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If you want a cat that looks like a lion, the Chausie, and Somali cats are hybrids that both have Abyssinian and wild cat breeds in them, giving them a unique African wild cat look.
There are many cat breeds that make splendid pets. In recent years cat breeders have made sure that you can own a cat that looks similar to a lion or tiger. These cats are known as hybrids – domestic house cats deliberately crossbred with wild cat varieties to bring about a wild side to the cat. Some of these hybrid breeds are the Savannah cat, Somali, Toyger, Chausie, and others.
Having a wild side makes some of these cats a little bit unpredictable and this means that there are anti-hybrid groups who say that these cats should never become pets, and should not be bred in the first place.
A cat that looks like a lion – the Chausie and Somali
The Somali and Chausie cat has been bred to look like a small mountain lion or puma. The Chausie is a cross between the Abyssinian and some wild jungle cats of Asia. If you want a cat that looks like a lion, the long-legged Chausie cat probably comes as close to the lion as any of the other hybrid cats there are. In fact, the hind legs are somewhat longer than their front legs, and this enables the cat to lurch up into the air and up onto high perches. For this reason, you want to invest in both a climbing tree for your cat as well as a scratching pole.
An adult Chausie, whether male or female, can weigh between 6 and 12kg and stand roughly in height from 35cm to 45cm and sometimes taller. The ears of the cat are broad and fairly tall, and the almond-shaped eyes are a yellow to green shade. The lithe tan-colored cat is athletic and muscular and is regarded as a large-sized cat with the long, lean body of a lioness.
Characteristics of a Chausie
Chausies are one of the friendliest domestic cats in the world. They love to hang out with others. They are very playful and can jump almost 2m high. Chausie cats do not like to be left alone for too long. Since they do not like being left alone for hours at a time, it is better to have some kind of companion for the cat if you are away at work all day.
They need lots of mental stimulation and exercise to stay healthy. Many cat owners describe the breed as ‘dog-like’ because they love to follow their owner around the house. Due to the very active nature of the breed, most people only recommend getting a Chausie if you have had a cat before.
Just like the lion, the Chausie is an intelligent, social, and athletic cat, and they love their human companions, forming a deep bond with them. With some characteristics of a dog, the Chausie can be trained to walk on a leash. He also loves water and if you own one it will be a good idea to invest in a small paddling pool for it.
Cats are carnivores and require protein
A cat that looks like a lion has been bred from a wild cat and because of this, it has to be fed a high-quality, protein-rich diet. This cat is a strict carnivore and they can’t be fed foods that humans eat.
He requires a diet of quality meat – beef, chicken, fish, and organs – all foods that are easily digestible for your cat. Cats also need taurine from muscle meat such as shellfish and fish. They have fragile digestive systems and many are gluten intolerant so can’t be fed the same foods that humans eat.
Just like a lion and any wild cat, parasites can invade your Chausie’s body – internally and externally so he will need to be checked over for parasites such as ticks, fleas, worms, and mites.
He gets sick like a domestic cat
You just have to bear in mind that this cat that looks like a lion can succumb to any of the illnesses that a domesticated cat gets.
When you bring a Chausie into your home and heart you can expect to have a lot of action and entertainment. He is able to get on well with children taught to extend kindness and care to animals.
As a hybrid cat, the Chausie make an exotic pet, but while there are many admirable qualities to the Chausie, when there are small children around, you have to remember that this part wild cat can one day show that wild side, and then the humans should be blamed and not the cat.