Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Hybrid Cats: Pets From Dreamland
Well folks, when was the last time you wanted to have a Tiger for a pet? Or perhaps a Leopard? Maybe you wanted to show off like the Kings of the Moghul dynasty, or were inspired by "Scarface" Tony Montana to buy one, as a mark of your courage, but seriously speaking- could you ever have a wild cat for a pet?
Apart from the seemingly impossible task of catching one (in its infancy), training it to be a docile pet, keeping it under a leash and feeding it through the year, there's also the government to appease- they aren't gonna allow you to grow an endangered species without special permission.
So why go through all that trouble when you can simply get yourself one of the Hybrid Cats? What are they?
Well, they're feline pets right out of your dream- they are exactly what you wanted pets to be- they are miniature and docile versions of the Big Cats.
Yes! By artificial breeding, many varieties of Cats 'cat'ering to customers needs have been created.
Some of them are the Bengal Cat, The Savannah and The Ashera. Of these Bengal cat has attracted my attention the most. It is the cross of an Asian Leopard Cat and the domestic cat, and voila, you have a cat that resembles the Tiger (or a Leopard) in appearance with all the domestic characteristics of a normal Cat.
Here's a set of pics for you to see the difference:
As you can see clearly, the one on the left is the Bengal Cat, and on the right is the Royal Bengal Tiger (Ganguly, anyone?)
The Savannah is derived from a cross of the regular cat with the African Serval. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serval)
It resembles a long slender bodied cat with long ears- its more like a Cheetah and I think its the least adorable of the three varieties. (It looks like a malformed Cheetah more than a Cat)
Here's a pic of the Savannah:
The Asherah however is a new variety- something pitted as the rarest and most exotic of domestic Cats. They are a cross between a Serval and the regular cat, and a further cross with the Asian Leopard Cat- to produce an amazing triple traits Cat- having the spots of a Leopard along with contrasting stripes of a Tiger! And guess what does it cost- a whopping 22 grand ($22,000)! All for a Cat??!!
Here're some pics of the Asherah:
But from what I see- The Bengal looks most regal, while the Asherah seems nothing special- its mishmash of so many varieties leaves the final product neither here nor there. Growing up to 30 pounds, the Ashera is believed to be the largest pet cat available today. US based company Lifestyle Pets Inc. has already sold three of these felines, which are made to be uniform in size by genetic motoring.
Besides that, they are extremely social, and also allow being handled with a leash (unusual for cats). And sources say the breeding of these cats is severely limited, thereby only under a 100 cats will be available each year.
Well, all in all- unless you become one of those tibetan monks who play with tigers, this is as close you'd get to a real Tiger.