Renowned as the “house leopard,” the California Spangled cat is a mixed feline breed developed from different progenitors to resemble a wild cat. Despite its untamed appearance, this furball is a super loving cat that builds strong bonds with its humans, making it a terrific family companion. Expect the California Spangled cat to be agile and vivacious, though. It is brimmed with tons of energy and athleticism, and will not hesitate to jump great heights or display their incredible hunting skills.
Origin of the California Spangled Cat
Hollywood scriptwriter and American physicist Paul Casey is credited for the development of the California Spangled cat. In the 1970s, he went to Tanzania for a trip, where he witnessed the case of leopards and other spotted wild cats being illegally poached for their coat.
Casey realized that if he created a “house leopard” with a loving demeanor that would live with humans in the comfort of their homes, people will cease or be discouraged in purchasing fur coats as these would resemble their endeared pets.
To raise awareness, Casey, alongside anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey, combined efforts to create the breed. Many feline breeds were incorporated in its breeding program, including the Abyssinian, Siamese, American Shorthairs, British Shorthairs, Egyptian and Asian stray cats, and some spotted cats.
It took many generations before Casey became satisfied with the look of the breed. Once the California Spangled cat was out, the breed instantly hit the scene. However, it was soon overshadowed by the Bengal cat, and only a few individuals are left today.
Physical Characteristics of the California Spangled Cat
Height: 8 to 10 inches
Weight: 8 to 15 pounds
Life Expectancy: 9 to 16 years
Coat Color: Charcoal, black, brown, white, blue, gold, bronze, red, and silver
Type of Coat: Short
Eye Color: Amber, copper
The California Spangled cat is a medium-sized feline with a lean and muscular body. It is carefully developed to resemble the look of a wild cat. With that, it sports a broad and prominent muzzle and well-hewed cheekbones. The eyes are almond-shaped, either in amber or copper tone. This breed walks elegantly, with a low gait, seemingly moving to ambush its prey. Adding its short and well-defined spotted tabby coat that highlights their feral appearance, it appears like a miniature leopard and serves as a stunning addition to any home.
California Spangled Cat Personality
Given their wild ancestry, California Spangled cats are brimming with athleticism and energy. These cats are renowned for their leaping, and jumping abilities, which is why keeping fragile things is a must to avoid it from being casualties of their acrobatic feats.
These felines also have excellent hunting skills and are easily amused by moving objects. With that, they relish playtime sessions with their loving owners and will be happy to pounce on interactive and prey-like toys to boast their skills. Even toddlers can play with them and be their new play buddies.
But, despite their wild appearance, the California Spangled cats are far from being predatory. Truth to be told, they are affectionate and sweet cats that thrive in human companionship.
They are not the type of cats that owners can pet in the morning, go to work, and meet at the end of the day. If left for long periods, they can quickly feel anxious or lonely. But, if showered with love, these cats are ready to return the affection in full measure.
Caring for the California Spangled Cat
Despite its regal wild look, California Spangled cats are relatively easy to care for, given their short coat. Weekly brushing can suffice to prevent matting and keep their fur in its clean, shiny, and healthy. Bathing is rarely necessary and may only be needed if these felines’ athleticism brings them into some dirty mishaps.
Other grooming needs are primary care required for all cat breeds. Ears and eyes should be cleaned weekly to prevent dirt build-ups and infection. Nails should be trimmed every couple of weeks to keep their paws and claws healthy. Meanwhile, their teeth must also be brushed weekly to avoid periodontal disease. Dental treats can help boost their dental health but should not be the only method of oral hygiene.
Fortunately, these cats relish attention and would be happy to participate in grooming seshs with their owners. However, it is still best to acquaint them with such activities at an early age for them to be more accepting of these grooming practices.
As an intelligent and active breed, the California Spangled cats need ample playtime in a day to keep them both mentally and physically satisfied. They need interactive toys, puzzles, cat trees, perches, and a spacious area to fulfill their exercise needs and consume their energy. If possible, providing them an enclosed outdoor space will make these felines the happiest.
In terms of health, the California Spangled cats are not known to have any predisposition to specific diseases outside the common issues faced by all other cat breeds. Proper nutrition and regular visits to the vet can ensure that they live a long, healthy life.
California Spangled cats are perfect for owners looking to have a wild-looking yet very affectionate breed. These stunning cats are only feral in appearance, but beyond that, they are ready to graze any home with their regality and show their big heart to their loving families.