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The Wild Look

Domestic Cat Breeds That Resemble Their "Big Brothers" in the Wild


photo two Bengal cats

Bud and Weiser, two Bengals Therapy Cats

© Wendy Byman
Ever since the were around, humans and cats have had symbiotic relationships - back to the times when Egyptians first revered cats as dieties, then brought them into their homes. It is thought that the African Wild Cat was the cat that was "domesticated" by the Egyptians, and further, that it might be the ancestor of the Egyptian Mau, a strikingly spotted domestic cat breed. Our fascination with the species therefore quite naturally extends to the big cats - the wild ones - so it it not surprising that some of the most popular domestic cats are those who resemble their wild brothers.

Some of the "wild" imitators, such as the Ocicat and the Egyptian Mau, came upon their looks quite naturally. Others, such as the Bengal and the Savannah, had more human intervention by mating domestic cats with wild cats, such as the Asian Leopard Cat and the Serval.

If you long for the look of the wild in your home, but believe, as I do, that the big cats belong in the wild, one of these domesticated breeds might give you the best of both worlds. Please join me in learning more about these remarkable breeds that share the wild look.

American Bobtail

Unlike "manufactured breeds" which were planned and carefully engineered to achieve the look of the wild, the American Bobtail is the result of the careful development of a naturally-occurring genetic spin. In the case of the American Bobtail, the breed originated with a with a male brown tabby kitten with a bobtail found on a Native American reservation in the late 1960s. The couple who found the kitten raised him and later bred him to a longtail female. The subsequent offspring formed the foundation of the American Bobtail breed. Contrary to its rugged appearance, the American Bobtail is not a "wild" cat, but descends from naturally occurring bobtailed cats found in the wild. Despite the similarity in names, there are no American Bobcat genes to be found in the American Bobtail.

More on the American Bobtail:


Cat lovers who long for the look of the wild immediately adore the Bengal. What's not to love about this sturdy, highly intelligent, sometimes comic, but always graceful, incredibly handsome cat? The Bengal is a marvelous tribute to the dedication of the pioneers who developed this breed, by crossing the Asian Leopard Cat (Felis bengalensis) with selected domestic cats. Although the more conservative CFA does not recognize the Bengal (no "wild" stock allowed in its show rings), the Bengal area is always one of the most popular at T.I.C.A., U.F.O., A.C.F.A., and I.C.E. shows.

More on the Bengal:

Suggested Books About Bengals:

Next > California Spangled Cat, Chausie, and Egyptian Mau

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