The Animal Legal Defense Fund and other animal activist groups are currently petitioning and asking California Fish and Wildlife to regulate all hybrid cat breeds which they dub “FRANKEN-CATS.' These groups believe that hybrid cats are in some way a danger to public health and California's natural environment. They believe that people want to keep these amazing breeds as accesories. However, people choose to make these cats companions because of their naturally friendly personalities and active lifestyles. Many of these cats even enjoy being in water.
Extremist groups like the Animal Legal Defense Fund believe that hybrid breeds including savannahs, bengals, chausies, and caracats are extremely dangerous and do not belong in a household. However, many hybrid owners would completely disagree. Facts show that even with the increased popularity of these breeds, attacks by hybrid cats on children, adults, or other animals are unheard of. They also do not carry any deadly diseases.
These groups states that if hybrid cats get loose, they could breed with feral cats and create a new problem. Hybrid breeds pose little threat to the natural environment. Typically hybrid males F1-F4 (first to four generations from the wild) are sterile and cannot breed in the wild. Many of these animals are leash trained and spend their time outdoors on a leash or a harness. There are thousands of hybrid cats in the state of California and there have been no reported problems of individuals releasing their cats into the wild.
Many animal rights groups are also concerned that by allowing the breeding and ownership of hybrid cats to become popular, it will deter families from adopting therefore contrubuting to the surplus of animals in shelters. I can assure you that this is not true. Many hybrid cat owners have other family pets including dogs and non-hybrid cats. I can imagine that many of these animals are shelter pets. Countless videos posted on social media sites like YouTube and Instagram show hybrid cats interacting with their owners' other family pets. It is unfair for some groups and individals to blame hybrid owners for the number of animals in shelters. Neglect, abuse, and lack of commitment are the reasons why animals exist in shelters. Responsible hybrid breeders and owners have made no contribution to this problem. Hybrid cat rescues are also slowly becoming popular in the case that someone can no longer take care of their animal.
On their website, the ALDF states that their goal is to advance animal interests, stop animal cruelty, and educate the public. Born Free USA aims to end the suffering of all wild animals in captivity. Every group that is petitioning against hybrid cats wants to "be their voice," but how can they if they do not even know them? How can they speak for animals they know nothing about?
Big Cat Rescue has deemed all hybrid fanciers, owners, and breeder "animal abusers." They have recently begun making false statements saying that they have legitimate proof that hybrid cats are bred in cruel "mill-like" conditions. Many concerned hybrid owners, breeders, cat experts, and hybrid fanciers are also confused by some of the statements they have made concerning their petition. Big Cat Rescue recently stated that all hybrids residing in the state would be grandfathered. However, according their petition, it would only granfather in hybrids that are neutered and have proof that they are at least four generations from the wild. What will happen to all early generation cats? These animals will likely be confiscated and sent to wildcat sanctuaries. It would be cruel to take an animal that has been raised in a social family environment and knows nothing else outside of that enviroment and throw it in an enclosure where it will have little to no human contact for the remainder of its life. These cats unfortunately will be the lucky ones. Many wildcat sanctuaries have little to no room and would be unable to take in thousands of perfectly friendly early generation hybrids. The remainder and majority of these animals will be euthanized.
Hybrid cats have and never will pose a threat to the State of California. They are 100% domestic TICA Registered breeds that are handraised and socialized by caring breeders and families. If you know nothing about hybrids breeds including savannahs, bengals, chausies, and caracats, please consider meeting and spending some time with a few. It is not wise to judge an animal with out any experience with them. Regulating these animals and even making them illegal to own will only create more homeless and deceased animals. These are highly social animals that have done nothing to deserve being regulated and banned. Hybrid fanciers deserve the right to present their side of the story. Please do not choose to discriminate against such amazing, family friendly breeds and let them live happy lives with their responsible human companions.