It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature
Savannah Cat Personality and Cost
I came across a website the other day featuring the Savannah cat. This exotic cat is a crossbreed between an African Serval and a domesticated house cat. Savannahs are noted for their tall and slender bodies and their big ears. It is one of the newest breeds in the world and there are just a few breeders worldwide that have achieved their goal of successfully mating a Serval to a domesticated cat.
All Savannshs have an F and a number to denote how many generations they are from their ancestors. The owners of this particular one started in the 1980’s to develop this new species.
They advertise them as having a good temperament, a good pet for family with children (“they get along well with well-behaved children"), so they might not be perfect for all families. They get along well with other pets. They are fun loving and, they have outgoing personalities. They are said to be highly intelligent and learn quickly.
Their sizes range from 15 to 28 pounds and take up to 3 years to reach their full size. Their colors vary slightly but they all have long legs, big ears and wild appearance. The breeders suggest you don’t get them de-clawed so I can only imagine the size of a scratching post that would be suitable.
The price is a bit mind boggling:
F1 $7,500-$22,000 F1 $6000-$22,000
F2 $4,500-$16,000 F2 $4,500-$14,000
F3 $3,000-$6,000 F3 $3,500-$5,500
F4 $1200-$3,000 F4 $1,200-$4,500
F5 $950-$6,000F5 $950-$3,000
SBT $950-$6,000 SBT $950-$3,000
African Serval Cat
Is is Okay to Manipulate Mother Nature?
Something just doesn’t seem right about cross breeding animals for personal reasons. It’s not a natural change that is caused by Mother Nature, but one that is man made for the purpose of money or maybe just to see if it can be done.
I wouldn’t consider a cat that size but I also wouldn’t consider paying that price. I would be concerned about small children being scratched or bitten as well. I know there must be a market or they wouldn’t be in business, but it certainly isn’t for everyone.
Savannah- A New Crossbred Cat
Cross Breeding Explanation
A crossbreed or a crossbred typically refers to an animal with purebred parents from two different breeds. The goad is to produce an offspring that share the traits of both parents. Crossbreeding is used to maintain the health and viability of animals but irresponsible crossbreeding can produce an animal of inferior quality.
A hybrid animal is one with parentage of two separate species, differentiating it from crossbred animals, which have parentage of the same species. Hybrids are usually sterile Sterility is a natural protective mechanism preventing breeding break down the opportunity for a new species. There are a few exceptions, such as the ligers and tigons. Even though it is rare it could happen over thousands of years where we would see evolutionary change.
The most common animals that are crossbred are cattle, sheep, llamas, dogs and horses. A common ancient crossbreed is the mule, a cross between a female horse and a male donkey or ass. The liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion and female tiger, and there are several other crossbreeds in existence. A dog of mixed breed is referred to as a mongrel or a mutt, a cat is referred as a moggy,
Savannah Beautiful Markings
Hybridization in the Wild Rare
Hybridization in the wild doesn’t happen very often, except for domesticated animals, such as dogs and cats. It is extremely rare for wild animals to interbreed. For instance, in the wild the Grant's and Thompson's gazelle live together happily in mixed herds. The species are very alike and only experts are able to discern one from the other. Despite this there are no known instances of these gazelle interbreeding.
The domestic dog will mate indiscriminately with another breed, but wild dog breeds, including wolves, foxes and coyotes, mate only within their own species.
In the early 1900s, Indian natives regularly spoke of an animal they knew as the doglas. It was claimed to be a hybrid between the leopard and the tiger. Though there were some large leopards in the area with striping on their abdomens, it was never established that the native claim accounted for the source of this odd coloring.
Throughout Mexico and South America there is a widespread belief that natural hybrids occur between pumas and jaguars, but animal biologists have been unable to find evidence which would substantiate this.
All crosses between wild and domestic animals are automatically considered to be domesticated. This includes animals like the buffalo (American bison x domestic cattle), Zorses (zebra x horses), zonkeys (zebra x donkeys), the wolf dog, and the various small wild cat x domestic cat hybrids.
Crossbreeding Okay or Not?
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) does not take a stand against cross breeding as long as pets are owned by kind loving families whom they love and care for properly. They are against puppy mills where pets are animals are not given necessary attention and just used to gain a profit. They did not address crossbreeding on their website.
I think this is an interesting topic, one I haven't thought about before. Obviously, I am aware of crossbreeding to get a better grade of beef, a faster racehorse, and that dogs and cats don't ask our permission. I don't particularly like crossbreeding like the Savannah cat and I have my own opinion. What is yours?
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby