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|05-31-2011, 08:38 PM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2009
African wildcats in living rooms across Britain
Hundreds of British cat lovers are no longer satisfied stroking the traditional moggy atop their lap.
A growing trend is emerging for 'mega moggies' bred by crossing a domestic feline with a species of African wildcat to create Savannah cats.
Only owners with deep pockets and space can provide homes for the felines which cost up to £10,000 and can grow to three times the size of the traditional household puss.
The wildcats - called Servals - hail from sub-Saharan African and share common traits with the cheetah - including its ability to run.
They can leap up to three metres in the air to catch birds and insects and feast on hares and mole rats.
However, the RSPCA says the new super-cats, which can weigh up to two stone, are dangerous and are calling for the government to ensure people need a licence to keep one.
But breeders insist the cats are harmless. Carl Ainscoe is one of about 300 people in Britain who keeps the cats and sells his kittens for up to £4,500.
He told the Sunday Times: 'It's a load of rubbish that they are dangerous. They get on beautifully with children.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it has no plans to alter the list of dangerous wild animals listed in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act.
The RSPCA said hybrids are likely to display characteristics from both domestic and wildcat species and even new characteristics which might be dangerous.
They are also concerned they could impact on wildlife predation.
By law anyone who owns a wild animal breed or a first generation descendant from it must have a licence.
Bengal cats are already officially recognised by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, the cat equivalent of the Kennel Club.
They are bred by crossing a domestic cat with an Asian leopard cat.
Pretty big Bed Warmer if you ask me.
"History is the lies that the victors agree on"- Napoleon
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