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California Spangled Cat: Breed Profile, Characteristics, and Care Guide

By:
| Updated: April 17, 2023
California Spangled Cat studio photo

Who hasn’t dreamt of having a wild cat as a pet? Surely I’m not the only one. Well, you might be able to get the next best thing, a California Spangled Cat. This rare and exotic breed is a cross between many domestic cats that looks like a miniature leopard. But don’t let its appearance fool you – this cat is as loyal, affectionate, and playful as any other house cat. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the California Spangled Cat, from its origin and history to its characteristics and care.

If you are looking for a cat that combines the beauty of a wild cat with the charm of a domestic cat, you might want to consider getting a California Spangled cat. Despite their rarity and price range, these cats are worth every penny for their personality and temperament.

Breed Overview

Weight 9-15 pounds
Length 12-16 inches
Personality Playful, affectionate, sociable, intelligent
Coat length Short
Coat colors Black, silver, bronze, blue, red, charcoal, brown, white
Coat patterns Spotted
Eye colors Green or blue
Hypoallergenic No
Good with kids Yes
Good with other pets Yes
Origin United States

History of the California Spangled Cat

Created in the 1980s by anthropologist Louis Leakey and playwright Paul Casey. The California Spangled cat breed was intentionally bred to resemble the big spotted cats of the wild, such as the leopard, cheetah, and ocelot. This unique breed is medium-sized and possesses a lean and muscular body frame.

The first California Spangled cats were created by crossing several breeds, including Abyssinian, Siamese, American shorthair, British shorthair, and Angora cats. They also added street cats from Malaysia and Egypt. The breed was finally perfected in 1985 after many years of trial and error.

The main motivation for creating this breed was to raise awareness about the poaching of leopards that was putting their population at risk. The breeders hoped that by creating a domestic cat that looked like a leopard, they could reduce the demand for leopard pelts and inspire people to protect these magnificent animals.

The breed was introduced to the general public in 1986 when it graced the cover of the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. The catalog described them as “the newest development in feline evolution” and “the ultimate gift for someone who has everything.” The cats were very expensive at that time, costing between $1400 and $2500 each. Some buyers also paid an extra $1000 for a week-long training session with Paul Casey, the developer of the breed.

The California Spangled cats were originally sold with the goal of raising funds to protect endangered wild cats in South and Central America. However, due to various factors such as competition from other spotted breeds like the Bengal and Ocicat, lack of publicity and promotion, health issues among some cats, and the death of some key breeders, the breed never gained much popularity or recognition.

California Spangled Cat head shot
Photo: Auscape/ Gettyimages

Today, the California Spangled cat is one of the rarest and most endangered cat breeds in the world. There are an estimated 200 left in the world and only a handful of breeders who still produce babies, and they often have long waiting lists and high prices. The breed is also not recognized by any major cat associations or registries, and there is no official breed standard or club.

However, there are still some enthusiasts and admirers who appreciate the beauty and personality of this breed. They hope to preserve and promote this breed and raise awareness about its origin and purpose. They also still hope to inspire people to protect the wild cats that inspired this breed and their habitats.

Appearance

The California Spangled cat has a stunning physical appearance that makes it stand out from other cat breeds. It has a long, tubular, and strong body that gives it a graceful and agile movement. It also has a low-slung walk that mimics that of a wild cat.

Coat Color and Pattern

Its coat is short and spotted, with a soft and plush texture. The spots are well-defined and can be triangular, square, round, or oval. They are found along the sides and back of the cat’s body, sometimes in rosetted patterns. The tops of the forelegs are also marked with dark bars.

The coat color can vary from black, silver, bronze, blue, red, charcoal, or brown. The most desired color is snow leopard white, which has blue eyes. Other colors typically have green eyes that complement the coat color.

Size

The head is medium-sized and well-proportioned to the body. It has wide, prominent cheekbones and light, large whisker pads. The ears are medium to small, with rounded tips. The eyes are almond-shaped, with at least one eye’s width between them.

The size and weight of this breed are also medium to large. The height ranges from 8 to 10 inches, and the weight ranges from 9 to 15 pounds. The males are usually larger than the females.

Care

The California Spangled cat is not a high-maintenance breed, but it does require some basic care to keep it healthy and happy.

Grooming

One of the main aspects of its care is grooming. This breed has a short coat that does not shed much, so it only needs brushing once a week to remove loose hair and dirt. You can also use a damp cloth to wipe its coat occasionally to keep it shiny and clean.

Common Health Issues

Another aspect of its care is health. This breed is generally healthy and robust but can be prone to some health issues, such as obesity and dental problems. To prevent these issues, you should feed your cat high-quality cat food that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. You should also avoid overfeeding your cat or giving it too many treats.

Providing your cat with regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, deworming, flea and tick prevention, and dental care is critical to a happy long life. I also recommend that you spay or neuter your cat to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the risk of some diseases.

Exercise

This breed is very energetic, active, and playful, so it needs plenty of physical and mental stimulation to keep it fit and happy. You should provide your cat with toys, scratching posts, and high perches to stimulate its natural instincts.

You should also play with your cat every day, using interactive toys such as feather wands, laser pointers, or balls. You can also teach your cat some tricks or games using positive reinforcement methods such as praise and treats.

Where to Buy

If you are interested in getting a California Spangled cat as a pet, you might have a hard time finding one. This breed is extremely rare and hard to find, as there are only about 200 cats of this breed left in the world.

There are only a few breeders who still offer this breed on a very limited basis. You might have to join a long waiting list or travel far to get one of these cats. You should also expect to pay a high price for this breed, usually ranging from $800 to $1500.

While it might be a long shot, another option for getting a California Spangled Cat is to adopt one from a rescue organization or shelter. It’s possible you can find cats of this breed that need a new home due to various reasons, such as abandonment or abuse.

You can search online for rescue organizations or shelters that specialize in this breed or have some available for adoption. You can also contact local animal welfare groups or veterinarians for referrals.

Conclusion

The California Spangled Cat is a rare and exotic breed that combines the beauty of a wild cat with the charm of a domestic cat. It has a striking and distinct appearance that resembles a miniature leopard, as well as a loyal, affectionate, sociable, and playful personality that makes it a wonderful companion.

If you already own a California Spangled cat or are planning to get one soon, we would love to see some pictures of your furry friend! You can share them with us on our social media pages!

FAQ

Q: What is a California Spangled Cat?

A: A California Spangled cat is a crossbreed of many domestic cats that looks like a miniature leopard. It has a striking and distinct appearance, as well as a loyal, affectionate, sociable, and playful personality.

Q: How much does a California Spangled Cat cost?

A: A California Spangled cat is a crossbreed of many domestic cats that looks like a miniature leopard. It has a striking and distinct appearance, as well as a loyal, affectionate, sociable, and playful personality.

Q: How do I find a reputable breeder for a California Spangled cat?

A: You can search online for breeders who specialize in this breed or have some available for sale. You can also ask for references from previous buyers and check their credentials and reputation online. You should also visit their facility and meet the parents and kittens in person. You should check the health and temperament of the cats and ask for health certificates and pedigrees.

Q: How do I care for a California Spangled cat?

A: You should groom your California Spangled cat once a week, feed it high-quality cat food, provide it with regular veterinary check-ups, and spay or neuter it. You should also provide it with plenty of toys, scratching posts, and high perches to stimulate its natural instincts. You should also play with it every day, using interactive toys such as feather wands, laser pointers, or balls. You can also teach it some tricks or games using positive reinforcement methods such as praise and treats.

Q: What are some health issues that affect California Spangled cats?

A: California Spangled cats are generally healthy and robust, but they can be prone to some health issues such as obesity and dental problems. To prevent these issues, you should feed your cat high-quality cat food that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. You should also avoid overfeeding your cat or giving it too many treats. You should also provide your cat with regular dental care and check-ups.

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