Friday, December 4, 2015

Hybrid cats | Savannah + Bengal breeds

We've got two new kittens! Presenting Ginger Ramona, an SBT Bengal cat on the left, and Gretel Catalina, an F5 SBT Savannah on the right.


We originally wanted a dog or two for accompanying us on hikes and around town, but we were reluctant to adopt an animal who would spend any time outdoors alone considering the attack of our beloved cat Cairo by coyotes in our fenced backyard.


I've always said that pound for pound, cats are the best pets out there. But how can you marry the independent easiness of a cat with the dog-like ability to leash-train and safely adventure outside?


Answer: the hybrid cat! And by hybrid I mean either (or both, in our case) a Bengal cat or a Savannah cat.


Bengal cats are hybrids of the Asian Leopard Cat and domestic cat, and they are known for their moxie on leash and in the water. This is a chatty, highly-intelligent cat that will not be afraid of venturing outdoors with you. You can watch a brief but lively video about the breed on Animal Planet's website here.


Savannahs, on the other hand, are a mix of Serval and domestic cat. They commonly possess the same qualities the Bengal breed is prized for: high intelligence, trainability, love of water and the ability to be trained to walk on leash. See more about Savannahs on Animal Planet here.


While these breeds offer the flexibility of cat ownership with the confidence and outdoor-loving qualities of a dog, they also possess certain challenges: their high intelligence requires that they get regular playtime and exercise of both their mind and body. We felt that with young, very active children and also with me being an enthusiastic owner of cats in the past, we would have this covered - in fact when we met cats who were very shy or timid, we quickly evaluated them to be poor fits for this family of people who would be constantly competing with each other for the cats' attention.





They've been so much fun to have in our family. When Ginger first joined us, she played until she fell asleep sitting up!



We also learned that their wild ancestry leads to funny playtime growling... we hadn't heard that since having a dog.




And sure enough, they have learned to walk on leash very quickly. Aside from food time and turkey treats, I think it's their favorite part of the day.










And best of all, they have each other. They are constantly play-fighting or cat-napping together.



These cats have brought our home so much joy. Please write me with questions on the breeds - I'm happy to share the knowledge we are rapidly gaining on these two dynamic animals!


Thanks for looking :) xo

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