Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/21/supercat/

Britons warned of plague of the 'supercats'

Ferocious feline chimeras menace dogs, children

By Joe Fay

Posted in Science, 21st September 2009 10:58 GMT

Britain is at risk from being overrun by ferocious "supercats", as domestic moggies interbreed with fierce wildcats increasingly being imported by extreme pet owners.

The stark warning comes in both the Daily Mail and the Telegraph. Each paper informed its pussy-loving readers this week of warnings from animal welfare groups that demand is surging for "supercats", produced by crossing domestic cats with wildcats from Africa or South America.

According to the Mail, waiting lists for such hybrid mog-beasts are up to six months long, despite the £6000 price tag on their heads.

But the great size and temperamental instability of these ferocious feline chimeras puts other pets, native wildlife and small children at risk.

The most popular supercat is apparently the savannah, which is bred from the serval, a cheetah-like beast found in Africa. It can reach as much as 35lbs in weight: over three times that of the average mog. Wild servals are thought to be capable of bringing down a gazelle

Peter Neville, of the Feline Advisory Bureau, told the Telegraph: "I would not be happy with a savannah around a small child, because of their genes and their size.

"They are going to do a lot more damage than a normal domestic cat. Their paws are bigger, they are stronger and they will bite deeper."

But the Telegraph quotes Donna Peynado, of the Savannah Cat Club of Great Britain, as saying that there are no more concerns than with any other cat, although she adds: “We always advise, never ever leave a cat alone with a child under five." ®