The most common domestic cat in the U.S. has always been the domestic shorthair cat breed a.k.a. the alley cat. There are reasons for this specific breed to constitute nearly 95% of all domestic cat breeds in the U.S. and we will get there but there are also some domestic wild cat breeds. What are these breeds and what is their difference to domesticated wild cats?
Domestic Cat or Domestic Short Hair Cat Breed
Although we call the domestic shorthair cats a breed, it is not actually a breed but rather a mixture of various breeds. There is no cat association that recognizes these cats as a breed. But they have been accepting them to competitions as “house cats” for many years. As a result of this rich genetic heritage, they come in all kinds of colors, personalities and other traits. While some domestic cats are cool and relaxed others might be aggressive or shy. However, they all share some common traits such as being playful, friendly to both humans and other pets, loving a good mice hunt, etc.
Domestic cat breed arrived in America with the first settlers as mice hunters. Since they are as common in U.K. as they are in U.S. and love hunting mice, they jumped aboard the ships that crossed the Atlantic. Seeing how useful they are, the first settlers embraced this low cost workers. They hunted the mice in barns, houses, streets, fields and any other place where they were brought in exchange for food, a warm place to sleep and occasional petting.
These cats are known for their athletic abilities such as jumping, leaping or balancing. They are also very energetic cats with a playful nature therefore you should have some scratching posts and toys available to them. They are also generally very affectionate cats who love spending time with you so be sure to spend at least 15 to 20 minutes playing with them every day. But remember, there are always exceptions when it comes to these cats.
Domestic Wild Cat Breeds
The difference between a domestic wild cat breed and a domesticated cat is that the domesticated cat is a cat that lives in the wild and somehow ended up in your family. A domestic wild cat on the other hand has wild ancestors who happened to have cross-bred with a domestic cat. These cats carry the features of both the domestic cat and the wild cat.
Some examples for these cat breeds are as follows:
1 – Bengal
Bengal cat is a cross breed between domestic shorthairs and small Asian leopard cats. They are easily recognized with their distinguishing looks as they are the only domestic cats with rosette markings. Although they look wild, they are very friendly and it is a joy to live with one.
2 – Chausie
They look like mountain lions and their second name is stone cougars. This TICA (The International Cat Association) accepted breed is a cross between Abyssinians with wild jungle cats of Asia, Felis chaus. They are large and muscular with a lot of energy to spend. They jump and run and leap and climb and the list goes on so you need to think of their needs, too when you pick a space to live with a Chausie!
3 – Desert Lynx
These cats might be one of the most domestic cat gene-carrying wild cats on our list. They are cross-bred using bobcats and many well-known domestic cats such as Maine coon, Manx, American bobtail, and pixie-bob. These friendly creatures act more like dogs than cats following you around the house and socializing in dog-like manners but don’t forget, although it acts like a dog, it is still a cat and it has cat needs.
4 – Safari
Safari cats are a cross of domestic cats and South American Geoffroy’s cat. They are muscular cats with a compact body and a taste for climbing. If you don’t have anywhere for them to climb, you can expect a lot of broken items and furniture at home. In the end, their level of energy comes from a wild cat.
5 – Savannah
Savannah cat is a cross between domestic cats and Sevrals which are African wild cats. Their resemblance to cheetahs made some people call them miniature cheetahs. Just like their wild parents, these cats are very intelligent and highly energetic. You need a lot of space both vertical and horizontal to keep them busy.
Do you also have a domestic wild cat living with you? Please share the challenges and cute moments so the others who may adopt such a cat will have an idea.
Have a purrderful day!!!