By Sarah Harris
They may be the country’s most popular pet, but the UK’s seven million moggies now face bigger, tougher rivals on their territory
Demand is surging for ‘supercats’ – domestic breeds crossed with larger African or South American wildcats.
Breeders are reporting up to six-month waiting lists for new kittens, despite price tags of up to £6,000.
Two of the savannah breed: They are the most popular supercat and are bred from a serval, a cheetah-like wildcat found in Africa
But animal welfare groups have warned that the size and instability of such hybrids means they could pose a danger to other pets and even small children.
The savannah, the most popular supercat, is bred from a serval, a cheetah-like wildcat found in Africa. They can grow up to 35lb – compared with around 10lb for a typical domestic cat – and can jump 7ft vertically. Savannahs are thought to have first arrived in Britain in the past few years, with up to 300 living here.
Wild ancestor: A caracal
However, they are banned in some U.S. states and in Australia, where there are concerns they could kill koalas.
Another breed to have arrived in the UK is the safari, a cross with the South American Geoffroy’s cat.
And breeders are planning to import the caracat – a 30lb descendant of the caracal, a lynx-like wildcat found in the Middle East and Africa.
First generation supercats must be kept under licence in outdoor cages in the UK, due to the Dangerous Wild Animals Act. Later generations can be kept as normal pets.
But Peter Neville, of the Feline Advisory Bureau, said: ‘I would not be happy with a savannah around a small child, because of their genes and their size.
‘They are going to do a lot more damage than a normal domestic cat. Their paws are bigger, they are stronger and they will bite deeper.’
The RSPCA has also warned that savannahs ‘could prove to be dangerous’.
But the Savannah Cat Club of Great Britain insisted that they are suitable pets.
President Donna Peynado, said: ‘There are no more safety concerns than for any other breeds.’
But she added: ‘We always advise never ever leave a cat alone with a child under five. For the sake of the cat and the child as well.’
Comment: In my opinion, I think it is seem having the two mates is almost unethical, human is just capable to turn anything in to money machines, they could disregard the risk, the consequences and the threat toward the society and animal chain.