F1s - SUPER EXOTIC
Many of us who breed these wonderful cats are aware that not everyone knows the lingo. F1
is a genetic term that means first generation cross between two different species. In this
case, a domestic cat is bred to an Asian Leopard Cat, or ALC, for short. I use Bengals in my
breeding program as I think they give the best F1's. Because of this, my F1's are at least 56
to 58% ALC. F1's are different. They are hand raised and make wonderful pets for some
people. They will make very poor pets for others.
If you ever wanted to own a cat that looks like it just walked out of the jungle, then the F1 is
for you - maybe. Are you really a cat/animal person? Do you listen to your animals and
understand their differences as well as their similarities? Or do you insist on ruling the roost
and taking no grief from anyone or anything else?
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Each of these cats will have a distinctly different personality and will insist that their rules be followed.
You can intimidate and frighten them but you cannot force them to interact your way. If you have a
problem with cats because they will not obey like a dog, then this cat is definitely not for you. If you are
capable of listening to the needs and desires of your pet, of interacting with that pet and not just trying to
rule, you just might be the right person.
I hand raise my F1s and get them going in terms of growth, personality, and personal habits. When they
get with their families, then their permanent bonding begins. Some will bond with only one person. Their
sun rises and sets with that one person. Some will get on well with a group of people. One F1 male at just
less than one year of age fell asleep on a strangers lap. He had an outgoing personality and was raised in
an active house with strangers, including children, coming and going on a regular basis.
These cats are talkers, often talking loudly. Their voices are distinctly different from the typical cat. To
the untrained ear, they may sound as if they are angry when they grumble and hiss. To the F1 lover, it’s
an invitation to attend to their needs – a neck massage, a shoulder ride, a game of fetch, or a bubble bath.
That’s right, a bath! Ever had a cat jump in the bathtub with you? Get ready to give up your rubber
ducky. They will tell you the state of the world, they will tell you when they are hungry and they will tell
you, without fear, when you have misbehaved. They, of course, are incapable of misbehaving. Ask them.
They'll tell you that also. But an F1 is also capable of love, passion and loyalty, like no other pet you have
Are you a breeder that wants to step into the F1 world? Well let’s look at some facts there also. I quite
frankly can't imagine my life without my F1s. I wouldn't want to imagine that life. The F1 will love you and
bond with you. When they bond with you, they will follow you around the house as if they were dogs. And
then comes breeding. Many F1s that have been properly raised, will let you handle their babies from the
day they are born. This is not universally true, however. Some F1s will become very protective when their
hormones are raging and they have babies to protect. As a breeder, you need to be aware of this. Some of
these cats will bite that hand that feeds them when they have a litter of kittens.
I personally have had little difficulty with my F1s eating their babies. I have lost one litter that way. In my
experience, they will do just fine if you give them privacy and leave them alone.
THE THREE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS WITH F1s ARE:
THE LITTER BOX
I strongly recommend, and just about insist, that kittens are partially cage-raised or kept in small, confined
quarters during much of the day. Often the bathroom will work. They should come out only under careful
supervision. This is MANDATORY! They must learn from their earliest days that the litter box is the only
place to do their business. You may think that this is mean, but I think it is far worse to develop a habit of
inappropriate elimination and become an unwelcome member of the household. An F1, who has the
potential to become an enchanting and beloved companion, could instead end up like an unwanted alley cat
on the street, or worse.
They will eat all kinds of things: rubber bands - really bad; Styrofoam - gives them funny looking poop;
foam rubber - really bad – it can kill them. They love paper: napkins, toilet paper, newspaper, unpaid bills,
and your homework! You must be prepared to child/cat proof your house.
They are thieves. They will take make up, pens, jewelry and your glasses. You will have to figure out
where their hiding place is. Of course, you will thoroughly tick them off when you confiscate everything.
Don't worry too much. They will do their best to steal everything again. Humorous? To the F1 lover it is!
|All rights reserved © Patty Bingham
All text and photographs are the property of Patty Bingham and may
not be copied, reproduced or reprinted without written authorization.
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