Having a gorgeous leopard stretching lazily in your living room upon waking from their nap—isn’t that an appealing thought? But for many obvious reasons, keeping a wild animal as a pet is a terrible idea. That’s why cat enthusiasts looking for a more exotic companion sometimes turn to hybrid breeds, like the Ashera cat. But what do we actually know about these big kitties?
In this article, we explore six startling facts about Ashera cats and the controversies surrounding this enigmatic breed.
The 6 Incredible Ashera Cat Facts
1. The Ashera Cat First Appeared in the Early 2000s
The Ashera cat burst into the limelight in 2006, when Allerca Lifestyle Pets, a company specializing in exotic and rare feline breeds, introduced them to the public. They were marketed as a hybrid and hypoallergenic breed, claiming to be a cross between an African serval, an Asian leopard cat, and a domestic house cat. However, there is a lack of concrete evidence and transparency regarding the breeding practices used to create these cats.
2. The Ashera Cat Might Not Be a Real Breed
The authenticity of the Ashera has long been a subject of controversy in the cat breeding community. Skeptics and experts 1 argue that the Ashera is not a distinct breed, but rather a marketing gimmick to sell expensive hybrid cats. Indeed, DNA testing has shown markers consistent with Savannah cats 2.
3. The Ashera Cat Is Not Recognized by Any Official Cat Association
The Ashera breed of cats is not acknowledged by either the Cat Fanciers Association or The International Cat Association. Several experts and groups speculate that the Ashera is simply a product of breeding diverse exotic breeds, such as the Bengal cat and the Savannah cat.
4. The Ashera Cat Is Sold at an Exorbitant Price
The Ashera cat is known for their extremely high price tag, ranging from tens of thousands to over a hundred thousand dollars, depending on the specific cat’s markings, size, and claimed rarity. This pricing adds to their mystique as luxury pets. However, that limited availability and “rarity” is most likely due to dubious marketing tactics by the company that “developed” Ashera cats.
5. The Ashera Is Marketed as a Hypoallergenic Cat
Lifestyle Pets has made various assertions about the Ashera cat, including their exceptional lineage, rarity, and hypoallergenic properties. Nevertheless, these claims have been frequently challenged due to the absence of verifiable proof and openness about their breeding procedures. According to a 2013 report by ABC News, these cats are not at all hypoallergenic.
6. The Ashera Cat’s Lifespan Seems to Be Much Higher Than the Average
Although there is no way to be sure, the Ashera cat is believed to have an extra-long lifespan, up to 25 years, according to some (debatable) sources. In fairness, their close relative, the Savannah cat, does indeed have a longer lifespan than most other breeds. With proper care, no genetic issues, and a bit of luck, these stunning felines can live up to 20 years.
Are Ashera Cats Dangerous?
There’s no specific evidence to deem Ashera cats—if they truly exist—as inherently dangerous. However, as the Pet Poison Helpline’s associate veterinarian states, “[i]nterbreeding wild cats like Servals, Asian leopard cats, or Jungle cats with domestic cats for a few generations does not make the result a domestic cat. […] Hybrid cats are still genetically programmed to be wild.”
The Ashera cat is a controversial breed, to say the least. Several reputable sources and experts in the field of exotic feline breeds denounce the lack of transparency and questionable marketing tactics surrounding the breeding of these cats. Also, their exorbitant cost makes them overpriced pets for the vast majority of cat lovers, which is actually a good thing because it avoids encouraging unethical breeding practices.
Featured Image Credit: AussieGold, Flickr
- The 6 Incredible Ashera Cat Facts
- 1. The Ashera Cat First Appeared in the Early 2000s
- 2. The Ashera Cat Might Not Be a Real Breed
- 3. The Ashera Cat Is Not Recognized by Any Official Cat Association
- 4. The Ashera Cat Is Sold at an Exorbitant Price
- 5. The Ashera Is Marketed as a Hypoallergenic Cat
- 6. The Ashera Cat’s Lifespan Seems to Be Much Higher Than the Average
- Are Ashera Cats Dangerous?
- Bottom Line