There’s something about the look of spotted cats that gets people oohing and ahhing. It could be our ancestral associations with great big spotted cats like the Cheetah and Jaguar, and the threat these cats once posed. It could be that the sight of a “wild” looking animal wandering around our windowsills gives us a little thrill. It could just be that they’re breathtakingly beautiful, and more than a little unique.
Not surprisingly, spotted domestic cats are gaining in popularity in the United States, and worldwide. Despite their “wild” appearance, most domestic spotted cats are descended from breeds who were never actually wild. Domestics have been selectively bred for centuries to acquire a certain look or personality trait. Spotted cats are, by and large, no different. Here a few of the most lovely, and popular, of these spotted kittens for the fancy-cat-fancier.
If hobnobbing with Hollywood stars and playwrights is a dream of yours, then the California Spangled Cat might the breed for you. This beautifully spotted cat is, unlike the Bengal and Savannah, a purely domestic breed. The breed was developed by California writer Paul Casey Jr. This cat has adorned the cover of the 1986 Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue and often fetches a price of $2,000 or more!
Another naturally occurring spotted domestic cat is the sleek, slim, and speedy Egyptian Mau. This cat, which hasn’t changed much in appearance in more than 3,000 years, can run faster than 30 miles per hour. The Mau is also uniquely expressive, and their eye color and facial expressions change depending on their mood.
The Savannah is one of the few spotted breeds that’s a cross breed between a housecat and their wild cousin, in this case, the African Serval. In addition to their wildly patterned coat, the breed is also known for their enormous size, with male Savannahs reaching 20 pounds or more. Thankfully, the Savannah’s wildness doesn’t extend to their personality. With their loyalty and tendency to fetch, the Savannah is beloved as a house pet, and is often compared to dogs.
Like the Savannah, the Bengal is a mix between a domestic cat and a wilder species, the Asian Leopard Cat. Unlike the Savannah, however, the Bengal is of a much more modest size, weighing in at about 10 to 15 pounds. The cat, with their origins on the Malay Peninsula, has been bred over the years to be a sweet tempered and affection pet and as such is a popular breed in many countries.
Our last spotted cat actually comes in a few different coat patterns, some whose markings are more stripped, and some who tend towards the spotted. Though the first breeder of Pixie-Bobs claimed they were the offspring of naturally occurring Bobcat hybrids, genetic testing indicates they are of fully domestic stock. The Pixie-Bob is highly intelligent and very social. They take readily to both human strangers and other cats.
More on Cat Breeds
Where Cat Breeds Come From - Infographic
The History of Cats
Wild Cat Breeds for Adventurous Cat Parents