Californian Glitter the ‘domestic Leopard’ Cat [history & Breeding]

History Of The Breed

Who doesn’t want to have a leopard or a tiger at home? And what about Pallas’ cat? Almost Persians! And animals are either slowly being exterminated or transported to other countries.

Concerned about the problem, Paul Casey returned to his homeland in 1971. And after a while, the idea came to his mind to bring out a new breed of cat, which would look wild, but by nature, it was a domestic, kindest, affectionate, and attached cat to the owner. “A cat with the appearance of a leopard and the character of a lamb.” 

According to Paul Casey, people would have such fluffy pets and be happy, but at the same time remember those big cats that are dying out every day on another continent. Having a good little copy of a dangerous predator at home – maybe collecting wild cats would end?

Breeding work began, after which Paul Casey declared himself as an accomplished felinologist. He went to great lengths to develop a new breed that, in his opinion, would help solve the problem.

Many cat breeds have participated in the breeding program. Moreover, it is interesting that the rocks were selected from four different continents. The selection involved the British Shorthair, Siamese, American Shorthair, Manx, as well as the Abyssinian, Egyptian Mau. 

They were joined by a considerable number of stray cats from Egypt and Asia. Something new, special was taken from each breed, for example, silver-spotted long-haired cats of an indeterminate breed were used, which had soft hair. Of course, as a result, the Californian in sequins wool became softer, and those same cherished specks appeared. Work began in the 1970s. It took 13 years and eleven generations to consolidate the necessary properties of the bred breed.

It’s easy to guess that the breed got its name from the name of its native state. And the name “in sparkles” came from the fact that the spots in the color of the animal were somewhat reminiscent of the plumage of exotic birds (the author himself does not understand why).

Cat’s Appearance

In appearance, the cat resembled a wild animal that had just emerged from the forest thicket. There are rings along the entire length of the tail. The tip of the tail is dark. The pattern of spots should be clear, contrasting, like a real leopard or tiger. 

The color of these cats is a spotted tabby, similar to the color of Bengal cats. The cats are medium in size. They are muscular and slender. Crouching gait … These cats are excellent hunters who have preserved their natural instincts. The Californian in sequins is a very mobile and playful cat, she needs physical activity, movement. But at the same time, they are kind, affectionate, docile animals. They are gentle, love communication with their owners.

And from the very beginning, the breed faced an unprecedented number of obstacles. Firstly, at the time when the breeding program was underway, another cat breed, just as wild in appearance, Bengal, began to gain popularity in America. And as we see now, many people know Bengal cats, they are regularly presented at exhibitions, there are quite popular catteries and breeders. And nothing has been heard about the Californian in sparkles.

Secondly, the popularity of the breed was, in a sense, suppressed by the breeders themselves. Once the Californian cats were introduced to the world, they became very popular. They talked about them on television, wrote in the newspapers. America seemed impressed by the breed, the Californian in sparkles entered the catalog of Christmas gifts. Order from this catalog could be made by mail. The breeders did not like this at once.

Domestic Leopard

Then all the pet stores launched advertisements and offered to buy a home “leopard” for a tidy sum. American supermarkets persistently and obsessively offered to buy “living room leopards” for tens of thousands of dollars. The salespeople boasted about the number of animals sold. 

Many TV channels reported an enthusiastic supermarket employee describing the surge in demand for this cat. The precedent of advertising a pet as a symbol of social status has caused protests from the owners of this breed. That is, the most interesting thing was the demand. People bought and were happy. Where did this popularity go then?

Further, the Californian in sequins was recognized by the International Cat Fanciers Association – TICA. The breed “died out” in the 1990s, and is now very rare even in the state of California, where it was once bred. The last standard was adopted in 1993.

Now the problem is quite acute that if a larger number of people, breeders, do not engage in the breed, then the Californian in sparkles may not get its development.

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