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?

54 comments:

Linda said...

Brigitte, what a great blog idea! Nice job - I love it! I will definitely post a link from the savannahbreedsection.org to this!

Linda

Oncilla said...

This really makes me mad that Lifestyle Pets is trying to rip off the public like this. How sad.

Gary

Sabira said...

Simon Brodie (founder of Lifestyle pets, "originator" of the Ashera cat and Allerca hypoallergenic cat) and his company left San Diego amidst a lot of media exposure of his past and current business practices.

A lot was exposed when he started promoting the Allerca hypoallergenic cat, and then followed up with selling Ashera breeding franchises, with a picture of a Serval (according to the photographer used without permission) representing what the Ashera looks like.

He is now charging $22,000. for what looks like an F2 Savannah, and has the same ultimate genetics as a Savannah with a lot of Bengal in it.

If there are buyers, I guess it is all based on marketing to the ignorant.

It is like the $100. lemonade stand ("I only have to sell one").

For some illuminating reading, check out these 11 links -

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/biotech/20061104-9999-1b4allerca.html

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060716/news_1n16charity.html

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/20061025-9999-1b25ashera.html

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/20061028-9999-1b28brodie.html

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20061104/news_1b4allerca.html

http://www.newsday.com/news/columnists/ny-lspets4963401nov06,0,2305391.column?coll=ny-news-columnists

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/biotech/20061116-9999-1b16allerca.html

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20060716-9999-1n16allerca.html

http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2004/12/27/story1.html

http://yorkstaters.blogspot.com/2006/10/case-of-hypoallergenic-cats-another.html

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070516141910AAlC2T5

And now that you are informed, look at these -

http://www.allerca.com/

http://www.buyjasonkitty.com/

http://www.allercafoundation.org/

I also noticed that it looks like all the pictures on the Ashera website are of only one cat.

I think this company is very good at promotion, but i will be real surprised if the products they claim will come through.

Sabira

Susan said...

Brigitte, thank you for posting this info to help the public be aware of SCAM artists like this one!!! Imagine thinking that a Savannah without papers could be worth $22k!! Wow, mine with papers don't cost anywhere near that, although I personnaly think they are worth it...:)

-susan

Susan said...

I guess what I am most confused about is the general public being this naive...are they? Is it possible that people will somehow think this is a status symbol or something, to own a big dollar cat, even though it is way over priced without papers even? The man involved is not producing them himself, most likely, as last time he did this scam he tried to buy Savannahs from a breeder and pawn them off as his "hypoallergenic" invention...what will he think of next? Or what will he steal and resell for tons of money next?

I can't help but think of that old adage..."Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me..."

-susan

Brigitte said...

I agree, Susan, it's insane that people would really fork over that kind of money without doing diligent research.
It wouldn't take too many questions for the holes in the story to be obvious...

Sabira said...

I could sell them 3-5 Savannah kittens at least as nice as the Ashera example, and with papers, for that price, but only if the buyer is smart enough not to want to spend $22,000. on an Ashera. I won't put our cats at risk with owners who have scads of $ flying out their behinds and brains leaking out of their noggins. :-)

Sabira

Sabira said...

LOL! Yes, Susan, much of the general public can be that naive! Some people believe if it is more expensive it must be better. Those are the natural prey of the urban jungle scammer. They are both apparently very well adapted species in symbiosis, with no danger of dying out.

Susan said...

I guess I am learning that this type of opportunistic marketing scam artist is in fact not anywhere near being labeled an endangered species...in fact if they are renedered near obsolete in one area (by flushing them out through exposure in the press), they somehow pop up in another area shortly!

EMILY said...

The blog is in my opinion, very accurate. Thank you for doing this Brigitte (-:

EMILY said...

GREAT INFORMATION. Thank you!

Upfront Incognito said...

If Ashera's are African Serval / Asian Leopard Cat and Domestic cat hybrids as described on the "Life Style Pets" website then they would be illegal and/or strictly regulated in some states including New York, Georgia, Connecticut, and Massachusetts (maybe others). Also these hybrids are regulated by the Federal Government when it comes to shipping them to other countries. They require special permits and again are illegal in some countries all together. He doesn't talk about this on his website. I hope nobody from any of those states or countries pays upfront for one.

Simon Brodie said in an interview that the big difference between the Savannah and the Ashera is that they "Guarantee" the size of the Ashera being 30 lbs or more. The only way I can think of they could do that is if they where cloning a really large F2 male Savannah. Females and lower generations don't get that big. Or maybe they plan on replacing Ashera's that don't reach there full size.

Patrick

Larry said...

People that charge over $1000 for a `cat' whether they are exotic or not are scammers. SV breeders act like they are `God' or something and feel they are justified to charge that kind of money for a `special' breed of cat. You didn't geneticly create this cat in a lab enviorment. You just did some selective breeding tactics and it took some time to get some exceptional crossbreeding results. Then you charge $2000-10,000 for your `special breed' of cat. That's pathetic!!! One day you will have to answer to the Creator for your deeds.. I hope the money was worth it!

Carl said...

Patrick, there's no way that's a clone because you can't clone a cat for any $22,000. Savings and Clone shut after selling only 2 clones to paying customers; 1 for $50,000 and one for $32,000, and it must have cost them WAY, WAY more than that.

You could get a Savannah that weighs 30 pounds, even an F5. Just develop a line that was lazy and liked to eat a lot. I've seen an ordinary domestic cat that must have been in that ballpark - over 20, at any rate. Not a pretty sight.

Suse said...

This is for Larry:

Haha, you apparently think you are so smart...NOT...First, I would like to explain something to you that you may never get: these are very difficult cats to breed. The gestation period of the African Serval is a lot longer than the domestic cat. Consequently, when we breed them, the domestic often miscarries, has stillborns, litters that fail to thrive, or babies that do not live long. Not only is the death rate high, but if they are born and seem to do well at first, the mothers are not always keen on taking care of them. It falls upon the breeder to bottle feed, incubate, get up every two hours to do these things, etc. You try to do this for several kittens for weeks on end, and tell me you aren't going to request more money for them...it never ceases to amaze me, how people who know absolutely nothing about a subject think they should make sweeping statements at large on them...you really need to
walk a mile in their shoes...how sad that you see yourself as an expert with no knowledge at all!

-susan

compgal said...

Suse, I read your comments about Larry's post.
I am glad to hear about the Ashera being a scam by misleading the public. My concern is that what is the lifespan of an Ashera after all that crossbredding?
And, as far as justifying the price of a Savannah...I was raised with a Doberman that we bred and showed. So, I understand the work that goes along with breeding. What I do not understand, now that I am aware of what you posted, is why is the Savannah so important if it means so many kittens and cats dying while attempting to get a healthy one? With all the homeless kittens and cats out there, why are we trying so hard to create a "special breed" at the cost of these other poor animals whose lives end before they even had a chance? I would rather all this money devoted to the costs of this special breeding, be given to help all the cat rescues, and shelters already out there. There are some really beautiful and great cats that need a good home.
I think having a savannah cat is just a status symbol.
Its like the people that buy Hummers; just showing how much money they threw away on a gas guzzler; just to say they had that amount of money. There are many nice cars, better on gas, that cost less.
There are many great cats out there. Why spend more money on a Savannah? Aside from their history, what makes them so special and better than any other pedigree or domestic cat?

Westwood said...
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Westwood said...
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Indra said...

Thanks for this information.

As a very very very fervent lover of cats I was instantly in love with this beautiful creature, not really thinking clearly and already planning out a strategy to afford this beauty.

Good thing I came across this article, because I needed a slap in the face to wake me up.

Savannahs are gorgeous though and atleast affordable ;)

Tiffany said...

I'm not going to defend Lifestyle Pets by any means, but I think I can understand what it is they're trying to do here.

Where their REAL money lies is in producing hypoallergenic pets. That's their real target They need a name for these to distinguish them from anything else. And they want to make them exotic for a different market than their first hypoallergenic cat.

The exotic part is already taken care of. There's already a method for creating a beautiful exotic cat-the Savannah.

Now, here's where I see their problem with calling it a Savannah. They need a special distinctive name that they can trademark. They also want advance press for their GD (hypoallergenic) version. Hence the new name.

The amount of time and investment that goes into creating the hypoallergenic versions must be very high. If they can sell even a few of their early "failures" along the way as the Ashera, that helps to offset the cost and get the name out there.

So basically, they needed a trademark-able name, more money, and marketing. Right or wrong, that's business.

As for me, if I want a cat like that, I'll take a pedigreed Savannah any day.

forloveofcats said...

Bridgette, I think it would be best to get out of the cat business and earn a living with an actual job. In the end, I don't care if its an ashera or a savannah, the fact is why are there cats being bred when there are over 5 million getting euthanized in shelters? At the end, it's just a cat! I don't care what it looks like, it's still a cat with the same personality of those being euthanized every year. Let's stop helping these extremely rich, naive, and selfish people's ego and encourage adoption! Did you know that there are actually a lot of mixed breed cats, feral or at the shelter, who look like a wild cat? It's true! I took pictures of some feral kittens who will most likely die outside because there aren't any homes available for them, and they look wild! Whether people are spending $3,000 or $30,000, why can't this go to shelters and animals in need? Do you have any idea how many cats could be taken off the euthanasia list, cats that could be given great homes, etc, and not abused, with this type of money? How do you justify accepting money like this from people when cats die of horrible deaths everyday because no one wants them at no fault of their own? It's really sad. It makes me sick to see people profiting off of these poor animals instead of trying to help cats. A true animal or cat lover wouldn't dream of breeding more in such a hopeless world, they would want to donate their time and effort in helping make the world a better place for the cats that are unfortunate enough to be in this sick world where people abuse them, abandon them like their objects, etc. Think about it!

forloveofcats said...

Suse, I do everything you claim to do like bottle feeding every 2 hours, etc, and much more to save a precious like that you may deem worthless, a feral kitten! I medicate them, give subcutaneous fluids, supplements, milk, and much more, just to save a precious life who was unfortunate to be born in such a superficial world where most people profit or buy animals instead of helping those in need. You want to know what I get in return financially? Well, an adoption fee of about $60 to $80, which is justified only because I have had them fixed, fully vaccinated, tested for FeLV and FIV, dewormed, and more! You want to know why I do so much for so little? Well, because I am one of the VERY rare people born in this world who believes we shouldn't profit off of life, especially when so many of these animals(of the same species), are left to die by us humans because we put no value to them. These animals need our help, not our selfishness. At the end, savannah, ashera, it's a cat! It's a cat!!!!!! A wonderful animal. Would I ever charge more because I spent more time on bringing a kitten back to life, of coarse not! I'm not asking for compensation, just that they find a wonderful, forever home and are happy the rest of their life! It's an incredible feeling. And yes, I lose money doing this, lot's! And no, I don't have money to lose! I'm in debt! However, saving these precious lives is worth every penny of debt! A true animal lover cares about the well being of ALL animals! Breeding isn't an option for a true animal lover, nor is buying an animal. A rescued animal is the ONLY animal of choice for a true animal lover!

Robert said...

suse wrote "when we breed them, the domestic often miscarries, has stillborns, litters that fail to thrive, or babies that do not live long. Not only is the death rate high, but if they are born and seem to do well at first, the mothers are not always keen on taking care of them."

I’m probably less knowledgeable than Larry or anyone else, but I really have to add my 2 cents worth here. If I understand your statement correctly, you breed kittens only to have a relatively high percentage die, either before or after birth, and those that are deemed less than desirable by their mother to be shunned. Well yes, this does seem more expensive, but also quite inhumane.

Susan wrote: ”Is it possible that people will somehow think this is a status symbol or something, to own a big dollar cat, even though it is way over priced without papers even?”

And purchasing a $3,500 cat isn’t? Savannah ownership might not be quite as pretentious as owning an Ashera, but it’s not too far off! Do ‘papers’ help some people sleep better at night?

Sabira wrote: ”I could sell them 3-5 Savannah kittens at least as nice as the Ashera example.”

I could find you 35-50 perfectly beautiful kittens from a rescue or humane society for each one of those Savannah kittens. These are kittens that are already alive and don’t need to have a high percentage of their litter mates die for their existence (or their new owners self satisfaction). On second thought, I’m not sure I’d want those sweet kittens "at risk with owners who have scads of $ flying out their behinds and brains leaking out of their noggins."

Call me ignorant about your breed if you like, but at least I’m not inhumane and my behind isn’t shooting out scads of $ to people that breed kittens to watch a high percentage of them die. I'm not even going to touch the leaking noggins comment, there's way too much to play with on that one.

I'm sure Savannah breeders make a lot of money. Some of us have nice houses and expensive cars without abusing animals.

chanur said...

This is in response to "forloveofcats" comments.

My dear, I used to think like you do, that all cats are created equal. For over TWENTY years, every cat I owned was a stray, right off the street, not even from the so-called shelters. After my last adopted stray cat died from cancer, at age 12, I decided to purchase a purebred cat. That is when I discovered the truth that all cats are NOT created equal! Cats are only marginally domensticated. If kittens aren't raised around humans, they will be feral, and nearly impossible to socialize, as adults. There is a world of difference between a kitten, the result of generations of breeding for the best temperament and health, who has been hand-raised by a breeder as part of the family, and a poor stray cat at the shelter, who has been thrown out like so much garbage. I thought that my last stray cat was fairly well-socialized. I know I tried my best to work with her. But she didn't even begin to be anywhere near as loving, as sweet, as easy-going and tolerant, as my purebred kitties are. My purebred cats are quite simply far superior to any of the strays I've taken in.

As for the cats being euthanized, even if NO purebred cats existed, stray cats would STILL be killed. As long as irresponsible people treat cats as throwaway pets, there will be stray and feral cats. I too, feel terrible about all the poor cats being euthanized. But there is an alternative to the shelters, and their endless killing.

I recently learned about an approach to the cat overpopulation problem, called Trap-Neuter-Return. Basically, instead of trapping stray and feral cats, and taking them to a "shelter" to be killed, the cats are spayed/neutered, given their basic vaccinations, treated for any medical problems, then released back to the area they came from. A caregiver takes care of the strays and ferals in place, by giving them food and water, and even outside shelters, if possible.

I've chosen to adopt purebred cats. I love my fur-kids dearly, and wouldn't trade them for any other cat. I also provide food and water for the neighborhood stray cats, along with a couple of outside pet cats. I don't feel anyone has the right to tell me that I have to adopt stray cats, instead of purebred cats! To me, having a purebred cat, of a breed of my choosing, instead of a stray, is the same as having children of my own, instead of adopting orphans from the Sudan, or some other war-torn area. Of course, why can't you do both? Why can't adopt a purebred cat, AND provide for the stray cats, through the TNR approach?

Please consider the alternate approach to shelters, and their killing: TNR. Please don't try to take away my fur-kids, just because they're purebred. You're right about cats being equal in one sense - they all have a right to live, purebred as much as stray or feral! Please think things over; that's all anyone can ask.

chanur said...

This is in response to robert's comments.

Robert, I'm afraid that Susan may have given you the wrong impression, overall. I know a few Savannah breeders. They don't seem to have problems with miscarriage, stillborn kittens, or kittens dying. Most of the trouble with Savannah breeding seems to stem from fertility issues. Most male Savannahs aren't fertile until they are five generations from the serval. Most female Savannahs have litters of only one or two kittens, if they can even get pregnant in the first place. That's why the price for Savannahs is high: limited supply, high demand.

Several posters have asked why Savannahs are so special. As the owner of one Savannah, I can tell you that I didn't buy her as a "status symbol". If you saw what I wear, or the inside of my house, you'd know I couldn't care less about "status symbols" and "fashion", or anything like that. So why did I get a Savannah? Because of their unique behavior! Savannahs have all of the good features of domestic cats, PLUS some of the traits that I find appealing in dogs. A Savannah is like getting the best of both the cat and dog world combined, in one animal. My Savannah girl head-butts me like a dog, wags her entire tail with enthusiasm, and follows me around like a little puppy. Yet she still uses a litter box, and purrs very loudly.

As for the stray and feral cats, I discussed a humane solution in my previous post. I would add that I see no reason to allow the irresponsible people in this world, the ones who throw their cats out like so much trash, to dictate which cats are allowed to reproduce. If we only adopt strays, then we are deliberately selecting for cats with bad temperament, and health problems, because these are the cats that end up thrown out, the most frequently. In contrast, the goal of the responsible breeder is the improvement of the breed. So which would be better for the cat species, overall? Breeding the best, or breeding the worst?

Per said...

Very succinct blog, and yes, lifestyle pets does not seem to have everything in order. I would like to add, though, that domestic cats at 25 lbs and more are (I´m sorry to say) not a rarity, the largest I´ve seen was at 42 lbs! The Savannah looks good, though, back to "real cat"!

Per said...

Very succinct blog, and yes, lifestyle pets does not seem to have everything in order. I would like to add, though, that domestic cats at 25 lbs and more are (I´m sorry to say) not a rarity, the largest I´ve seen was at 42 lbs! The Savannah looks good, though, back to "real cat"!
veterinary.surgeon@gmail.com

Cihangir said...

All that jazz aside, for me Ashera looks way better than any Savannah car. Specially its face look fantastic. with papers or not, Ashera is a nice cat with a ridiculous price.

IssoireLynx said...

Thanks for information!

rastakins said...

TO fortheloveofcats

I am in an unique position to comment. I do TNR, I own three feral rescues AND a Savannah.

I bought the Savannah to sample the personality of the serval while living in a ban-state. If servals were not banned in my state, I would get the more inexpensive and more servally serval. That said, my savannah is totally unlike any cat I have ever owned or rescued. Sure, he was big bucks but well worth the money. I still love my feral rescues and I will still do TNR, so the savannah has not spoiled me... yet.

matsarxx said...

I too own a Savannah. In fact, I have two! I did not purchase my SV's as status symbols, but because of their temperment. My fiance is a "dog person" and I am a "cat person". He is also allergic to cats but not to dogs. Because Savannahs are chromasomally different from domestic cats, they do not aggrivate his allergies. Does that make the cats hypoallergenic? I don't know. I do know that for some reason my guy isn't miserable around them. Additionally, they shed very little. My favorite thing about Savannahs is not their coloring or their size, but the fact that they are truly cats for dog lovers. Savannahs are very interactive: they are constant companions, they play games such as fetch or hide & seek, they can be easily leash-trained, they come when you call, they are wonderful lap cats, they are extremely intelligent and full of personality. Unlike most domestic cats, Savannahs are not stand-offish at all. My F3 & F4 Savannahs are awesome with my daughter, who is 6 yrs old & ADHD - they'll play with her all day long! I am so glad that I found the Savannah breed; they are very special animals indeed.

katcb said...

For those protesting (Robert, Forloveofcats,) people using their OWN income to actually BUY cats of their choosing instead of adopting one of the many cast off by others at the shelters...am curious whether either of you have any biological children? If so, how selfish you must be. Don't you have any idea how MANY homeless orphans there are in this world, DESPERATELY in need of loving homes and parents? It MUST be because having your own offspring is some kind of ego trip or status symbol to want to continue your own personal bloodline...or is there something special about your particular human "breed" that is superior to those already without homes?

Honestly, the last time I checked this IS America? Where people could and should adopt/purchase whatever cat/dog they choose to spend their lives with, with the money they've earned by their own efforts. As long as they provide a permanent and loving home, why is it EVER anyone else's business how others spend their incomes? Sheesh.

We live with both rescue and pedigreed animals. We actively participate in TNR in every community we have lived in (over several decades), using our own money to do so. We also live with a beautiful Savannah cat that we wouldn't trade for any amount. We spend OUR OWN time and money to care for all of them. Having one over the other certainly doesn't make someone a better person, but does unfortunately often feed a 'holier than thou' attitude..sigh.

Thanks for the info from the Savannah breeders and others regarding the origins of the so-called "new Ashera cat breed."

ilojem said...

Brigitte, I hope you are OK with this:

http://ifnessbengalen.web-log.nl/ifnessbengalen/2008/01/170_ashera_van_.html

I made a correct link and © statement to you and your wonderful blog. Thank you! And please thank Sabira for the very useful links in the comment.

C. said...

For everyone thats saying that savannah cats have better personaities you have obviously never lived with a a maine coone or siamese cat. these cats are loving extremely interactive and in the maine coons case they like to play fetch. so please stop acting like savannahs are so incredibly unique.

rastakins said...

C:

Savannahs are incredibly unique. I had a Maine Coon for 16 years. He was the most even-tempered and unperturbable cat I have ever owned. I have probably taken him on 50 camping trips. A gentle giant. And was bigger than my Savannah... but...

Nothing flies through the air like a Savannah. Mine jumps UP -not down- off the dresser presumably just so he can feel the extra air time.

Early generation Savannahs are a big hassle compared to a Maine Coon: My Savannah requires a raw diet with specific supplements.

Better personality? I would say my Maine had a better personality but he wasn't as interesting as the Savannah.

tamara hope said...

I recently came across lifestyle pets when I received a PETA newsletter via e-mail. The newsletter brought ,e to the PETA website where I found the latest scheme of lifestyle pets proprietor. He has recently started a company where you pay a monthly fee of around $300 dollars to "rent" a dog for the day. Sounds like prostitution to me...

i digress.

I love the serval and savannah cats. I think that they are very beautiful cats that have a very exotic, regal look.

However, on a personal level I agree with some of those who have a problem with breeding purebred pets and selling them for high prices. The fact is that there are too many animals that die every year in shelters because they aren't "pretty" enough or not "special" enough. As an animal lover I am appalled that people actually think that animals are superior simply because they LOOK different. Or simply because they have exotic BLOODLINES. As I remember there is a similar group in the human world that shares the same ideals. They find themselves superior to all other humans because of their heritage and the color of their skin. They wear white hooded robes and preach white supremacy. Sound familiar? Although the KKK is a violent group associated with many crimes, when applied to the human world, the ideals of the AKC and other purebred animal groups fit the criteria for the KKK.

Perhaps when purchasing a pet and becoming its lifelong companion, we should all consider the wonderful dogs found in shelters and rescue groups. I have a wonderful shelter mix breed who is stunning. My boyfriend and i also have a beautifal longhair cat that we rescued from a shelter. I'm not saying that anyone is doing anything wrong here, that's not the point; the point is that there are thousands of wonderful animals in shelters across the world who are in need of a home. To spend thousands of dollars breeding animals only to have them die prematurely simply to have the novelty of owning an exotic cat.

tamara hope said...

Oh and also, I understand those who purchase a savannah or serval because of their unique personality. I believe this is similar to choosing a lab over a pitt bull due to temperament. Or choosing one dog over another at a shelter because one likes to play fetch and the other doesn't. Although I wasn't clear in my last post, I am not opposed to the breeding and selling of exotic animals. My point is that to have an animal for looks or social status is shallow and wrong. Also, the strong opposition to some of these posts is unfortunate. As one poster said "this is America." Although his ignorant post was about doing whatever he wants with HIS american money, my point is that this truly is the land of the free. I think it would be fair to let people express their opinions without attacking whether or not they gave birth or adopted. It seems silly and trivial to attack a person on such a personal level.

corbyz said...

When you start talking about "inferior" breeds and pedigrees and specimens and all that crap is just makes you sound as ridiculously superficial as the Ashera cat people who charge $22,000.

I'll never understand breeders. The people who have been preoccupied with eugenics in humans have all been pretty crazy, and I guess I can see that craziness is true for feline eugenics enthusiasts as well.

Alexandra said...

Hello,

I know very little of these cats, however I will admitt to not only wanting an Ashera Cat, but going as far as actually calling and speaking to Simon himself. When we spoke he did not wish to share information with me on the "makings" of the cat, but he did describe the cats overall temperment. I was thrilled, and not to mention ready to pay as much as necessary to own one of these beautiful cats.

When I told my boyfriend about it, he is one of these research anything and everything about the purchase before buying, so of course he researched the company, Life Style Pet, the owner Simon, and the cats "mixed breeding superiority". Needless to say that is how I learned of the Savannah Cat. The websites I have visited that speak poorly of the Ashera Cat are mostly all Savannah Breeder's websites. However, I have aslo read of people who send their deposit and never get a kitten, or a refund.

I have a few doubts I would really like answered before I venture off and buy one of these exquisit animals.

1. What if the difference between the Ashera and the Savannah Cats?

2. What are the benefits of owning a Savannah Cat? Temperament wise: does it ever nip or bite?

3. Is there such a thing as a Snow Savannah, or a Silver Savannah?

4. What is their life expectancy? How large do they generally get?

5. One of the complaints I have seen more are the price, however, some savannahs do go up to the twenty thousands!

6. Can I take him to a normal Vet? or does it have to be an exotic healthcare vet?

7. What is the difference in temperament (F1, F2, F3, F4, F5)?

8. I know your stand is that the Ashera and the Savannah are the same thing, but why does the Ashera look so much more exotic, and wildly different to the Savannah Cats? I know no two animals will ever be exactly alike, but the Ashera in the website dose look fairly different to the Savannah pictures I have seen.

I have a lot of questions however, I do not wish to bore anyone, so if you have any information as to why the Ashera is not real and why the Savannah cat is so much better (or the "real" breed) What are the advantages, pet wise, of owning one of these pets?

I would really appreciate any help and advice be sent to my personal e-mail : alexandra.e.roca@gmail.com

Per said...

Hi, Alexandra. I´ll try to answer parts of your questions, and I have no doubt more knowledgeable people than myself will hasten to correct any mistakes I make.
1. The Ashera is a triple hybrid. It includes Asian Leopard Cat as well as Serval. So do most Savannahs at one point or another in their pedigree. So, in principle, no difference. I only know the Savannah and Bengal, the Savannah is the most social of the two, the Bengal has more spectacular coat, both are wonderful breeds. I have both.
2. Benefits? Well, IMHO having a cat, any cat, gives you a richer life by providing interaction with a fairly independent living being. A Savannah is a cat, it will give you a richer life. temperament-wise the Savannah is outstanding, but be warned: any cat may nip or even bite when sufficiently provoked. That said, the only nipping I ever experience with the Savannah is when I "force-scratch" my male´s tummy. When you do that almost any cat will use all four legs and mouth to trap you. he has never made a mark on me, and enjoys it tremendously. he is extremely social, as I have found other Savannahs to be, too. They rate very high on contact-seeking and very low on aggression to humans. They kill toys effectively, and they demand attention and playtime. They are lovely ( says I with no bias...)
3. If you mix in snow or silver genes, yes, you get silver or snow. Silver I have seen. Snow takes a little longer, and the breed is young.
4.Expect the same as any ordinary cat. The earlier the generation, the larger the cat. A large cat (like an F2 or F3 at 9-15 pounds) need A LOT OF ROOM! In order to play and jump without hitting walls and sharp corners, these cats should have 15-20 feet long clear stretches of floor space, and a lot of height. Part of the fun is playing with them and seeing them jump. They are very prey-focused and will not always think ahead to what is in the landing area. This may lead to injuries. The F4, 5 and SBTs are generally smaller and more manageable in terms of space. And just as much fun and company.
5.With Savanahs you get what you pay for, but the best breeder animals should usually not exceed 6-8000 USD. pets are much cheaper, and not everybody should be prepared to invest in the uncertainties of breeding. Like the Bengals, intact Savannahs spray/mark their territory, this is reduced in castrated animals
6.If you have a good vet, yes of course. If your vet isn´t good, don´t use him or her for anything. Exotic healthcare vets must be reminded that the Savannah is mostly normal cat, and that the individual differences between cats are greater than the differences between Savannahs and "normal" (is there such an animal?) cat. there is a problem with pregnancy length that most experienced breeders handle very well, as do their vets.
7. The earlier generations are supposed to be wilder, in my experience they go from F1-SBT as follows: temperament very good, even better, fantastic, etc etc. They respond to socialising like any other animal, and they respond well. They love attention and people who are kind to them.
8.This one is not addressed to me, but anyway: The Ashera is a deliberate triple hybrid. The Savannah is mainly Serval and cat, but usually with some ALC stuck back there somewhere. The Ashera is usually an F1 Savannah by definition, and F1 vary a lot in looks depending on the dam you mate to the Serval. When you compare Asheras to F1 savannahs you are basically looking at the same thing. However, when you get a Savannah you are getting a responsibly (hopefully) and documented bred cat with an established standard at a reasonable price with none of the fancy wrappings to make it look better than it is. If you want your personal leopard (without the meanness), get a Bengal. If you want a social, playful jumper, get a Savannah. If you want the best of both, get both. And remember that The Ashera on the website is ONE cat, and all cats look different.

The Ashera is a cat, it is real in the sense that some hybrids are called Asheras, but they are not documented breedingwise, so you don´t know what you are getting (probably what by definition is an F1 Savannah!). Savannahs are bred to a breed standard and should be documented. Savannahs, and Bengals, and cats in general, are wonderful animals, but in my opinion the Savannahs are the most social, extrovert interactive cats you find (or, I should say, I have found, but then I have only been a vet for the last 27 years).
Good luck!

rastakins said...

>1. What if the difference between the Ashera and the Savannah Cats?

Ashtera cats are relabeled Savannah cats! But worse. With a Savannah you get TICA paperwork showing the parents up to three generations up the family tree. With Ashtera you get nuttin'.

>
>2. What are the benefits of owning a Savannah Cat? Temperament wise:
>does it ever nip or bite?

Mu F1 was bitey when he was a kitten as many domestics are. With a little training and maturing, he does not bite at all even when he is mad.

Right at this moment he is reclining on the monitor watching me type.
>
>3. Is there such a thing as a Snow Savannah, or a Silver Savannah?

Yes.

>
>4. What is their life expectancy? How large do they generally get?

I don't know on life expectancy. I would guess about the same as a domestic. Some are very large and some are small. An acquaintance has one which is nearing 30 lbs. I think this is very rare. Most of them are on the housecat side. Mine is only 9lbs but very long and lean so he looks a lot bigger than 9 lbs.
>
>5. One of the complaints I have seen more are the price, however, some
>savannahs do go up to the twenty thousands!

Not really. The breeding F1 females are the most expensive. The male F1s (they are sterile) are about $5000. Later generations are less. there are some under $1000.
>
>6. Can I take him to a normal Vet? or does it have to be an exotic
>healthcare vet?

Many regular vets will accept them but they are known for misbehavior at the vets. I take mine to a cat only vet. They think he's so beautiful they ignore his behavior. CAUTION: Give killed inoculations. I have heard savannahs have problems with live modified. Plus I have had experinced problems myself.
>
>7. What is the difference in temperament (F1, F2, F3, F4, F5)?

Donno. I have a F1 and my friend has a F3. Mine is more docile. Go figure.
>
>8. I know your stand is that the Ashera and the Savannah are the same
>thing, but why does the Ashera look so much more exotic, and wildly
>different to the Savannah Cats? I know no two animals will ever be
>exactly alike, but the Ashera in the website dose look fairly different
>to the Savannah pictures I have seen.

The Ashtera is rumored to be a bengal/serval cross. A bengal is a hybrid of the Asian leopard cat and a domestic. This is considered to be one of the standard Savannah types so these Savannahs are available.

ilojem said...

You might want to read http://www.messybeast.com/small-hybrids/fertility-hybrids.htm and http://www.messybeast.com/small-hybrids/serval-caracal-hybrids.htm

Think twice before purchasing such a hybrid like the Savannah or "Ashera"! This does not apply for Bengal hybrids.

Per said...

I´m not at all sure what ilojem is trying to state with his comment about Savannah as opposed to Bengals: they have differences and similarities, but there is no problem with the Savannah that the Bengal does not have (spraying, vocalising, territorial marking etc), but it is very manageable in both breeds, and anyway it´s a cat thing. The earlier generations may sometimes be more marked in this than later ones, but that varies between individuals. Both Bengal and Savannah dams in heat are pretty nauseating as regards spraying, but then other cats spray, too. I would suppose that the Ashera, being a mix of all in early gen, sprays even more, but as they are castrated, that usually helps.

ilojem said...

The Ashera died or did he really? Google translate the following url:

http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/5322370/__Dure_reuzenkat_sterft_eenzame_dood__KRANT___.html?p=2,1

ilojem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ilojem said...

I went to the Dutch website of the people who bought this cat. A translation of words written on their website (www.ashera.nl) spelling mistakes originally included:

"We hebben zelfs een private investigator de zaak laten onderzoeken
.. die sprak met een van de zogenaamde verzorgers van een van de opvangcentra
. Zijn letterlijke woorden waren : Die Kat is een KUT beest
. Als het aan mij licht dan maken we hem af !!!!!! "


"We had a private investigator look into the matter.
He had spoken to the so called care takers of one of the shelters.
His words literally were: That cat is a f*cking c*nt cat.
If it were up to me we put it to sleep!!!!! "

Excuse the bad language, it is just a translation.

Chris, you might want to ask for a postmortem of your own... ?

robert said...

22 000 dollars for a cat is a lot of money I think ...

Robert from t-shirt nintendo

jelish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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