The myth of the Cabbit
Cat + rabbit= cabbit!
The product of a mating between a rabbit and cat is called "a cabbit".Cabbits feature the loving, affectionate personality of a cat with the typical anatomical features of a rabbit. If you are wondering where you could purchase such an animal, think again. As interesting and intriguing as it may sound, in reality, truth is, you will never really witness such an animal. The term 'cabbit' was first coined once an individual in the mid 1800's named Joseph Train, spread the myth in his book that Manx cats were in reality the results from a cat and rabbit crossing.
His book titled "An historical and Statistical Account of the Isle of Man" actually also had an engraving of a "cabbit" cat, and because ''seeing is believing'' this further added credibility to the myth. Following, for several years, there were repeated testimonies of people claiming to own cabbits. Some, also went as far as claiming they were breeding cats and rabbits and started selling cabbits for $1000 each.
In reality, the Manx cat breed may slightly resemble a rabbit. A Manx cat is tailess and such lack of tail along with the rear legs longer than the front, has in some instances also caused in cats a typical gait strongly resembling a bunny hop. Most cabbits are believed to be a tailess Manx or a Bobtail cat or, in some cases simply cats with some sort of deformities.
A similar myth developed involving the Main Coon cat breed. People really started believing that a Main Coon cat was the result of a crossing between a cat and a raccoon.
Cats and rabbits however, may ultimately have a lot in common. They genetically share almost the same number of chromosomes and their gestation period is about the same. They are also about the same size. However, matings between the two are nearly impossible. Well, yes, it is true that a male rabbit will try to mate with anything and there have been reports of them even trying to mate with the poorhouse cat, but genetically speaking, they are two completely different species.
People have witnessed matings and offspring resulting from Horses mating with donkeys, wolves mating with dogs, and donkey mating with zebras, however these species are somewhat similar and belong to the same family. But when it comes to rabbits and cats, nothing really can happen -even if bred via artificial insemination- because the two species are unrelated.
Cats are carnivores and rabbits are herbivores. They have distinct differences. Cats have short digestive systems, rabbits have long ones, cats are predatory, rabbits are prey. All these differences make the crossing impossible. Even if an egg would be fertilized artificially, it would die in the making.
So why did people come up with the cabbit myth? It probably derived from ignorance. In the old times, people looked for explanations when something out of the ordinary took place. Because, back then there was not much knowledge about genetic malformations and the fact that unrelated species could not be crossed, so it was much easier to come to its own conclusions. Truth is, as humans we are intrigued by oddities. We like to believe there are UFO and so we like to believe that somewhere in this world there are cabbits happily hopping around.....