The Cheetoh is a new cat breed originating in the United States; created in 2001 by Carol Drymon of Wind Haven Breeders. This rare and beautiful breed was created by cross breeding specially chosen bloodlines of a Bengal cat and an Ocicat, to produce a feline with the look of a wild jungle cat and the calm, gentle temperament of a domestic cat. Bengal cats breeders like the wild look, so created it by breeding an Asian Leopard cat and a domestic cat. Ocicats were the result of interbreeding Abyssinian (which gives the cat its exceptionally large ears), an American Shorthair (to keep the fur short and thick) and a Siamese.
The creator of the Cheetoh breed had very specific standards regarding the selection of the bloodlines utilized for breeding in order to ensure good personality and social temperament, health, and of course, the exquisite beauty. Breeders unwilling to follow and adhere to the established standards are not accepted or recognized by TICA (The International Cat Association) or the United Feline Organization, which regulates the carefully formulated breeding plan for the Cheetoh.
The very first litters were available in 2003. A specific five year breeding plan, which took over a year to formulate, has been adapted by few registered breeders. Now, a recognized breed with the United Feline Organization, the Cheetoh has distinctive characteristics of both the Ocicat and the Bengal, yet has qualities unique to itself. Some of those unique characteristics are:
- Exceptionally gentle nature
- Extremely large size for a feline
- Boundless energy and a strong desire to entertain their human companions
- Highly intelligent
- Sense of humor
This breed was created to be a sweet, good-natured lap cat that is completely trustworthy and safe around people, especially children. Cheetohs get along well with other pets.
APPEARANCE AND GROOMING
This new breed has a very wild look, comparable to a jungle cat, with a very muscular and athletic body. The gait of this feline is slow and resembles a wild jungle cat when it stalks prey, due to its unusually long legs (a trait it gets from the Ocicat). With a face enhanced by large eyes that are usually blue to a shade of deep yellow, a nose that is reddish to black and large ears, the Cheetoh looks quite fierce, while its true nature is exceptionally docile. Males generally weigh between 15 to 30 pounds, while the females weigh around fifteen pounds.
The beautiful spotted fur mimics that of a cheetah and is short and thick, sleek and shiny, and very soft to the touch, almost velvety. The fur has distinct spots which run along the back, sides and legs. There are five different color variations of the Cheetoh:
- Black/Brown Spotted Sienna
- Black/Brown Spotted Gold
- Black Spotted Smoke
- Black Spotted Silver
- Lynx Pointed Spotted Gold
Grooming requirements are simple; a good brushing weekly will keep the coat and skin in good condition.
Males of the Cheetoh breed are as docile as the females and demonstrate exceptional maternal instincts towards kittens and younger cats; never exhibiting hostile or aggressive behavior. Highly intelligent and exceptionally loving, this breed makes a wonderful companion. They excel at entertaining their owners and are noted to have quite a sense of humor. Unlike most feline breeds, the Cheetoh is very social, and not standoffish or snobbish like some breeds. Cheetoh’s are energetic and curious and thrive on interacting with people.
Because this breed is so new, it is still hard to determine what genetic or health issues may be prevalent or present in this breed. However, currently they seem to exhibit generally good health and a sturdy constitution, but may still be prone to luxating patella (a condition which causes the kneecap to dislocate).
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