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About Safari Cats

The Safari cat is a hybrid of the South American Geoffroys cat. The Safari is an unusual animal that provides the look of the wild with the affection rarely found in the sweetest domestic.

Some of the first Safaris were bred in the early 1970ís. A limited number were produced for pets and a few were produced for use in Leukemia research by Washington State University.

Some would call the Geoffroys a smaller version of the Margay or Ocelot. Coat color varies from black to silver-gray to a deep orange, depending on geographic location. They hunt for rodents, reptiles, birds and insects both on the ground, as well as in trees. When hunting from trees they sneak up on their prey, then drop from low branches onto the prey. They are somewhat nocturnal, hunting by night and sleeping in trees by day.

In itís native land the Geoffroysí relationship to man runs full circle; from a companion to an aid in rodent control to an animal that is hunted for itís meat and pelt.

The pure Geoffroys cat requires an experienced owner and the proper permits to own. Without a significant amout of daily contact the pure Geoffroys will quickly revert back to itís wild ways. Few will remain social with more than one or two people as they mature and they should not be raised with young children.

The possible alternative to the pure Geoffroys is the Safari cat. The F1 Safari cats have turned out to be delightfully gentle creatures. They are extremely rare and difficult to produce. Breeding felines with a different number of chromosomes has proven to limit the number of Safaris that will ever be in existence. The domestic cat carries 38 chromosomes, while the Geoffroys possesses only 36 chromosomes. The positive side effect of this chromosomal difference in the F1 Safaris (50% Geoffroys/50% domestic) is that they carry an odd number of chromosomes (37) which seems to increase size dramatically. One must consider the uniqueness of an eight and a twelve pound cat producing 25 plus pound offspring.

Information courtesy of Select Exotics

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