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A male Serengeti
|Feline hybrid (Felis catus × Prionailurus bengalensis)|
The Serengeti is a breed of domestic cat, first developed by crossing a Bengal (domestic and wild hybrid) and an Oriental Shorthair. Recognized and registered by The International Cat Association (TICA), no other first generation crosses can be registered as Serengeti. From the Bengal × Oriental cross came the first foundation Serengeti. Breeders then worked with the cat to produce a cat that resembles the breed profile set by TICA. Created by biologist Karen Sausman of Kingsmark Cattery in California in 1994, the breed is still in the development stages, but the ultimate aim is to produce a cat that looks similar to a serval, without using any recent wild cat blood. (Bengal cats originate from hybridization of leopard cats and domestic cats. Most Bengal cats used in Serengeti breeding programs are many generations removed from these origins and possess few genetic contributions of the wild forebears except alleles affecting coat color.) Serengetis are spotted cats, with long legs and very large, round tipped ears. They have a long neck which blends with the base of the skull without tapering. Males are generally slightly larger and heavier than females and can weigh between 10 and 15 lbs; females generally weigh between 8 and 12 lbs. They are recognized by TICA in tabby, ebony silver, ebony smoke and solid black. A group of breeders in the UK are currently working towards getting TICA to also recognise the snow spotted (a.k.a. lynx point) variety.
The tabby is known as the brown-spotted in the UK. However spots can be black or dark brown on a tan, light beige or gold background. The silver has black spots on a silver background. Ghost spotting can sometimes be seen on the solid black version.
- Chausie, a breed of cat hybridized with jungle cat
- Savannah, a breed which does integrate the serval's genes
- "Serengeti Breed". www.tica.org. August 13, 2018. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
- Cat Breed Junction. (2009). Serengeti Cat... Cat Facts. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.catbreedsjunction.com/serengeti-cat.html
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