Safari Cat: Breed Profile, Characteristics, and Care Guide

| Updated: April 29, 2023
Safari Cat f1 female

Meet the Safari cat, a hybrid between a domestic cat and a wild feline, Geoffroy’s cat. One of the rarest cat breeds in the world! This rare and exotic breed is not for the faint of heart but for those who are looking for a unique and adventurous companion.

Breed Overview

Weight 11-15 kg (F1), 7-11 kg (subsequent generations)
Length 40-60 cm (body), 25-35 cm (tail)
Coat length Short
Coat colors Brown, black, silver, gold
Coat patterns Spotted tabby
Eye color Green, yellow, amber, blue
Personality Energetic, curious, intelligent, playful, affectionate, loyal
Lifespan 12-15 years
Hypoallergenic No
Good with kids Yes, if well-socialized and supervised
Good with pets Yes, if well-socialized and supervised
Origin USA

History of the Safari Cat

The Safari cat was developed by Washington State University in the United States in the 1970s, before the Bengal cat. The original purpose of creating this hybrid was to study leukemia in cats, as Geoffroy’s cats are resistant to the disease. Eventually, the university shut down the study due to difficulties with breeding, leaving feline leukemia without a new treatment. However, some breeders and enthusiasts saw the potential of this cross as a new and exciting pet. Unfortunately, only an estimated 70 Safari cats exist today, making them one of the rarest breeds in the world.

I enjoy the cats so much. They’ve got their own personalities. They’re more individual than a lot of animals are. They’re all independent, and each is completely different than the one next to it

Chuck Schramm ~ wsu veterinary grad student

Why are Safari cats so rare? Well, breeding them is not an easy task. Geoffroy’s cats have 36 chromosomes, while domestic cats have 38. This means that the offspring have 37 chromosomes, which results in a phenomenon called “hybrid vigor.” This means that the first-generation (F1) Safari cats are much larger than their parents, weighing up to 15 kilos. The subsequent generations are smaller, averaging around 11 kilos. Another challenge is that Safari cats have a longer gestation period than domestic cats, which makes it harder to predict when they will give birth.

What Do Safari Cats Look Like

Safari cats are stunning to look at. They have a short-haired coat with a spotted tabby pattern, resembling their wild ancestor. Their eyes are large and expressive, and their ears are pointed and tufted. They have a muscular, athletic body, long legs, and thick tails. Their size varies depending on the generation, but they are generally larger than most domestic cats. There is no official standard for Safari cats yet, nor are they recognized by any cat fancier association, as they are still a very new and experimental breed.

What Kind of Personality Do Safari Cats Have

Safari cats are not your typical lap cats. They are energetic, curious, intelligent, and playful. They love to explore their surroundings and interact with their humans. They are also affectionate and loyal, forming strong bonds with their owners. They can sometimes be mischievous and naughty, but they are also very smart and trainable. They can learn tricks, commands, and even how to walk on a leash.

Safari cats need a lot of stimulation and exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They enjoy interactive and challenging games that test their skills and instincts. Some may even like to swim and climb, so providing them with access to water and heights is a good idea. They also need plenty of toys and scratching posts to keep them entertained.

Caring For a Safari Cat

Safari cats are not low-maintenance pets. They require an enriched environment that meets their physical and mental needs. They need spacious, secure indoor spaces to run, jump, and play. They also need observation posts where they can watch the world from above. They benefit from food puzzles that make them work for their meals and stimulate their natural hunting behavior.

Safari cats may tolerate some solitude if their needs are met, but they prefer to have company and attention from their humans. They may be more vocal than the average cat due to their hybrid nature, so be prepared for some loud meows and chirps. They may also have health issues or special needs requiring regular veterinary check-ups and care.

Where to Buy a Safari Cat

If you are interested in buying a Safari cat, you should start by researching your local laws, as some places may prohibit or restrict the ownership of these hybrid animals. Keep in mind they are not normal domesticated cats!

You should also be prepared to pay a hefty price for a Safari cat kitten. Depending on the kitten’s generation, quality, and rarity, you may expect to pay anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000 or more.

There are a few breeders working with this breed, but they are few and far between. This remains an extremely rare breed; with time, you may see them become more domesticated and popular.


Safari cats are rare and exotic hybrid pets that offer a unique and adventurous experience for those who are looking for something different from the usual domestic cat breeds. They are beautiful, intelligent, playful, and affectionate animals that can make wonderful companions for the right owners. However, they are also challenging and demanding pets requiring time, space, stimulation, and care.

We hope you enjoyed this article about Safari cats and learned something new about this fascinating breed. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. We would love to hear from you. And if you own a Safari cat or know someone who does, please share your photos and stories with us! We are always curious to see these amazing animals in action.

Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful day! 😊

More Cat Breeds

If you’re interested in learning about similar hybrid cat breeds, check out:


How much is a safari cat?

A safari cat is a very rare and expensive breed, costing anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000 or more depending on the generation, quality and rarity of the kitten.

Are safari cats good pets?

Safari cats can be good pets for the right owners who are looking for a unique and adventurous companion. They are beautiful, intelligent, playful and affectionate animals that can make wonderful companions. However, they are also challenging and demanding pets that require a lot of time, space, stimulation and care.

What breeds make a safari cat?

A safari cat is a hybrid between a domestic cat and a wild feline, the Geoffroy’s cat. The Geoffroy’s cat is a small spotted cat native to South America that is resistant to leukemia. The domestic cat can be any breed, but usually a shorthaired one.

BuzzPetz Staff Author Image
BuzzPetz Staff

Temporary BuzzPetz About Us

Read More

Leave the first comment

More From BuzzPetz

Before you go - You'll want to check out these articles!
[ultimatemember form_id="4648"]

Already a member?

Login Here

[uwp_register id="3" title="register"]

Not a member?

Register Here