Cats were first adopted by humans only 10,000 years ago, so your cat’s DNA is only a pounce away from its wild ancestors. Some domestic cats, however, are genetically particularly close to the wild relatives. We’re talking about the hybrid cats, of course! Here are 3 wild cats who are crossed with domestic cats for the creation of hybrids around the world.
The Jungle cat (Felis chaus)
This Jungle cat is also known as the “Swamp cat” because it lives in wet or swampy areas in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The Jungle cat was loved by Egyptians who kept them as pets, and even mummified them. This wild cat wouldn’t make the most purrfect oet, because it is very solitary, nervous and it loves to spray! However, its hybrid offspring, the Chausies, combines the exotic appearance of the Jungle cat with the furriendly personality of a domestic cat.
Chausies are considered “true” breeds at the fourth generation of breeding, meaning that their DNA is 1/16th Jungle cat.
The Asian Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)
The Asian Leopard cat is widespread throughout Asia and it is about the same size as a domestic cat. Despite its small size, it’s known for being quite FIERCE and is very difficult to domesticate. Chinese farmers kept these cats as pets around 5,000 years ago, but they soon lost favor to today’s domestic cat.
The popular Bengal cats are sport the utmost exotic appearance and coloration of the Asian Leopard, with the loving personality of a domestic cat. In order to qualify as an official Bengal cat, your cat needs to have 1/16th Asian Leopard DNA.
Other official breeds that contain Asian Leopard DNA include the Cheetoh and Serengeti.
African Serval cat (Leptailurus serval)
These medium-sized wildcats are common in Southern Africa and were once worshipped in Ancient Egypt for their grace and power. Servals have spotted bodies, long legs and large, striped ears. Some people claim they make loving pets, but Servals’ predatory needs and size (up to 50 pounds) make them difficult to keep in a household.
Their hybrid offspring, the Savannah, have dog-like personalities and can be strong swimmers. Unlike the Bengal and Chausie, the Savannah’ are considered excellent companions with up to 50% wildcat DNA.
Does your cat’s DNA contain a little bit of WILD? After a short learning curve about hybrid cat care, cat hybrids can be fantastic pets! If you’d like to learn more about your cat’s DNA and their wild cat ancestry, you can purchase a Basepaws CatKit discover the secrets within your cat’s DNA.