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Exotic vs Generic?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm currently looking into purchasing a cat. I'm very interested in this cat, here: http://www.savannahcatbreed.com/f5_female.shtml.

My main concern is: what is the primary difference between getting a cat like the one posted above vs getting a cat at the pound? I'm looking for a smart, very affectionate cat. If I find a 10-12 week kitten that seems very hands on, with constant work and conditioning, can it be just as personable as a cat similar to the one above?

I live in the Houston area, if anyone knows a good place to get high quality cats without having to pay for shipping, that would help too (provided that high quality cats are even worth the price).
post #2 of 29
Welcome to TCS!

I know nothing about purebreds. Other than they're expensive. I do, however, help people select the right shelter cat to adopt at the local Humane Society.

One thing...most shelter cats are "moggies" or mixed breeds. There are some purebreds in shelters. Here is a list of breeds on Petfinder. I do not want to discourage you from getting a purebred if that is what you want. Moggies can come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, & temperaments. You cannot tell what a kitten will be like when it grows up, IMO, even if it is purebred. Moggies are also less likely to be prone to "genetic" health problems as purebreds.

If you go the route of a breeder, do your research on what the kitten will be like. What health problems the breed is prone to & ask if the breeder screens for that. There should be breeders or more knowledgable people along soon.

If you do not have the time or space to allow a Bengal to properly exercise, you will likely have "destrucoto kitty!" There are many things to consider. Also, please do not look for the cheapest breeder around. That is not necessarily a good thing, while not necessarily a bad thing either.
post #3 of 29
i would suggest the local shelter .. If you ask the folks there will be able to tell you what traits in personality the cat or kitten has...

I love purebreeds but if you arent looking for a VERY active cat a Savannah IS NOT for you... also it is a Hybrid and at f5 is no longer "wild" but these cats are still somewhat in the develpmental stage ....
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
I want a very active, affectionate, smart cat.

Is it really that much better than say a cat I can get from a shelter?
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post
I want a very active, affectionate, smart cat.

Is it really that much better than say a cat I can get from a shelter?
Most cats are active,affectionate (especially ones adopted from a shelter) and I have never known a cat that wasn't smart
post #6 of 29
I am sitting here watching my two play. Seb is a Siamese or Tonkinese or possibly some type of mix (moggie) and Daphne is a young tortoiseshell moggie. Seb is on the coffee table with his tail hanging down, tempting Daphne to catch it He uses that tail for everything.

Seb will climb onto a shelf, make sure I am watching and purposefully knock something down like "hey, look at this. Whatcha gonna do about it?" So i pretend to be flustered, put said item back and it repeats. It is an old game between us. I learned long ago that shelves are for books and cats and things that won't break.

Daphne curls up on my chest when she wants attention and places her little paw on my face as though she is saying "hey, look at me!". Priceless.

When I am sad or hurting, Seb (and now Daph) will be right there to curl up with me either to listen or just to be there.

They never laugh (overtly) when I get in a ridiculous mood, never say a word about my horrible singing, don't cover their eyes if they see me nude. Basically, they give me more than I will ever be able to repay.

I am not sure what you are looking for in the intelligence department. I think my two are the most brilliant of all critters but I may be a bit biased. A cat that is loved, respected, secure, stimulated as they can handle, well fed and vetted has the potential to be a loving companion for a good 20 years.

They are all individuals even within a breed classification. They all have their own personalities.

I think the greatest mark of intelligence is with we humans in allowing such wonderful creatures to share our lives
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post
I want a very active, affectionate, smart cat.

Is it really that much better than say a cat I can get from a shelter?
No, not better. It's my understanding that Savannah cats are very athletic and active. You have to decide if that is going to fit into your lifestyle. Is this going to be an only cat? Are you out of the house for long periods of time? If this is going to be an only cat, and your are gone a large chunk of the day, I would seriously rethink this breed. The cat could easily get bored and get into trouble.

IMO, any cat, regardless of breed has the potential to be everything you're looking for, but there's never any guarantee. They're individuals.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post
I want a very active, affectionate, smart cat.
Your decribing several kittens and cats in shelters JMO.

Quote:
Is it really that much better than say a cat I can get from a shelter?
With cats from a breeder (no matter the breed) your able to talk one on one with the person who has seen the kittens from birth. The same could also be said for many shelters and shelter workers.

You are getting a cat that is pricey, has a pedigree or background, and if your lucky, it is a healthy one (JMO).

Most of the time (think this has been mentioned) they aren't always healthier than a shelter cat. You really need to ask about the health history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Get as much information on the breed as possible and maybe even visit a cattery or the home of a owner of this breed.

Shelter cats don't have pedigrees, most are less pricey and are most of the time healthy.

Shelter cats can have the same traits you listed above-very active, affectionate, and smart. All kitten (IMO) show what their personallity is going to be like. It just takes a few hours of watching and interacting with them. Many shelter workers can tell you about the cats and kittens in their care.

You could also adopt from a foster person of shelter cats. The kittens are then raised in a home environment, but still very much in need of a home. Some allow you to visit the home and are very willing to talk about the kittens in their care.

In the end it just depends on what you want. I recommend you visit your local shelter. Take a look around, ask questions and talk. Ask if there are any kittens being fostered and go from there.
Also, try to visit a home or cattery of the breed of cat your interested in. This will give you an idea on what you are getting into.

-Hilly
post #9 of 29
Hola y bienvenido a TCS, ...Catulina y Milky te saludan!!........
(Translate: Hi and Welcome to TCS, Catulina and Milky say hello to you!!!...)

See you on the forums!
post #10 of 29
If you've never had a kitten before, I'd go to a shelter. As has been said the staff that look after the cats/kittens will know what they're like. If your kind & can forget the mischief a cat can get into, then a cats for you. Blossom, my present kitten was a foundling & I didn't know what she was going to be like, so I put in the extra time & training & I now have a wild, happy, smart & truely loveable kitten.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the advice!

The people @ Select Exotics have guaranteed me that the kitten has great genetics, and that there is a complete refund policy if there is to be an issue (granted, I'd want to avoid that at all costs.)

They have also told me that their cats, because of the breed, are inherently "superior" to other breeds, inclusive of the cats that I would see at a pound. How much truth do you think lies within that statement?

The reason that these cats are so appealing to me, is because I have history of their parents and I know that they are going to grow up to be "dog-like" affectionate cats. Generally, babies are always affectionate, from what I understand. The problem is: you never know how they'll turn out unless you get them from a 'breeder'.

Right?
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post
They have also told me that their cats, because of the breed, are inherently "superior" to other breeds, inclusive of the cats that I would see at a pound. How much truth do you think lies within that statement?
Well I'm sure that's a matter of opinion - I don't consider one breed superior to another - it's all down to what you prefer re looks and temperament. Neither do I consider pure bred cats superior to mixed breed cats (for the record I have one of each).

You will find cats with a variety of looks and personalities at a shelter, but most will be of mixed parentage. Shelter staff should be able to advise you on what kitten or cat would best suit your needs and lifestyle. If you want a lively cat you should have no trouble finding one at a rescue (although you may fall in love with one totally the opposite to what you went for!). And of course there are lots of cats in shelters desperately needing a loving home.

If you want a purebred, there are a lot of different breeds all with different temperaments. When you buy a pure bred cat you have a better idea of how it will turn out than with a non pedigree, although obviously there are differences between individuals within a breed.

If you have never had a cat before I suggest you spend some time thinking about what you want in a cat. Lively cats can be great fun to have around but they can be too much for some people as they need a lot of stimulation to be kept happy and may be destructive if they dont' get enough attention. Once you know what kind of cat you'd like then you need to decide whether you want to go to a shelter and find one there or whether you want to go down the pure bred route. If you decide you'd like a purebred cat then I'd advise researching lots of different breeds and visiting a few cat shows if you can so that you can see the cats and chat to a few breeders. That's the point at which you want to be looking for a breeder. I wouldn't rush into buying a savannah without doing a lot of research first. Of course the breeder you have spoken to will think their breed is best - everyone thinks the breed they own/breed is the best - but you have to work out what's right for you.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post
Thanks for all of the advice!

The people @ Select Exotics have guaranteed me that the kitten has great genetics, and that there is a complete refund policy if there is to be an issue (granted, I'd want to avoid that at all costs.)

They have also told me that their cats, because of the breed, are inherently "superior" to other breeds, inclusive of the cats that I would see at a pound. How much truth do you think lies within that statement?

The reason that these cats are so appealing to me, is because I have history of their parents and I know that they are going to grow up to be "dog-like" affectionate cats. Generally, babies are always affectionate, from what I understand. The problem is: you never know how they'll turn out unless you get them from a 'breeder'.

Right?
The statement in red ... would MAKE ME RUN from this breeder, I think that breeder is breeding for $$ not love of the breed ... A trip to the shelter will yeild alot of "dog like"cat s .... Siamese , Bengal , Abbysinian(sp) Mau Ocicat all have some dog like traits and are purebreeds ... You can get the HISTORY of any well breed purebreed... We have some wonderful breeder s here on TCS and I would suggest you contact some of them
post #14 of 29
I don't think I'd recommend a first time cat owner to purchase one of the "exotic" cats. They usually wind up in shelters because the person is not prepared for that type of cat. Unless you really understand the breed, any health issues, special needs, etc. please adopt a nice domestic kitty from the shelter.

You might look into those exotic cats for a future one, but I don't recommend it now.

IMO any breeder who states their cats/breed are "inheriently superior" then regular cats raises red flags for me.

We have an ocicat (100% domestic - only looks wild). He has traits which we really like, but i would not say he's "better" then any other cat - he fits our lifestyle, but would not fit the lifestyle of a person who wants a "quiet" cat - he's more active then cornish rexes
post #15 of 29
First of all I really don't like when people call cats "dog-like", it's a pet peeve of mine and a big rant I can go into but I'll just do a mini version here.

I.e a cat that will play lots with you, is happy to see you and is there at the door when you come home and needs lots of interaction isn't dog like. It's a social cat. Cats are cats, not dogs, and if you want a dog you should probably get a dog but if you want a cat all cats can be social fun and active, especially if you raise them from kittenhood.

Cats love conditionally, so that you get back what you put in. Because they can be independent and are very adaptable, cats that don't get much interaction when young can become the stereotypical "aloof" cat, just because not getting interaction and being left alone is what they've always experienced so they adapt to that. Changing a cat when it becomes older is possible but can take a lot of time and sometimes won't work at all.

Pouring love and play and attention on a kitten or a young cat pretty much always works

No breed of cat is inherintly superiour to others. Cats are all individuals and can be very different. I own a Bengal cat which is originally a hybrid breed like the Savannahs.

Both Bengals and Savannahs are very active and intelligent cats. This sounds like ideal to a lot of people but they still don't quite know what they're getting themselves into. These cats need a lot of time and attention and quality play time. Not just when they're new and you're still hyped up about their addition to your household but every single day for many many years (if you're lucky). You being tired, your living situation changing won't change the needs of the cat.

I live alone, work fulltime and have a single bengal cat (where I rent wont let me have more than one cat). Not ideal but I get by and keep Nikita happy by playing intensely with her for over 2 hours every single day. This has cut into my social life but I don't regret that at all because I love her and getting to share my life with an amazing creature more than makes up for it.

Anyway if I were you I would first of all really think about exactly why you want a pet and what level of commitment you're prepared to give, then find a local shelter and talk to the people there (unless you're set on wanting a certain type of breed like for example the Savannah, in which case you should learn as much as you can about the breed, where it came from and history to get a feel for what to expect). Anyway the people at the shelter should be able to advice you and they usually know the cats/kittens they have and can help get a personality match.

And to answer your original question, purebred cats are no "better" than random bred cats. What you can get from purebreds is statistically higher odds at ending up with a certain personality type. They can all make absolutely fantastic pets, but like I said earlier you tend to get back what you put in when it comes to cats. A cat won't automatically become a fantastic pet, they need attention and socialisation and play to bloom.

Also if you do want a purebred cat, go visit a breeder and see the cats and play with them if you can to get a feel for what they're like. Your idea of what an "active" cat is might be quite different from people used to the breed or who have otherwise very active cats. That happens all the time with me and Nikita. My friends usually underestimate her energy level when I tell them about her and then think she's completely insane (but in a good way if they're cat people) when they actually meet her.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I don't think I'd recommend a first time cat owner to purchase one of the "exotic" cats. They usually wind up in shelters because the person is not prepared for that type of cat. Unless you really understand the breed, any health issues, special needs, etc. please adopt a nice domestic kitty from the shelter. IMO any breeder who states their cats/breed are "inheriently superior" then regular cats raises red flags for me.
I agree with GoldenKitty.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
After doing some research, I've determined that you all are very much right! I went to the SPCA today and fell in love with an 8 week old male kitten that was just brought in because his owner was allergic! I brought him home not 20 minutes ago. He is so sweet, and very smart. Pictures soon to come!
post #18 of 29
awww can't wait for pictures. But ASAP I'd get another kitten - at 8 weeks its a bit young to be an only kitten. Try to find one about 4-6 months old (neutered/spayed) that can help you little one learn to be a cat
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Heh, I'm not really interested in getting two cats. I work from home, so I'm constantly here with this guy

To the person who just advertised the bramble to me: I accidentally deleted your pm, but thank you for your consideration. As you can tell, I've already gotten a kitten. Thanks anyway!
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post
Heh, I'm not really interested in getting two cats. I work from home, so I'm constantly here with this guy

To the person who just advertised the bramble to me: I accidentally deleted your pm, but thank you for your consideration. As you can tell, I've already gotten a kitten. Thanks anyway!
That was me. Sorry about that. I am so happy that you got what you wanted. I hope you can post pictures soon. The ONLY thing that matters is that you have what you want and are giving a kitten a great home. Congratulations!
post #21 of 29
PICS asap

PLEASE
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
I wish I had a digital camera. I've got a web cam and my cell phone, so good pics will be tough to get. They're coming soon!

Side note: How often should I feed him? Best food brand? How to kitty proof the house?
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post
I wish I had a digital camera. I've got a web cam and my cell phone, so good pics will be tough to get. They're coming soon!

Side note: How often should I feed him? Best food brand? How to kitty proof the house?
wet food is best ... but most folks do feed dry .... go to the health and nutrition forum ... youll learn alot
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post
After doing some research, I've determined that you all are very much right! I went to the SPCA today and fell in love with an 8 week old male kitten that was just brought in because his owner was allergic! I brought him home not 20 minutes ago. He is so sweet, and very smart. Pictures soon to come!
You made the right decision Grats on your new baby
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Taken from my cellphone today @ the vet. Enjoy

post #26 of 29
He's gorgeous! You definately made the right decision, congrats

How did it go at the vets?
post #27 of 29
AWWWWWWWWWW what a little handsome boy
post #28 of 29
AWWWWWWWWWW I want him! When he grows up, you should consider showing him in the household pet classes
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the compliments! He's a real sweetheart.

In regards to what happened at the vets: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=126273
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