The internet is buzzing about Thor, a Bengal cat with gorgeous fur. “I want one, too!” But do you? Really?
Having rescued 57 hybrid cats and referring so many more to other sanctuaries, we know a lot about cats like Thor. And it’s not at all what the breeders promise.
Hybrid Cats are NOT Like Domestic Cats
Most of our hybrid rescues have been surrendered from people who purchased these designer cats from a breeder. (Read dozens and dozens of first-hand stories HERE.) They were told they had the look of a leopard and the personality of a domestic cat – which is just not true. You can never predict how much of the wild and how much of the domestic cat will be in these cats’ genetic makeup.
Though buyers are willing to spend a lot of money on exotic looking cats, they’re later shocked and don’t want any of the common breed-specific traits they come with. They just wanted a pretty cat, that’s all.
Living with the loud meows and yowling common to these cats or putting up with the pungent odor of their marking and urinating all over the house, destroying carpet, walls and furniture, makes most owners scramble, looking for a solution.
Guess what? There is none! That’s the nature of the beast, as they say.
They seem to be surprised by the chronic health issues these breeds are commonly afflicted with, too. After buyers pay breeders thousands of dollars, now they find vet bills for chronic diarrhea, upper respiratory infections, and more piling up. It can often make the initial purchase price seem paltry.
Bengals and hybrids coming from catteries also have a greater chance of having FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) – a fatal disease in cats. Nothing is more heartbreaking than saying goodbye to a cat you’ve fallen in love with. Read what it was like for this owner who surrendered her FIP kitten Esteban to us after spending thousands of dollars trying to diagnose his many problems. By the way, the breeder did not help at all.
We Can Do Better
It’s easy for many people to understand why a 400-pound tiger should not be kept as a pet, but people will still try to keep these small wild cats and hybrid cats as pets. They don’t seem to understand that no matter the size, wild means wild!
These cats are caught between two worlds. Some are feral or shy, others want attention, most have health and behavioral issues when they’re surrendered to us. We accept the soiling, health and behavioral problems that most people refuse to accept. With donations, we’re able to provide them indoor and outdoor areas where they can stretch their natural wild side.
We encourage anyone considering a bengal or hybrid cat as a pet to read first-hand stories from previous owners and the problems they’ve faced before you make a decision you may live to regret. And read the reality of what it’s like for these cats at the breeders’ catteries, cats like Sapphire. For those of you have rescued a Bengal or hybrid cat and have stayed committed to your cat, thank you!
With so many wonderful domestic animals in desperate need of homes, there’s simply no excuse for purchasing or breeding exotic cats as pets. We hope you’ll help us educate others whenever you see hybrids being promoted as appropriate pets – since nothing could be further from the truth.
Please share this link that has everything you need or ever wanted to know about hybrids. We need your help in preventing more hybrid cats from being senselessly bred for profit. Education is the key.
Thank you for your donations that help us care for all these castoff hybrids we’ve given sanctuary to. Without you, they’d have no other option.
All image source: Wildcat Sanctuary