Some of the newest cats to break upon the feline scene are the domestic-wild hybrids. These cats are part wild and part domestic and allow owners to have a little bit of the wilderness in their homes. The Savannah, Chausie and Bengal are all domestic-wild hybrids. These are not cats to take lightly, but they are certainly kitties to consider adopting if you have a lifestyle that will permit it.
How are they made?
The genetics behind the wild-domestic hybrids are a bit complex, but they can be broken down into a slightly simpler explanation.
When a wild female becomes pregnant by a domestic male, their offspring are known as the F1 generation of the breed. The males in this litter are sterile, but females are mated back to the father and the resultant off-spring are the F2 generation. Males in this litter are again sterile and all kittens are still quite wild as they posses a quarter now of the original wild genes. So again, females are mated to their father and the F3 generation is created. Males through this generation continue to be sterile and there are definite temperament issues through this generation. The F4 generation, however, can be sold as domestic as the "wild" genes are considered to be significantly weakened and only the appearance remains as a reminder of their wild ancestor.
The F4 Generation is considered to be fully domestic. The earlier generations, especially in the Bengal breed, tend to be a bit unstable and revert back to their wild side. They are not the cats for inexperienced pet owners as they require much patience and understanding. F1-F3 generation cats should not be kept in households with small children and a reputable breeder will ask questions about the home life before allowing one of these cats to be purchased. Each breed requires you to learn about them, just like any other breed of domestic cat. You do not want to purchase an F4 and then not be prepared to meet their activity requirements. Bengals, for example, do not like to be cuddled. They are all about movement. Chausies cannot stand to be left alone and do best with a partner cat. Savannahs love to play in water and have a tendency to jump on people as they are unaware of their size.
Exotic Sounding Cats
The Ocicat, Pixiebob and Toyger are not domestic hybrids, though they may look it. These special cats are purely domestic and merely resemble the cats they look like. It is safe to purchase and live with any generation of these as long as you understand the breeds' needs before purchasing. Never purchase any cat without knowing what special needs the kitties need.
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