I am going to make a comment on the Ashera Savannah debate , a dangerous thing to do but I can’t resist and it is relevant to this cat breed. There is a Blogger site on the subject that the Ashera is a Savannah. Fine. I am taking a neutral stance. But I can’t see the point of a website built around such a narrow topic. You can say all you want to say on Twitter on the subject or if you want to be verbose, as I am, a page will suffice. Well, not quite.
All of us involved with cats know that the Ashera looks like a Savannah. We should remember that there are two types of Ashera, one is called the Ashera GD and the other Ashera. The former is claimed to be hypoallergenic. You can read about it here: Allerca Cats. “GD” stands for “genetic divergences” in LifeStyle Pets language. LifeStyle Pets say that the Ashera is “blend …of the bloodlines of the African Serval and Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) subsequently bred with a domestic cat”. This might mean a Serval/Bengal cross.
The Savannah is a domestic cat/Serval hybrid so on the written word they might be different on the breeding and the Ashera GD is different again on the fact that it is claimed to be hypoallergenic. Hypoallergenic means that people will not be allergic to this cat. Some people are allergic to the allergen (a protein) Fel D 1 in the saliva. LifeStyle Pets claim to have created a cat that I presume does not have this allergen or it is a modified version of the allergen. It is fair to say that some cats are more prone to produce this allergen or a stronger version of it. I have personal experience of that. I am not allergic to cats but I am very allergic to a stray cat I feed.
OK on paper the Ashera is different to the Savannah. Lets look at things differently. The website mentioned above says the Ashera is a Savannah. But as the Ashera (not the GD version) is neither registered with a cat association nor has a pedigree with a cat association is it fair to say that LifeStyle pets can call the cat whatever name they like? (but see below). Is an unregistered Savannah a Savannah? That is the question. I don’t think it is. For a purebred cat to be purebred and receive the name of the breed it is meant to be, there has to be paperwork to evidence that.
Then we have the Ashera GD. I have seen nothing on the internet that says that this cat is not hypoallergenic. And if it is hypoallergenic it is different to the Savannah and can therefore be named differently. So on both counts it could be argued that the naming of the Ashera is not a deception as claimed. But see below.
Now a bit of news. More Ashera Savannah debate. The Ashera cats that were detained at Schipol airport in the Netherlands have apparently been DNA tested and found to be Savannah cats.
I have received official word today that it has been confirmed all three Savannah kittens confiscated in the Netherlands are from my cattery!!! The court is still proceeding and the decision has not yet been made as to where the kittens will go. I have requested their return but it’s up to the judge. However, their forensic labs have all confirmed they are from parent cats owned by me, Christopher Shirk of Cutting Edge Cats. They are Savannahs produced by my cats, not Ashera cats from Simon Brodie’s scamming Life Style Pets business. I guess Simon Brodie, if you’re reading this, you’ll do what you do best….disappear. …But you will face the consequences of what you did to my kittens. CHRIS”
by Chris Shirk of Cutting Edge Savannahs.
Well, if that is correct, it is a scam because proper pedigree Savannah cats are being passed off as Ashera cats. But I would like to see the actual DNA test documents and match them to the cats of Cutting Edge Savannahs to be absolutely sure. And this is not being disrespectful of Mr Shirk. I just need to confirm that this is what happened. Is that the end of the Ashera Savannah debate? I’d like to know what Cutting edge Savannahs did about it. Is there anything in his contract of sale to prevent his cats being passed off as another cat? Bearing in mind the nature of the ongoing Ashera Savannah debate I would have thought that Savannah cat breeders would have a term in the contract that dealt with this possibility.
Conclusion: The Ashera Savannah debate continues……