I’ll be super honest with you: I’m not a cat person… but the Caracat makes me think I could be. Until I learned about the whole unfair genetic modification, that is.
I’ve been allergic since I was a little kid, and the symptoms are just so awful that I can’t even. However, I would never deny the mystical nature of these incredible animals. One look at the Caracat makes me feel like I could change my preference… if they could also breed in a hypo-allergenic gene.
What is a Caracat?
A Caracat looks a bit like a miniature wild cougar. They are, in fact, a new kind of hybrid on the block. “Created” in 2007, the Caracat is a cross between a desert lynx (known as a ‘caracal’) and Abyssinian.
What’s an Abyssinian? Basically any of a breed of medium-sized slender domestic cats. Most of them have an African origin, with short, brownish hair marked with spots of darker colour.
The Cross-Breed of the Caracat
The body of an Abyssinian is long, lean, and muscular. The most desirable quality of this breed, however, is the spots. They look like a leopard, and give the same aesthetic as a large wild cat.
Because of this, they are a choice breed to bring into genetic modification in search of the perfect, scientifically-created house cat.
Add to that the beautiful mug of the desert lynx (caracal). With its characteristic tufts of black hair on the tips of their ears, and long whiskers on the face, it’s one of the hottest cats around for sure.
The Caracat is a genetically-modified hybrid of the two. Doing this modification, however, has created its own line of controversy.
Why Create a Caracat?
I mean, in short, can we just say that the reason is for money?
In yet another sad example of humans exploiting animals for our every whim, scientists decided to team up and make a perfect cat. But what does that even mean?
The most beautiful cat ever? Or maybe the cat with the most quiet meow? How about the most cuddly cat? I’m just trying to think of what people want in a cat, and these are my guesses.
So we can cross “beautiful” off the list because obviously from the outside this cat is stunning. But the quiet meow was a miss. Apparently because this cat is bred with its wild ancestors, it’s maintained that wild sound. In other words, when the Caracat decides to “meow”, it screeches instead and makes everyone in the house jump.
And the jury is still out on whether or not it is a very cuddly cat. When it comes to cuddling, its size presents a problem
The Size of the Caracat
The Caracat is considerably larger than an average house cat, weighing an average of 25-30 pounds. The average domestic cat weighs about ten pounds.
So you have this large cat, with the illusion of an extremely striking wild cat, bred with a domestic cat. Taking this risk will naturally present its own problems.
The Controversy of Cross-Breeding Cats
So, Abyssinian breeders are apparently causing quite the stir with this new cross-splicing of cats.
The problem, of course, being when you intentionally cross a species that would not otherwise be included to mate together. People are calling it the “wrong kind of gene fiddling”.
It’s understandable to want to cross different breeds of domestic cats. However, when you cross wires between a domestic cat and a wild cat, you’re going to have issues.
In addition to this, there is also a significant difference in the gestation periods of both cats. It seems that breeders are putting the mothers through a significant amount of stress to bear a litter that will rarely survive.
However, because of the size, there are safety issues as well. When you have a 30lb cat roaming around your house, you’re gonna get scratched. Because of this, a lot of Caracat owners de-claw their pets. This is horrible for the cat. Not only is it painful, but it’s unnatural, and it renders them defenceless, thus robbing them of their ability to act out of basic instinct.
Wild cats should be left alone. Not only is breeding dangerous for the cat, but it’s also dangerous for the humans who purchase these animals.
Plus, the price tag will hopefully turn most people off. Because this is the most rare and expensive cat breed, purchasing one can have a price tag of over $25,000.