There is a wide range of unique cat breeds with different coats, colors, sizes, and shapes. But what happens when you take some of the distinctive feline species and combine their most notable characteristic? You get a hybrid cat, which combines the best of both the breeds-domestic tameness and wild lions.
Hybrid cat breeds can be the product of crossing two domestic cats or a domestic cat and a species of wild cat. this creates genetic diversity and unpredictability with different markings, colors, temperaments, and sizes.
take a look at some of the hybrid cat breeds in the world today.
the 12 hybrid cat breeds
1. bengal cat
This is the most common and popular hybrid cat breed. Breeders created Bengals by crossing domestic cats and Asian leopard cats, with the oldest confirmed case dating to 1934. However, it wasn’t until about two decades ago that they were consistently bred and became the popular breeds they are today. p>
A breeder must separate the Bengal from its parents at least three generations before considering it a domestic cat. Bengals are larger than most domestic cats, and their coats retain the wild leopard-like spots on their backs and bellies.
2. ghetto cat
the cheetoh’s parent breeds are ocicat and bengal cats, bred by carol drymon in 2001. she intended to develop a cheetah-like cat that would display the gentleness of both a wild cat and a domestic cat.
These cats have approximately eight generations of wild cat parents. Guetohs are talkative, bond strongly with their owners, thrive in large, active homes, and love to keep other kitties for company. they are still rare breeds and are by no means little hybrids.
3. savannah cat
Savannah hybrids resemble cheetahs and are taller than typical house cats. They are descendants of the wild African serval and domestic cats and acquired their names after the serval’s habitat in Africa: the savannah.
Like their wild ancestor, savannah hybrids are tall with a slim build, long legs, large ears, and a long neck. they are also intelligent, athletic, and generally lively. they require large game rooms and plenty of exercise to keep them entertained.
Markings similar to those of a tiger stripped of a toy may make you think they are feral cats. They are among the newer cat breeds, developed in 1980 by Judy Sugden after crossing a domestic shorthair cat with a Bengal.
These mini tigers have laid-back personalities, are intelligent, easy-going, and get along well with other cats, dogs, and children.
5. chausie cat
chausies resemble small mountain lions and are the products of a domestic (abyssinian) cat, crossed with a wild cat from the Asian jungle.
This French breed is rare and develops more slowly; it can take up to three years to reach full maturity. Drivers are quick, adventurous, bond with owners and enjoy walking on a leash.
These hybrid cats closely resemble wild African serval cats. however, they do not contain any serval strains, as they are a cross between Bengals and Oriental Shorthairs. this breeding produced a hybrid with an elegant leopard-like cat with a unique spotted coat, an athletic build, and a mild temperament.
Serengeti cats have medium to large sizes, large bones, long legs, long bodies, large round-tipped ears, a small triangular face, and bold eyes. they have short, glossy, close-fitting coats with a rich golden color and widely spaced dark markings. Serengeti cats are generally instinctive, energetic, active, and require large playrooms.
The Highlander is a new experimental hybrid, developed in 2004. It is a cross between two hybrids; a desert lynx and a jungle curlie. For this reason, the Highlander does not have any wild cat genes, which means that it is docile, playful, trusting and affectionate.
They are large, muscular, very energetic, and require a lot of activity to lose some weight. Interestingly, Highlanders love water, unlike other cat breeds.
Pixies are naturally occurring hybrids that began from an unplanned cross between a female domestic shorthair and a male bobcat in 1985. Shorthair owner Ann Brewer named a female offspring pixie, a cat who became the matriarch of the breed.
pixie bobs entered the records of the international cat association (tica) in 1994. these cats are woolly, muscular, large, have docked tails, and feral appearances due to a genetic mutation.
These cats may be products of nature, but they generally make laid-back, affectionate, interactive, and excellent family pets.
- related reading: do bobcats make good pets? what you need to know!
9. jungle curl
A jungle curl is a product of an African jungle cat and a domestic American curl. They are active felines that are quickly gaining popularity thanks to their affectionate and social dispositions and wild appearance.
These felines have the intelligence of their ancestors and the affection and friendliness of domestic cats. Jungle Curls are relatively difficult to breed, making them a rare species. they can only be considered domestic after their fourth or fifth generation.
burmila hybrids originated in the uk. in the early 1980s after crossing the Persian and Burmese chinchilla cat breeds. these cats are stocky, medium-sized, somewhat compact, muscular, and heavy-boned.
A Burmila’s coat is short, soft, and dense, thanks to original blending. They are roundish cats with round heads, round-tipped ears, and slightly slanted eyes. They are also independent, calm, relatively peaceful felines and retain their kittenish traits well into adulthood.
This hybrid is a fully domestic breed, a cross between three domestic cats; the Abyssinian, the chocolate point Siamese and the seal point Siamese. resembles a wild cat even though it is completely domestic.
ocicats have spotted fur, large ears, and resemble ocelots. These cats are relatively new, the result of accidental mating in the 1960s. Despite their exotic appearance, Ocicats are friendly, social, playful, and intelligent.
12. oriental short hair
Oriental shorthair cats must be among the most distinctive and intelligent hybrid cats around. With their big ears, athletic build, and stunning eyes, it’s no wonder people refer to them as “the frills.”
These cats are from the Siamese family, they just have different colors. they share many characteristics with Siamese cats, including long bodies and almond-shaped eyes. Oriental cats are active, highly curious, and people-oriented breeds.
Hybrids are a recent and controversial phenomenon, and some of them may not be recognized by cat registries.
Although they may have a place in most homes, pet parents should be careful when considering adoption because they can be wild enough. but truth be told, these kitties are unique and beautiful.
featured image by: stockelements, shutterstock