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Is any of this true?

Bengal, Savannah, and Chausie, all Hybrids of domestic cats with exotic/wild cat species

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Saskia
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Is any of this true?

Postby Saskia » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:32 am

Hi,

I posted a thread a bit ago, but I have been doing some reading and now think I'd better post another one. I've been planning to get an F2 Jungle Cat hybrid female as a family pet. I expect she will be fixed and not used as a breeder. I was very excited by the prospect of having a super-intelligent cat with such strong bonds of loyalty and a great personality, and was fullly prepared for some excess energy and possible challenges that come from owning a pet too smart to easily control. Honestly, before a few hours ago, I could not wait to get my new cat.

Well, this evening I started doing some more reading online, and I came across several websites run by what seem to be anti-hybrid organizations. Many of them are wild cat rescue sanctuaries who say they are being overrrun by people who give up their hybrid cats, essentially because they are not suitable to be kept as pets. They say they are filled to capacity with these animals and can't even take any more.

The message seems to be that owning a hybrid cat will basically ruin your life. They claim they have tons of health problems (digestive issues, heart problems, kidney disease, etc.), are unpredictable and will attack you for no reason, and are impossible to litter box train.

So, now here I am in the position of never having cared for these cats, and I don't know what to believe. Are any of these concerns valid, or is it all propoganda? I do understand that some potential wildness problems may arise from an F1 hybrid, but would this be the same for an F2 with only around 25 % wild genes? Please, if there is is any information you could share with me about your own experiences, I would be very grateful.
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Re: Is any of this true?

Postby Ash » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:56 pm

Do not let those people get to you. They are animal rights activists who eventually wish to ban all ownership of these gorgeous animals. Most people who are breeding "higher generation" animals knows what they are doing, and they're the ones who should be doing it.

They will not ruin your life. You have studied and prepared for your new addition. She will bring you great happiness, sometimes drive you up the wall, but she is not going to be another "horror story." The way some of these anti-hybrid/AR activists attack these animals is very misleading. I can guarantee you, that these "sanctuaries" taking in the F1 hybrids aren't doing anybody but themselves a favor--there are PLENTY of people out there would be more than willing to take an F1 off of your hands and give it a great home. It's full of exaggerations.

Don't let their lies and negative attitude get to you. ;) You'll run into people like that anywhere you go, but there's a great exotic pet community that's always here to help and support you. Honestly, you'll probably love your new kitty, and if anything, the experience will be new and refreshing.
3 red fox, 4 iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, tarantula
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Nìmwey
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Re: Is any of this true?

Postby Nìmwey » Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:59 pm

One thing to remember with sanctuaries/rescues of ANY animal - is that they only see the bad.
These numbers I am completely pulling out of my ass, but say if 5% of any particular animal species suffers and ends up in rescues, then those 5% are seen as 95-100% by the rescue people, because again, that's ALL they see.
So from that, many of them want to severely regulate or even ban ownership of those animals, because they're so tired of seeing heartbreak all around them, and truly believes these animals (whatever the kind) nearly always suffer in captivity.

Then there are the (rare, but existent) ones who purposely lie and cheat to meet some kind of agenda they've made up for themselves. Like Big Cat Rescue, who frequently changes the story of the animals they have (one cat goes from having been bought as a cub to being a poor, abused rescue for example), lie about pretty much everything, want to ban both zoos and private individuals from doing what they're doing, and being huge hypocrites, breeding and selling cubs years after they say they stopped, and saying they (the woman behind BCR is who I'm talking about now) "want the biggest exotic cat collection in the world".
Don't believe a word from those people. They're there to tug at heartstrings with sob stories and fill their pockets, not help animals.

But most are of the above category - truly want to do the best thing, but only see the bad cases.
My main interest is in parrots, dogs, toothed whales and snakes.
Future animals I want to have when we have land are camels, wolfdogs/wolves, coyotes or jackals, striped hyena or aardwolf. Also poultry, rabbits water buffalo and/or yak for livestock.
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Re: Is any of this true?

Postby kermisracer » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:28 am

Hard to say without knowing the kitten's personality or your experience with difficult animals. Early generation hybrids have a wide range of personalities. I'm confident that unprovoked attacks are something of a myth, but these cats won't tolerate a lot of stuff most domestic cats are okay with: being picked up, sitting in your lap, physical contact period. So it's easy to provoke them, even if you're clueless about what you did wrong. They may be fine with being handled as kittens, and then again when they're a lot older, but they'll always be more standoffish than domestic cats. That said, some cats may act more "tame" than others; and there's greater variation among F2s than F1s.

Unfortunately, nobody can tell you what your kitten will be like. It's not as simple as saying the cat's "only" 25% wild. What are the parents like? How was she raised? How skittish/laid-back is her basic personality?

As I indicated in the other thread, if normal wildcat behaviors - peeing/pooping wherever, standoffishness, hissing - bother you, I would consider this very carefully. What I find tolerable (Aww, look, they peed on the couch again!) may be a deal breaker for someone else. One of ours pees on stuff several times a week, the other one only about once or twice a month.

EG hybrids do well with owners who can roll with the punches and who can arrange their lives around the cat's needs. For example, our younger one loves me but acts a little bossy toward my partner. But even though he runs happy dance circles around me when I come home, he'd never let me pick him up. Most hate being handled as adults. They'll got out of their way to avoid direct physical contact, unless they're sleepy or when you're handing out food. Our older one does a little better; when he's in the mood, we can pick him up without getting bitten, and sometimes he even purrs a little.

Granted, bossiness should be less of a problem with a girl cat, but keep in mind that a bite or scratch is no joke. She may not be much bigger than a domestic cat, but she'll be stronger and more determined. Unlike domestic cats they won't ever back down when cornered.

So I would say it's true that many new owners are not prepared for the reality of caring for a cat whose response to stimuli (and musculature) aren't fully domesticated. Adopting one requires some planning, a good attitude, and is almost certainly life-changing.
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Re: Is any of this true?

Postby Ash » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:41 am

^^Thanks for your input, kermisracer. I'd heard differing things regarding F2s, so it's great to have an owner's perspective on the matter.

Maybe an outdoor cat pen could be good if the cat turns out to be more than you can handle, just so your furniture stays nice. You could still bring it inside everyday, but when unsupervised, put it in its little cattery.

That's what most fox owners do with their foxies.
3 red fox, 4 iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, tarantula
kermisracer
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Re: Is any of this true?

Postby kermisracer » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:43 pm

Access to a suitable outdoor enclosure is always a great idea. It's a must-have with F1s. An F2 may do all right living indoors full time. The cat would be okay either way; much depends on what an owner is willing to tolerate. We prefer they do at least some of their spraying outside, lol.

BTW, the boys will be 8 and 4 years old this year. Here's an image from last winter!

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Ash
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Re: Is any of this true?

Postby Ash » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:53 pm

I always forget how beautiful your cats are until I see pictures of them, Kermisracer. They are stunning.
3 red fox, 4 iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, tarantula

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