Not too long ago, the rich and fashionably elite money makers were flashing their cute little teacup Chihuahuas and dressed up canines. The smaller the better. The more fashionable these little dogs were, well that was even better yet. Before we knew it everywhere you would look you would see a flock of Chihuahuas and designer dogs under the arm of almost every pet crazed teen and trendy 'wannabe' out there. Retailers were even selling gemstone flocked attire and pet purses that matched the pampered canines.
I remember to my surprise when I was vacationing in Florida, I stopped at a small pet boutique to do some browsing and a woman reached in her purse and pulled out a mini- dog! It easily fit in the palm of one hand! The poor little dog just sat their shaking as the owner drooled and made over it like a baby. Whatever! Well it seems as if Designer Dogs are yesterday's news, designer cats are the next 'Chic'. Designer Cats are seemingly becoming the latest trend in the Hybrid Pet Craze, but at what cost? Breeders are taking the plain old domestic cat and cross breeding the animal with an Asian Leopard or even a Jungle cat! These are the Hybrids that are going for a very hefty price tag anywhere from a few hundred dollars to around $20,000.00. It has become more of a style statement than anything else.
These Hybrid Kitties are being bred just for the mere fact the breeders know they can make some serious money with these pets. They don't tend to take into consideration what damage they are doing to either breed of the cat. Cross breeding is not a good idea as it destroys the bloodline and DNA of pure bred cats, this also results in medical ailments which can in turn rack up some seriously high Vet bills. This isn't stopping the elite and wealthy from going out and purchasing these felines to add to their own family tree. For those whom money is not an object, they rarely think about what conditions these animals initially came from.
The problem is many of these pets are bred day in and day out and their bodies are not able to recover fully to regain proper strength and stamina. Many cats at these breeders are not receiving medical care and are not up to date on their shots, putting them and others at risk of getting very sick. Most breeders only care about putting money in their own pocket and not focusing on the care of the cats. Because most of these animals are not registered, a question could be raised as to how the pets are being treated during the breeding and pregnancy stage. If a so called 'Back Room Breeder' is just in it for the buck, some of these animals may be in danger or at an increased risk for developing health problems, especially during their pregnancy and delivery stages.
The Hybrid cat scene has remained quite controversial due to the fact that they are selling for such a high price. Some breeders are trying to cash in on mixing pure bred felines with mix bred felines and selling the animal for much less than an exotic cat. What most owners don't know is the past health problems of the breed and also what problems could arise due to the breeding of two different types of felines.
With designer kittens that resemble small snow leopards or mini black jaguars, the look appeals to all ages and serves as distinct gifts that some people may chose to give to the debutante or super spoiled brat who already has it all. These cats are merely being bred and sold to show off. Truly it is hard to believe that most of these designer kitties will be loved and cared for as much as a farm cat or stray from the local humane society.
Not to mention there are thousands of felines out there at the moment who need homes and also need to be spayed and neutered with adequate medical attention. None the less, as with designer dogs, designer cats are the newest up and coming trend in the lifestyles of the wannabe chic and fabulous. Before we know it Paris and Brit will be toting around a darling little tigress instead of their yappy little pooches. Hopefully they realize they will need to leave the cat fights at home, not for the paparazzi. Wait, that will never happen.
Nicholas writes on animal insurance both for household pets and also horses.