Do cats with wild roots make good pets? Bengals, Toygers and more

Unless you happen to own a zoo or safari park, then having your own wild cat will have to remain a daydream.  

However, an increasing number of people are buying cats that are descended from cross-breeding domestic cats with wild cat breeds.

Petplan takes a look into the five most popular domestic cat breeds with wild roots, and reveal all about their suitability as pets…

   1.   Bengal

With its distinctive spotted coat and large size (up to 15lbs for a male), the Bengal originated from cross breeding the domestic cat with the Asian Leopard Cat in the 1980s.

Highly active, chatty and intelligent, Bengals are fun to live with. They are confident, friendly and boisterous cats. Bengals also enjoy playing games such as fetch, love water and are quick to learn new tricks. They crave attention and don’t like to be on their own for long, so it’s best to have two to keep each other company when you’re not home.

They mix well with children and other pets and are generally a robust breed. Visit our Bengal cat breed blog to learn more about their infectious personalities and needs.

   2.   Toyger

Although the Toyger was bred to resemble a mini tiger, the Toyger has no wild blood and was created by crossing a Bengal cat with a tabby Domestic Shorthair. They are a medium to large sized cat, and have dark stripes over deep orange or brown fur.

They are sleek, muscular and athletic with a calm and friendly personality. Like the Bengal, they love company, so it’s best to have two to keep each other company.

They are active but make great indoor cats if given the right stimulation and company. They even enjoy being walked on a lead!

Generally a sturdy breed, they don’t suffer from any specific breed diseases.

   3.   Savannah

An inquisitive and adventurous feline, the Savannah is a cross between a domestic cat and a Serval – a medium sized African wild cat which has large ears.

They are sometimes compared to dogs, in that they are very loyal and will follow you around the house. They love water and also love to climb and can jump huge heights.

While many domestic cats will shy away from new people, Savannah cats will greet your guests and enjoy spending time interacting with people. They also tend to fluff out their tails in a friendly greeting too.

This is a confident, alert, curious, and friendly cat. However; the Savannah may not be the best breed for a first time cat owner as they can be quite demanding in terms of the interaction and attention needed to keep them happy and occupied.

These active cats are a good choice for families with older children and cat-friendly dogs.

   4.   Serengeti

Developed by crossing a Bengal and an Oriental Shorthair, the Serengeti cat is a large, long legged domestic cat resembling the look of the Serval, but without the Serval’s wild cat genes.

These felines are very vocal and friendly, but can be shy at first – taking their time to get to know you before they fully open up and trust you.

Once you’ve earned their trust, they will follow you everywhere and have earned the nickname ‘Velcro cats’ for their tendency to stick close by your side.

The Serengeti is very active and will need constant interaction so, like many of these ‘wild’ cat breeds, they do need an experienced cat owner and someone who will be home most of the time.

   5.   Cheetoh

One of the newest pedigree breeds, the Cheetoh, was bred from mixing a Bengal and Ocicat (a cat that looks like a wild cat but has no wild cat DNA in their gene pool).

Despite their wild look, Cheetoh's are very affectionate in nature and have a real love for their human companions.

Quite dog-like in their ways, the Cheetoh cat can be trusted around anyone, especially children. They are highly intelligent with the ability to learn quickly.

The Cheetoh’s beautiful coat is predominantly spotty with a few stripes and they come in a variety of colours and markings – cinnamon spotted, brown spotted, silver spotted, brown marbled, blue marbled, and snow with either spots or a marble patterned coat.

Would you consider getting one of these cats as a pet? Do you already have one? Let us know your story below…