People interested in the wild cat hybrids ask: “Could a sand cat breed with a house cat?”. The answer is yes and it is called the “Marguerite”. In 2014 it was a new cat breed. It is a sand cat crossed with a domestic cat. The domestic cat, in this instance, is a female ticked tabby. The pictures immediately below show two young, first filial (F1) Marguerites. ‘First filial’ means first generation so their parents are a male sand cat and a female domestic cat. More on that below. And at the base of the page are pictures of what I believe are second generation 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.
This wild cat hybrid’s name comes from General Margueritte who lead an expedition. The cat was discovered by Capt. Victor Loche in 1856 in Eastern Algeria.
Sarah Hartwell of the messybeast.com website says about the Marguerite:
“Thought you might like a photo and info regarding the F1 Sand Cat domestic hybrids which are now registered under the breed’s 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 resemble 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.”
Here is are a couple of pictures of what I believe are a pair of second-generation Marguerites from the PUREBLISS CATTERY:
The breeder of the kittens above says that they don’t like to be on their own and need to be adopted out in pairs. I am not sure of the logic behind that. They also say that they have sweet temperaments – ‘very soft natured’. I have to say the F2 cats are not that interesting in their appearance. I don’t think this wild cat hybrid has gained any traction as a successful pet to put it simply. And I think the reason is because their appearance compared to the well-known Bengal is muted and less outstanding. Appearance is all when it comes to the wild cat hybrids. These are exotic pets. They need to look exotic too.
Here is another picture from the same cattery:
The information above was ‘early release of information’ in 2014 from Sarah. She was very thankful be given the opportunity to write about this cat. It was hoped the cats would make a public debut over the next few months. Update 2021: I think this was a bit of a non-event. Perhaps the era of excitement about the wild cat hybrid is over. The mainstream wild cat hybrids: Bengal and Savannah are probably enough. There are many others – click here to see a list.
- Click this to read about this new wild cat hybrid on Sarah’s website.
- Sand cat information in plain English.
I have a page on living with wild cat hybrids. Please click here.
Note: this page was written in 2014. It has been upgraded and republished on Nov 30, 2021.