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I was looking thru videos of Savannah cats, servals, now the Ashera cat. The "Breeder" says she sells 50 a year at $20,000 plus a cat!

I would be interested in the perspectives of whether this should be done or leave well enough alone!

$22,000 Cat - YouTube
 

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I have very serious ethical qualms about this. Wild animals don't make good pets - not just because of their potential behavior but because they themselves wouldn't be happy in a domestic environment. A pet that is a hybrid of a wild and domestic animal may inherit the same wild instincts, and may never be fully happy in a home. I don't think we should be intentionally breeding animals that aren't adapted to the environment we expect to keep them in.

I do think these cats are beautiful, but creating them still seems cruel.

I also think there are serious issues with the amount of money changing hands, especially in light of the crisis of homeless pets in North America, but even if the breeders were giving them away I still think that purpose-breeding an animal that could never survive in the wild but also may never feel comfortable in a home is still problematic.

I think that with the hybrid cats, there's a major extra layer of ethical concern besides just the usual discussion about breeding/selling.
 

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It's pretty and all, but I have such an issue with breeding. In the US, between 3 and 4 MILLION dogs and cats are euthanized each year. My local shelter has a 60% kill rate (and another 10% die of disease/stress). So 30% of all animals make it out alive. It's heartbreaking to become friends with one at the shelter, and see them on the euth list. So, I can't believe someone would pay $22,000 to have an animal "created" for them when you can adopt one for less than $100. I think breeding should be taxed out the wazoo and have the taxes subsidize no kill shelters.
 

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My local shelter is having a "tail end of summer" promotion where all cats are $10 and dogs are $20! That includes spay/neuter and all vaccinations!! So someone could save 2,000 cats or 1,000 dogs with that money. I mean really.
 

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Wild animals are not pets and crossing two types of animals does not make it a new breed. "Puggles" and "labradoodles" and other such silly crosses are not breeds (adorable though they may be...I prefer mutts to purebreds any day). Could they become breeds eventually? Maybe. But the basic idea behind a "breed" is that when you mate two members of the same breed, you will know what to expect with the babies. Taking two things and crossing them does not allow one to reliably predict what the babies will look like, or what behavior traits they will have. (You can't cross a non-shedding poodle with a shedding lab and say with certainty that the puppies will inherit the non-shedding genes.) There are no breed standards to weigh it against to ensure that you are producing quality offspring. And if you're not breeding to improve/preserve the quality of the breed, then you're a backyard breeder, IMO.

I'd never heard of Asheras, so I did a quick google search and what I found reeks of marketing and a bad breeder. First of all...a good breeder does not make money on their animals. They'll barely break even after all the health testing and other "responsible" expenses. It shouldn't be about money...it should be about loving a particular type of animal so much that you want to help it achieve perfection. Secondly, you should not have to "market" your animals the way these are being marketed. Trying to make someone want something because it is "the most expensive" or "the biggest" or "the newest" reduces it to a "thing" to be coveted, rather than a living creature. No responsible breeder would ever treat their animals that way.
 

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Heh. Turns out all the known and examined "Ashera" cats were F1 Savannahs, bought from other breeders at 1/10 the price they were being resold for.

Which is really another problem when it comes to designer pets - people are so interested in being somehow special, even if it's only by having a designer pet, they make easy marks for the unscrupulous, whether from this end of the scale down to the "no it's perfectly healthy, and totally purebred" backyard breeders and mills. And those kinds of suckers are the ones who just will NOT listen or be educated, no matter how gently you try to approach them.
 

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Recently I was showing pictures of my cats to my coworkers, and one of them asked what breed Bentley is, where I bought him, and how much I paid for him, because he's so exotic looking.

Yeeeeah. :p
It's funny the way people act when they think a certain animal is "special" and "expensive" probably wouldn't have taken a second look at the gorgeous boy had he seen him in the shelter!
 

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It's funny the way people act when they think a certain animal is "special" and "expensive" probably wouldn't have taken a second look at the gorgeous boy had he seen him in the shelter!
Yeah, I thought exactly the same thing when she said that. Bentley had been at the county animal shelter for two years, and no one had ever expressed any interest in adopting him. I chose to donate the adoption fee, but I could have gotten him for free because he'd been there for so long that his fee was waived.

Now that he's home, I've had several people ask me his breed and seem surprised when I say he was a shelter pet. It's like seeing him in a home environment rather than a shelter environment can completely change the way people perceive the same cat.
 

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I think that with the hybrid cats, there's a major extra layer of ethical concern besides just the usual discussion about breeding/selling.

If I get a hybrid cat, does that mean they're gas free? :grin:
 

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Some people just have more money than sense. BTW, if your going to make a video touting your $22,000 - $28,000 cats, at least spend $30 and get your nails done properly. Pffft!
 

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Yeah that Ashera Cat was definitely a scam. and it's not new now, this was at least 5 years ago that was going on. It was a guy Simon Brodie who had been previously convicted of fraud for other dishonest business ( and since then ran off and changed his name)

The Asheras were marked up Savannahs that this guy was claiming were a whole new breed, and got a lot of publicity about being "the most expensive cat in the world" It sounds like he and surrogates buying for him, were acquiring Savannah cats and selling them as "Asheras" to people who thought if it cost that much money they must be even MORE special. A cat he was selling to someone in the Netherlands got confiscated at the airport , and then DNA testing found out it was a Savannah.
He had both this fake Ashera breed and another one the Allerca that was supposedly some super genetically engineered hypoallergenic cat with top secret proprietary info on how they made them hypoallergenic, and he was selling cats in advance to people who never got them or got cats that caused just as much allergic reaction as other cats... and was also selling "franchises" .
As I said, this was years ago but there was recently an investigative report on ABC about the supposed hypoallergenic cats that weren't. World's First Hypoallergenic Cat: Scientific Breakthrough or Hype? - ABC News
 

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BTW -- Bentley is stunning! I do wonder if he may have some Siamese or something in him. I'm so glad he is now in a home where he belongs.

Actually it seems to me that people often think shelter cats are some specific breed , far more often than they really are.

And sometimes people see a beautiful random-bred cat in a shelter or on the street and think surely it MUST be some specific breed because the cat is so beautiful / striking / unusual ... but not all beauty is the result of selective breeding! they just don't realize how gorgeous moggies can be.
 
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