Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Savannah breeder's perspective on the Ashera cat

This is quoted from an email by a Savannah breeder:

"Keep in mind -- the Savannah is on its way to having wonderful consistency -- we are already breeding Savannah to Savannah. In a few short years, that will be the norm -- so there will be NO outside cats in a four or five generation pedigree.
This breed has structure, a well-defined (we're getting there :o) standard, carefully thought out breeding programs, a LOT of breeder dialogue through the Savannah Cat Club and the Savannah Breed Section List, a study, testing, and discussion on health and genetics, and a large registering body (TICA) that has documented the pedigrees of our new breed for over five years now.
The difference between a Savannah and the Ashera? I would say the Savannah can be likened to a well-bred, pedigreed horse or show dog -- whose lineage is carefully tracked and whose breeding painstakingly thought out.
The Asheera is more like a Goldendoodle or a Shitzypoo. Not registered, not shown, no standard -- but the whim of a couple of folks who thought wouldn't it be fun? And folks will pay top dollar for these mongrels? Curious, isn't it?"

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lifestyle Pets Introduces the $22,000 Ashera(TM), the World's Largest, Rarest and Most Exotic Domestic Cat

Lifestyle Pets Introduces the $22,000 Ashera(TM), the World's Largest, Rarest and Most Exotic Domestic Cat

In my opinion, reading this press release simply shouted "There's one born every minute" and "A fool and his money are readily parted". A special kitty descended from the African Serval and Asian Leopard cat and the domestic cat and they want to charge folk $22,000? This cat already exists, it is called the Savannah cat and was first accepted for registration by The International Cat Association (TICA), the world's largest genetic registry of pedigreed cats, way back in the year 2000. So to me, Lifestyle Pets seem a little behind the eight-ball.

From the looks of the pictures attached to this press release, the Ashera they are peddling for $22,000 appears to be an F2 generation Savannah cat (two generations removed from the Serval) which would normally cost $3,500 to ~$5,000 from a reputable cat breeder, depending on quality.

Since the original launching of the Ashera cat, the story has changed a little. This current idea is that this cat melds domestic cat with both African Serval and Asian Leopard Cat lineage. ANY cat with African Serval heritage and domestic cat heritage is a Savannah cat. Period. Asian Leopard Cat heritage is a fancy way of saying that they used Bengal cats (the domestic hybrid descended from Asian Leopard Cats, registered for over 20 years with TICA) to cross to the African Serval, something that has already occurred in the Savannah breed, and the vast majority of Savannahs registered have some Asian Leopard Cat in their heritage.

By keeping all information about the Ashera cat confidential, this means that the purchaser of an Ashera cat is buying a cat lacking a pedigree, which is the thing that normally means a cat is worth more money than a shelter kitty. The pictures supplied of the Ashera cat appear to show an inferior-quality Savannah, and the lack of a pedigree or registration papers backs up that impression.

So as far as I can see, buying an Ashera cat is buying an unregistered inferior Savannah cat and paying five times as much for the privilege?