
Mentally & physically abnormal offspring.
It’s cruel to allow inbreeding with any animals, genetic makeup is programmed into our DNA & can’t be changed.
Appreciate your candor in researching/writing article.
A cat lover/rescuer/helper
keenpetite
Southeast Arizona (USA)

Apr 22, 2012 How I agree! NEW
by: Ruth A brilliant article Maggie, written in your own unique and heartfelt way and every word you wrote is true.
It breaks my heart that wild and domestic cats are being interbred for their looks and people are paying thousands of pounds for their ‘trophy cat’ while cats equally as beautiful are being killed every day in Rescue Shelters because there is a shortage of homes for cats.
To me a true cat lover loves all cats, all colours, all shapes and sizes and would never buy a cat especially bred rather than give a needy cat a home.
As you say, you could probably open a Rescue Centre with the money some people spend on one single especially bred cat.
Maybe some breeders do love their cats but they apparently don’t love all cats or they would realise that for every kitten they sell they are probably depriving many of the ordinary every day ones of the chance of a loving home.
On the other hand, maybe someone who will only have a designer cat isn’t the sort of person who woould give an ordinary cat a home anyway.
I just don’t know, but whatever, I think it’s very sad so many cats are being removed more and more from their natural lives in this ‘must possess’ world of today.
Kattaddorra signature Ruth

 


Apr 21, 2012 Yes NEW
by: Michael I positively agree with you in every way. But don’t tell anybody that. Thanks for taking the time to share your views, Maggie.

It’s appreciated.


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