Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hybrid Cats: Alaskan Snow Cat

The Alaskan Snow Cat is an experimental breed that is often confused with the Snowshoe. The Snowshoe is a recognized breed by most associations throughout the world. The Alaskan Snow Cat is a hybrid. This means that its parents are of two different breeds. The Alaskan Snow Cat is the result of crossing the Somali with the silver Persian. This results in a beautiful and unique hybrid breed.

The Alaskan Snow Cat was created in the 1900s by several breeders throughout the United States, especially in Minnesota and Florida. These breeders are currently attempting to reach some sort of breed standard in an attempt to gain recognition of the breed. The goal is to create a breed that has the natural grace and beauty of the Somali, but with the heavier body and head of the Persian. Attaining this on a consistent basis had proven challenging.

Color has proven to be equally difficult to predict. Though most Alaskan Snow Cats have a white underbelly, the actual color of the rest of the cat varies. Many are brown, rust, or even black, and most have dark banding on the legs and tail. However, the most desirable color of the Alaskan Snow cat is a silver-gray with darker gray banding and a white underbelly and throat ruff.

The Alaskan Snow Cat, due to its Persian parent, is stronger and more stable than the Somali. This means that the cat is hardier and can roughhouse with dogs and small children easier than its Somali parent. They can’t jump quite as high, however, due to their increased weight, but they can still climb very well and have a tendency to sit on top of cupboards, fridges, and even climb curtains. Owners of Alaskan Snow Cats should be aware of this, as more delicate curtains can often be shredded by this heavier cat.

These cats tend to be fairly laid back and enjoy playing with other cats, dogs, or even young children. However, they do not like loud noises, so children who do play with these cats should be taught to keep their voices down. Alaskan Snow Cats are very friendly and prefer to stay with their people. They tend not to do well alone, so the conscientious owner will ensure a companion is provided. This doesn’t have to be another Alaskan Snow Cat. These sweet felines are just as happy with another breed of cat or even a dog as a best friend.

Because these cats are so rare and the breed is still in its infancy, it is difficult to provide a detailed look at the Alaskan Snow Cat. It will be some time before breeders can stabilize the breed and produce a standard that is acceptable throughout the world of cat fancy. Until that happens, the Alaskan Snow Cat will remain a fun and beautiful experiment.

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